The Story of Helem: LGBTQ Rights in the Middle East Feat. Tarek Zeidan – Podcast

The Kennedy School Review’s Podcast explores the vast range of talents and experiences that HKS students and faculty bring to our community. We interview students and put students and faculty in conversation about the work they do.

Join Anna Mysliwiec as she interviews Masters in Public Administration student Tarek Zeidan, chairperson of Helem, the first LGBTQ Rights organization in the Middle East. Tarek discusses growing up gay in Lebanon, his process of coming out, and his fight to sustain the organization that accepted and empowered him. Tarek also provides an update on the status of LGBTQ rights in the Middle East and his thoughts on the road ahead.

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Tarek is an activist advocating for the rights and protection of LGBT individuals and groups in Lebanon and the MENA region as part of Helem, the first LGBT rights organization in the Arab World. He is currently pursuing his MPA in human rights law and advocacy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Tarek is an ELI Public Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership and an Emerging Human Rights Fellow with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard.

Anna Mysliwiec is a first-year MPP student at the Harvard Kennedy School. She previously worked at the National Democratic Institute, supporting democracy and governance assistance programs in the Middle East and North Africa, and is interested in international development.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons