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  • Palestinian Queer Activists Talk Politics: Aswat & Al-Qaws Tour

    aswat-alqaws tour

    National Tour Comes to the Bay Area – February 15 & 16!

    Palestinian queer activists will be touring six US cities for a series of open conversations hosted by
    locally and nationally known US activists.
    What does the Palestinian queer movement have in common with other LGBTQ movements worldwide?
    How can we understand and work with issues of visibility and the notion of “coming out” within the Palestinian context?
    What are the questions, goals, beliefs and dreams of the Palestinian queer movement?

    Location Change for AFTERPARTY, now at PARADISO2272 Telegraph Ave at 23rd St, Oakland

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    Tuesday, February 157pm

    Mission High Auditorium

    3750 18th Street at Dolores, San Francisco
    Parking available

    MODERATED BY Cherríe Moraga

    Wednesday, February 16


    San Francisco State University
    1600 Holloway, Ethnic Studies Conference Room,
    Ethnic Studies/Psychology Building # 116
    Organized by the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative’s (AMED) Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Global South: Arab and Muslim Communities Colloquium Series.  Co-sponsored by the Race and Resistance Studies Program and General Union of Palestinian Studies.


    Pro Arts at Oakland Art Gallery
    150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland (Accessible off Broadway)


    with DJ Emancipacion

    2272 Telegraph Ave at 23rd St, Oakland

    With hookah/arguileh lounge

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    About the Organizations and Speakers
    ASWATAbeer Mansour is a feminist Palestinian queer activist who is dedicated to promoting the inclusion of Palestinian queer women in Palestinian society. Abeer joined Aswat’s staff in 2008 as a resource development and networking coordinator. She represents Aswat in local and global events to explain about the multiple forms of oppression Palestinian queer women face: as a national indigenous minority living inside Israel, struggling for equal human and civil rights; as women battling for equality with men in conservative and patriarchal Palestinian society; and finally as queer women living in a heteronormative culture which is often extremely homophobic, fighting discriminization and marginalization. Abeer networks with partner feminist and human rights organizations to promote the inclusion of the queer agenda in their activism.

    The mission of the ASWAT initiative is to serve as a Palestinian gay women’s group where we may express ourselves, discuss gender and sexuality, define our feminism, and address the conflict experienced by us between our national and gendered identities. The ASWAT group provides a safe space for any Palestinian woman who identifies as lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual, transgender or inter-sexual, where we can break our individual silence through dialogue, self-education, healing and activism. In addition, we strive to generate social change in order to meet the needs of one of the most silenced and oppressed communities in Israel. We work to reach out to Palestinian and Jewish communities in Israel, and also to collaborate with other like minded institutes, groups and individuals in order to combat the multilayered discrimination we face and to promote women rights.


    AL-QAWSSami Shamali is a 23 year old Palestinian queer activist with Al-Qaws working who lives in the West Bank. Sami joined Al-Qaws four years ago as part of Al-Qaws virtual Arabic discussion forums staff members. Currently, he is a member of the leadership group of Al-Qaws, and one of the main activists who are leading “West Bank house for activists” and the growing social change activism in the West Bank.

    Al-Qaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society seeks to promote the development and growth of the Palestinian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) community in Israel and the Palestinian occupied territories. This process is inextricably linked with the larger mission of building an equal, diverse and open Palestinian society. Within this context, Al-Qaws is an enthusiastic partner in the development of a Palestinian civil society that respects and adheres to human and civil rights and allows individuals to live openly and equally, regardless of their sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Al-Qaws aims to achieve its mission through challenging attitudes, breaking social and religious taboos and norms, empowering, educating, developing leadership skills, and promoting social change and social transformation. Our mission is to create a safe and mature space to fertilize open and responsible dialogue at the societal level, promote diversity, meet the vast and differentiated needs of Palestinian LGBTQ persons and promote their well-being and capacity to engage in and contribute to the larger society.


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    Please help to make these events accessible to those with chemical intolerance by refraining from wearing scented products.
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    Co-Sponsored By:
    Alliance of South Asians Taking Action
    American Friends Service Committee-Pacific Mountain Region
    Amor Sin Fronteras
    API Equality, Northern California
    Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative, SF State University
    Arab Cultural and Community Center
    Arab Film Festival
    Arab Resource and Organizing Center
    Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace
    Community United Against Violence
    Global Exchange
    Global Women’s Strike
    International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, SF Bay Area
    Middle East Children’s Alliance
    National Center for Lesbian Rights
    NorCal Friends of Sabeel
    Old Lesbians Organizing for Change
    Omid Advocates for Human Rights
    outLoud Radio
    Palestinian Youth Network, Bay Area
    San Francisco LGBT Community Center
    Seventh Native American Generation
    Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
    Southwest Asian & North African Bay Area Queers (SWANABAQ)
    TGI Justice Project
    US Palestinian Communities Network, SF Bay Area

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    For More Information: Arab Resource and Organizing Center, 415-861-7444, info@araborganizing.org, www.araborganizing.org