Being Gay In Jabal Amman

A Wikipedia entry citing one of my posts:

Recent reports suggest, that although a large number LGBT are in the closet, and who often have to lead double lives, a new wave of younger LGBT are beginning to come out of the closet and are becoming more visible in the country, this resulted in establishing a vibrant LGBT community of filmmakers, journalists, writers, artists and other young professionals.[4] with only a few young Jordians of the upper class able to remain single. New official hangouts have sprung up, such as the RGB club in Jabal Amman, as well as several gay hangouts, such as Books@cafe also in Jabal Amman. It has been said that Jabal Amman represents Amman’s smaller version of a Gay Village. [wikipedia]

Jabal Amman is a small Gay Village?

Is the current cultural “revival” driven by homosexuals?

Rainbow street?


Oh man.

Actually, let me be honest for a moment. As a student of politics this is the part I found interesting about the article.

…However, no real LGBT political movement exists.

I laughed when I read that. The entire political party landscape in Jordan flashed before my eyes and I suddenly saw a group photo of the next Lower House of Parliament, with the Islamic Action Front bearded MPs standing next to bedions, standing next to a guy in tight leather pants.

An LGBT political party? Heck, just give me any real political party at this point.

(by the way, for those who didn’t get it, I’m poking fun at our political system and not gay people or leather pants for that matter. and you have to admit, it would be a damn funny group picture)


  • Now THAT mental picture is worth about 5 years of blog posts Nas. You’re the bomb. I need to be sleeping and instead I’ve got the mental image of a guy in a long beard doing V’s like a school boy over the head of some guy wearing only a rainbow colored speedo and reeboks (yes, I actually saw that in New Orleans once) and an old guy in a dishdasha and sport coat. How awesome is that! Am I going to be counting crazy shots I can come up with instead of finding restful slumber? If so, I’m calling it your fault.

    And as for the Jebel Amman is a “Gay Village”, hunh? And here I was dreaming about finding a decent place for the Bean family to live that didn’t cost outrageous sums of money per year in the first circle area. In the words of America’s rude youth… whatEVER (and you have to imagine the head bob here).

  • Great mental image of course. But the reality… I once posted an image of Berlin’s gay mayor and an Arabic sheikh (from the UAE or so) shaking hands. Just a photo of two guys in suits. Funny, because in his home country that sheikh would never ever have touched the hand of an openly gay man (but as Brecht said, first comes chow, then morals.)

  • Books@cafe has been a favorite gay hang-out place since it opened about 13 years ago, mainly because its owner was an openly gay Jordanian. I think internet has helped Jordanian gays to come out at least on the web.

  • I knew that area was called Rainbow Street but I never figured that it was meant the same meaning as it could be in America. I guess I was wrong.

  • Well I fixed it in on Wikipedia. I don’t want the world thinking Jordanians are illiterate 🙂

  • Man, who should I blame? Myself for being so engaged on the internet that I can’t ever seem to get to bed on time? Teehee. And, Um Omar, definitely NOT the same connotation, haha. Hani, if you were confused, please refer to any of Nas’ posts (or other writing). His grammar, spelling, and style are much clearer and fact based than this wikipedia entry…

  • Ironically this post is posted, on the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development! Either Nas is always too informed about everything…. Or unbelievably gifted to sense, observe and criticize things in the right time…. And it could also be both 😉

  • Actually it is about time we move beyond the buzz of gay communities in Jordan and the Arab world to what pain and agony it must be to feel the hostility around you if you are gay or lesbian.

    I wrote myself a letter a few months ago and I called “in the closet” because I feel that so much is in the closet on the day of diversity… the wounded identities that can only heal in the sunshine remain silenced whether ideological, religious, gender driven or ethnic…

    Human rights should be respected despite mainstream culture and governance is about ensuring that individual rights are protected and people who have diverse beliefs, authenticity and cultures including sexual preferences should be protected…

    Some of my best friends and teachers were gay ..they were beautiful human beings with a wealth of knowledge energy and love to give ..

    The humane part of this diversity issue is that at its core is a commitment to difference and to transforming being “different” to a powerful force of change.. Happy world diversity day . May we all learn to embrace the multilayered identities of all humanity….

  • Samar: while i agree that there is a need to be accepting of the various differences between different people, you may perhaps be asking too much of the Jordanian society when we consider the predominantly conservative muslim and christian culture that considers homosexuality at worst, punishable, and at best deplorable.

    homosexuality in jordan is most likely to continue to be segregated and isolated to a specific pocket in western Amman for a very, very, very long time.

    that’s just the long-term reality

  • I think that Jordanian society is progressing faster than we do realize. It is not just that Jordanian gays and lesbians are less concern about being visible, but the concept of homosexuality at large has changed from being a taboo and thus major ignorance, to a daily encounters through movies and TV series.

    We do value human rights more and more everyday, and even if some do contradict with certain believes, people are aware that we are all sinners. Most live by ‘live and let live’ motto.

  • So what! at least gays smile… find people who smile in this **** ****.

    I’m glad the jordanian LGBT is taking a breath out.. it is hard for anyone to be locked! imagine yourself in their position.

