Al Amin Mosque in Beirut – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 23rd, 2017

Al Amin Mosque - Keep Calm and Wander

While I was in Beirut, I had the chance to go inside Al Amin Mosque. The locals call it as Blue Mosque, simply because of its blue dome that sits on top of it. Mohammad Al Amin is not an ancient mosque. Compared to the Blue Mosque in Turkey, in Egypt or in any other countries in the Middle East, this is a new place of worship. It was inaugurated in 2008.

When I visited there on a hot June weather, I was hesitant to go inside because I was wearing shorts. However, I had a colourful sarong inside my bag, just in case I’d be refused entry. I could simply wrap it around my waist to cover my flawless legs.

I was there around 10:30 in the morning but the guard told me to come back at 11:00 because the janitors were still cleaning. So, I walked around the area – despite the searing heat and went back 30 minutes later. Good thing was – the guard let me in – with me in knee-length shorts. He asked if I were a muslim and when I said no, he handed me out a leaflet about Islam. He directed me to a space where I could place my shoes properly. I was the first visitor (or tourist) that day and it was so quiet. I could even hear my own footsteps on a carpeted floor. In fact, I was even guilty of making a teeny bit of a sound.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Lebanon: Beruit’s Growing Gay Scene

Author: , January 1st, 2012

Sitting at a cafe in Beirut Souks, Rabee lowers his voice and makes a quieting gesture. “Can we please keep this conversation down?” he asks. “I don’t want people at the next table to hear.”

Rabee is a good-looking young Lebanese man in his twenties, wearing a light-colored shirt and jeans. He is also gay, and hasn’t told his family or colleagues.

Homosexuality in Lebanon is still illegal under article 534, which outlaws “unnatural sex.” Despite this, Beirut has a burgeoning gay scene, and many gay bars and clubs are making a tidy profit, not just from Lebanese but from homosexuals who come to the city from other, less permissive countries in the Middle East.

Full Story from Albawaba

Click here for gay travel resources.

Beruit, Tel Aviv Battling for Gay Travel Dollars

Author: , October 27th, 2010

Gay Friendly Israel Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Call it the newest Arab-Israeli conflict. Two Mediterranean hotspots, each boasting a trendy nightlife, warm climate and carefree attitude, are vying for the pink dollars of the world’s gay tourists. Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and business capital, has already earned its place as a must-go destination for globe-trotting gays, and now Beirut is making its pitch, too.

“Western travelers come to us to feel the Arabian spirit,” Bertho Makso, Lebanon’s first and perhaps best-known gay travel operator, told The Media Line. “And Arabs have come to feel more comfortable.”

The global gay tourism industry is a booming, billion-dollar industry. With higher than average disposable income, and into shopping and culture, gay tourists are a desirable market. Last year, the economic impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered travelers was about $63 billion in the US alone, according to a study from Community Marketing Inc., a San Francisco-based market research firm.

Full Story from The Jerusalem Post

Gay FAM Trip Planned for Beruit, Lebanon

Author: , April 10th, 2010

San Francisco, Barcelona, Sydney and … Beirut? As surprising as it sounds, the buzz is building around Beirut, Lebanon, as a gay destination.

The New York Times dubbed Lebanon’s capital “the Provincetown of the Middle East” in a 2009 article and the winter 2010 edition of Netherlands-based Winq magazine devoted eight pages to the city, citing its emergence as “the (gay) party capital of the Middle East.”

Bertho Makso, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) ambassador to Lebanon, is coordinating the first familiarization tour and symposium to Lebanon for travel professionals who work in the gay and lesbian market.

Full Story from SDGLN

Click here for gay travel resources.