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Overcoming stereotypes, and looking at what it means to be gay in a totally different context . . . .

Gay Travels in The Muslim World

Buy the book at
Buy the book at
Buy the book at
Buy the book at

Gay? Bisexual?  Homosexual?  Or simply something else, undefined by terms Westerners love to banter around?  The Middle East and the Muslim World is different from Europe, Canada and the United States. 

Gay Travels in the Muslim World is the only gay American book ever translated into and published in Arabic. The work was done in Beirut by the Lebanese publisher Arab Diffusion, also known as Al-Intishir Al-Arabi. Their website is:

The book is available in the Middle East from Morocco to Iraq.

In New York, or to order within the United States and Canada, contact the Arabic bookstore Dahesh Books:

Click here for the essay I wrote for the Gay & Lesbian Review about my 2009-2010 multi-country Middle East tour for the Arabic version of Gay Travels in the Muslim World. The essay touches on my experiences in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and other locations.
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Gay Travels in the Muslim World, the only gay American book ever translated and published into Arabic
The Independent on Sunday British book reviews English book reviews Gay Travels in the Muslim World
Click the UK Independent logo above to read Paul Burston's review.
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Click on The Progressive logo to read John Scagliotti's review, paired with Joseph Massad's book Desiring Arabs.
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Read the fascinating, in depth interview by Nelson Alcantara of E-Turbo News about my book Gay Travels in the Muslim World.  This very long interview explains very well the differences in attitudes between east and west on the subject, as well as my experiences talking in the Middle East about the book. here for interview:‘gay-travels-muslim-world’-author-speaks

Check out the recent New York Post Page 6 article on translation trouble with Gay Travels in the Muslim World, the first gay American book ever to appear in Arabic.
By searching on Google or on Youtube, you'll find many of my talks recorded on the book.

In 2009, C-Span's Book TV recorded a Queens Library talk I gave on the book - click below for the Video:

My talk on the book and my travels was one of PinkPlanet TV's most popular shows.  Click the YouTube version below and follow to other videos of my talks on YoutTube.

Can you read Pashto? It's the language of Southern Afghanistan.  Some people tell me this is a news site, others tell me it's an extemist site run by former Taliban.  Click to see what the website, run out of Southern Afghanistan says about my book.
Readings for Gay Travels in the Muslim World, The Voyeur, Frommer's Buenos Aires and other books

There are no events currently scheduled.  Please check frequently for updates and also, listen to the Rick Steve's interview to get a better idea of the book:

The Travel with Rick Steve's Radio Show
Travel guru Rick Steve paired me talking about my book Gay Travels in the Muslim World with Maliha Masood who wrote Zataar Days, Henna Nights her memoir of traveling as a woman through the Middle East .  Listen to the link at

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Gay USA Cable Show December 4, 2007

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View the December 4, 2007 Gay USA cable show where Andy Humm and Ann Northrop interview me about Gay Travels in the Muslim World and my recent trip to Iraq looking at the lives of gay men in the war zone.

My interview appears in the last 15 minutes of the show.

New York's WBAI Radio Interview

You can also listen to the December 24, 2007 WBAI Queer Hour radio show with Chris Thomas where he interviews me about both the book and my recent trip to Iraq.  Gay Iraqis who have listened to the show have commented on how revealing the interview was about their lives, as well as the problems for modern, metropolitan life of all kinds under the U.S. occupation, something lost in much of the coverage.

The show is an hour, the main interview begins after 15 minutes, lasting about a half hour.

Read the New York Post Page 6 review of Gay Travels in the Muslim World......comparing this controversial book to the work of Salman Rushdie........

Other exciting and revealing reviews....

Edge Boston......

New York's Gay City News......

New York's Blade........

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Read the Gay City News article on gays in Iraq.  At nearly 7,000 words, this first person piece is among the most comprehensive ever on the subject, taking readers across Iraq, from peaceful Kurdistan to war-torn Baghdad.

Overcoming stereotypes, and looking at what it means to be gay in a totally different context . . . .

Gay Travels in The Muslim World

Buy the book at
Buy the book at
Buy the book at

Gay? Bisexual?  Homosexual?  Or simply something else, undefined by terms Westerners love to banter around?  The Middle East and the Muslim World is different from Europe, Canada and the United States. 

Haworth Press Editor Michael Luongo, already well-known for his gay travel coverage in the Muslim world from Morocco to Afghanistan in Out Traveler, PlanetOut, Passport, Genre, Gay City News, Frontiers, X-tra, The Nation, Slate and many others, has put together the sure to be controversial Gay Travels In The Muslim World for Haworth Press's Out in the World Series.

Contributors to this true life anthology focus on cultural understanding and connections within these regions of the world and look sensitively beyond the Western definition of gay. Contributers are non-Muslims and Muslims, and people returning to their areas of heritage, with stories of disputed, terror-stricken and unstable territories given special attention. The collection has stories from Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, suburban America, and from many other parts of the world. 

The anthology includes works by Jeff Key, a gay soldier who had been based in Iraq; Afdhere Jama the editor of Huriyah, a gay Muslim news website; Parvez Sharma, the director of the film formerly known as In the Name of Allah on homosexuality in the Muslim world, Luongo's various trips to Afghanistan and the experiences of many other writers.  Some of the stories are poignant and deeply meaningful, others more playful.  All present a rare perspective on travel in this region.  Readers should also pay close attention to Luongo's Preface detailing specific examples of Islamophobia taught in what would ordinarily pass for a liberal suburban public school system where he grew up. 

  Contact Michael Luongo at
 for more information visit 

The world needs a book like this more than at any other time . . . .

Please note that you may find references to this book also as Gay Travels in Islam, the book's original proposed title.......

About the Editor.....

Michael Luongo is a well-published writer, editor and photographer, working in a range of styles. His work has appeared in Out Traveler, The Advocate, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News, Town & Country Travel, Budget Travel,,, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler and many other publications. He co-edited Continuum Press’s 2002 Gay Tourism: Culture, Identity and Sex, the first academic book on the gay travel industry. His creative fiction has been published by Painted Leaf Press and Alyson. He is a book author and editor with Haworth Press with the well reviewed 2004 anthology Between the Palms and Looking for Love in Faraway Places.  He also writes the successful Frommer’s Buenos Aires guidebook, America's best-selling guide to the Argentine Capital, purchased by 1 out of 10 Americans visiting Argentina. Alyson Books just published his controversial novel The Voyeur, the story of a young sex researcher in Giuliani-era New York.  More on his work is on his website:

Michael tells his reading audience.....

"Often people ask me why I did this book and travel the way that I do.  After September 11th and volunteering on a Ground Zero clean-up crew, I really wanted to see more of the Middle East.  In fact, my first thoughts standing in Ground Zero were of Beirut.  Constant references in the media to homosexuality within the Middle East, often very judgmental, also made me want to look through that perspective as well, particularly within Afghanistan.  The book’s genesis was a series of articles I had done for Gay City News, with some of the travel done during Ramadan of 2003.  These articles featured Afghanistan, Turkey, Morocco and Jordan.  As a travel writer and photographer, the only real skills I have are to experience places and convey them to people who never will visit."

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Overlooking the Petra cliffs in Jordan
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A mosque in Amman, Jordan
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So Near and Yet So Far: Markings to biblical sites on the Palestinian/Israeli/Jordanian border.
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In the Middle East, things are not always as they appear. To Western eyes, a seemingly racy, almost gay, advertisement in Dubai.