Sarah Hegazi was an Egyptian, writer, and lesbian activist.
She was arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Egypt for three month after raising a rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in 2017 in Cairo.
This year on Monday, June 14 marks the one year death anniversary of Hegazi, an important public figure and activist within the Arab LGBTQ community.
She was 30 when she died, multiple news outlets reported about the LGBTQ activist globally. Hamed Sinno who is the frontman of the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila shared a Facebook profile of Hegazi that read “Freedom for your soul”.
There were numerous Arab and Middle Eastern artists and public figures who shared messages for their condolences to her family, and the LGBTQ community.
During the 2020 Pride Month, the Arab LGBTQ community held vigils in the US, Canada, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Beirut to commemorate Hegazi’s life and the struggle individuals from the LGBTQ+ community go through.
Commemorative events continued after Hegazis funeral globally with people from all identities. Faiths, walks of life, expressing the loss of an activist who was simply tortured for the who she chose to love.
At the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) named Sarah Hegazi in their tribute to “450 feminist activists who have changed our world”.
Hegazi’s memory is a symbol in the Arab and Non-Arab LGBTQ community of the continued horrors they have to face with their identities.
There is a lot of action, and steps that need to change in the Middle East. but the first thing we all can do is spread awareness and take action. Stand up to any discrimination of any kind that is happening in front of us.
Anonymous individuals left comments about Sarah Hegazi and the legacy she has left behind.
“I liked Sarah a lot, she was like an angel! She was trying to make the world better, I remember that she was leading a hunger strike campaign in solidarity with what happened in Syria before she died.”— Anonymous, Egypt
“We love you. I’m so sorry you felt alone. I hope you can know peace and that you find comfort. We won’t stop fighting for you, for everyone we’ve lost. I’m so sorry.”— Anonymous, Sudan
“I am so sorry that life was too hard on you, hopefully we can all fight and prevent what happened to you to happen to someone else.”— Anonymous, Jordan
“We all miss you a great deal. I hope you have found peace and love wherever you are. It’s what you deserved on this earth.”— Anonymous, Turkey
“You are an inspiration to all Arab queers. May your soul rest in everlasting peace.”— Anonymous, Saudia Arabia
A year ago, Sarah Hegazi left our world, but her legacy, her actions, the cause she was so deeply invested in, and fighting for remains strong.
If you’re reading this and you are currently growing up in a suppressed household, or community, we promise you that it gets better, and the YLT team is all here for you.
If you are living in a more provillahed household and community, we encourage you to speak up, and spread awareness.
by Mariam Asif – YLT Staff