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Georges Azzi

A Celebration of Courage: Helem Wins 2009 Felipa de Souza Award

George Azzi is the founder and director of Arab Foundation for Freedom and Equality. He was founder of Helem, the first LGBTI NGO in Lebanon. In the 15 years since it’s founding, Helem and its leaders have been threatened and interrogated by police, who Azzi reports shifted to “psychological” pressure when the group began to receive more widespread support in the media. Lebanese authorities have continued to interrogate Azzi and his colleagues, including in 2018, and recently banned their conference on LGBTI rights. His work has put him under repeated scrutiny from the Minister of Interior and conservative politicians in Lebanon.