  • Gays and Lesbians eh? Maybe when we learn how to crawl we can think about joining a marathon dont you think?
    what about the rights of the average joe and jane, or should i say the average hazza3 and wath7a?
    I just get a mental block when i think about the “educated” intellectual” cool young Ammanis when i listen to their concerns and their issues, i just cant help but worry about the future of this nation, just because gay and lesbian rights is an issue in western culture doesnt make it an issue in our culture, i guess it is a trendy and cool cause to take up. Sorry to say this but the issues many jordanian youth are taking up compromise their credibility and their viability to the society they live in.
    For all of you who are suggesting that it is ok to be gay in jordan how many people are you talking about? Are you talking about the 13% of society that is unemployed? are we talking about the frequent honor crime victims? are we talking about the vast majority who are struggeling to make ends meet? how many gays and lesbians are out there? and what rights do they want? do they want to fornicate on the 1st circle roundabout? do they want to desmonstrate their love in the cafe’s in tafeeleh while smoking sheesha? you say that they are visible these days, fine ,so no one is chasing them down and chopping their heads of, dont you feel this is enough tolerance that is being shown towards them from a conservative society? Dont you think that the arab world is facing real hard hitting issues that require your efforts and your voices?
    I go back to my first comment, crawling before running, Taking American societyas an example, when it intially developed, was concerned with its immediate pressing issue of the time , religious freedom, went into transformations and shakedowns until finally it emereged with new ideals morals and structure. Through its history it faced more transformations (womens rights, civil rights, workers rights …..) and at the end of a very long list and after the nation was built and the economy has flourished other issues that are considered secondary in the grand scheme of things emerged, granted they have merit and should be addressed, but we have to learn to prioritze. You will lose your cause in Jordan, today, people just dont care either because they are totally against the concept, or because they are too pre-occupied to care, so please join your society in a relevant cause.
    BTW I have nothing against gays and lesbians, im a longtime LA and SF resident and i have some gay and lesbian friends.

  • Just found this forum and it was like a nostalgic trip down memory lane…
    i remember when we were first building Books@Cafe… i don’t think any of us thought that that little quaint street (khirfan street) with it’s local culture, little liquor stores and corner shops, this small “traditional” community over looking wast el-balad and el-ashrafayyeh would be the host for amman’s first aspiring “village”.
    it didn’t all go down without challenges and resistance, it was an exciting time where we witnessed astonishing stories of “tolerance” and acceptance as well as the expected harsh homophobia and hate. The cafe became the sign of an era of change in the city and i promise you all that one day when the history of the queer movement in the middle east will be written and documented, Books (booksaat, as people fondly call it) will be marked as one of this movement;s most important landmarks.

  • This blog has gone from Jordan to the west coast of the USA, canada(Suhail) and back to Books@cafe itself…on the back terrace as i type.
    Yes…Books@cafe was and is “mashbooh”…but mostly to the homophobes that exist in our community…like any community. Since our opening, we have been bashed, smashed, and abused for our alternative attitudes. It wasnt for being gay…although I have always been gay.
    we were the first to innocently fight for equality…classicism in our community whereby only the elite could afford to buy foreign books(a 12 dollar book sold for 30 dinars) and for the right to enter an establishment regardless of gender…(the infamous “CUBBLES only”)
    We fought for child abuse..and were the first to talk about young boys that are being sexually abused, since only girls were an issue….
    that is what made us alternative..and led to some exposing my sexuality to destroy books@cafe…which led to “mashbooh”……
    With our survival, other “rebels” decided to venture to our side of town….those who couldnt afford to start up in abdoun, and didnt want to…in rebellion to what certain attitudes there represented in elitism..classicism…and sometimes racism. Dont get me wrong, i aint against abdoun, but just as the liberals tend to flock to the Rainbow village, the classists tend to flock to Abdoun…just a matter of fact.
    Rainbow village is a the new reflection of a liberal art scene and liberal thought stage…is how I see it.

  • Books @cafe is an open space for all of us in Amman and you Madian have created a platform for some of the best art and cultural performances I have seen in our city. You made culture available to the young generation of many socioeconomic backgrounds. It is a space that gives a sense of freedom and difference. It is your space and it has become the favorite social & cultural venue for many in our city .
    I say our city because it is the spirit of Amman to integrate and not to separate.
    I agree with those who say that social justice and equity rights are essential and that perhaps bringing the rights of the gay community to the public debate scene is too pre mature amidst political turmoil and violence in the region ..but we all have to work hard ,each of us in our own way as we stand responsible for the daily harassments of productive citizens simply because they are gay. It is a bit scary how we can always escape responsibility when true citizenship is about the responsibility to protect individual and collective rights of the diverse and different voices and lifestyles in our city.

  • As long as human rights remain a subjective issue, we will always have issues that we have a problem with. Be it women’s rights, gays’ rights, minority rights, disabled rights, etc…First and foremost we need to establish what constitutes the inalienable rights of a human being in a generic sense in order for us to apply them indiscriminately. There are various closets that have become part of our conditioning. The gay one should maybe be the least of our worries. How about the closet of the culture of as long as it is a secret it is OK? How about the closet of the double standards that is not only stifling any creativity but also harboring a dangerous culture of mediocrity?. What people do in their bedroom is their business. It is about time we start paying attention to what really counts and stop pointing fingers at others in order to make ourselves feel better. How many people are having premarital sex in secret and yet they allow themselves to judge people who do? How many people have judged others simply because of a belief they held without ever challenging its merit. It is easy to hate people simply because they are different. And IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO GIVE ANY CONVINCING REASON BEHIND THIS HATRED.. Tolerance is a gift that only the enlightened is blessed with.

  • Ok ….lets discuss it then… to all the gays and lesbians in Jordan, how can I find out more about your history in Jordan, and your fight for social justice as you say, how were you on the forefront of the struggles of society? can you please educate me. No sarcasm intended here…just an honest question and an open mind willing to listen.

  • Median, I am really impressed with cultural liberal changes happening in Jabal Amman! This village gives a soul that has been lost to the city of Amman. You are right, the books@cafe did start it all. Look at the area now after 12 years of the books opening! Something really changed down there!

