‘I wouldn’t be the refugee, I’d be the girl who kicked ass’: how taekwondo made me

The long read: When she arrived in the US as a 10-year-old refugee, Dina Nayeri found it hard to fit in. But that all changed when she hatched a plan to get into Harvard by becoming a taekwondo champion When I was 13, three years after arriving in the US with my mother and brother, I devised a plan to get into the Ivy League. I was a refugee kid with no money and I lived in Iran, she had done horse-riding and tennis. But then the revolution happened, and her sporty body was draped and forgotten. Banned from public exercise, she took to pounding her ass against walls to get that chic, saddle-flattened effect of the late 70s. Sometimes …

Tunisia invokes sharia law in bid to shut down LGBT rights group

Judicial harassment and rise in arrests under anti-sodomy law add to climate of tension and fear One of the Arab worlds most visible advocacy groups defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people is facing closure following legal threats by the government. infamous article 534 criminalises unnatural sexual acts but some level of activism is tolerated. The Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou Leila has a Muslim and openly gay frontman, and Helem, community centre operates openly, although it is not officially registered.