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When I first heard about “Machrou3 Leila”, I was deeply surprised because I always knew that the tolerant atmosphere ruling our society is only a camouflage, and behind it lies a great mess of conservative ideas and concepts.

I always knew that the existence of a Lebanese Rock band with an openly gay man as the lead singer would raise a controversy, and I always hoped that the talent of Hamed Sinno and the rest of the band would push people to accept them.

Recently, the calls for intolerance are being heard louder and louder. Lebanon  with 19 different sects and the largest diversity in the world is showing some dangerous signs of narrowness and extremism.
Today, Mr. Faoud Al Adam, who turned out to be a public figure in Zouk Mikael, urged people to stop “Machrou3 Leila” from performing at Zouk Mikael International festival.

“We, the honorable free people in Zouk will not be silenced. We will be moving on the ground to stop this band from entering our town. Lebanon is a land for traditional families, not a land for faggots.”

Mr. Fouad insulted the band using expressions like “شاذين جنسياً”, “فرقة لوطيين”, and “أنصاف رجال”, and asked the religious and cultural figures to stand by his side to fight against Machrou3 Leila’s concert.

I was really surprised by Mr. Fouad’s statement because two years ago, Machrou3 Leila performed in Baalbek (one of the most conservative Islamic cities in Lebanon) and the concert went smoothly. I hate to talk this way but as I recall, Lebanese Christian citizens are the ones who used to be the least conservative of all!

While we are facing da3ech threat, such a statement reminds us that our society is already diseased and the great danger does not lie outside the boundaries but within. We live in a country that is facing thousands of problems and what some people care about is the sexual orientation of Hamed Sinno!
I am not sure how a musical concert may influence people’s “culture” or how the sexual orientations of a singer have anything to do with the audience. NOBODY has the right to forbid a Lebanese band from performing, no one has the right to teach people morals, and no one has the right to judge Hamed Senno or insult him.

I have a gay friend who used to correct me every time I used the word “gay” to refer to someone. “Rihab, you can’t address me saying “You are a gay”. Gay is an adjective and it does not define me”. While reading Mr. Fouad’s statement today I asked myself how would he feel if people addressed him by words like “Straight”, “Short”, “White”, or “intolerant”?

Defining Hamed Senno by one word is unfair and unhuman. Hamed Senno is not “a gay”, Hamed is a talented singer and a brave man. He is using his music to defend himself and stand by the LGBT Society.
Hamed Sinno, despite of the haters, believe me many people loves you are they are proud of you. Go to the Zouk Festival, shine as you always do, give your best performance, and spread love and happiness.


Photo credits : Stop cultural terrorism