First legal LGBT Arab radio starts broadcasting in Tunisia
The first legal LGBT radio station in the Arab world has started its transmissions from Tunisia. Shams Rad’s broadcast was accompanied by the Tunisian national anthem and a speech from its director Bouhdid Belhadi.
In his inaugural speech Belhadi said that “we’ve made a huge step in this difficult path. Dignity and equality are two words that will stop homophobia. Those who do not understand it can now open a book and let us continue with this dream”
The opening of this new radio station has raised several public complaints in the North African country, which is relatively more open minded compared to other Muslim counterparts. A total of 3652 messages containing threats and insults have been received, some threatening direct action against the station.
The Shams Rad Project has been sponsored and financed by a Dutch embassy in Tunisia, through an NGO that had to go through many bureaucratic obstacles. It will be available on the web and will feature a number of cultural, artistic and current affairs programmes with a LGBT focus.