Free Samar: Saudi Bloggers Rally for Samar Al Badawi

When 32-year-old divorcee Samar Al Badawi went to Jeddah court to challenge a “filial ingratitude” complaint filed by her father, the judge rejected her claims and ruled in favor of her father. And despite documented physical abuse, previous court rulings to lift her father’s guardianship, and even a royal order to send her to an abused women’s shelter from governor of Mecca Prince Khalid al-Faisal, the judge sent her to prison. This was a year ago, and Al Bawadi has not been released or seen her … [Read more...]

Those Who Live in Glass Houses: Hamid Rahmanian’s The Glass House

The Glass House, directed by Hamid Rahmanian, is a documentary of the lives of a group of young women at the Omid e Mehr day center in Tehran. These women deal with a range of issues, including drug addiction and sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. Omid e Mehr’s staff provides these women with social services and vocational training so that they can become self-sufficient. The Glass House played at the 2009 Sundance Festival and the 2009 BAMcinemaFEST.The film focuses on the stories of four w … [Read more...]

Equal-opportunity domestic violence?

Like last week's article on Britain's apparent condemnation of the entire system of Islamic law, it was the ridiculous headline of this article that got me first. "Al-Azhar backs women's right to beat husbands"? Hardly. Scholars from al-Azhar University in Cairo have affirmed that a woman who is being abused has a right to fight back in self-defence against her husband's violence, which is, well, not exactly the same thing as having a right to beat her husband. What on earth was the person … [Read more...]