Why, My Brother? On Terror in Ramadan

I was breaking my twenty hour fast when I saw the footage from Sousse for the first time, a video taken by one of the hotel workers who is heard saying, repeatedly: “aleish, aleish tugtel fil naas?” (Why, why are you killing people?). The familiar accent, and the bewildered tone of the man speaking, brought home to me what the man meant when at one point he said “ya khuya,” my brother. Because the murderer who massacred at least 38 on that beach resort was someone who could have been his brother … [Read more...]

Friday Links

British Pakistani Azi Ahmed has written a book called 'World’s Apart', about her experience as a Muslim training to join the SAS (Special Air Service).Julia Hartley Brewer investigates the motivations of British Muslim women who are joining Isis, arguing that they are seeking "freedom" from family members who control their lives, expecting them to "live in the Wes without enjoying many of its freedoms." Malaysian gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi has been criticised for her "revealing" leot … [Read more...]

Ramadan Mubarak!

We at MMW would like to wish you all a wonderful, happy and blessed Ramadan. Whether you celebrate or not, we hope you will join us during this month as  we take a break from our usual fare to share our reflections, memories, resolutions, and struggles this Ramadan. This will be the fourth year we have done this, and each time we look forward to hearing from as many different perspectives as possible, so please share with us what Ramadan means for you.You can find last year's posts here.L … [Read more...]

A Roundtable on Mona Eltahawy’s Headscarves and Hymens

We will soon have a full review of Mona Eltahawy's Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. In the meantime, here is a discussion on the book by three of our writers.Sya: What's up with books about "the Middle East and North Africa" that are about female genitals, one way or another?Tasnim: The title reminded me of Shereen El Feki’s Sex and the Citadel. Having read both books, I feel Sex and the Citadel (reviewed here by Sya) was much better than H … [Read more...]

Defensiveness in the Time of Da’esh

One of the events at the All About Women program held at Sydney Opera House this year was entitled “Conversations with Muslim Women.” Featuring two Australian Muslim women, Randa Abdel-Fattah and Susan Carland, the event was advertised as a conversation with, rather than about, Muslim women. So the three women on stage have an engaging discussion, by turns funny and poignant, about the dilemmas of being a Muslim woman in Australia, from facing discrimination, to negative perspections of Islam, t … [Read more...]

Who Can Talk About Palestinian Misogyny?

Palestinian rap group Dam’s latest song “Who You Are,” featuring newest member Maysa Daw tackles misogyny and “make believe feminism.” As one of the groups members, Tamer Nafer, puts it: we need to “criticize the hypocritical part of our society, which likes to play ‘make believe feminism’ from time to time.”This is not the first Dam song that tackles misogyny– an earlier song, “If I could go back in time” featuring Amal Murkus, was about honor killing in Palestine, sparking a debate about wh … [Read more...]

When Arab Women Artists “Revisit The Harem”

Originally published here.  Where does parody end and self-exoticization begin? At what point does the Arab woman artist, stepping into the so-often imagined space of "The Harem" risk pandering to an audience that seems to have a never-ending appetite for remediations of Orientalist artwork? Lebanese photographer Rania Matar's wonderful and insightful A Girl in Her Room series (capturing teenage girls in their most sacred space, the bedroom) includes some photographs that are clearly posed to m … [Read more...]


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