Your donation supports the continued growth of a dynamic LGBTQ-led cultural movement sparked by alQaws. Join us as we build on the momentum of over a decade of grassroots and institutional organizing for individual, community, and social change, grounded in the specific history of Palestinian culture. By contributing to our fundraising campaign, you will support our growing gender and sexual diversity work in Palestinian society. Your donation provides alQaws with “core funding”--a reliable foundation to continue our work and ensure our sustainability.
Who We Are
alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society is the leading Palestinian LGBTQ organization (a formal non-governmental organization) and the only group working on both sides of the Green Line. We work directly with Palestinian civil society to create a sustainable, persistent, community-based social change movement. Active at every level of Palestinian civil society, alQaws supports resilient LGBTQ communities and leads civil society’s critical social engagement with sexual and gender diversity. Drawing from a wealth of activist, professional, and creative capacities, we incite social change on the issue of gender and sexual diversity in relation to broader political struggles and everyday life.
What We Do and Why
alQaws creates opportunities for critical, creative social engagement by creating strong networks, resilient LGBTQ communities, and more open and engaged civil society institutions. Working in multiple geographic locations on both sides of the Green Line (including Yaffa, East Jerusalem, Ramallah and Haifa), and within constraints on Palestinian mobility imposed by Israeli military occupation, we have initiated new partnerships with professional human rights workers, with youth and students, with artists and cultural workers, and with healthcare and education professionals.
alQaws develops diverse and previously non-existent support services for LGBTQ individuals, we organize activist-minded community-building groups, cultural events, and health initiatives, and we lead large-scale artistic cultural production and social change efforts that harness grassroots as well as institutional power. Our most recent direct engagements with civil society include: conducting collaborative research on current attitudes and practices with regard to gender and sexuality in professional civil society organizations; launching a creative multi-media (including original music, video, photography) project engaging youth and artists; and supporting a range of other innovative, creative, cultural and professional projects with women, trans, and youth activists.
Our experienced, critical view of our society affirms that issues of gender and sexuality permeate all aspects of human rights, political, and cultural work. alQaws prioritizes direct work with civil society actors comprised of formal NGOs, informal political and social groups and movements, cultural producers (like musicians and artists), and local media.
We have made significant progress toward our goals to increase and promote alternative approaches to sexual and gender discourse and visibility in Palestinian society and to pave the road for a social justice movement in which LGBTQ rights are recognized and accepted as integral to broader sexual and human rights. It is now more important than ever that alQaws—an LGBTQ Palestinian group—is supported in this work to achieve our desired social change, using strategies informed by our many years of experience and research.
Contribute to Our Vision for the Future
Your support helps alQaws sustain this incredible momentum and to continue expanding and strengthening our support and leadership groups, our leadership-building and educational projects, and our large-scale civil society networking and multimedia artistic and cultural projects. We are confident that our society is ready for alQaws and the issue of sexual and gender diversity to take a more large-scale and visible role in Palestinian society’s vision for social justice, and we hope you will join us.
The main concentrations of our current political projects include Individual wellbeing, Community-building, and large-scale artistic and cultural practice Social Change initiatives. Your donation directly funds these projects.
Individual Support & Services:
Our diverse individual services counteract the lack of counseling services available in Palestine society society that can adequately and positively address sexual and gender diversity and provide support for LGBTQ Palestinians.
Support Groups: LGBTQs in various locations meet bi-weekly for supportive discussion and creative exploration around issues of gender and sexual identity, facilitated by a professional counselor and an experienced alQaws activist. We help foster personal growth and a sense of belonging, creating opportunities for group members to repair connections between the self, family, and broader Palestinian civil society. (your $300 donation funds one support group meeting of 10 participants!)
National Hotline, or Listening and Information Line (www.alkhat.org): a peer-to-peer multi-platform (online and phone) support service run by a knowledgeable and friendly volunteer support line operator team that responds to calls and chats from LGBTQ individuals. (a $400 donation covers the cost of 2 weeks of support line promotion; $125 covers one half day of volunteer training!)
Building Palestinian LGBTQ Communities:
Our community-building groups, cultural events, and health initiatives promote healthy, strong, and sustainable LGBT social networks, counteracting a disparity of community-based support for open, tolerant and progressive discussions of sexual and gender diversity.
Leadership Groups: bi-weekly meetings provide a personal and intellectual space for LGBTQs to explore sexual and gender diversity through a feminist and queer framework. Groups connect individuals to social change initiatives through opportunities to expand newly-formed community networks through cultural and education workshops, meetings, and groups, including reading, writing, cinema clubs and organizational retreats.
