Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Al-Jazeera Points Out Helem's Good Deeds

In a nicely-written article in al-Jazeera, there is this tidbit written about Helem:

In west Beirut an office for the gay NGO Helem has been turned into the coordinating centre for Samidoun.

Underneath the rainbow flag the activists work around the clock to make sure the refugees in their care are provided for.

"I don’t think the refugees really care about the fact that we are a gay rights NGO. They only care if the NGOs helping them are American," Helem activist Ghassan Makarem said.
I didn't see a similar version of that written in Arabic, but, whatever. This article was written by Christian Henderson, not an Arab name, so that could explain why it's written so positively. I don't mean to say that an Arab would not write positively about gay people, merely that al-Jazeera won't get as much flak if it's written by a white guy. Gay people can be happy there's positive coverage of them, and people who hate gay people can just tell themselves that it's Western projection of gay rights onto the Arab World. I estimate that angry letters to al-Jazeera over a positive depiction of gay people would be double if the article was written by an Arab. This way, everyone wins.