On September 5, 2016, Mesahat Foundation for Sexual and Gender Diversity celebrated its first anniversary. Mesahat Foundation has worked since its establishment to focus on leadership and building the capacity of existing or prospective LGBT activists in Egypt and Sudan through focusing on Holistic security issues.
In many countries around the world (e.g., Egypt and Sudan), the LGBT community members face increasing hostility and aggression such as mass arrests by local authorities, restrictive laws-including sodomy laws-, street attacks and hate crimes, systematic elimination from the cultural and social life….etc. And not to forget that family disowning and the loss of reputation in the society remains the greatest threat to most LGBTQI community members.
Most of LGBTQI individuals in the Nile Valley Area (Egypt & Sudan) do not have the efficient resources or the political influence to defend themselves or fight for their rights; and in the absence of these resources and the lack of a proper experience the groups that forms to defend LGBTQI rights in our countries often find themselves face difficult responsibilities to accomplish their mission to the fullest. In the other hand in places where gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender, queer and intersex people are most in need, the mainstream human rights society often fails to offer meaningful support for many reasons, the most important is the lack of adequate knowledge around homosexuality & trans sexuality issues and/or the fear from the authorities in case homosexuality is publicly included in their work programs and topped the agenda of human rights work in the country, which may lead to the closure of these human rights associations and suspension of their financial support. In this context and in the absence of the local support for these vulnerable populations, a strategic planning to build the capacities of LGBTQI leadership in order to fight for their rights and to mitigate the threats of widespread violence they face , as well as providing appropriate support to individual activists and groups working on the issue is strongly required.
LGBT mobilization in our countries need lots of strategic planning and organized efforts to spread awareness around the growing violence and discrimination directed at LGBT people in this region and around the world. LGBT continuous work by groups or individuals in both Egypt and Sudan have helped to expose a pattern of serious and widespread human rights abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Violence and discrimination against LGBT are often perpetrated with total impunity, and when victims seek protection and justice the result is all too often further victimization.
Within this framework “Mesahat Foundation for Sexual and Gender Diversity” has been established in September 5th 2015 in order to develop and work strategically in creating and supporting youth leadership that can successfully lead the Queer struggle in the Nile Valley Area “Egypt and Sudan” .Mesahat will play a great role in identifying and reducing security risks and eliminating the social & cultural obstacles that faced by sexual and gender minorities in the Nile Valley Area (Egypt & Sudan) and creating appropriate means and tools for LGBTQI Activists to carry on their work safely and contribute to creating a nourished and effective Queer societies in the region.
And as part of our plans to improve, sustain, and raise the efficiency of our work we are delighted to share with you our newly redesigned website, with a bold new look and enhanced navigation experience. We will be rolling out new pages and functionality over the coming months, and hope that you enjoy visiting our new website. Going forward, we promise to continually expand our online content and keep you updated with the latest information about LGBT issue in the Nile Valley Area (Egypt & Sudan) ,and we'll provide a lot of useful resources and links that may help you in the development of your activism; So check back often, and connect with us on your social networks.
Finally; on behalf of Mesahat team I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the development of this new site by donating money or technical effort and/or offer their advices. And our special thanks goes to Squarespace and Out in Tech who were teaming up to build websites for 10 international organizations fighting to protect LGBTQ+ rights in their home countries, where this community faces legal challenges and/or persecution.
Executive Director of Mesahat Foundation