Saudi Arabian lesbian couple declare their love to the world on Arabic TV show

A lesbian couple from Saudi Arabia have defied their home county’s strict laws against homosexuality by proudly declaring their love for each other on an Arabic TV show.

Saudi Arabia has some of the worst LGBT+ rights records in the world. Homosexuality is classed as extremism in the ultra-conservative kingdom and can be punishable by death under Sharia law.

The lesbian couple, known by the pseudonyms ‘Fad’ and ‘Nanz’, sought asylum in the UK last year and now live safely in London.

They announced their relationship during a Valentine’s Day special on the TV show ‘Jaafar Talk’ which airs on the Arabic-language DW channel.

During the interview, they talked about how they met and what was like to be different in a country where same-sex relationships can carry the death penalty.

Nanz said she discovered her sexuality when she was a teenager and met her future partner through Snapchat. They quickly fell in love, but their relationship had to remain a tightly-held secret.

As Nanz repeatedly turned down potential suitors, her family began to express doubts about their daughter’s sexuality. The couple began to attract suspicion, and when one day they were called in for questioning by Saudi authorities, they knew the time had come to flee.

Fortunately by this time Saudi Arabia had just reformed its guardianship laws to enable women to travel abroad without the permission of male relatives.

They seized their chance and boarded a flight to the UK in late June. Fad and Nanz claimed asylum on arrival and were granted five years leave to remain by the British Home Office.

As soon as they were settled Fad and Nanz opened up about their relationship on social media, and Nanz’s relatives promptly cut all ties with her. It’s a small loss, though, for the sake of being able to love each other without fear of death.