LGBT+ conversion therapy: banned on Facebook, but thriving in Arabic

[Produced alongside Thomson Reuters Foundation’s digital correspondent Avi Asher-Schapiro and published here on June 3, 2021]

When he was growing up in a small Egyptian town outside Cairo, Omar began feeling sexually attracted to other men. Too afraid to talk to family or friends, he turned to Facebook for help, shielding his identity with a false name.

Scouring social media for information and advice is a common recourse for young men and women who think they may be gay and live in socially conservative Arab societies.

But it can lead them to therapists, spiritual leaders and influencers promising to “cure the affliction” of homosexuality through so-called conversion therapy – practices that aim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Syrian boys caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse, UN says | AFP

[Published here on December 7, 2017]

Beirut (AFP) – Syrian men and boys, in their war-torn country and abroad, have suffered “a vicious cycle” of sexual abuse with more devastating consequences than previously reported, the United Nations said Thursday.

In its new report, “We Keep it in our Heart,” the UN’s refugee agency said it had documented widespread sexual violence against Syrian males, including those seeking refuge.

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