Sun, Feb 11
TEDDY goes to Arabia
Guest Column by Elmar Kraushaar
Gay Lucky Fellows
Mr. R. is a lucky fellow, no doubt about that. Never in his whole life has he had to work. Money flows continuously from the enterprises he inherited by his parents. Today he is 56 years old, most of his time he spends in his house in Morocco. Many years ago Mr. R. settled by the Atlantic coast where he is always well supplied with young men. Everybody in town knows that you can make some money off of Mr. R. or Monsieur X or Mister Y.
The colony of European gays grows more and more each and every year, all solvent, single men, live here cheap and without complications of their homosexual lifestyles. If you ask Mr. R. about the circumstances of homosexual people in Morocco, he shrugs his shoulder and he has no clue. He doesn’t really even care.
Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, if convicted you have to pay and /or go to jail. It’s one of the biggest taboos in Moroccan society. Young men, who preferably have sex with foreigners, are being arrested and punished. However, they let the Johns go. The country is too dependent on tourists from all over the world.
The situations of human rights for homosexuals are not much different than in other countries in the region: prohibitions everywhere, discrimination, and persecution. Homosexual sex between men can be punishable by death in the six Islamic countries: Jemen, Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Sudan, Nigeria, and Mauritania. In the United Arab Emirates in 2005, state institutions threatened an incarcerated group with forced hormone therapy. In Dubai in 2002, three homosexual men were sentenced to death and executed. In 2004 fifty men were put in to prison in Medina of western Saudia-Arabia because they were all guests at a gay marriage ceremony.
Worldwide attention was raised in 2001 when 52 men where arrested in Egypt’s capital Cairo. These men were detained while partying on a boat built into a dance club. They were accused of “Immoral Practice” and all of the inmates were publicized in the Egyptian media, with both name and picture. As a result, human rights organizations in the country refused any assistance to the convicted. Since then, the situation of homosexual people in Egypt tightened. In 2004, Human Rights Watch accused the government in Cairo of arresting, detaining, and torturing hundreds of gay.
Also lesbian and gay Palestinians in their occupied regions are threatened with persecution and even death. Many see no other possibility than migrating to Israel. According to current estimates conducted by the Israeli gay and lesbian organization Aguda, more than 500 homosexual women and men have fled to Israel and live there illegally.
Mr. R. lives in Morocco, he loves to visit other Arab countries as well, which brings variety into his life, uhmmm, into his sex life that is. However, Mr. R. is not the only one, there are many homosexual men from the western industrial nations who love to come to North Africa to see the world through rainbow-colored glasses.
They pretend like they do not know that their sex partner’s lives are constantly endangered, but the discomfort is ignored, every inconvenience bypassed, after all, at the next beach in the next village waits another willing young man. And these men like Mr. R. are well aware of their power and status of being rich and bringing in capital. They are untouchable, nothing will happen to them.
|TEDDY GOES TO ARABIA|
Each day guest columnists from different regions tell their stories and explain the political situation for queer people in their native country.
In July 2002, the gay magazine „MännerAktuell“ publicized their “visions” for peace in the Middle East, adorned with photos of Israeli soldiers, titled: “Sex Bombs”. During the Balkan war at the end of the 1990s, gay pornos were shot in the bunkers of Sarajevo. The newest trend for the German gay scene is to have pictures taken for internet profiles among the fields of steale at the “Berlin Holocaust Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” (these examples can be continued endlessly). During the Nazi-regime, reams of homosexual men cheered for their Fuehrer, the leader who promised them an empire of men.
Yes it is true, homosexual men are not known for their interest in politics. Their most vital interests lie obviously, and only, on their alvus and private parts. Their ambitions and actions are determined by their lust. For them, police men’s and soldier’s clothes indicate a fetish. Victims of violence appear as victims in a sexual role-playing game. For them, young men are young men, even if they live in poverty, in a hideout, or are totally stripped of their basic human rights.
|DIANA NAECKE interviews members of the TEDDY- Jury |
He calls it “the bubble” when the Israeli director Eytan Fox depicts this ignorance in his newest film that premiers in the Panorama program of this year’s Berlinale. This attitude of ignoring and cutting out societal and political realities is exemplified by the love between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian. Fox shows that such an attitude is not livable in a daily life that is characterized by terror and violence, which currently exists in the Middle East. There has to be a gay perspective, so Fox hopes, to see one side of a coin without ignoring the other.
Mr. R. doesn’t go to the movies. He has no time for such activities. He spends every minute looking for his next sex partner and he remains the lucky fellow, because he has the money. He has a lot of money and everybody knows it. That’s what they talk about when the villagers talk about Mr. R. and when it comes to him, there is nothing else to talk about.
|Today´s Column by ELMAR KRAUSHAAR |