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Mashrou' Leila's Hamid Sinno. (Instagram / mashrouleilagram)

Marsa, a sexual health center based in Lebanon, released a video that went viral — resulting in a massive backlash. The video features Mashrou’ Leila’s lead singer, Hamed Sinno, and actress Youmna Ghandour raising awareness and teach people how to use a condom.

Most of the comments criticized raising the issue in the first place, since it’s inappropriate to talk openly about sex in conservative societies such as the Middle East’s.

Some people attacked Marsa for “encouraging” sexual intercourse. Just to make things clear, nobody is encouraging anyone. The video mentions in the scenario where you do find yourself having sex, you should be safe. Marsa’s latest video offering should be perceived as educational, because it is.

Sex still remains a taboo subject that nobody is allowed to discuss or explore. However, lack of sexual health and education in the region results in further complications. We refuse to be educated and then wonder where sexual harassment came from, why there are many cases of sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, and why are birth rates are no longer under control. In a region where all the aforementioned things are alien to us, it’s refreshing to see an organization taking the initiative to spread awareness regarding the topic.

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