Egypt's LGBT Crackdown

Last September, at a music festival in Cairo, a group of concertgoers raised a rainbow flag in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Some of the young Egyptians there described it as a beautiful moment in a socially conservative country. But as NPR's Jane Arraf reports from Cairo, it led to a crackdown against the LGBT community there in Egypt. And a warning, this report contains an offensive term.

JANE ARRAF, BYLINE: Ahmed Alaa sits in the back room of a downtown coffee shop. He wears a black hoodie under a denim vest and sneakers. He looks younger than the 22-year-old that he is. It's March when we meet. Hunched over on a sofa as he smokes cigarettes and talks, he seems particularly vulnerable. But his face lights up as he tells me about holding the rainbow flag.

AHMED ALAA: It's a great moment of feeling free, for helping people to practice their rights. It's make me happy. It's make me feeling I'm a human. I can speak. I can share my opinion in the public. It's my best moment of my life.

Listen to the story and read the transcript via NPR