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?

poster

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?

[Source].

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...]

“Torn”: A Tale of Tolerance and Doubt

Scene from the movie Torn.

After reading the synopsis of Torn , a film written by Michael Richter and directed by Jeremiah Birnbaum, I thought: Oooh, this might be yet another film on the post 9/11 era, blaming the Muslim community for all evil things that happened, and echoing  all sorts of stereotypes that have defined America’s perceptions of Muslims around the world.But Richter and Birnbaum proved me wrong. After watching Torn, I believe cinema can still surprise us with bold ideas and out-of-the-box un … [Read more...]

Journey: Dialogue Between WoC Muslimah and Two White Women Working in Africa

Soccer at sunset. Still image from the film Veils and Cleats. [Source].

*WARNING: POSSIBLE CAVITY-INDUCING PIECE* I have a tale to tell. It’s a story about a youngish Muslimah woman of colour who happens to be a football fanatic. Synopsis: She comes across #hijabdesk-worthy Kickstarter initiative and critiques the project of two, privileged, white women working in Africa. Sounds familiar, right? You may think you know what happens next: said woman was ignored, as were her comments, questions and suggestions - as many of the voices of WoC are, until a nifty h … [Read more...]


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