Enduring this region of the world can sometimes feel like an unfathomable feat. Corruption here is a prevalent notion that perpetuates itself both on the interpersonal and public scales, breeding and spreading patriarchal, oppressive, and restrictive behaviours and attitudes.
This is not to say, however, that Arab activists, through grassroots organizing, have failed to make significant improvements to the structural and operational systems in recent years. It is not to be neglected that progress is essential and present, but that very often the laws that govern our societies resurface to strip us of basic human rights. These rights are not regarded as such – [basic, human] – since the ability to abolish them comes without second thought and without consideration of the more-than-possible repercussions that will impact the targeted populations.
This paradigm, which is actively challenged and contested by many of those living within it, does not receive nearly as much attention or recognition as it should.
Most recently, in what have been referred to as the ‘rainbow raids’, a crackdown has occurred on the LGBTQ+ community in Egypt following the raising of rainbow flags at a Mashrou’ Leila concert.
And, of course, I must mention the new anti-homosexual law that has been proposed in Egypt, which calls for homosexuals to receive a prison sentence of up to five years and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community a maximum of three.
I use this editorial in my capacity to condemn the abhorrent suppression by the Egyptian government – that seems to be spreading like wildfire – on members of the LGBTQ+ community. This translates into a crackdown on freedom of expression, and infringes on the basic right to navigate freely in an open space without judgement, discrimination, or denunciation.
It is through this medium, and speaking on behalf of Outlook as an entity, that I would like to express our solidarity and support towards the LGBTQ+ community, both in Egypt, here, and in its totality as a marginalized group that endures, persists, and resists. We stand with you.
We call on AUB students and faculty, members of active clubs and political groups, and general readers to take a stand, generate movement, and call for social action.
It is imperative to create pressure and maintain momentum in any and every way possible and feasible, in order to make apparent just how fiercely we oppose these measures. Actions that may seem trivial, like sharing articles, photos, and posts, have a much larger effect than we can understand. They transcend boundaries.