Saudi lesbian couple who sought asylum in UK share their love story with Arabic media

Saudi lesbian couple who sought asylum in UK share their love story with Arabic media
A German broadcaster interviewed the couple on Valentine's Day, with a video charting their love story.
2 min read
18 February, 2020
In 2019 Saudi Arabia allowed women to travel without the permission of male relatives [Getty]
A German-based Arabic-language TV show marked Valentine's Day by featuring the story of a Saudi lesbian couple who now live in the UK, providing a rare insight into LGBTQ relationships in the ultraconservative kingdom

"Fad" and "Nanz" were aliases Deutches Welles used for the couple, as they showed images of their early encounters in Saudi public spaces, clad in the traditional full-face veil, as well as their later lives in London where the two are seen kissing and expressing affection.

According to the report, "Nanz", who discovered her sexuality when she was a teenager, met her future partner through the messaging app Snapchat.

Read more: Australia releases gay Saudi journalists from detention

The two soon fell in love but kept their relationship strictly under wraps from relatives and friends.

After "Nanz" repeatedly turned down potential suitors, her family began to expressed doubts regarding their daughter's sexuality, the report said.  

The couple left the kingdom discreetly in 2019 and arrived in London in late June, where they clamed political asylum.

That year, Saudi Arabia reformed its guardianship laws, enabling women to travel abroad without the permission of male relatives.

In London, the two opened up about their sexuality on social media, leading the family of "Nanz" to cut off all ties to her.

The couple were granted five years leave to remain by the British Home Office, as well as a monthly welfare allowance of £300.

The German TV programme interviewed the two in their Valentine's Day report, where they are seen declaring their unrequited love for one another. 

Labelled an 'extremist' idea by Saudi Arabia's security agency in November, homosexual relations are punishable by death under the kingdom's interpretation of Sharia law.

In December, Australia released two gay journalists who were detaineed after they tried to seek asylum after escaping Saudi Arabia.
The pair decided to flee when they were called in for questioning by Saudi authorities about their relationship.

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