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First Arabic LGBTQ Magazine Published in Jordan

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It's a controversial move that the magazine's founder says was a necessary one.

The Jordanian LGBTQ-focused online magazine My.Kali made history this summer by publishing its first ever Arabic-language edition, after receiving requests from the Arab LGBT community to print in their native language in the hopes of expanding awareness of their issues.

My.Kali was launched eight years ago in English, but by taking the step of publishing in Arabic as well, the magazine's editors knew they had to prepare for the inevitable onslaught of criticism--and even danger. Referring to themselves as a zero-budget, grassroots project that represents "an ever-changing collective of Arab and North African heterosexual and LGBTQIA youth," the move to include Arab-language stories focusing on local issues in the community was an important one.

While the Arabic version of the latest issue did not include a piece on online dating that was found in its English counterpart, stories focused on a Jordanian cleric who had to flee home after coming out, among a wealth of other topics that reach beyond the scope of LGBT issues to include women's rights, civil injustices, freedom of speech, and the arts.

While homosexuality in Jordan is legal, the Arabic version of the magazine did stir some outcry. But The Times of Israel reports that Khalid Abdel-Hadi, founder and namesake of the magazine, denies that there have been any direct threats of violence made toward the magazine. "[We] are not receiving death threats as is being reported in international media," he wrote in a Facebook message last week. He claims to have only dealt with "some negative comments made on local media Facebook pages."

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