Last edited: November 06, 2003

Al-Fatiha Launches Fund for Egyptian Asylum Seekers

Al-Fatiha Foundation, 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:
Al-Fatiha Foundation
c/o Egypt Fund
PO Box 33532
Washington, DC 20033

All donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

[Home] [World] [Egypt]