Women We Love 2022: Iman Le Caire

Iman Le Caire

by Nick Voronin

The most rewarding aspect of her work “is their metamorphosis,” Iman Le Caire says of the transgender asylum seekers she helps. “The way they look before they leave their home country and once they arrive in their final, safe destination are so different.” Le Caire knows this experience all too well: as a successful dancer and choreographer in Cairo, Egypt, where she was born and raised, she suffered greatly for being trans. “I was persecuted…rejected by my whole family and society, raped and physically harassed, targeted by the police and jailed” before fleeing Egypt for the United States in 2008, she tells GO. After being granted political asylum, Le Caire turned to activism, helping trans folk whose home countries are no longer safe escape and find refuge and protection. Her work as board member and Arabic Relations Manager of the European organization TransEmigrate, and with Trans Asylias, the organization she founded last year, as well as her own powerful story, earned Le Caire a place on the BBC’s 2021 list of 100 Inspiring and Influential Women from Around the World and parts in two documentary features coming out this year. She also acted in The Shuroo Process, which debuted at the Woodstock Film Festival last October. In a still-challenging world, Le Caire, who lives in New York City with her husband of eight years, knows the power of self-care. When asked how she deals with set- backs, Le Caire responds, “[a] shot of tequila and I say ‘c’est la vie!’” –LE

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