studies in travel writing

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Luongo, Michael (ed), Gay Travels in the Muslim World (Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 2007).

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.

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