  • @ markus and anyone that mentioned its not the time for it

    well … since you asked for a discussion. So just to get this out of the way having a gay or lesbian or any other minority friend and living in a place friendly to them is not a liberal/tolerant key chain you can parade around to show that u are liberal or tolerant. if anything it helps to prove otherwise. Since that attitude of having people as social accessories is starting to seep in to the west ammani “culture”

    On the other, I always like how people tend to downplay some social issues and stress others like the road to change is a narrow corridor that can only fit one issue at a time. the reality is very different from that, it is more holistic in nature, while you are taking an overview look at the rights movements in the USA you fail to notice that those are just cusps while the fights have been going-on on the day to day bases & are still fought to this day. so lets drop the argument about “it’s not time for X because Y is more important”, you can’t just put your life on hold or in a bubble in order to not offend others, that makes it really pitiful that you have to apologize for your existence on daily bases because its not the right time… and as a matter of fact if you take that attitude it will never be the right time for any social change, for certainly it’s not done in apologetic matter it is meant to offend in order to raise awareness, and social change is done on the personal level before the group level.

    Either way thats in general, but regarding the topic at hand.
    don’t you think that gays and lesbians are aware that there are a lot more issues that are important to them along with that one. you make it seem like they are not aware of the issues that we all face and are naive about the realities we face, which is very condescending if you ask me. do you see them organizing or asking for any recognition from the public ? i don’t, all that i see is that they are existing, they are just there and you are willing to deny them even that ? then you go on to reduce it to a purely sexual argument like they are just a bunch of fornicating card board cut outs (although there is a good argument that all men can be reduced to that but i’m not gonna delve into that now since i already offended quite a few ppl with that last line :P)

    anyways, from my point of view; i think they are doing a great job, and at the end of the day they are part of my community and they are an active part. while remaining incognito or by being out they do challenge the social norms that we have in their own way, like what madian mentioned, and they did their part encouraging culture and arts. they did do their work in changing minds even by the mere fact of getting people to know that they are there and they exist in the society which offers people a chance to challenge their own stereotypes. so they shouldn’t be called “they”, for we all compromise this society and honestly we need any help that we can get in order to change things to the better. the reality is that jabal amman was dying off (almost literally) before some of the places opened there and one of the first was books@ so kudos to them for revitalizing and helping with the development of the area to.
    give credit were credit is due is what i think nas … they did contribute

  • bambam when you want to discuss something with someone you dont start by undermining them, so i will not discuss with you, i did not read beyond the first paragraph……

  • To me, standing up for diversity (including sexual orientation) has nothing to do with ‘jordanian youth following western trends’ or with our conservative society for that matter… At the end of the day, it is about creating the most inclusive society possible, a society were all citizens are encouraged to reach their full capacity and contribute to our national development and civilisation.

    Those who feel excluded, be it homosexuals, women, or any other non-recognised social group, are more likely to feel frustrated, and frustration is a very clear deterrent to productivity and development. Would the Western enlightment have happened without Da Vinci? At this point in our own enlightment (or lack, there of), we can not afford to exclude a single person or an idea. We need as much human capacity as we can muster, and that includes making everyone as comfortable and accepted as possible. Comfortable enough to feel they want to build and contribute.

    At the very least, we might have more citizens who are truly happy in Jordan, who smile, and who stop at pedestrian crossings. And we certainly need more of those.

    Oh and Markus, the very act of discussing involves reading and accepting opposing positions, even if they offend you or you don’t agree with them 🙂

  • bam bam, ok moving on,, i read on….

    you seem to be well connected witht he gay & lesbian community, yet you failed to answer my questions, i was honest when i asked about the history of their struggle, i dont know any gays or lesbians in Jordan, so i asked and i want to be educated yet all you did was to attacked me for stating realities, realities that you refuse to accept.
    if the G&L community is ready to practice their rights in this society why arent they doing so fully? Ill tell you why ..because this society will anahialte them at this point, can you accept this reality?
    Your x’s and Y’s argument is not convincing because without the x no one cares for y, another reality you refuse to accept, the x’s in jordan are mission critical i.e. related to the existance and viability of the middel class in the country, do you really believe your own words when you try to equate poverty with gay rights? come on….all im asking here is for some objectivity nothin more.
    The majority of bread winners in jordan have the “gay and lesbian rights” at the very bottom of their priority list, if at all, im talking about the potential allies to the G&L community, people who whould fight for the rights of every individual to choose their stance on any issue, even these people will not support this cause today. Dont take my word for it go out and ask people around Jordan.

  • Deena,
    Discussions do involve differing opinions however they when your very honesty and intentions are called into question its not a discussion anymore. Bambam questiond my intentions for mentioning that i live in a liberal city, even though i intentionally left this to the very end and added it as a side note to state the fact that i am after all G&L

    I think people suggesting that it is ok to be gay in Jordan is simply out of touch with reality, get out of amman, travel around and see for yourself, actually dont, you would be risking bodily harm. This is my only point here, i have nothing against gays and lesbians, and no im not trying to use “people as social accesories”. ( Its funny how people can pass judgemtn on others so easily) I mean it.

    So so far I have learned that the only people in Jordan who smile, stop at pedestrian crossings, and are artisitic are gay, very nice… about stereotyping the very people you wish to “defend”.
    Indeed enjoy

  • Markus – I never said homosexuals are the only ones who smile and stop at pedestrian crossings, I said that HAPPY people are more likely to do so, and that we need more happy people in Jordan (whether homo or hetro)!

    My argument was not about stereotyping anyone as more/less creative or polite, it was about the importance of not excluding anyone because you never know where creativity comes from!
    Hope that clears it up.

