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

[Source].

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...]

Book Review: “Normal Calm” by Hend Hegazi

Cover of Normal Calm. [Source].

According to statistics provided by RAINN, the United States-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, “1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.” The organization further notes that women who have experienced sexual assault are at higher risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and thoughts of suicide.Such important consequences of rape led American writer Hend Hegazi to tell the story of a rape survivor in her fir … [Read more...]

“Hijabi Experiments”: Are They Enough to Change America’s Perception on Hijab?

Image via Youtube.

Every time we think this discussion about hijab and burqas has ended, the internet surprises us with new horizons on the issue. I was checking my Facebook the other day, and a video caught my attention because of its title. It was called "Hijabi Experiments." I am not a big fan of watching such videos, but this particular one, originally posted in December 2013, had about three million views, so I thought there must be something different with it.I have to say: I was disappointed. The … [Read more...]


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