Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East

Saqi
2
Free sample

Homosexuality is a taboo subject in the Arab world. While cleri denounce it as a heinous sin, newspapers write cryptically of 'shameful acts' and 'deviant behaviour'. Amid the calls for reform in the Middle East, homosexuality is one issue that almost everyone in the region would prefer to ignore. In this absorbing account, Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker calls attention to the voices of men and women who are struggling with gay identities in societies where they are marginalized and persecuted by the authorities. He paints a disturbing picture of people who live secretive, fearful lives and who are often jailed, beaten, and ostracized by their families, or sent to be 'cured' by psychiatrists. Deeply informed and engagingly written, Unspeakable Love reveals that -- while deeply repressive prejudices and stereotypes still govern much thinking about homosexuality -- there are pockets of change and tolerance. Unspeakable Love was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award in 2006. This updated edition includes new material covering developments since the book's first publication. 'A must-read for anyone who believes in human rights' Rabih Alameddine 'Masterful -- incredibly balanced and thoughtful' Ben Summerskill 'Anyone interested in reform in the Arab world must read this book' Mai Yamani 'Wise and compassionate' Guardian 'Groundbreaking' Daily Star Lebanon 'Never before has such a comprehensive study of gay civil rights been published' The Middle East Gay Journal 'Boldly delves into one of the biggest taboos in modern Muslim societies with subtlety and sensitivity' Globe and Mail


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Additional Information

Publisher
Saqi
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Published on
Aug 20, 2011
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Pages
282
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ISBN
9780863564598
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Lesbian Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Sexual desire has long played a key role in Western judgments about the value of Arab civilization. In the past, Westerners viewed the Arab world as licentious, and Western intolerance of sex led them to brand Arabs as decadent; but as Western society became more sexually open, the supposedly prudish Arabs soon became viewed as backward. Rather than focusing exclusively on how these views developed in the West, in Desiring Arabs Joseph A. Massad reveals the history of how Arabs represented their own sexual desires. To this aim, he assembles a massive and diverse compendium of Arabic writing from the nineteenth century to the present in order to chart the changes in Arab sexual attitudes and their links to Arab notions of cultural heritage and civilization.
A work of impressive scope and erudition, Massad’s chronicle of both the history and modern permutations of the debate over representations of sexual desires and practices in the Arab world is a crucial addition to our understanding of a frequently oversimplified and vilified culture.
“A pioneering work on a very timely yet frustratingly neglected topic. . . . I know of no other study that can even begin to compare with the detail and scope of [this] work.”—Khaled El-Rouayheb, Middle East Report “In Desiring Arabs, [Edward] Said’s disciple Joseph A. Massad corroborates his mentor’s thesis that orientalist writing was racist and dehumanizing. . . . [Massad] brilliantly goes on to trace the legacy of this racist, internalized, orientalist discourse up to the present.”—Financial Times
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