Travel beyond the fear and paranoia of 9-11 to experience Muslim cultureGay Travels in the Muslim World journeys where other gay travel books fear to tread--Muslim countries. This thought-provoking book tells both Muslim and non-Muslim gay men's stories of traveling in the Middle East during these difficult political times. The true, very personal tales reveal how gay menTravel beyond the fear and paranoia of 9-11 to experience Muslim cultureGay Travels in the Muslim World journeys where other gay travel books fear to tread--Muslim countries. This thought-provoking book tells both Muslim and non-Muslim gay men's stories of traveling in the Middle East during these difficult political times. The true, very personal tales reveal how gay men celebrate their lives and meetings with local men, including a gay soldier's story of his tour of duty in Iraq. Insightful and at times sexy, this intelligent book goes beyond 9-11 and the present political and cultural divides to illustrate the real experiences of gay men in trouble zones--in an effort to seek peace for all.After the collapse of the Twin Towers, fears about terrorism and Muslim culture went hand in hand. Gay Travels in the Muslim World enters the current war zones to bring real and very personal stories of gay men who live and travel in these dangerous areas. This book challenges readers' preconceptions and assumptions about both homosexuality and being Muslim, while showing the wide range of experiences--good and bad--about the regions as well as the differences in attitudes and beliefs. Excerpts from Gay Travels in the Muslim World: From "I Want Your Eyes" by David StevensMen by themselves are rare. I pass a handsome Omani man sitting on the Corniche wall with a cigarette between his long brown fingers. He wears his colourful cuma cap at a jaunty angle and his mustard-coloured dishdasha has risen up to reveal tantalizingly hairy calves. I note the carefully made holes in his ears--not in his ear lobes but deep inside the cartilages--a pre-Islamic custom still practiced on some male babies to ward off evil spirits. I decide it suits him.From "It All Began with Mamadou" by Jay DavidsonDrawing definitive conclusions about a society after living here for a little more than a year is not a wise, safe, or responsible action on my part. If a society's culture is a mosaic of thousands of little tiles, then I like to think that what I have been able to piece together has been a tableau in which certain aspects have become discernable, some are a little less clear, and others remain in a way that I will never see as whole and comprehensible.From "A Market and a Mosque" by Martin ForemanSylhet, Bangladesh: It's eight o'clock in the evening and Tarique and Paritosh are taking me out to look at the cruising spots. Until I flew in here this afternoon, all I knew of the provincial city and the surrounding area was that it was where most of the Bangladeshis in the UK come from--and since most of the Bangladeshis in the UK live in my home borough of Tower Hamlets, I feel a kind of affinity with the place. Whether or not Sylhet feels an affinity with me is a different matter.From "Work In Progress: Notes From A Continuing Journey of Manufacturing Dissent" by Parvez SharmaIn the construction of the image and life of the "queer" Muslim is also the awareness of the not so well known fact that a sexual revolution of immense proportions came to the earliest Muslims, some 1,300 years before the West had even thought about it. This promise of equal gender rights and, unlike in the Bible, the stress on sex as not just reproduction but also enjoyment within the confines of marriage has all but been lost i...
|Title||:||Gay Travels in the Muslim World|
|Number of Pages||:||200 Pages|
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Gay Travels in the Muslim World Reviews
Gay identity is denied in most Muslim countries. That there are men and women within those areas who primarily love people of their own gender is a biological certainty. But most of them would not label themselves ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’, they would see the attraction as just one small aspect of themselves that they try to fit into their lives while adhering to what is expected of them by friends and – especially – family. Family is very important, both caring for the current generation as well as raising the next one. Getting married before you are thirty and having children is the only accepted way to live in many places. Not doing so could lead to loss of honour for you and your family. This means that most gay love and lust takes place behind closed doors and isn’t acknowledged even while everybody around knows it happens. As long as there are no witnesses and it isn’t talked about, everybody can pretend that no social mores are being broken.Considering that gay sex is officially frowned upon and even punishable by death in many Muslim countries, the casual intimacy between men is one that will surprise many tourists. Much more than in Western countries, men are likely to be seen touching each other in a physically intimate way or even walking around the city hand in hand. The ‘Western’ gay identity threatens this way of interacting with each other by making it look suspect and threatens the entire family-oriented society. It introduces new options and choices that could upset the basis on which the society is built. Gay Muslims may start to question things and realise that the way their heart is pulling them does not have to point towards certain doom, but could lead them to a happy, if alternative, family life.Gay Travels in the Muslim World is a series of autobiographical short stories, edited by Michael Luongo. It gives an impression of the Muslim world as described above. The majority of them deal with contrasts and conflicts between Western culture and Muslim culture, from varied perspectives. Most of the stories were written by Western visitors, one or two by people within the culture. The style, tone and attitudes of the writers vary, and while some of the tales are likely to annoy you, you will find a couple that are touching and interesting. I liked the story of an American who starts a long-distance romance with a Turk, only to find out he is married and has children. Rather than break up with his long-term lover, the Turkish man integrates him as an ‘uncle’ into his family, where he is lovingly accepted.Not all stories are sweet though; in several of them, local men desperate for money and tourists desperate for sex with locals meet each other on a sharp and uncomfortable knife’s edge between two cultures, using each other for selfish purposes.All in all it is an interesting collection, well worth a read for anybody interested in this different perspective on gay identity. And if you want to take a more academic look at the topic, you may want to pick up Unspeakable Love – Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East.www.popcultjunk.com
"Gay Travels is a mixed bag worth dipping into, with caution. While it offers insights, it doesn’t relinquish the hierarchies implicitly built into travel literature. When it comes to travel, it seems that only Westerners travel ironically and self-consciously and write tales of their adventures, while Easterners merely fester in their chains."Read the rest of my review here:http://www.yasminnair.net/content/mic...
Fascinating, if occasionally uneven, anthology of tales in the Muslim world. Many, if not most, are from Westerners traveling in the Middle East and other Muslim locales; some are from local voices. But all present a compelling portrait of gay life in a region and culture widely reputed to be among the most hostile to gayness on Earth.
تافه لا يستحق القرائه.. توقعت كتاب يتحدث عن تجربة شخص او رحلاته في الدول الاسلاميه. كيف تمت معاملته او كيف حلل وضعه في حدود العالم الاسلامي. وجدته مجرد سرد لافكار اشخاص منحرفين وتلك الافكار لا تقدم ولا تؤخر ولا تفيد على الاطلاق. اعتقد هدف الكتاب ككل هوه القول بان هناك شاذين في العالم العربي وهوه ما يمكن قوله في سطرين لا في كتاب!
This book is a series of essays written by gay men about their experiences traveling in Muslim countries. It was interesting to read about gay culture (or lack thereof) in Muslim countries. I was surprised with how personal and open most of the essays were. Overall, I learned a lot.
Fascinating & insightful.