Syrian-Canadian performer harrassed at Hungarian Sziget Festival
Danny Ramadan, a gay activist and author, born in Damascus has been seriously beaten at Sziget Festival in Budapest. As Nlcafé.hu reports, the abused author was a performer of the festival.
Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and gay activist who was born in Damascus. He got to Lebanon as a refugee in 2012, from where he immigrated to Canada and became one of the Top 25 Immigrants to Canada in 2017.
He is a powerful speaker and columnist who stands out for LGBT rights and gay refugees. He participated at Sziget Festival as a speaker, but unfortunately, he had to leave with a sad and dreadful experience.
He got beaten by a group of young, white males, who thought that he was Roma.
Following the incident, the Canadian ambassador, Isabelle Poupart stood up for the activist with a Twitter post and the #NotMySziget hashtag.
Given the strong #AgainstRacism focus and the inclusive spirit at #Sziget2018, it was very shocking for me to learn that last Friday, a group of white young men verbally & physically assaulted the Damascus-born now Vancouver-based author & LGBTQ activist @DannySeesIt …
— Isabelle Poupart (@AmbPoupart) August 16, 2018
As the ambassador emphasised, the Hungarian Sziget festival is a place known for tolerance and inclusiveness – both organisers and visitors think the incident is entirely unacceptable. Last year Sziget joined an initiation (Take a Stand), which encourages cultural tolerance, solidarity towards minorities and openness to mutual learning. The campaign of Sziget 2018 included posters decorated with hearts and rainbows meaning that everyone is welcome at the festival regardless of their ethnicity, political or sexual orientation.
In their response to the incident, the festival’s management stressed that extremist opinions are not welcome at the festival. What is more, those are mostly rejected at the festival.
„We believe that far-reaching conclusions cannot be drawn of the whole festival from one single case. Although the incident did happen at Sziget, it is completely contradictory to the whole ethos and messages behind the festival.” – organisers said after the events.
This year Sziget was truly successful and set a new record with more than 500,000 people to join the festival from the whole world. Several celebrities were also present, such as Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/pg/DannyRamadanPage