From Bikinis to Burkas: How to Write Another Clichéd Tell-All Exposé

It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover, or in this case, an article by its headline, when the first words that scream out at you are: From bikinis to burkas: A Yemeni memoir.If your first thought is, “Not again. Haven’t we been down this cliché-littered road before?” then you’re not alone.But since Yemen is the latest Muslim-majority country to grace the headlines of nearly every recent newspaper article and television broadcast, it was almost inevitable that the world would soon be privy … [Read more...]

Pop Meets Sufi Soul in Rajae El Mouhandiz’s New Album

East meets West and pop meets soul in the latest album from Dutch international music star, Rajae El Mouhandiz, released this past Saturday.But of all the words to describe Hand of Fatima, Sufi-inspired might be the most fitting.The album is a musical meander through the life and times of Rajae, a 30-year-old North African Muslim woman who grew up in Amsterdam and who uses her international background to inspire her music.Released three years after her debut album Incarnation, Rajea’s l … [Read more...]

Saudi Cartoonist Hana Hajar Sketches a Path for Female Cartoonists

Hana Hajar doesn’t consider the work she does groundbreaking--to her, transforming her thoughts into satirical drawings is simply a means to express herself.But as Saudi Arabia’s sole prominent female cartoonist, Hajar is an undeniable trailblazer.She has worked since 2005 for the Saudi-based English language newspaper, Arab News, where her sketches challenge everything from the role of women in Saudi society, to the war in Iraq, to the on-again, off-again status of peace talks between the Is … [Read more...]

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Women’s Rights in Kuwait

It's been a busy month for the constitutional court in the tiny Gulf Arab nation of Kuwait. Earlier this week, Kuwait's highest court ruled that women now have the right to obtain a passport without the consent of their husbands and guardians. The ruling abrogated an article of a 1962 law that required women to gain their husband's signature on any passport application.The court, following complaints from thousands of women who have petitioned to change the law, finally ruled that the article … [Read more...]

Common Ground: Sexist Ramadan “Mistakes”

For many of us, the last few weeks before the start of Ramadan mark a time to prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for gaining the benefits of the month ahead.As such, the mass email forwards began arriving in my inbox in early August, with lists prepared by various Muslim institutions gently reminding the faithful to beware of the “Common Mistakes Made During Ramadan.”The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, recently published one … [Read more...]

Another New MMW Contributor

Salam MMW readers!My name is Malika and I'm an American journalist who recently moved to the Gulf (Persian to some, Arabian to others). It's an incredibly interesting time to be living in a region that's still trying to determine what kind of place it wants to be. In the meantime, there are lots of fascinating critiques to be made on the representation of women in pop culture and in the media here as the region vacillates between Western tendencies and Eastern traditions, and I look forward … [Read more...]


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