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The belly dancer donning a beard to protest LGBT abuse in Egypt

The belly dancer donning a beard to protest LGBT abuse in Egypt

by Cormac O'Brien

On a chilly March night, Shrouk El-Attar is preparing for a belly dancing show at a London club by pulling on a shimmering blue skirt, fixing a sparkly bra - and sticking on a beard.

The act, called "Dancing Queer", is a protest against the persecution of gay, lesbian and transgender people in El-Attar's native Egypt where they risk violence, arrest and jail.

But the vivacious electrical engineering student wears many hats. Hours before the show - which she has performed around the country - El-Attar donned a suit and tie to speak at Britain's parliament about issues faced by refugees.

The 25-year-old, who is completing her masters at Cardiff University in Wales, has helped many asylum seekers access higher education in Britain – something she is passionate about after spending several "heartbreaking" years unable to study.

For more on this story, click here: http://news.trust.org/item/20180314020402-fuhvc/