Who are we?
Over the last few years, we have grown in strength and numbers, evolving from a local and service-oriented organization into a national, community-based and grassroots organization that works with LGBTQ Palestinians throughout Israel and the Palestinian occupied territories.
alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society is a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer (LGBTQ) Palestinian activists who work collaboratively to break down gendered and hetero-normative barriers. alQaws seeks to create an open space for all its members so that they may be engaged and energized in the struggle for equality and inclusion.
Today more than ever, a growing number of Palestinians claim their sexual orientation and gender identity and identify themselves as LGBTQ persons. Although it is growing fast, the LGBTQ Palestinian community is still in its early stages. Our understanding of this crucial stage in the development of our community shapes our daily work, our long-term planning and our overall vision.
Our constituency includes people of all ages, with regular participants ranging from 16 to 50 years old. Palestinians of all religions (Muslim, Christian and Druze), classes, educational and social backgrounds and from different geographical areas attend our activities and meetings and are active in our organization. alQaws works with--not for--the LGBTQ community and promotes an open structured dialogue in the community, providing a forum for all our members to express their ideas and concerns, have their voices heard, and most importantly, have their needs met.
alQaws is founded on a set of core values that are entrenched in the activism and everyday community and movement building that it does. alQaws strives for the social change and liberation that result from directly challenging and breaking oppressive social structures. We therefore view the adoption of 'feminism' as a means to break existing power relations and challenge hegemony in society to be a must. Hence we reaffirm our rejection of all forms of oppression in its various manifestations, whether these be patriarchal, economic, nationalistic or ethnic, in order to ensure genuine inclusivity in our community and for other marginalized groups. alQaws sees itself as an integral part of the wider movements that aim to shape Palestinian society and seeks to engage and interact with these different social and political struggles moving forward.