An Interview with Yusra Tekbali on Libya

MMW Contributor Yusra Tekbali was in Libya during the outbreak of the February 17 Revolution. She was evacuated to Malta, and now speaks to us from The United Arab Emirates, where she is attending Insight Dubai, a conference on Muslim Women’s issues sponsored by Dubai Women’s College. Krista and Azra interview her about her experiences.MMW: Yusra, we’re so glad you are safe. How was it being in Libya during the beginning of the people’s movement?Yusra: In one word: Stressful!  It tes … [Read more...]

All’s Fair in Love and War? Jolie’s New Film Deals with Bosnian-Serbian War

Angelina Jolie is known more for being the sexier half of Brangelina and her patchwork family, but her luscious lips and film projects are a close second.  The latest controversy regarding the actress’s directorial debut flick in Bosnia is about a Muslim woman.The yet-to-be-titled film is set in Bosnia on the eve of the 1992 Bosnian war, where war crimes and ethnic cleansing left more than 100,000 dead  and thousands missing. Many Bosnian-Muslim women were raped by Serbian soldiers; rape was us … [Read more...]

Music to Our Ears: May Matar’s Metlak Mish Ayzin

Most Arab women I know have at one point or another cursed an Arab man and his stubborn adherence to male chauvinism, something that rears its ugly head in patriarchal societies around the globe. This topic usually boils down to this: a man has problem with independent woman.In a song titled “Metlak Mish 3ayzin” or “We’re not in need of people like you,” singer May Matar parodies popular misogynistic Arabic songs, such as “Jumhoriyet Albi” (or “The republic of my heart”) by singer Mohammed Iska … [Read more...]

The New Music Makers: European Muslim Women

Europe’s controversial stance and inflammatory language surrounding the burqa puts Muslim women, veiled or not, in a tight spot. Instead of donning a low profile, some Muslim women are turning to music to speak their minds.European Muslimahs are defying stereotypes by promoting their art and pushing themselves front and center. Take Diam's, a French recording artist who shot to fame with her 2006 album Dans Ma Bulle (In My Bubble). Born in Cyprus, Diam's raps about discrimination, poverty, a … [Read more...]

Haters Gonna Hate: the Backlash Against Miss USA

Rima Fakih, an Arab Muslim immigrant, won the Miss USA Pageant Sunday night:She beat out four blondes and set off a whirlwind of media coverage stemming from her “stripper” past to her Shi'a background.On the positive side, one idealist commenter compared her to Barack Obama. Another went so far as to say her win shows the “real face of Arab Americans, not the stereotypes you hear about.” Ah, yes, not the burqa--the bikini! Trading one stereotype for another is not progressive, but whateve … [Read more...]

Saudi Poet Has Rhyme and Reason

I’d like to give it up to Hissa Hilal, a Saudi woman who’s caused some controversy for slamming Islamic extremists in an American Idol spinoff called Million’s Poet. Instead of singing, contestants are judged based on how well they recite poems in front of a live audience; a panel of judges, along with thousands of viewers voting by text message, determine who walks away with the $1.3 million prize.Over the past episodes, poets romanticized Arab culture with odes to Bedouin life and glorious le … [Read more...]

The Jewel of Edina: Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Edina Lekovic, the Communications Director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, says the hardest part of her job is convincing the media to run non-crisis stories about Muslims. Yusra interviews her to figure out what drives the woman we see on TV.Yusra: You work as the communications director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles—and you've called yourself a translator between Muslims and mainstream journalists. What's the hardest part of that job?Edina L … [Read more...]