Queendom of Saudi Arabia Actually a Result of Kneejerk Journalistic Illiteracy

The photo accompanying the original Russia Today story.

About two weeks ago, my bulging eyes nearly met my falling jaw when I came across a flood of tweets in my feed about the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, “MODON,” building an all-woman city to boost the country’s economy and productivity all while ensuring that no one gets a hickey from the opposite sex in the process. I’m not going to lie or even attempt to hide the fact that I was extremely excited at this prospect; the possibility for the emergence of a matriarchal society challenging Saud … [Read more...]

Fajr Ruminations on Ramadan in the Middle of Nowhere

Daunting sunsets.  First of Ramadan.  This is exactly how red it was.

I’m in a weird place this Ramadan. Not just spiritually but geographically as well. Almost exactly a year ago I finished my MA thesis and moved back home: home being wherever so my parents were living, regardless of roots and attachments. A few months before my less-than-triumphant return to the moist womb, my parents had made the move to Northern Alberta for business.While I have always been one for living and experiencing a new city, town, state, province – whatever – the shock of the s … [Read more...]

Saudi Women’s Right to Kick Balls

Dalma Malhas

With the summer Olympics fast approaching (and truly, what place says summer better than London), it was only natural that a bit of controversy would have to preface an event upon which the integrity of your otherwise boring country lies.And who better to offer this controversy than Saudi Arabia?Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch launched a campaign “Let Them Play” aimed to pressure the Kingdom into allowing female athletic participation in the upcoming Olympics. The campaign led to a … [Read more...]

Re-Engaging with the Other “Liberation Theology”

Hijab

Complete with your standard extreme close-up of a hijab-clad woman confusingly looking at the voyeuristic lens before her, the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” section recently featured a piece by writer Nadiya Takolia, entitled: “The Hijab has Liberated Me From Society's Expectations of Women.”Probably like many readers of this blog, my initial reaction consisted something of a suppressed cough-caught-in-a-groan. … [Read more...]

Dead Muslim Women As Opportunities

A woman in a headscarf tries to get into the "Human Rights Conference"

In April of 2011, 20 year-old Jessica Mokdad was allegedly gunned down by her stepfather Rahim Alfetlawi. The media uproar over the murder was immediate and, unsurprisingly, cloaked under the sensationalized trope of “honor killing.” While Mokdad’s family, including her biological father, stressed that Alfetlawi had issues of control and was not acting out of some religious convictions, the use of “honor killing” continued and served, also, most poignantly as a source for protest against even … [Read more...]

First Lady Dictators Are Not Sexy Headlines

Exactly a year ago on March 15th, the official day of Syrian uprising, I wrote about the Vogue feature on Syrian first-lady Asma al-Assad, which glamorized the haute couture-clad co-dictator while painting a painful picture of a woman genuinely fighting, on her own terms, for “democracy” in Syria.  The piece itself could not have been scheduled for a more opportune time: the so-called Arab world was, at the time, experiencing a wave of uprisings challenging old but adamant self-appointed kings wh … [Read more...]

The Poverty of Marriage

The burdens of poverty affect most, if not all aspects, of social relations. Most prominently (and unsurprisingly), women carry the greatest burden of the social predicaments that arise from a dire lack of economic security.  Women in groups hit hardest by financial strain easily become seen as sources of further strain on their families. Education is often either inaccessible or seen as an unnecessary part of a young girl’s growth and life. This is not always necessarily the case, as there is mu … [Read more...]


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