West Bank Activities: including outreach work, queer youth initiatives, and queer and feminist book clubs in a newly opened safe space for activists. (a $600 donation covers one month of rent at the West Bank safe space)
“I Want You Safe”: alQaws’ health initiative dedicated to producing accessible, friendly, and accurate health information and services for the LGBT community.
Palestinian Queer Parties: the largest Palestinian LGBTQ monthly gathering with Arabic Music, drag shows and upwards of 400 attendees (a generous $1,000 donation ensures one Queer Party is fully funded!)
Our large-scale social change efforts aim to harness grassroots power as well as institutional power to advance positive change in relation to gender and sexual issues amongst influential civil society institutions, youth and students, news media, and cultural producers.
Engaging Civil Society: Following recommended strategies in approaching civil society institutions resulting from our Human Rights institutions field research (including extensive interviews and a detailed report), a new Networking Coordinator will oversee the successful implementation of our new networking and training initiatives. These initiatives target civil society institutions, including NGO staff members of human rights, feminist, and health organizations, as we seek to spark their alignment with alQaws’ vision of a society-wide embrace of gender and sexual diversity.
Networking Coordinator, based in our new Haifa Office: this new position and new space foster and manage the large and growing network of activists joining alQaws. The Networking Coordinator will lead our social change civil society networking initiatives. (your $150 donation pays for one week of rent at our new Haifa Office!)
Multi-Media & Music: Our popular music and creative multi-media project, Ghanni A’an Ta’arif / “Singing Sexuality” (www.ghanni.net), engages youth and students on issues of gender and sexuality diversity, identity, political engagement and society. This project builds on the unprecedented massive collaborative artist and activist production we began last year, which included our first full album of original songs, a live album-release concert, and the creation of an interactive online multimedia platform. Your support helps us foster the creation of additional content (including but not limited to songs) for ghanni.net and other media outlets, to address innovative, open and positive discourse on gender and sexual diversity through multi-media community-based production workshops (on animation, documentary, and writing) as well as to expand the existing multimedia online platform for increased distribution, promotion and interactivity. (Fund one new original song with your $400 donation!)
Local media: a brand new initiative to encourage local Arabic-language journalists and popular online, print, and radio platforms to write articles that will inspire crucial systematic public analysis of taboo sexuality related issues, including homosexuality and a local discourse of queer identity, politics, and representation.
Support these exciting projects with your donation!
More About the Context in Which We Work
alQaws work crosses locations, media, societal and political boundaries to incite broad social change. Our progress at each level of our work—Individual, Community, Social Change—directly supports building the society we envision, particularly through the connections fostered between these levels. For instance, we mobilize individuals to build community and advocate for the kind of social change that in turn celebrates individual diversity, cultural tradition, and the participation of all members of society.
We continue to experience the impact of alQaws’ increasing local and global political role with a growing number of new members, the international visibility of alQaws’ vocal critique of Israeli misuses of queer issues in the region, and the growing regional and global awareness of our work as an important aspect of broader Palestinian social justice. Thus, we also aim to demonstrate and inspire the inclusion of issues related to gender and sexual diversity as part of broader social justice organizing, and therefore to combat perceptions that LGBTQ organizing is a separate, irrelevant, or foreign form of political, cultural and social action.
We cannot work towards sexual liberation within our communities without addressing the broader liberation of the Palestinian people.To understand the context for our struggle and our evolving strategies, the material and conceptual effects of the ongoing Israeli occupation must be acknowledged. Our experience of the Occupation testifies to the fact that occupation does not differentiate between LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ Palestinians, and in fact actively contaminates inter-personal relationships and larger political processes. Israeli-imposed military occupation practices, including borders and apartheid walls, impacts and constrains our daily activities and long-term goals.
We continue to work to counteract oppressive structures of racism, socio-economic injustice, militarism, sexism and homophobia that disproportionately affect Palestinians, and to combat pervasive entrenched hierarchical working practices in the most influential institutions working in and with Palestinian societies. Moreover, since our work directly speaks with and to Palestinian society, our work at every level challenges deep-rooted misperceptions and taboos about sexual and gender identity, including homosexuality.
Your donation funds alQaws’ ability to harness this transformative power and to build a sustainable social change movement with LGBTQ communities and sexual and gender diversity at its core.