Of Indian Marriage Laws and Conversions: The Case of Saifeena

Kareena Kapoor & Saif Ali Khan (left) and Sharmila Tagore & Mansur Ali Khan (right)

Celebrity marriages always come with a lot of public anticipation, and this was the case with the wedding of Saif Ali Khan and  Kareena Kapoor, who after five years of  a very public courtship, married on Oct 2012. However, the speculation surrounding the relationship didn’t end post-marriage. Apart from being India’s heartthrob, Saif Ali Khan was crowned the Nawab of Pataudi in 2011, after his father’s death. The Nawab of Pataudi is considered to be the Islamic religious head in the state of Pat … [Read more...]

Zero Dark Thirty: A Tale of Bias and Burqas

Zero Dark Thirty - Maya

This post was written by guest contributor Emaan Majed.The scene opens on a bustling Peshawar market. The street vendors peddle ripe oranges and bananas. Decorated rickshaws bustle through busy streets as Maya, the determined female protagonist of Zero Dark Thirty, makes her way to her destination. But in contrast to actual Peshawar markets, the only Muslim women on the movie screen are two briefly seen, unnamed extras wearing sky blue Afghan chadris.The central narrative of Zero Dark … [Read more...]

The Tiger Hunter: Interview with Filmmaker Lena Khan

Filmmaker Lena Khan.

Let's face it: there has been many a cringeworthy attempt at capturing the funny side of being a Muslim in the West. Apart from the brilliant 2010 film Four Lions, I always struggle to think of Muslim-themed comedies that actually make me smile. I was pleased to hear about Lena Khan's project – The  Tiger Hunter – which tells the familiar tale of a young Muslim man moving to 1970s Chicago to achieve his dreams. I interviewed the brilliant and talented Ms. Khan about her project, representations o … [Read more...]

Muslim Women’s Stories in the Kerala Gulf Boom

Poster for the film Gadhamma.

The Kerala “Gulf Boom” refers to the mass migration of a large number of people from the Indian state of Kerala to the Gulf Countries from 1972 to 1983. The movement of many migrant workers from Kerala to the Gulf Countries continues to the present day. By 2008, the Gulf countries contained a total Keralite population of more than 2.5 million, who annually send home a sum of around $ 6.81 billion (US), which was more than 15% of the total Remittance to India in 2008. And were 15 to 18 times the s … [Read more...]

Film Review: Solar Mamas

Rafea. [Source].

Last week, PBS aired the premiere of Solar Mamas, an inspiring documentary of one woman's journey to transform her life after being offered the opportunity to become a solar-energy engineer.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGMgHZ1WzxARafea Ehnad is a 32-year-old mother, and a second wife to an unemployed husband; she lives in one of Jordan’s poorest desert villages. With only five years of formal education, she used to spend her days living off a meagre government assistance fund in a d … [Read more...]

Film Review: Unveiled Views

Moshagan Saadat. Image via Women Make Movies.

“When someone wants to be an artist, because they cannot let what’s going on around them stay the same, achieving fame in the world of art becomes unimportant.” –Alma Suljevic I am a lover of all art forms, including cinema; the Women Make Movies initiative, and the kind of varied and thought-provoking cinema they help produce, has always captured my interest.Alba Sotorra’s 2009 film Unveiled Views was a movie I could sit and proudly watch on my own, or even watch with family. … [Read more...]

On the To-Watch List: Braids on a Bald Head

Braids on a Bald Head

Braids on a Bald Head is a short movie, released in 2010, by Nigerian director Ishaya Bako.  The film shows the day in the life of a poor, married hairdresser, Hauwa Bello, “who through a brief homosexual encounter is able to muster up courage and stand up to her inattentive husband and ask for better.”I came across the trailer for Braids on a Bald Head several months ago; it is under one minute but it was enough to pique my interest in the movie.http://youtu.be/sxXtql9eIzII have, sad … [Read more...]


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