LGBTQ Rights in the Arab World: Dismantling Oppressive Structures

Over the past ten years, new battle lines have begun to form in much of the Arab world. Quietly, slowly, but firmly, LGBTQ activists across the region have begun to resist the legacy of decades of injustice and discrimination against them visibly and vocally by organizing their ranks and embarking on brave acts of resistance.

This panel will examine the cultural and sociopolitical origins and dynamics of homophobia and transphobia in the Arab world and engage in an open and honest conversation about what queer liberation would look like in this complex region. Panelists will draw on their own experiences as activists and debate solutions to dismantle the existing structures of oppression in a number of contexts, including Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, and Palestine.


– Sa’ed Atshan, Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College (Palestine)
– Dalia Al-Farghal, LGBTQ Rights Activist, (Egypt)
– Senda Ben Jbara, LGBTQ Rights Activist (Tunisia)
– Tarek Zeidan, LGBTQ Rights Activist; Founder of Helem, the Arab world’s first LGBTQ advocacy group (Lebanon)

This event is open to Harvard Law School affiliates only, and is co-sponsored by Lambda, HLS Advocates, MELSA, and the Human Rights Progam, all at Harvard Law School.

Lunch will be served.