Will Jordanian Hind Al Fayez Sit Down? A Look at the Trending Hashtag #Sit_Down_Hind

Hind Al Fayez. [Source].

Women's participation in the Jordanian political scene has always been a controversial one. Several women in Jordanian political history have made news because of their strong political opposition to their male counterparts' dominance. The most famous one was Toujan Al-Faisal, who was Jordan's first female member of parliament. In 2002, Al-Faisal made it to the news headlines after she published an open letter to King Abdullah II, accusing the government of corruption. She was arrested and … [Read more...]

Book Review: She Wore Red Trainers

[Image source].

I was expecting a review copy of the book She Wore Red Trainers in my mailbox any time. It was early September, the time of year when the kids start school, get busy with homework, enroll in a soccer team, and so on, so it is the time of year when I have no time to do anything for myself, let alone reading a book!But I had already heard some good things about this novel, written by Na’ima B. Robert. It’s a love story that takes place in a Muslim context. I have not read a lot of those novels … [Read more...]

Why Major Mariam Al Mansouri, the First Emirati Woman F-16 Pilot, Is Not My Hero

[Source].

On September 23, an American-led campaign was launched to attack different targets that belong to the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, referred to as ISIL. A number of Arab countries announced their participation in the campaign, among them Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.Two days later, FOX News discussed the participation of Emirati Major Mariam Al Mansouri in the fight against ISIL. In a video posted on September 25, one presenter was joking and asking whether Al … [Read more...]

Syrian Series “Bab Al Hara” and the Need to Combat Traditional Images of Women

Image from Bab Al Hara.

Every year, the holy month of Ramadan brings lots of spiritual moments, as well as hours of continuous entertainment in the form of shows and soap operas. Every Ramadan, I pick a number of soap operas to watch and write about. This year, there was a large number of television series that discussed issues faced by women in Arab societies. Some issues included women in prisons, such as Egyptian series Sijn Al Nesa, and women in wars and revolution, such as Syrian series Halawet Al Rouh.On … [Read more...]

Celebrating Ramadan Away from Home with Two Boys and a Sparkling Crescent

Yousuf and Ghazi.

Back where I grew up, in the United Arab Emirates, we never decorated for Ramadan or Eid. We used to celebrate with lots of food and prayers, but lights and sparkling decorations were never part of that celebration. We were actually happy with the Ramadan atmosphere: shorter school hours, having Iftar after hearing the Maghreb Azan and the firing of the Ramadan cannon, and of course, the different types of desserts especially made for the holy month, which include Qatayef and Kanafeh.A … [Read more...]

Sandcastles and Snowmen: When Personal Stories Become Tools for Support and Education

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In her recent book, Sandcastles and Snowmen, Egyptian writer Sahar El-Nadidelivers what she calls "a personal search for spirituality." By combining her personal stories and experience with the main pillars and teachings of Islam, El-Nadi tries to give her readers a glimpse of her perspective on what Islam is.Sahar El-Nadi is a writer and an international speaker who focuses on advocating tolerance, integration, inclusion, and respect of diversity. She is the person behind the initiative … [Read more...]

Women in Gaza Underrepresented in Talent Shows

Scene from Najm Al Kitab.  Image via Alwatanvoice.com.

In recent years, there has been a flood of talent shows in the Arab world, with tens of thousands of young (and sometimes old) people showing their talents in different fields. These shows are Arabic editions of international shows that have witnessed continuous success among a universal audience. There are shows for singers, such as Arab Idol, X-Factor and The Voice. There are also shows for different kinds of talents, such as Arabs Got Talent. There are even shows designed especially for … [Read more...]


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