FERNDALE – The Association of Gay & Lesbian Middle Eastern Americans will host “Arabian Nights” on Friday Sept. 23 at Q nightclub in Ferndale. This is the eighth such event, and according to Christiano Ramazzotti, the co-founder of ALGAMEA, each event draws more attendees.
“With every party we get more and more people attending and our list of volunteers keeps growing,” Ramazzotti said. “The last event was the first time we added food and entertainment and the response was overwhelming.”
Party goers will enjoy Arabic dance music, Arabic BBQ and Arabic deserts, all of which is included in the $6 cover charge. Entertainment will be provided by Michigan’s only known Arabic illusionist, Nina, who will perform Arabic songs.
HELEM, one of the first organizations to fight for LGBT rights in Lebanon, is co-sponsoring the event along with ALGAMEA and the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project.
“We are so excited to be able to include HELEM in this event and I hope that we will be able to provide some support for the efforts of HELEM to advocate for GLBT rights in the Middle East,” Ramazzotti said. “It takes a lot of courage for them to stand up and say ‘I exist.'”
Free anonymous HIV testing will be offered at the event. Coupons are available good for $2 off the cover at Q prior to the event at the MAPP offices. For more information about HELEM and their mission visit http://www.HELEM.net.
What is HELEM?
According to their website at http://www.helem.net, “HELEM leads a peaceful struggle for the liberation of the [LGBT] community in Lebanon from all sorts of legal, social and cultural discrimination.” Incorporated in Canada, the organization has support groups in Australia, France and the United States. The organization’s primary goal “is the annulment of article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which punishes ‘unnatural sexual intercourse.’ This law is primarily used to target the LGBT community by violating the privacy of its members and by denying them basic human rights.”
Visit HELEM’s website at http://www.helem.net for more information.