I am a 32 years old person from Lebanon, and have spent the last 12 years working on issues of gender and/or sexuality in Lebanon and the MENA region. This journey started in 2007 when I joined a queer women support group in Beirut, known as Helem Girls. In 2008, we started our independent support group under the name of Meem, which continued to operate until 2014. In those years, I have been an active member mostly at the levels of community support, writing for the webzine (Bekhsoos), working on the publication of Bareed Mista3jil, and at some point co-coordinating from July 2011 and until the end of 2012. At the same time as well, I was active in a number of connected feminist collectives (mainly Banat Akher Zaman, and the Feminist Collective which would later be renamed Nasawiya).
During 2012 and 2013 I was the director of the Social Change Program implemented by the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, a training program to build the capacities of young gender and/or sexuality leaders in the MENA region.
I am currently working with a group of friends to launch a new initiative titled Qorras which aims to "work on knowledge relating to the issues of gender and sexuality in the MENA region, while acknowledging that the work we do is mostly inspired and based in a more Levantine, Lebanese context." The website and projects are coming soon :)
Aside from this, I have been working, for almost nine years now in translation, training, and consultancy on several issues relevant to grassroot gender and sexuality organizing, namely gender and sexuality construction; active listening and community support; security planning; project planning and fundraising; etc. As well as talks on the state of feminism in Lebanon (done for an Egyptian audience) and LGBT organizing and normative sexuality organizing (done in Lebanon). Training and consultancies mainly took place in Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia, in addition to the ones of regional scope. I have good command of Arabic, French, and English.
For more information you can check my LinkedIn page here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccassaade/ I haven't added all the freelance work I do, particularly the ones that would be sensitive for security reasons.