- 11 March 2019: Thanks to All Out members we were able to "bring back the rainbow" to Egypt during the world's biggest tourism fair, the ITB in Berlin on Saturday.
A few minutes after we unfolded the flag in front of the Egyptian tourism stand, the people working at the stand surrounded us. They shouted at us and tried to intimidate us. They filmed us with their phones and asked us to delete any photos we had taken. One man even said: "This is forbidden in Egypt!" (We know!)
Our protest continued that day at the Egyptian embassy. Embassy staff tried to ignore us, but police let us know they weren't very fond of the protest... It's not the last they'll hear from us. Our giant rainbow flag will get to them in the mail soon!
We were able to ruffle some feathers. Egyptian authorities heard our message. They know that LGBT+ Egyptians are not alone in this fight.
But it's not enough. Someone in Egypt can still be put in jail because of who they are or who they love. Rainbow flags are still torn down and stomped upon. That's why we're gearing up for the long fight alongside Egyptian activists to bring the world's attention to the atrocities LGBT+ people face there on a daily basis.
The Egyptian government hates rainbows.
In fact, waving a rainbow flag can have very serious consequences in Egypt. In September 2017, 75 people were arrested after someone did just that at a concert in Cairo. And last year, at least 76 people were arrested and taken to court, just because authorities assumed they were LGBT+.
It doesn’t have to stay that way. This March, Egypt will be presenting our country at the world's biggest tourism fair, the ITB in Berlin, Germany. Together we can use this opportunity to bring the rainbow back to Egypt.
Show your solidarity with LGBT+ Egyptians and add your name to our massive rainbow flag for Egypt.
We will print the flag, take it to Berlin, and wave it in front of the Egyptian exhibition. Then we'll hand over the flag to the Egyptian staff and ask them to bring the rainbow back to Egypt and to ask our government to respect the rights of LGBT+ citizens.
This campaign is being run in conjunction with the Alliance of Queer Egyptian Organizations (AQEO) and the German group Aktionsbündnis gegen Homophobie e.V.
Published: 14 February 2019