Berlin! 27/01/18 KHWAT خوات ‎/ A benefit for our queer family in Egypt at Salon – Zur wilden Renate

Artwork by Stefan Fähler

Come and support the victims of the Egyptian state’s crackdown on queers! Starting at 8 p.m., there will be live music, DJs and merchandise, with all proceeds going toward a discreet network in Egypt helping affected and at-risk LGBTQ individuals.

Artwork by Stefan Fähler

Dubais – Nadia Buyse |
Handjerks |

Colin Self |
Laura Clock |
La Fraicheur |
Ady Toledano |
Dj Wahid Paradis |


Egypt: the most populous country in the Middle East and more often than not, the benchmark for the Arab world. In ancient times, same-sex marriages were commonplace, and we find tombs dedicated to same-sex couples who spent a lifetime of peace together. Fast-forward to the modern age: Egypt – a country where a T-shirt and jeans or a jalabiya (men’s dress) are equally customary – has been ripped apart by western and eastern ideologies. Mass media, pop culture and general neoliberalism allow for the concept of homosexuality; however, they are odds with the other influences: religion, poverty and lack of education, which are all prevalent.

Starting in 2014, the Bundeskriminalamt in Berlin provided special training to Egyptian police under the pretense of keeping terrorists and “illegal immigrants” from reaching German borders. Human rights groups cried foul as Germany continued official cooperation despite reports of abuses, ranging from systematic torture of perceived political rivals to entrapment of LGBTQ using online surveillance.

In September 2017, Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila (fronted by an openly gay vocalist) had a very crowded concert in a Cairo suburb. The concert went by in peace with great music, good vibes and people waving rainbow flags for what might be considered the first time in public in Cairo. Photos and videos where shared, uploaded and sent. The backlash was fierce, with many people calling for arrests to be made, and an end to western ideologies being imposed in Egypt. Again, the neo-Egyptian identity crisis came into play and within two days, people were rounded up and arrested.

This was the apparent spark of both international outcry and Egypt’s wider crackdown on homosexuality: Amnesty International reported dozens of arrests in the fall, including many Grindr users lured into “dates” by undercover cops. Thanks, in part, to protests organized by the Berliner collective Free LGTBQ Egypt, the Bundeskriminalamt has finally ended their training program, but Egyptian lawmakers want to enact even harsher penalties: up to ten years in prison for engaging in or simply promoting same-sex relations.

Last summer, some queer Berliners got together to raise money to help victims of the “gay purge” in Chechnya to escape and relocate. Now, it’s time to come together and support our queer siblings in Egypt. All proceeds (from entry, T-shirt sales and the silent auction of artwork) will go directly to those affected, for legal costs in particular.

The name KHWAT / خوات is a sort of wordplay on the Arabic words for “crazy”, “gay” and “brothers”.

WHAT?  خوات ‎/ A benefit for our queer family in Egypt
WHERE? Salon – Zur wilden Renate – Alt-Stralau 70, 10245 Berlin, Germany
WHEN? 27th of January 2018 – Open doors at 20h00


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