Monday, January 14, 2008

UPDATE from Al-Qaws & JOH: Ground-Breaking Developments for the Palestinian LGBTQ Community

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Haneen Maikey <>
Date: Jan 13, 2008 5:17 AM
Subject: UPDATE from Al-Qaws & JOH: Ground-Breaking Developments for the Palestinian LGBTQ Community
To: Haneen Maikey <>

 Ground-Breaking Developments for the Palestinian LGBTQ Community:

Registration of the First Independent
Palestinian LGBTQ Organization


Jerusalem, January, 2007- Al-Qaws, the Palestinian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) community project of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH), has achieved a mile stone development in which it decided to become an independent entity, constituting the first-ever official Palestinian LGBTQ organization.  


The Al-Qaws ("Rainbow") project was initiated in December 2001 by the JOH in order to address the special needs of the Palestinian LGBTQ community in Jerusalem. The project was specifically designed to reflect the special nature of one of the most traditional communities in Jerusalem.


During the six years of its existence, Al-Qaws has undergone an all-embracing organizational process of development.  What started as a local professional-oriented project has grown into a national community and grassroots organization, with activist leadership. This major development has been made possible thanks to the leadership group's determined investment, the deep commitment of Al-Qaws activists and the autonomous space provided to Al-Qaws within the JOH, enabling Al-Qaws to address the needs of the Palestinian LGBTQ community.


This process culminated in the decision of the Al-Qaws' leadership to secede from the JOH and establish an independent organization. With this decision, our community begins a new journey with a committed leadership group and widespread local activists, friends and supporters. In November 2007, Al-Qaws received the formal status of a nonprofit organization and a new name: "Al-Qaws – for Sexual & Gender Diversity in the Palestinian Society."


Haneen Maikey, Al-Qaws Director, commented, "This change is incredibly exciting. This new phase presents new opportunities with promises of growth through self-definition for Palestinian LGBTQs."


True to its deep commitment to advancing the status of LGBTQ people in Jerusalem, the JOH has provided constant support for Al-Qaws toward this development. This has made the transition period an easy, productive and exciting stage for all those involved. The JOH will continue to host Al-Qaws in its new community center in downtown Jerusalem. The two organizations are committed to exploring wider fields of cooperation in the future towards the advancement of our common goals.


Noa Sattath, JOH Executive Director, stated, "The Palestinian LGBTQ community is fortunate to have such strong and capable leaders. We look forward to working together with the leadership of Al-Qaws for a better future for all our community members."


For further details, please contact:

Haneen Maikey

Al-Qaws – for Sexual & Gender Diversity in the Palestinian Society      +972-2-6250502 ext 128      +972-54-4898062

No comments: