Syrian Series “Bab Al Hara” and the Need to Combat Traditional Images of Women

Image from Bab Al Hara.

Every year, the holy month of Ramadan brings lots of spiritual moments, as well as hours of continuous entertainment in the form of shows and soap operas. Every Ramadan, I pick a number of soap operas to watch and write about. This year, there was a large number of television series that discussed issues faced by women in Arab societies. Some issues included women in prisons, such as Egyptian series Sijn Al Nesa, and women in wars and revolution, such as Syrian series Halawet Al Rouh.On … [Read more...]

Darkest Before Dawn: Ramadan in a Time of Disillusionment

Salwa Bugaighis. [Source].

On June 25th, Salwa Bugaighis was shot dead at her home in Benghazi. A human rights activist and lawyer, Bugaighis was a charismatic figure who played a leadership role in the uprising and in the women's movement, supporting a campaign which sought to establish minimum quotas for female lawmakers in parliament as well as being vice-president of a preparatory committee for national dialogue that travelled around the country holding town hall meetings – one of the few post-2011 initiatives in L … [Read more...]

A Ramadan Election

[Source].

As a working mom, I'm used to feeling an anxiety rush in the days leading up to Ramadan. But this year, a new sickening sensation welcomed me as the first day of Ramadan was quickly approaching.I knew what caused it: the first week of Ramadan this year coincides with the last week of the presidential election season in Indonesia. By far, this year's campaign season has been the most contentious one that Indonesia has ever seen in its history, with Indonesians divided into two political … [Read more...]

The Crimes and Punishment of Apostasy and Adultery

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Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese doctor who married a Christian man in 2011, was convicted last week on charges of apostasy.  While Ibrahim has a Muslim father, she appears to have been raised Christian. Apostasy implies conversion, but as Ibrahim reportedly told the judge, "I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.” By her account, Ibrahim has always considered herself to be Christian, raising the question of what it means for a court to be using “Islamic law” to sentence her when its basis for … [Read more...]

A Muslim Woman Is Running for Congress – So What?

Image via Facebook.

This post was written by Laila Alawa (@lulainlife).There’s a new face in town this congressional election season in the United States, and she isn’t here to contribute to the general elderly white male trope that is usually the case, plastered across campaign posters and events. Cheryl Sudduth is set to run for Congress, hoping to represent the 11th congressional district of California. Ms. Sudduth hopes to improve the public education system, and close the achievement gap for the commu … [Read more...]

The Countdown to the Jaafari Law Decision

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On April 30th the Jaafari Personal Status Law will be voted on in the Iraqi Parliament. The Jaafari Law, as it's being referred to, has been controversial because it would enable Shia men to marry girls as young as 9 years old. Whereas the legal age for marriage in Iraq is 18 years of age, the Jaafari Law does not state an age limit for marriage, but spells out the divorce conditions for girls who have reached the age of 9. This piece of legislation, nonetheless, would also legalize marital rape … [Read more...]

Mata Najwa: A Rare Glimpse of Real Journalism in Indonesia

Image via matanajwa.com.

Sometimes I don’t know where to start when it comes to critiquing Indonesia’s media, especially television programs. There is so much gibberish that comes out of the TV screen – and increasingly so – these days that sometimes I feel my head is heavy with rants after watching just one program.Having seen so much disappointing content in the media, I found it extremely refreshing when my husband switched on the television a few nights ago and Mata Najwa was on. The program is a talk show ho … [Read more...]


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