Hasan Kilani, co-founder of Rainbow Street, an international NGO that provides a lifeline for exceptionally vulnerable LGBT people in the Middle East and North Africa, visited George School on Monday, April 16, 2018. Hasan spoke to students, faculty, and staff during assembly about his work with Rainbow Street.
During his presentation he was asked, “What would he say to the kid who lives under oppression from radical elements in their country and is afraid to be themselves for fear of losing their own life?” Hasan responded, “I would tell them that the first people who are willing to make change will always bear the burden of being attacked for ideas that are different. But, I would tell the kids in the Middle East who are afraid to be who they are because they feel they are in danger that we are willing to bear that burden for you so we can all change our society together. It can’t come from outside, it has to come from us, and we will get there as one.”
Hasan is a professional human rights advocate and local LGBT activist in Amman, Jordan. He drives Rainbow Street’s intake program and manages a team of volunteer caseworkers in Amman and Beirut. Hasan has been with Rainbow Street from the beginning and has played a crucial role in the development of Rainbow Street’s culturally contextualized approach to support.