Al-Fatiha Launches Fund for Egyptian Asylum Seekers
August 21, 2003
Media Contact: Faisal Alam, founder & director
US Tel. 202-271-0067
Al-Fatiha Foundation, a US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization
dedicated to supporting Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
intersex, or questioning (LGBTIQ), announced today the launching of a fund,
created to disseminate money to asylum seekers from Egypt.
Since the infamous ‘Cairo 52’ case, dozens of men have fled Egypt and
have sought asylum in countries including France, the United Kingdom,
Austrailia, Canada and the United States.In most cases, asylum seekers from
these countries cannot start working or earn an income, while their asylum
case is pending. In the United States, this can mean 6 months to several
years, before an asylum case is heard. And then several more months can pass
before working papers are processed. During this time, asylum seekers must
rely on the help of organizations and individuals who can support them with
housing, food, and finances to live.
“The creation of this fund will ensure that asylum seekers from Egypt can
begin to start a new life in a new country,” said Bassam, a coordinator of
SWANABAQ, the Southwest Asian and North African Bay Area Queers, based in
Northern California. The group has held several fundraisers in the San
Francisco to raise money for asylum seekers from different countries.
From 2001 to 2003, Al-Fatiha raised more than $2,000 for two asylum seekers
from Egypt and Morocco. Although the creation of this fund will primarily help
asylum seekers from Egypt, Al-Fatiha hopes to expand the fund in the future to
distribute money to asylees from other countries as well.
A coordinating committee consisting of Al-Fatiha board members, community
leaders, Al-Fatiha chapter coordinators, and human rights activists will be
created, to help manage and distribute money from the fund. Al-Fatiha will
donate $250 for the inception of the fund. More information on how to apply to
receive money from the fund will be announced soon.
In addition to the creation of this fund, Al-Fatiha regularly provides
letters of support to asylees, who have left their home countries. Al-Fatiha
has also worked closely with organizations including the Lesbian and Gay
Immigration Rights Task Force (LGIRTF), which links asylees with pro-bono and
low cost immigration lawyers. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights
Commission (IGLHRC) provides documentation on human rights abuses towards
sexual and gender minorities in countries around the world. This documentation
is also extremely useful when filing for asylum.
Donations to the new fund for asylum seekers from Egypt can be sent to:
c/o Egypt Fund
PO Box 33532
Washington, DC 20033
All donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.
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