  • Markus, Deena didn’t say that it is only gays and lesbians who smile, stop at pedestrian crossing and are artistisc! You are not reading well. She is trying to say that we have to accept everybody in our society in order for those people to give the best they can. It is what we need at this stage of our development, to concentrate on our people and their ability to give to this country regardless of their sexual orientation, race, sex, color…

    I don’t think sexuality in jordan is only a gay/lesbian problem. A lot of straight people as well are having sex in secret because people don’t acknowledge their needs. A lot of women are deprived from enjoying their bodies even after they get marry. Sexuality is a major concern for most of Jordanians, and I would say it would match or even overcome the poverty issue.

    Bambam is right, we should not left anything on hold. We have nearly 6 million jordanians. Each has his own hardship and concerns. Some form groups and specilize in different issues. We can’t all work on one issue at a time, can we? But even then, it isn’t a done/undone task. What we have is social issues that need to keep on progressing. Every enhancement in human rights and social development will benefit the society at large.

    Let do what we can instead of kicking our problems to the backseat waiting the time that would never come.

  • Well thanks for reading on i guess, and i’ll try to hold back a bit this time.

    The thing is that you missed my point, I didn’t answer your questions because it was either already answered (how they were involved in social struggles, mostly by madian and samar) or is not related to what i would talk about (a history, or lack thereof, never demerits a moral rights struggle).
    The point is simply, there is no harm in adopting a lot of causes at the same time since they all go hand in hand… and they are aware of that since they are not removed from the struggles of the rest of society and are not exclusive to the upper class west ammanis like the impression i get from people commenting here.
    They are just more visible and not really bothered about many rights, everything does start somewhere so i guess we can start with the right to exist and the space to exist. does it clearly cramp your style so much as to deny them that till you achieve universal equality for the rest of humanity? as for the annihilation point it is well taken, but like i said you can’t have a rights struggle by shrugging away and that could only happen if we, as jordanians, allow it to happen. So it is worth the risk, to change minds and establish better understanding.

    As for the X & Y, I’m not equating the two. contrary to that I don’t prioritize rights, they are called rights for a reason, if you call them privileges then you can prioritize them thats the difference.
    Rights are just supposed to be there, so whatever can be done to further the prevalence of rights on our society on any topic is a cause worth adopting. You will always have problems and challenges in every society and its a perpetual struggle to maintain your rights not just earn them. so you do what you can on anything that you is the responsibility of anyone in my viewpoint. again i repeat, you earn your rights not in phases but in a holistic(whole and interdependent) fashion.
    As for the rest of society you can’t expect to change their minds overnight regarding any issue, on the other hand you can be surprised on how quick things are changing. 10 years ago it was such a taboo topic and filled with myth that no one dared to talk about it and if they did they were describe as aliens to this culture… nowadays even the negative reporting of the issue is different. That is mainly because reality dispels myth so just by acknowledging that they are part of society and are there opens up the doors for change and discussion like whats going on right now.

  • So let me get this straight( no pun intended), and please take my comment fo what it is:
    It seems that there is a strong, vibrant Gay and Lesbian community in Jordan that contributes to society and is supported by the majority of people, or lets just say the majority of the young people in jordan today? I mean at least three people disagreed with me and i dont think anyone really agreed ….so its safe to say that in about 10 years we will find Gays and Lesbians in key positions in society? thats pretty progressive ……and very very shocking if you ask me, knowing what i know about Jordanian society, i guess im a victim of my own stereotypes…..but then again life is all about learning and tolerance isnt it?…..I gotta visit Jebel Amman next time in the JO….i gotta see it to believe it….thanks for the enlightenment

  • lol not to the extent thats a bit of a stretch, and yeah my comment about the social accessory wasn’t meant to be taken personally just a general observation that is applicable in the states and am starting to notice it here.
    the community is mostly incognito but still there, and the picture that i was painting is that things are changing. in no way the blog and especially an english only one is representative of Jordanian society … its just a microcosmic cross-section of a small segment.
    the main difference is that the topic nowadays gets talked about and is tolerated/accepted by more people now than before thats all. so while a full blown movements are hardly an interest, there is no need to just put things on hold till other issues to be corrected since its a mesh one thing is dependent on the other and you can just work on them all. so i think the ones that disagreed with you is mainly on that last point … that we just need to work on all fronts to further social rights in jordan whether its in terms of abuse, women’s right, honor crimes, and any injustices that any member of the society might face. its a community as a whole not just fragments and individuals but it starts from and individual effort to ascribe to such an idea.

  • The beauty of the homo experience in the Arab world prior to the imported “gay” label was that “straight” men were open to experimenting with you as long as they weren’t actually mounted. Now that there’s a label and a stigma, there’s less fluidity.

    Allah yir7am ayam zaman….

  • Not sure that deep inside we like it, it might cross out minds, but that does not mean we act on it, there is a difference between thinking it and acting on it because that is where you would cross the line of actually being called gay.

    I heard the argument that if you are doing the pitching you are not necessary gay, well I completely disagree, if you are welling to engage in such act with someone other than a female, then you are definitely gay with no doubt, you are just denying it.

    Being an Arab and gay, I must agree, it is becoming more mainstream than it has ever been before, at least now when I visit Amman, I tend to see them roaming the streets, just visit Cheese Hilda in Swaifieh, you will be convinced, they are more mainstream than you might think.

  • ” Frenchman Frederic Minvielle has been a productive, happy resident of the Netherlands for the past six years, and even married a Dutch national in 2003. But his placid existence took on Kafkaesque twist earlier this year, when French authorities informed Minvielle that his expatriate idyll had cost him his French citizenship. The main reason, according to Minvielle and his supporters: because his spouse was another man.”
    this was published on May. 02, 2008 TIME

    If France the country of human rights and freedom did this, no one has the right to judge Jordan.

