Review of Brick Walls by Saadia Faruqi


Brick Walls by  Saadia Faruqi is a collection of seven short stories set in Pakistan, featuring a diverse cast of characters, from Asma, a widow struggling to feed her child, to the priveleged Rabia, who finds that wealth does not always protect women, to the precocious ten year old Nida, an aspiring cricketer who is not put off by being told that "only boys can play cricket."Subtitled Tales of Hope and Courage from Pakistan, the stories reminded me of the traditional genre of stories which … [Read more...]

Al-Shamikha: Not Your Average Ladymag?

A new magazine is “making waves” in Europe and North America—or so it would seem from the media coverage. Al-Shamikha, a publication directed to women and published by Al-Fajr Media Centre (Al-Qaeda’s online propaganda distributor), has been defined as “Al-Qaeda’s Cosmopolitan” or “Jihad Cosmo.” The magazine, which is roughly 30 pages long, covers a variety of topics that range from beauty to “proper” wifehood and motherhood.  The magazine’s conception of “jihad,” which it defines specifically as … [Read more...]

From Bikinis to Burkas: How to Write Another Clichéd Tell-All Exposé

It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover, or in this case, an article by its headline, when the first words that scream out at you are: From bikinis to burkas: A Yemeni memoir.If your first thought is, “Not again. Haven’t we been down this cliché-littered road before?” then you’re not alone.But since Yemen is the latest Muslim-majority country to grace the headlines of nearly every recent newspaper article and television broadcast, it was almost inevitable that the world would soon be privy … [Read more...]