Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael

Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael

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An unflinching story about Arab masculinity and homoeroticism

Furat, a Syrian in his early 20s, visits Sibki Park in Damascus, one of the city's most popular cruising areas. There he learns about the hammams, secret meeting places for gay men located throughout the old city. Inside these public baths, the air is thick with the scent of bay laurel soap, and naked men hide in the steam.

Furat faces sometimes violent disapproval from all levels of society--regime, religion, the man in the street--and yet he manages to find the love he's been seeking just before his world collapses and he's forced to flee. 

Selamlik is the story of Furat's journey, along with that of other refugees. It's a journey in which they face physical and economic hardship, draconian migration laws, and the unwelcome grief, shame, and hatred they've carried with them from their ever more distant pasts. Despite everything, Furat remains steadfast in his pursuit of passion, pleasure, and love.

Paperback / 176 pages