  • Just a quick note, a large number of married Jordanian men, mostly uper class r gays ( they might admit and say BI) after 10 years of their happily marriages their veil is lift over and many others b4, do we women ask for divorce ? trust me nop , we go on in our lives.

    by teh way am a highly educated, have my own carrer etc. so its nota matter of fainancial situation or so.

    as well its much much hard than fininding ur husband with another woman.

    so if i respect people in life, i respect those who r singles because they r gay, specially our famous politicians an dcelibreites as they dont act on them selves or other woman. as in such case no one has business to do in other bedrooms.

  • I agree with maha
    Am 43 male married to wonderful wife..she is 35
    Now I feel I would like to try gay life..I dont know why?

  • I think Maha summed it up pretty good.

    The cold, hard truth is that 1 in 5 men is fully homosexual across all cultures, biological profiles, and geographic areas of the world. Proven fact shared by hundreds of texts.

    Also a fact is that the least homosexual a human being can be is 13%. I worked on a paper on homosexuality for my psychology class and these numbers are real and current as of 2008 research.

    Now, because men cannot be gay in Jordan, they do what they are supposed to do. Get married, have kids, and try to mask it and ride it out.

    That causes pain to your wife when you can’t take it anymore. Pain to your family for hiding it longer and involving their grandchildren in your story. Pain to your kids who get to see that painful separation OR even more painful denial.

    Like Maha, this drama is too complicated for most women to go into. They just continue with their lives and hide their secret.

    Maha, do not take this personally. He did not “turn” because of you. This has been the way he is since birth.

    I had a girlfriend for 2 years and a boyfriend for 2 years.
    I am Jordanian. I am a Muslim. I believe in Allah. I make an honest living. I don’t do drugs. I have a legitimate career, high-end education, a home, a pet, a loving family.

    I have no rape in my history, no “abuse”, no “absent father figure”. I do not act like a woman or dress weird. I hate leather.

    The PROOF that men have this tendency is wives like Maha. Sure looked normal to you, didn’t he?

    Perfect proof that gay men ARE EVERYWHERE. ONE IN FIVE. List 5 names of men in yor life, one of them is most likely gay.

    I want to line up all of Jordan and say: A FIFTH OF YOU ARE GAY PEOPLE. DEAL WITH IT!

  • As an Israeli, who lives in Tel-Aviv I’m very happy about Books@Cafe as well as RGB.
    We have, in Israel and Tel-Aviv a high tolerrance for GLBT and, as a friequent visitor to Amman, it’s nice to see you have made some progress.
    Unlike in Egypt, no one harrases the gays in Jordan and it’s a very good sighn.
    I wish you all the best of luck, success and Ramadan Karim. Mabruk!

  • I was sorry to know that RGB closed its doors and there is no alternative to a nice dancing and meeting place as it was.
    I am from Tel-Aviv and visitting Amman often.
    It seems that the Jordanian tolerance has come to its limit.
    Hope things will change soon.
    All the best to my Amman’s gay friends.

  • Homosexuality is a choice not a right, and bad choice at that… Human Rights? How about the right to commit incest or perhaps the right to occasionally visit the barn for a casual carnal encounter with a domestic animal? … When an Israeli comes to your blog and congratulates you because the gay community is prospering in your country, that’s a tell tale sign that the country is going to hit rock bottom soon, morally speaking.

  • Dear Sam, being homosexual is not a choice, just as being heterosexual isn’t either. I guess you did not choose to become hetero? or am I wrong? Mixing things up with incest and zoophilia proves your ides are really confused, so please think things up, just think it over a little more, make this effort and you’ll see you ended up to extreme incoherent conclusions.

    When an Israeali leaves a positive comment on Jordan it means fortunately he is not intolerant, he has non prejudices against the Arabs and he is honest and open enough to deal with his feelings.

    Let us be rational, not emotional, and let’s talk about hetics more than morals… because each person can have their own morals.

    Dear Sam life is beautiful because there is more under the sky than we can think of or imagine. Allah made the world the way it is, and we shall be happy about it and welcome diversity and variety as long as there is no violence and no abuse.

    If you start respecting yourself and your true feelings, you will sart respcting everybody else’s and will stop fearing other people who differ from you.

    Best Wishes to all.

  • I will be returning to AMMAN at the end of May for two weeks. It is so sad that RGB is gone. I always looked forward to being comfortable and seeing so many gay men together.

    I sure hope that something happens or that I.D. will think of something by the time I will be there! I had the best time when I was there. So Iwill go to Booksaat. In fact I really loved that whole place…and the atmosphere.

    Well…that’s all I wanted to say…except I adore Jordan and can’t wait to return to visit my friends~!

  • Anas – Believe me I respect myself and the majority of human beings just fine (some I believe do not deserve my respect), and I enjoy life and I’m very outspoken on women rights and religious tolerance/dialog, I’m pro life and pro choice at the same time (meaning on a case by case basis), among other things. But when a person tells me that being gay is not a choice just like being hetero is not a choice; that is where I draw the line of reason. Being hetero is truly not a choice, because it’s the natural way of things. You don’t see negative charges fornicating with other negative charges, do you? Unless of course You’re trying to make some kind of sub-atomic bomb.
    Now I admit a person can become gay such that when he makes that conversion being hetero stops being a choice. Homosexual is something you become, not something you are. People who practice pedophilia would often argue they just can’t help it, and that they just can’t get themselves to like “older” individuals. Does that make what they do any less “unnatural”?
    As for Israeli’s, you say “Israeli leaves a positive comment on Jordan it means fortunately he is not intolerant, he has non prejudices against the Arabs” Well thank God!!! He took my country from my by force, but hey, hey has nothing against me!!! I’m so flattered!!! I’m not talking about Jews, mind you… do don’t think my beef with the Israeli’s is a religious one.
    And please, no need to bring Allah into this. He never said its ok to be gay… in fact, all three monotheistic religions tell us that homosexuality brought God’s wrath on complete cities. Now I wasn’t going to argue this from a religious perspective, I was speaking merely from a moralistic and instinctual point of view, but you forced my hand.

