Friday Links

England's first women-only mosque will open in Bradford, a 19th-century industrial boomtown and one of the most heavily Muslim-populated cities in the U.K., the Muslim Women’s Council announced.House of Fraser is now selling sports hijabs that are designed for women to wear while doing exercise, including swimming. According to the Daily Mail, It follows a move by John Lewis last year to sell hijab school uniforms. Congo-Brazzaville, a Central African nation, has banned women f … [Read more...]

Friday Links

Warner Bros. Studios officials allegedly told two Muslim women wearing headscarves they could not sit in the front row of ‘The Real’ because they should not be seen on camera.Unveiled is a play that focuses on the struggles of five Muslim women learning to live in the post 9/11 world. It will be presented in Suisun City, California. Have you heard about the Halal Shops opening here and there? Now there is one which will open in Mecca, and the goal is to challenge stereotypes abo … [Read more...]

The Sad Stories of Muslim Women in Pictures

Aid, a body builder, and his mother by Denis Dailleux - via World Press Photo.

My dad has been an avid photographer since I can remember. As a kid I was constantly photographed with a traditional analog camera and black and white film. As a teenager, it was my dad’s passion that led me to learn professional photography through vocational education. Photographs, my dad used to tell me, are a “window” into someone else’s life. This “window” is not necessarily how they see themselves, but how the world around them perceives them.It was not long before I started collecting … [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...]

The “Story” of Suha Omar Ali

Haya, Sama, and Julia, Suha Omar Ali's daughters, who drowned. [Source].

“I can’t follow the news anymore, it’s too much.” Over the last two years, I’ve heard this sentence over and over again from friends and family who no longer live their lives to the soundtrack of Arab satellite channels, from local variants like Libya Al-Ahrar to the pan-Arab channels Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera. It has become too much. When they say this, they’re talking about car-bombings in Iraq, drones in Yemen, militias in Libya, the “second revolution” in Egypt, and most of all these days, th … [Read more...]

Double Standards on Public Decency

A scene from Tamer Hosny's music video for Si El Sayed. [Source].

My cousin’s daughter is smart. She recently summed a deeply rooted societal problem in few words. The little girl is relatively chubby and her mom, my cousin, keeps giving her remarks on her weight and looks. At one point, she responded: “Don’t you see that you are fat too! Plus, you are the one who keep feeding me all the time!”Hypocrisy is the first word that came to my mind when I first saw this headline: “Morocco teens held for kissing photo on Facebook”. As mentioned in the story, the te … [Read more...]

The H Word: A Piece of Cloth Loaded with More Than It Can Bear?

Different styles of hijab reflect the influence of different ethnicities. [Source].

I have to admit that hijab narratives in media turn me off. Whether because it is exhaustively discussed or because most of these narratives rely heavily on clichés and fallacies, hijab is a subject that seems to me overloaded with notions that are not related in any way to what I see as the core of its true essence. However, being surrounded with multitudes of articles and reports on the topic, and being a Muslim woman living in a Muslim country that witnesses a shift in the way people perceive … [Read more...]