Boy vs. Girl: “Pure” Islam or Purely Sanctimonious?

Na'ima B. Robert’s second book, “Boy vs. Girl” is set in a South Asian community in Britain. The two main characters, Farhana and Faraz, are sixteen-year-old twins trying to negotiate their identities as the children of Pakistani immigrants and as Muslims.  Robert attempts to tell the story of struggling with trying to find a sense of identity as a Muslim teenager.Farhana is perfect and ideal in every sense of the world. Not only is she described as looking like “Aishwarya Rai,” she is strong, … [Read more...]

An Interview with Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani

Last week, we profiled Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani's "An Intimate Geography" exhibit at the Lahd Gallery. This week, we sat down for an interview with the artist himself.Sara for MMW: I noticed that you never explicitly mention Islam in your work. Was this intentional?Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani: I wanted to move away from Islam, because I do not like to classify based on religion. I do this because I feel as though everyone is spiritual, and that is the best way to be in touch with your inner self. I … [Read more...]

Gender Bender: Abdulaziz’s Al Qahtani’s Lahd Exhibition

Abdulaziz Al Qahtani is a Saudi Arabian artist based in London. His first exhibition, “An Intimate Geography,” is at the Lahd Gallery. It examines the contradictory relationship between Middle Eastern women and Western society. The exhibition is comprised of a series of twelve images that aim to show the complexities of life in the Middle East.There were three main themes in the photographs; critiquing gender inequality, consumption, and individuality. Through examining the contradictions wit … [Read more...]

Afshan Azad’s Courtroom Drama

Back in July, I wrote about Afshan Azad’s abuse by her father and brother. When they threatened to kill her for having a Hindu boyfriend, she fled to London; her father and brother were questioned and charged by police. Though Azad attempted to drop the charges, her brother and father were tried in court last week. She did not show up to court to testify against them.Coverage around Azad’s court case is particularly sensationalized because of her work with the Harry Potter films. The Sydney M … [Read more...]

The Somali Media Women’s Association

According to a recent study carried out by Transparency International, Somalia was deemed to be the most corrupt nation in the world. The economic and political instability of Somalia has made it the site of many human rights violations, particularly against women. Females are underrepresented in the workforce as well as education. In fact, slightly over 1/3 of the students at the primary school level are girls, and very little progress has been made in this regard.I had the images of … [Read more...]

Fe-Mail Fail: Amy Mowafi’s Attempt to be Carrie Bradshaw

The desire to crown an intelligent, sexy-yet-fashionable lady as the Carrie Bradshaw of the Middle East has been a fierce competition, because, you know, there is nothing more mysterious than the lack of sex and dating in the Middle East.With the help of a string of labels, high society, and awkward adventures in romance, Amy Mowafi makes a convincing effort to win the Bradshaw title with her novel “Fe-mail: The Trials and Tribulations of being a Good Egyptian Girl.”Mowafi tries to satirize … [Read more...]

Combat Garb: Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things

Recently, NPR analyst Juan Williams was quoted as saying, “…when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.” on The O’Reilly Factor.As a response, “Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things” was created, shattering the stereotype of what “Muslim garb” looks like. It is a site dedicated to showing the diversity of Muslim “garb,” where users submit pictu … [Read more...]