Gay Iranian Poet Seeking Israel Asylum Gets Visa Extension

Payam Feili
Dan Balilty/AP

The Times of Israel reports:  Payam Feili, a gay Iranian poet seeking asylum in Israel, told journalists Monday in Jerusalem that his visa has been extended until October after his current one was set to expire.

“I’m planning my life as if I will stay here long term,” he said, speaking through a translator at the office of the advocacy group The Israel Project. “With the help of my friends I can establish a simple life here. I don’t need any help from any government, be it Israeli or not.”

He said he has not met with any officials, but is confident that he will be allowed to remain in Israel.

Faced with persecution over his sexuality and censorship, Feili fled his native Iran in 2014 for Turkey before coming to Israel. He came to Israel late last year to see his latest novella, “I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit … Figs,” staged as a play in Hebrew in Tel Aviv.

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