Director and musician Zaher Saleh beautifully shows one man’s struggle with acceptance from his family, and learning to love himself. Saleh was born in Lebanon to Palestinian refugees, and raised in Canfield, Ohio.
While the short movie is reflective of his own experiences, he believes it is reflective of a lot of coming out stories, “or for anybody in anyway whose trying to conform to societies standards, but aren’t true for them.”
Saleh added: “I hope that this film and my music in some small way helps to change attitudes and perceptions and contributes to making Middle Eastern and Muslim culture a safe and accepting culture to be queer.”
“‘The War Within” tells a personal story of a gay Muslim man’s struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, his longing for acceptance from his family and his journey to love and accept himself”
Saleh has garnered the support of gay sex/dating app Grindr to propel his shockingly fresh film to more than 25,000 views in the first two days.
Watch that movie, listen to the music, feel the intensity and think about how gay life as a muslim can be complicated.