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Gay Iranian poet seeking asylum in Israel


Payam Feili, a gay Iranian poet who made headlines late last year after arriving in Israel having fled Iran, is now seeking asylum in the country he called “the best place on earth.”

According to a report which cites Al Bawaba, Feili’s request is likely to be granted by Israel in light of the threat he faces back in Iran due to his sexual orientation.

Feili, 30, arrived in Israel at the end of 2015 and attracted immediate local media attention as much for his identity as a gay Iranian as for his professed love for the land he is now looking to make his adopted home.

The poet, who had been living in exile in Turkey after fleeing Iran due to threats and arrests due to his sexuality, sports a Star of David tattoo on his neck and has been fascinated with Israel since he was a child and started watching films about the Holocaust. He also started learning about the Torah as a boy.

Feili had arrived in Israel to see his latest novella, “I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit…Figs,” which had been adapted into a Hebrew-language play, staged in Tel Aviv.

He entered the country on a three-month tourist visa which is now due to end — hence his asylum application.

In an interview with AP last year, Peili said: “I grew closer and closer to


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