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...]

Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story

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A few months ago, I wrote about the “rediscovery” of Noor Inayat Khan, from the 2011 campaign to commemorate her, to the biography, Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu to the planned docu-drama, which at the time I had not yet watched.I have since watched the one-hour film, which is available to stream here. Enemy of the Reich tells the story of Noor Inayat Khan, “a young Muslim woman who sacrificed her life to fight against Nazi domination.” The film is produced and d … [Read more...]

Speed Sisters: Racing to Fight Occupation

Image provided by Amber Fares.

“Breaking-barriers”, “challenging ideas”, and “crashing stereotypes” are just some of the words used to describe the activity of a popular group of Palestinian athletes known as the “Speed Sisters.” In 2009, this group of intrepid Christian and Muslim women started out as a racing team of eight, with the support of the Palestine Motor Sports Federation and some support from the British Embassy in Jereusalem. Now the team has four remaining members: Betty Saadah, Nour Dawood, Mona Ennab and Mahra … [Read more...]

Marilyn Monroe in a Burqa: Commentary or Cliché?

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Walking home recently, I rounded the corner from my apartment and noticed a poster that was banal and startling at the same time. I had previously written about the (mis)use of images of Muslim-looking women by Dutch non-profit organisations as an attention-grabbing device, which may or may not be related to the actual work being promoted. Here was another prime example: a film festival poster showing a pair of female legs and high heels peeking out under a blue burqa, blown about above a vent à … [Read more...]

Documenting Egypt’s Revolution: Al-Midan (The Square) Reviewed

Image via Twitter.

Jehane Noujaim’s recent film, Al-Midan (translation: The Square), follows a group of Egyptian activists—many who are filmmakers and photographers themselves— involved in their nation’s ever-changing revolution(s) over the past couple of years. The film is beautifully shot, as Noujaim both follows the activists’ lives and has them describe their hopes for freedom and change as they move in and out of Tahrir Square. The film, which was picked up for release by Netflix, has been nominated in the “be … [Read more...]

Honor Diaries: A Real Conversation on Women’s Rights or a Scratch on the Surface?

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In April 2011, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, an Iraqi immigrant to the United States, was sentenced to 34.5 years in prison for killing his 20 year-old daughter for becoming "too westernized." The case was deemed an "honor killing" because the daughter, according to the dad, dishonored the whole family.This story is one of many presented by the film Honor Diaries, a recently launched film project directed by Micah Smith, and produced by Paula Kweskin, Heidi Basch-Harod and Alex Traiman. The film … [Read more...]

“I Wasn’t Always Dressed Like This”: A Documentary Exploring Hijab as a Choice

Scene from I Wasn't Always Dressed Like This. [Source].

The concept of wearing hijab tends to stir controversy around the world, especially in the media. For some, hijab may be a piece of cloth that women wear as part of social traditions; for some others, it is a form of religious devoutness; yet, for others, it is a symbol of oppression and injustice towards Muslim women.While some women are forced to wear hijab by their husbands, brothers, or fathers, others do it voluntarily. This is the central theme of the documentary I Wasn't Always … [Read more...]


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