A Review of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

For me, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a journalistic field story masquerading as a feel good beach novel in the Oprah Book Club genre. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy reading it, but I felt it warranted something more. While Lemmon’s storytelling is her strength--the way the book is organized is captivating--it also stops the book short from sending its message home: fact becomes fiction and hard realities become just a story. However, considering the polemic lately sur … [Read more...]


And speaking of trash bags, here's a poster for Germany's International Human Rights ad campaign:The translation reads: “Oppressed women are easily overlooked. Please support us in the fight for their rights.”Outrageous.Thanks to Kawthar for the tip! … [Read more...]

Wishing Upon an Afghan Star

The images that Afghanistan conjures are usually ones that mirror front-page stories of newspapers around the world: armed Taliban crouching at the entry of a mountain cave, women in burqas, and images of public stonings are just a few that are constantly associated with the country.HBO is schedule to air a two-part documentary that paints a broader picture of Afghanistan and its women. The first part titled, “Afghan Star,” named for Afghanistan’s first televised singing competition, follows th … [Read more...]

Masking the Problem: Afghanistan’s “Niqab” Program

Just when I thought we were past discussing the experiences of Muslim women in dichotomies and distorted imagery, CNN pulls out this gem about Afghanistan’s most talked-about talk show: “Niqab.” “The Mask,” as American media have translated it, features “Afghan women [who] dare to speak out on [the] taboo subject of abuse by husbands.” This time, the women televised are, in fact, masked—half the mask “pale blue, the color [of the burqa] symbolizing the oppression of women; the other half white, r … [Read more...]

However Tall the Mountain: Stories from an Afghan Girls’ Soccer Team

Named from an Afghan saying that “However tall the mountain, there’s always a road,” However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, & A Journey Home is the true story of a project conceived by the book’s author, Awista Ayub, to bring teenaged girls from Afghanistan to the United States for soccer training.  The story follows the eight girls’ experiences in the United States as well as in Afghanistan before and after the trip.The story itself is interesting and engaging, and quick to rea … [Read more...]

Riz Khan on Afghan Women

The recent cover of Time magazine featuring the photo of Aisha has sparked debate about the US presence in Afghanistan and what it means for women’s rights there. Here at MMW, the overwhelming sentiment seems to be that the image is yellow journalism at its finest, reinforcing the antiquated rhetoric of “saving women” and exploiting Afghan women by intimating that US occupation has kept Afghan women safe.Riz Khan of Al Jazeera seems to be cognizant of the sensationalistic effects of the image. … [Read more...]

More on the Time Magazine Conversation

Krista speaks with an AP reporters about Aisha's Time magazine: Krista Riley, a sociology graduate student and contributor to a Muslim women's website, Muslimah Media Watch, finds the photo "invasive and deeply troubling." To Riley, the image plays into racial divides and cultural distances. Read more on the conversation here. Check it out! … [Read more...]