Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

BOOK LAUNCH – Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael at Gay’s The Word in London

April 4 @ 7:00 pm BST

Join us as we celebrate the publication of Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price.

An unflinching story about Arab masculinity and homoeroticism

Furat, a Syrian in his early 20s, visits Sibki Park in Damascus, one of the city’s most popular cruising areas. There he learns about the hammams, secret meeting places for gay men 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. Furat faces sometimes violent disapproval from all levels of society—regime, religion, the man in the street—and yet he manages to find the love he’s been seeking just before his world collapses and he’s forced to flee. Selamlik is the story of Furat’s journey, along with that of other refugees. It’s a journey in which they face physical and economic hardship, draconian migration laws, and the unwelcome grief, shame, and hatred they’ve carried with them from their ever more distant pasts. Despite everything, Furat remains steadfast in his pursuit of passion, pleasure, and love.

Khaled Alesmael is a writer and journalist from Syria, where he was co-founder of a major music radio station. Now based in London, his writings on sex, LGBTQ+, and migration—in both English and Arabic—have a dedicated international readership. Throughout his career, he has lived and worked in several capital cities in the Middle East and Europe and received the International Visitor Program to the US for his work as an environmental journalist. His debut novel Selamlik has been widely acclaimed and was shortlisted for the 2021 German SKOUTZ Award.


Gay’s The Word
+44 (0)207 278 7654
View Organizer Website


Gay’s The Word
66 Marchmont Street
London, England WC1N 1AB United Kingdom
+ Google Map
+44 (0)207 278 7654
View Venue Website