Gay Beirut – The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly places in the Arab world. This is saying a lot for a country where homosexuality is still a crime. However, by comparison to its Arab neighbours, Beirut has the best (albeit quite underground) gay scene, including one of the largest gay clubs in the Middle East called POSH.

We visited gay Beirut from Cyprus to celebrate Stefan’s birthday over a long weekend and absolutely loved the food, the people and of course the many gay parties. This is our gay guide to Beirut featuring the best gay bars and clubs, events, gay friendly hotels and best things to do.

Gay Rights in Lebanon

Lebanon doesn’t have the best track record with regards to LGBTQ rights. Homosexuality is illegal, there are no anti-discrimination laws, there is absolutely zero recognition of same-sex partnerships and the LGBTQ community are banned from openly serving in the Lebanese army.

On the plus side, proactive steps are being taken by judges and some politicians to decriminalise homosexuality and it was declassified as an illness in 2013. In addition, the right to change legal gender was introduced in 2016. From our experience travelling in the Middle East, Lebanon definitely ranks as one of the most gay friendly Arab countries, but remember, this is an extremely conservative region of the world when it comes to LGBTQ rights.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Middle East Gay Travel Resources

Al Amin Mosque in Beirut – Keep Calm and Wander

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