Gay Iranian Poet Flees Persecution, Falls ‘In Love’ With Israel

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The Associated Press reports:

Payam Feili fled his native Iran last year because of the persecution he faced over his sexuality. Now, the gay poet has made a years-long dream come true — he is visiting Israel, Iran’s archenemy and a country known for its tolerance toward gays.

But the 30-year-old Feili stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map.

“I still can’t believe I am here,” the soft-spoken Feili said in Farsi, speaking through his translator and the friend who brought him to Israel, Adi Liberman.

Read more at Haaretz.

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