Book Review: “Reclaim Your Heart” by Yasmin Mogahed

The cover of Yasmin Mogahed's Reclaim Your Heart. [Source].

A number of initiatives have been launched in the last few years to engage Muslim women in public discussions of issues related to Islam in general. In her post "Reviving the Spirit Without Recognizing Half The Audience?", Sumaya, a guest contributor to MMW, suggested a list of women who should be invited on such events. One of them is Yasmin Mogahed (who has since spoken at the same conference that Sumaya covered), an internationally-renowned writer and speaker who launched her book, Reclaim … [Read more...]

Honor Diaries: A Real Conversation on Women’s Rights or a Scratch on the Surface?

[Source].

In April 2011, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, an Iraqi immigrant to the United States, was sentenced to 34.5 years in prison for killing his 20 year-old daughter for becoming "too westernized." The case was deemed an "honor killing" because the daughter, according to the dad, dishonored the whole family.This story is one of many presented by the film Honor Diaries, a recently launched film project directed by Micah Smith, and produced by Paula Kweskin, Heidi Basch-Harod and Alex Traiman. The film … [Read more...]

“I Wasn’t Always Dressed Like This”: A Documentary Exploring Hijab as a Choice

Scene from I Wasn't Always Dressed Like This. [Source].

The concept of wearing hijab tends to stir controversy around the world, especially in the media. For some, hijab may be a piece of cloth that women wear as part of social traditions; for some others, it is a form of religious devoutness; yet, for others, it is a symbol of oppression and injustice towards Muslim women.While some women are forced to wear hijab by their husbands, brothers, or fathers, others do it voluntarily. This is the central theme of the documentary I Wasn't Always … [Read more...]

“Torn”: A Tale of Tolerance and Doubt

Scene from the movie Torn.

After reading the synopsis of Torn , a film written by Michael Richter and directed by Jeremiah Birnbaum, I thought: Oooh, this might be yet another film on the post 9/11 era, blaming the Muslim community for all evil things that happened, and echoing  all sorts of stereotypes that have defined America’s perceptions of Muslims around the world.But Richter and Birnbaum proved me wrong. After watching Torn, I believe cinema can still surprise us with bold ideas and out-of-the-box un … [Read more...]

When Will the Revolutions in Syria and Egypt Come to TV Dramas?

Cast of The Family Girls. Image via mbc.net.

For many of us, television drama can be an enriching part of our living experience, defining many of our day-to-day conversations with family members, co-workers and social network friends.  But what happens if drama series go too far in fantasizing about our life situations by presenting us with unreal representations of events, issues and personalities that we find hard to identify with?During this past Ramadan, I found two different soap operas tackling stories of Arab women from … [Read more...]

Good Memories of Hijab and Ramadan

For most of us, Ramadan has always been linked to achieving spiritual goals, or spending some time with the family for Iftar or Suhoor.  One very special memory that the first day of Ramadan holds for me is beginning to wear hijab, three years ago.I had been thinking of putting it on since I was in college, which is around seven years ago, and I had read and watched people talking about this issue. One interesting show was running on Al Jazeera documentary channel in 2003 (as I remember), … [Read more...]

The “Problem” of Spinsterhood in the Gulf

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Last month, one of my close friends in Dubai got engaged. She is 35, an accountant, and her fiancé is a doctor. I still remember how her mother used to worry about her not getting married, to the extent that she kept wondering what was going to happen to her daughter after she (the mother) dies! In Arab-Muslim society, being a 'spinster' is a real 'problem,' and often a crippling stigma.A woman that reaches 30 years of age without getting married is considered a 'spinster', who contributes … [Read more...]


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