A Gay Iranian Poet is Seeking Asylum in Israel

Payam Feili
Dan Balilty/AP

The Washington Post reports:  JERUSALEM — Iranian nationals are not even allowed to visit their country’s greatest foe, Israel, but an Iranian poet, who fled from there two years ago after facing harassment and arrest for being gay, is now seeking asylum in the Jewish state.

Payam Feili, who has been living in Turkey since 2014, arrived in Israel in December to see his novella, “I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit … Figs,” staged as a play in Hebrew in Tel Aviv, a city known for its openness toward gays.

Now Feili, who is not Jewish, says he wants to stay.

He told the Washington Post recently that after three months here, what he feels for the country is something “more than love.”

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