Meem is a community of and for LBTQ women in Lebanon. LBTQ is defined as women who self-identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender (including male-to-female and female-to-male), queer, in addition to women questioning their sexual orientation. We believe in diversity. Meem is based on values of equality, support, confidentiality, and respect. The group was created on the idea that women should be encouraged to empower themselves and each other through mutual support. We are a closed, private group, not out of fear, but because we work hard on guarding the safety and security of our members. We believe in empowerment through self-organizing. Our goal is to create a safe space in Lebanon where LBTQs can meet, talk, discuss issues, share experiences, and work on improving their lives and themselves. In a nutshell, Meem is a group of really cool women who look out for each other and work on making Lebanon a better home for LBTQs.
Lebanon, June 2009
We are delighted to be sharing our latest news with you all. Lebanon’s first and long-awaited book on the lives of queer women and transgenders in Lebanon is now out. “Bareed Mista3jil,” which translates into English as “Mail in a Hurry” is a collection of 41 stories from the experiences of lesbians, bisexuals, queer and questioning women, and transgender persons (LBTQ) from all over Lebanon. Covering a wide range of topics and issues from coming out and relationships with families to self-discovery and discrimination, “Bareed Mista3jil” aims to introduce the Lebanese people to the real-life stories of one of the country’s most hidden and ostracized communities.
Written over the course of 18 months by a team of young queer women, the book dispels the myths surrounding female sexuality and gender identities in all their diversity. It includes a 30-page introductory analysis of the different themes of the stories to provide readers with some sociological background to the key elements. Funded by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and supported by the Feminist Collective and IndyACT, “Bareed Mista3jil” is published by Meem, a community of LBTQs that was started in August 2007 to provide support for sexual and gender minorities.
An event launching the book will take place at Al Madina Theater on Hamra Street in Beirut on May 30, 2009 at 6pm. Selected stories will be read at the launch, which is open to the media and Lebanese public. The book will be available in English and Arabic versions at all major Lebanese bookstores and online as of June 1st, 2009. Excerpts from the stories, in addition to more information, can be found online at www.bareedmista3jil.com
We hope to see you at the launch and thank you for all your support! Drop us an email if you want to know more.
The Meem Team