  • And oh …shame on anas for forcing your hand he truly shouldn’t, we all know that your morals and instincts are derived purely out of your own ijtihad and they aren’t just copy past of the morals of your religion and culture…. 3eyb ya anas ! how dare you argue with him rationally, it is his right to make sure that there aren’t “homos” looking to stick things up his poo poo hole because you know that’s all they do !
    for the record since you asked, i haven’t seen positive and negative charges screwing and having lil pos and neg children after nine months either…. although i’ve seen them eradicating each other does that apply ?
    Now sammy boy if you can actually hold your own in an argument, religious or otherwise, you can come over mine and i promise to take you just a bit more seriously …. i don’t want to spoil this space.
    if you want to know a thing or a two about the subject you can read up a bit

  • Sam – I feel sorry that you may dispose of your respect for others with such “discretion”. I possibly try to love and respect all human beings and living creatures. If they are here and if they were born or created by the Creator (assuming we are believers) it will certainly be not myself to judge which among them deserve to be here and whioh ones do not: this goes beyond my human faculties and capacities and even “rights”.

    As far as “fornicating” (I would usually use the term “making love”, fornicating sounds so clinical, but maybe you are a doctor, and it also sounds so much conservative, puritan and victorian and by now we knnow very well that the characteristic of most victorians was hypocrisy…) between man and man, between woman and woman, between man and womam, between woman and man, there are so many possible combinations that reducing it to a “plus + plus” or a “minus + minus” or a “plus + minus” experience shows a certain lack of phantasy to say the least. A man or a woman can be at times positive at times negative, making love does not necessarily imply penetration…, I will not go into deeper details as we are all adults around here and I suppose we all know about these things. Making love is about tenderness, sweetness, kindness, it has very very little to do with sub-atomic bombs…

    Though I thank you very much for spending your time inb this very civil discussion. I appreciate it truly. A “straight guy” (isn’t that reductive calling you a straghit guy just because “you chose” lassie instead of lad…) discussing aobut weirdos stuff…: progressive, ground-breaking… A person is a person and you shall never, I suppose, reduce them to just what they do in bed. And as far as that it is concerned one can be proudly a gay without having ever actually slept with anyone…, and a boy who forces himself to go out with girls all the time nevertheless will not necessarily become a “straight” guy…

    Please, do not make comparisons or equations between homosexuality and pedophilia, the two things are completely apart. A heterosexual can be a pedophile just as a homosexual… and in most cases, the news show it, pedophiles go indifferently with kids of both sexes, unfortunately and very sadly. A pathology is a pathology, homosexuality is at large not considered a pathology anymore. At times “homosexuals beings” became unbalanced due to social condamnation and social exclusion, they became mad due to social ostracism, terror and fear, not because they were crazy before. They were condemned because they fell out of established “social codes” but social codes vary from place to place and from age to age, and the three Abrahanic religions are not the only religions in this world. I talk religions as mainly it is religious codes and rules that influence social behaviour. But there are more tolerant religions under this sun.

    Do excuse me if I forced your hand, I did not mean to, and I do not mean to force your head either, on the contrary, as I said before I enjoy civil conversation.

    All the best wishes.

  • Sam,
    You really have no idea. There will always be a minority, and it is not about choice. Some people are born with blue eyes, some with brown, some blonde, some dark, some gay, some straight. It’s the way of the world and we should celebrate diversity.
    You are the reason places such as Amman, and other parts of the Middle East fail to move forward in terms of viewpoint and perspective. I was reading the threads on this website with so much interest, until I got to your narrow opinions.
    It is great to see Israelis and Jordanians & other internationals writing and expressing emotions and point of view.
    Isn’t it the essence of life that we may learn to love one another, and to respect each other as long as nobody is hurt.
    Progress may be small but significant. A big heads up to the gay community in Amman, to Books@Cafe and to all of us who are not so small minded that we can’t see the good in all human beings.
    I am a gay man, born this way, and not through choice. I love life, people, and Amman.
    Be happy.

  • “You are the reason places such as Amman, and other parts of the Middle East fail to move forward in terms of viewpoint and perspective” … If this is what “moving forward” is all about. Then I guess I’m ok with being a backward person. P.S. I highly doubt you were “born” gay… but I do believe it is something you can pick up at a very early age if the parents weren’t careful with the way they raise the child. To you it seems you’ve always been gay. But the truth is you weren’t you’ve been only conditioned for it by your surrounding environment. And what I mean by my comment about “carnal encounters with animals” which I now apologies for because in hindsight I can see how offensive it way… what I meant was that some people who might feel other kinds of sexual tendencies that are frowned upon by society, straight men by nature lust for younger women, but you don’t find civil rights groups rallying for their rights to make out with teenage girls. I’m not saying there are no Gays, and although I highly doubt it – I don’t emphatically deny that a person might be born with gay-ish tendencies. but some desires shouldn’t be indulged… This is what it boils down to. No matter what you say, a guy sleeping with another guy is unnatural. The fact that there are people who like to do it , doesn’t make it natural.

  • Bambam…. tell me where to sign up. “don’t want to spoil this”!!!! yeah right… you just want the home court advantage… lol. I’m for it.

  • “Sam – I feel sorry that you may dispose of your respect for others with such “discretion”. I possibly try to love and respect all human beings and living creatures” … NOt all creatures deserve respect, so I don’t dish out my respect at first site, but I do give people the benefit of the doubt. Are you trying to tell me that you think Usama bin Laden and Hitler are respect-worthy?? Of course I’m discretionary about who I respect.

