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


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...]

Friday Links | January 3, 2014

Several thousand people are still living in ill-equipped camps around the northern Indian town of Muzaffarnagar after Muslim-Hindu riots killed an estimated 65 people in September. Khurshida has been living in a camp since, and says that during her stay in a camp her seven-year-old son Anas Younis died of cold and fever. Image by Aarabu Ahmad Sultan/BBC

An attack by a female suicide bomber in Volgograd, Russia has left 16 dead and many more injured. Several sources have identified the woman as Turkmenistan national Oksana Aslanova.A newly issued fatwa in Kashmir allows women with husbands missing for over four years to remarry, though many so-called half widows indicate that this is not their priority.Afghan authorities have annulled a marriage for money, involving a 7-year-old girl; the father of the girl is said to be a drug addict … [Read more...]

Uneasy Solidarity and the Hijab

Concordia University professor Nora Jaffary. [Source].

As the debate on Quebec’s Charter of Secularism (formally the unaptly named Charter of Values) rages on, two Montreal professors wore the hijab to demonstrate their solidarity with Muslim women. In short, the Charter of Values in Quebec is a proposed law that bans the visibility of religious symbols - hijabs, kippa, crosses, turbans - in public spaces. Effectively, if the law passes, anyone employed by and paid through the public purse may be disallowed from wearing anything that could be c … [Read more...]

Friday Links | December 27, 2013

A Kashmiri woman prepares kehwa, saffron tea. Kashmir is known for high-quality saffron, the world's most expensive spice. Image by Abid Bhat/BBC.

In Iraq, much of the sex trade has now shifted to social media, where female pimps are offering prostitution services all over the country.Egyptian campaigners against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) say that the number of cases of female circumcision/cutting in Egypt is on the decline, but completely rooting out this age old tradition will take a lot of persistence and time.Domestic abuse is on the rise in Afghanistan; high unemployment rates, rampant drug abuse and impunity are all … [Read more...]

The Syrian Trojan Women


On the 18th of December, the Syrian Trojan Women project staged a production of Euripides' tragedy The Trojan Women with a cast of Syrian refugee actors and crew in Amman. Their reinterpretation of this 2000-year-old play traces the parallels between the fates of the women of Troy and contemporary Syrian women refugees fleeing the violence in their country.As the project is described on the website: “Euripides’ The Trojan Women is set at the fall of Troy. It is about the fate of the def … [Read more...]

Dance Is How I Get Close to God: An Interview with Dancer and Upcoming Actress Isha Farha


Born into a family where art is a compulsion, Isha Farha started learning dance at the age of three from her mother, Kalamandalam Haseena. She is now adept in various Indian dance forms, including Bharathnatayam , Mohiniyattam, and Kuchipudi. She won the title of Kalathilakam in 2008 for excellence in the field of Bharathnatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudy, folkdance, one-act play and storytelling. She is the founder of the dance teaching institute Bharatha Bharathi.An engineer by profession, … [Read more...]

Friday Links | December 20, 2013

Syrian refugee women performed the play "The Syria Trojan Women" last week in Amman, Jordan. Image by Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

The news that some Muslim organisations in British universities organise gender-segregated events, where women are at times not even allowed to speak up, has sparked outrage in the UK.Al Jazeera features the story of a "forgotten" 12-year-old rape survivor in India, who 16 months after she was gang-raped in her village in Rajastan, has undergone 19 surgeries in attempt to restore her injuries.Internally displaced women in Darfur, Sudan camps experience violence daily, a Darfur camp … [Read more...]