A queer artist has created beautiful depictions of LGBTQ life in the Arabian Peninsula to “break the stigma.”
Inspired by his own life and queer communities in Arabia, the artist – who wishes to remain anonymous for safety reasons – wants to bring visibility to queer life in Arabia.
Speaking exclusively to PinkNews, the artist said: “I want to show the world that you can live in Arabian countries and be queer at the same time and there is nothing wrong with it.”
“I want to break the stigma surrounding Arabian countries because in the end, love is a feeling which stands above every other in the world and experiencing it is just a miracle, because it’s the purest one.
“It’s like coming home from a long-long journey.”
The project, Art Queer Habibi, began as just “sketches collecting dust” until he showed them to some friends who encouraged him to set up an Instagram page.
Habibi is a commonly used term of endearment in Arabic, meaning ‘my love’ or ‘my sweetheart’.
Despite some “minor threats,” reaction to the project has been “heavily positive” as people have got in touch to thank him for bringing such vital representation to queer life in Arabia.
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“I receive thousands of messages by people who have gone through some tough situations considering their belonging to Arabia, and the choices and sacrifices that they have made,” he revealed.
“My ultimate goal is to inform and educate people about LGBTQA+ community of Arabia through my art.”
Despite having no training or formal background in art, the artist – who wishes to remain anonymous for safety reasons – has quickly garnered an online community of LGBTQ Arabian people in just three months.
“My project is representing a very niche target, the LGBTQA+ community of Arabia, which is often misjudged as an unexciting social group” he explained.
“My own will of spreading awareness lead me to do Art Queer Habibi to educate and inform all of the followers that there are people of LGBTQA+ in Arabia just as much as in any other countries of the world.
“However, the majority lives behind different boundaries because they are afraid to fully embrace who they are based on random obstacles of lifestyle choices.
“I must confess that feeling of honour and duty keeps me going on even though negative backlash and minor threats.”