  • So what’s the deal. I haven’t been back to the country for so long. The country I love to death and I had to leave because I wanted to live my gay life elsewhere. I have been here for couple of weeks now, and I am not seeing any promisses for (living life as a gay person). I honestly don’t care anymore who accepts and who doesn’t, things in my mind a little further than wearing a tight pants or a rainbow jersey. I just want to live a decent life where I know that my family won’t be hurt or humiliated because of who I am, I chose to escape or probably go out of my comfort zone as some are telling me or just go where the grass looks more green and there are colors in the sky..

    Guess what, even in the US for me the closet became evenbigger and the world became tighter and smaller.

    As a jordanian, I can’t live my life as gay even in the states. How much can I reveal with the internet fast communication and how much more can I lie and how much more anexiety can I live with to cover those lies. I am hiding my significant other from the world and keeping him in the shadow as well, how crule of me and how sweet of him to join me into protecting my identity and what I believe could happen to my family.
    (I am not from the upper class) in this part of the country (Jordan) no leather pants are being visulized and there isnt enough rain or sun to cause the rainbow I am longing for.
    what happens in rainbow street, that small corky street is a good start, I hope there would be a street in each town in Jordan maybe one day Jordanian Gays and lesbians will live lifes not theirs and their families as well.

  • I’m sooo SAD, my lover ( future husbandt – interntional marriage certificate / Wien/Austria) is from Amman (born and rised) and .. we were planing on going in Amman 4 … “winter” … but w’ll go 2 London … 🙁 … btw, here in Romania , it’s worse …. That’s why … we will flea to Canada , i Think , or who knows …
    Stil, I do hope that some day … We’ll be free …

  • Sam said: “But when a person tells me that being gay is not a choice just like being hetero is not a choice; that is where I draw the line of reason. Being hetero is truly not a choice, because it’s the natural way of things.”

    That’s a very heterocentric way of looking at things. Homosexuality is just as natural as heterosexuality. Look around you, look at nature, look at other creatures. Look at Bonobo chimps, for example – they’re hetero/homo/bi. You’re a believer, right? Then perhaps you could explain why God created such supposed ‘abominations of nature”? Actually, He apparently was quite pleased w/his Creation & declared it good (Genesis). Explain that one too.

    If it occurs across species, if it has always existed, it is natural. And, in anticipation of the usual ‘rebuttal’ that ‘pedophilia/incest/bestiality/murder…. have always existed too’, remember: homosexuality hurts no one.

  • Hello,

    I am an Arab American female, who recently moved back to Jordan, and well I have always been what they call a “Fag Hag” lol what that is, is a woman who has many gay male friends… I recently have been feeling attracted to women, but I wouldn’t say I am a lesbian, I think I might be Bi. I want to meet open minded females, although my father is pretty westernized, with age he is becoming less and less open to things, also we come from a large prominent family.

    are their lots of bi and lesbian women in Amman or what? let me know..


  • well, I have read most of the comments and all i can wish is for us all LGBT community in Jordan to finally have our rights! enough is enough i think

  • Hello “Confused” i can relate what you mean exactly, I was living abroad & now back to Jordan so we almost share the same thing… anyhow i am willing to offer my help though since i used to live in Amman before 🙂
    contact me at


  • Ok I have noticed that jabal amman became gay village but not all gays can get involved with this community ! I am gay and it not easy ” as we all know ” to be gay in jordan !! i have alot of foreigner gays friends when I tell them that i am gay from jordan , all tell me ” how lucky you are ” am i really lucky that I am gay or being in jordan !! i don’t have gays friends “REAL ONES” in my life so i find it really hard to be one of tis gay community !!

  • ahmed has a point here… its not easy for gay and lesbian people who arent part of the ‘booksat clique’ (which number give or take 20 people max) to actually meet or even integrate within this intelligencia or so seems of openmindedness acceptance and decency, when in reality, they like the people who oppose them, tend to reflect the same basic tendancies of rejectionism and xenophobia, showing how easily they become like the society (they want to be more progressive) but towards other gay guys and girls in west Amman let alone the broader Jordanian GLBTs … their isnt a budding gay movement in Jordan, just a private club of gay guys themselves elitist and very self serving…
    Ahmed, if you want to join these guys, i suggest u try hooking up with them on gaydar (helps if u’ve been blessed biologically to show what u can be an asset to that clique; face pic not neccessary)


  • I’ve read most of the comments and I have a few thoughts of my own to share, Note that I am still very confused about this.

    I am a bisexual female, but still don’t know how to blend in even at places like books@cafe.

  • I haven’t really read most of the comments, I’m going to after I post this, but, I do have a question of my own, I’m a Jordanian lesbian and so far I’m the only one I know, I found this blog while researching LGBT communities in Jordan, I guess at the age of 18 I just started feeling really lonely out here, I mean, I love my friends but I feel I’d be closer with the gay community, and actually be able to find a relationship if I got more involved, I’ve been nagging my gay best friend to go to Books@ with me but he’s always busy or on a date, I’ve also noticed that it’s easier for gay men in Jordan than it is for lesbians :/.
    I have a lot of close friends that live in the states or canada even in europe but I never seem to meet people who actually live in Jordan.

  • Well guys , I am a gay guy in his golden age “20’s” sometimes i feel that i have the worst life just because I am gay , but u know what till now i didn’t touch a guy am still so virgin , sometimes I feel that god put me in this as a test , yes you can find blind guy , deaf guy, and you can find gay guy … maybe it’s very hard to stay virgin for ever but i pray that god will be there for me to help me to NOT do what he hates , for me i keep thinking about my future and about my family .. Will i get married ?? what am i gonna tell my mum in the time when she tells me that she had found a cute girl for me , will i be lonely for long time ?? I hope to die very soon let’s say after 3 years , and when I meet god I will be proud of myself that I am gay guy who was patient …..

