A lesbian couple from Saudi Arabia have declared their love for each other on TV after fleeing the death penalty in their home country.
Known as “Fad” and “Nanz,” the two women were forced to keep their relationship a secret in Saudi Arabia. Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death under sharia law in the country.
Fad and Nanz now live in London on asylum. They shared their story during a Valentine’s Day special on the show “Jaafar Talk,” which airs on the Arabic-language DW channel.
In the interview, the women discuss their journey, from falling in love to fleeing the country. The feature is a rare insight into LGBTQ+ relationships in the religiously conservative kingdom. It shows images of their first public encounters in Saudi Arabia, clad in full-face veils; as well as their current lives in London, where they can kiss and hold hands in public.
Nanz says she discovered her sexuality when she was in her early teens. She later met Fad on Snapchat, and their connection was instant. But they had to keep their relationship hidden.
Despite their best efforts at secrecy, the two women eventually drew suspicion. Nanz repeatedly turned down male suitors, prompting questions from her family.
Eventually, Saudi authorities called the couple in for questioning. That’s when they knew they had to leave the country if they wanted to continue their relationship.
Luckily, Saudi Arabia had just recently begun to allow women to leave the country alone without the permission of male relatives. So, in 2019, Fad and Nanz packed their things and made their way to London, where they immediately applied for asylum. They were granted five years leave.
After settling down in the UK, Fad and Nanz shared their relationship on social media. When Nanz’s family found out, they cut her off.
On the bright side, this happy lesbian couple is finally free to love without fear.
— Jaafar Abdul Karim (@jaafarAbdulKari) February 14, 2020