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Khaled Alesmael

Selamlik

Selamlik

Furat, a Syrian in his early 20s, visits Sibki Park in Damascus, which serves as a gathering place for gay men from all over the city. He learns about the Hammams, secret meeting places for gays 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. Despite society, religion and regime disapproval, Furat finds the love he seeks just before being forced to flee as his world changes. Later on, Furat wakes up in a cold sweat at an asylum in the Swedish forest recalling a terrifying dream in which he was blindfolded and bound. Having seen the horrific clips of what extremists do to gays circulating on the internet, he begins to write about his experience while locked in the toilet. This is the story of Furat's journey.

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