  • You know, we gays in Amman, should stop complaining about the ethical, religeous, or family perspectives of our sexual/ romantic desires. We should just accept the fact that the mainstream just does not want to deal with us, and live with that happily thereafter.
    I do not think that a passerby or coworker needs to know what I do in bed.
    What we really should be complaing about is the the lack of decent meeting places, cruising, and non cyber romance.
    Amman is extremely GAY-DRY, in that sense.

  • agk we all know as a gay that there are websites that we can meet in but the issue that You can’t find the true gay friend or let’s say love !! all are just seeking for sex that’s all … Maybe if we ” gays” accept it then the community is gonna accept it !! am sure that you have seen the jordanian gay magazine ” KYLIE” it sucks do you know why ? because it shows others that we just care about sex !! its articles just about sex !!! does that really represent me gays ??????????

  • I’ve read all the comments above, I dont know what to say, I’m a Muslim, 22 year old female, I believe in Allah, I practice my religion, but yet I’m attracted to girls, I’ve never been with a girl, but I know how I feel, I don’t get attracted to guys no matter how hot they were ! I can’t trust guys because I was abused from the age of 6 till the age of 9 by my male cousin ! I went to a shrink but I couldn’t tell him about the abuse neither about my sexuality because hes an ARAB ! even if its his job to fix people and to teach them how to deal with their feelings and problems, he’s still an arab and I just didn’t think he would understand, I thought of going to a female shrink but I couldn’t because I was scared she would look down at me ! I thought of killing myself many times but I’m too scared ! I’m not going to do anything with any woman, as I said I practice my religion, but I’m sure that Allah can see how I’m suffering with my feelings, and I’m sure that he knows how hard it is to me to let a guy touch me.

    I’m going to the US for masters, but still, I’ll keep wearing my Hijab, and do everything I can so that Allah would save me from these feelings and show me the right path.

  • @me hang on there things always get better once you calm down and ask for help.
    – First thing i would suggest is get in touch with a support group in your community(sexual abuse or lgbt either one works), its not easy but the internet is a good place to start.
    – Read other people’s experiences, some psychology, you might especially be interested in reading about the topic of “homosexual imprinting”. Abuse could be the reason that you are having those feelings and it also might not be.
    – from you reply i sensed that you are distressed by having those feelings being a muslim and having same gender attraction, contact people like, and read their resources.
    – Talk to a shrink, talk to people online, just let some of that steam out. it doesn’t have to be about the topics that you are not comfortable discussing but you can start by what is bothering you in general. A good psychotherapist will be able to pick up from there.
    – whatever the case is work on being comfortable in your own skin, and know that things always get better.

  • @me
    please don’t do this to your self. The same god that has created all those people around u has created u. lesbian relashionships are not an abomination. this is who u are. the only way u can experience true love is through another woman. I hope that when u go to the US you will get a new perspective on life. And how life doesn’t start and stop at the commands in the many religions on Earth. If you continue tourchering ur self for an identy u did not create, you will not only hurt yourself, you will also hurt those around you because they will never be able to see u happy, and I don’t mean walking in with ur girlfriend into the house and introducing her to ur parents. I mean that having ur own life on the side, one with friends that love and accept you will make ur life with ur familly much easier because u are no longer pushing all those feelings and emotions into ur little shell, but rather have a place where u r free. I understand what u r going through because i went through it, every LGBT person has gone through this stage. Don’t listen to those who say gay relashionships are aimless, because that is simply not true. there is just as much love between gay and lesbian couples as in straight ones.

  • dO U KNOW That the owner from jenin and his uncles are Mojahidon and heros… and iam shocked to hear that from him….u should be ashamed

  • It’s Roro a lesbian woman from Amman

    Always excited to meet new lesbian women.. add me plz


  • bla .. bla .. bla gay always been here in the whole world since thousands of years … we not new in this comunity …. and lets face it ur sexaul I.D didnt tell who you are as person …. lets face it and learn about it and deal with it …. we didnt chosed to be that way but we r proud about our self ,, and there is a reason for us to be gay on this earth

  • box@cafe it is just great place and very respactable place u can go there and ejoy ur time from net to the great food … and i love going there becouse i seen alot of my freinds ,,, why u dont just stop talking about the owner … i know him and he is great guy .. leave him alone … is it becouse arab people dont like to see sombody who is doing great bess , is it becouse we dont like to see people happey , or is it becouse we r from third world ???? i dont no

  • i like comment # 70 very much . and im a gay guy in amman but i till no one about it i hate gay guys how act smooth and fofi , even im gay im not showing that and i speak and move and wear a normal clothes . im a good looking 22 years old guy studying at the university of jordan . BUT I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM > IM IN LOVE WITH A GUY AT THE UNI SINCE THE FIRST YEAR , I DONT KNOW HIS NAME OR ANY THING ABOUT HIM . AND I’V NEVER TALKED TO HIM .I JUST SAW HIM IN THE MAIN LIBRARY . HE LOOKED AT ME ONCE . THEN HE KEEP STARING AT ME IN THE EYES I REALLY LIKED HIM SO I RETURNED THE LOOKING IN THE EYES

  • to yassoio
    you gay guy and  you hate being gay,,, how comes? if I were u I should be honest with my self first of all  and about your adoring guy  simply u ask him for cup of coffee and waste no time to tell him  about your feeling,, be smart enough to figure out if he worth your love,,, wish you all the best

Your Two Piasters: