Women’s Voices in the Revolutions Sweeping the Middle East

Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Egyptian revolution through the Facebook page “We are all Khalid Said,” which was a vital spark to the revolution. But another important spark was a video posted by 26-year-old Asmaa Mahfouz from the April 6 Youth Movement, where she declared that she was going out to Tahrir Square and urged people to join her in saving Egypt.The spirit of freedom Mahfouz spoke about was symbolized in Tahrir Square, where Egyptian women found an equ … [Read more...]

Women in Tunisia’s Revolution

On Friday, the President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia fled his homeland as it was engulfed by an uprising, sparked by the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, an unemployed university graduate who had taken to selling fruit in Sidi Bouzid.  When authorities confiscated his wares for not having a license, Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of a government building. Protests followed, as thousands took to the street in a movement fueled by rage over corruption among the elite.Anger in Tunisia … [Read more...]

A Woman Without Hijab is Like a Chair with Three Legs

If you still haven’t figured out that wearing black chadors will save your worldly soul and that wearing lipstick and heels will get you sent to the hellfire, Iran’s “Cyber Group for Promoting Chastity and the Veil [Ifaf]" is here to clear that up for you.  They are sponsored by the Iranian government and have a sleek website where you can view their posters, buy t-shirts, and brush up on hijab laws in Iran!They have a new ad campaign for “good hijab” (because, you know, chastity really only ha … [Read more...]

Unveil FAIL: The Backlash Against Fariba Davoodi, Part II

This post was written by Sara Khorshid Doost. You can read Part I here.The reactions to Davoodi's "de-jabbing" have not been as much as you'd expect. There are the usual suspects, those who praise Davoodi for the courage to free herself from the chains of the veil, some while expressing their general dislike for religion. Those who pity her, insult her, express their dismay and disbelief at a women who’s gone astray and has sunk so low.Most prominent among these is a program broadcast on I … [Read more...]

Unveil FAIL: The Backlash Against Fariba Davoodi, Part I

This post was written by Sara Khorshid Doost.Fariba Davoodi Mohajer is an Iranian women's rights activist. She moved to the United States a few years ago after things got tough for her in Iran. Recently, she has decided to no longer wear hijab.Most notable among Iranian media reactions is a surprising interview with the Parazit (“Static”) program on the Persian Voice of America (VOA) channel. The Persian VOA is a news channel and mostly involves analysis of current events and some rou … [Read more...]

For Neda: HBO Documents the 2009 Iranian Elections

As I snuggled on the couch to watch HBO’s documentary on Neda Agha-Soltan, I knew this wasn’t the time for popcorn. The first images that splashed across the screen were Agha-Soltan’s infamous last moments, which haunted viewers around the world exactly a year ago. The tone of onlookers and loved ones was agonizing, screaming as they crowded around her body, placing their hands over the bullet hole in her chest. As blood began to gush from her mouth and nose, Agha-Soltan’s eyes remained open. It … [Read more...]

The Stoning of Soraya M.: A Review

Before watching The Stoning of Soraya M., I had already formed an opinion of it as "objectifying" and "misrepresenting" Muslim women, as a reaction to a recent spate of "save the Muslim damsel in distress" media like that which surrounds the European burqa ban debacle. The movie, however, turned out to be powerful in its message; incredibly moving and certainly not a damsel in distress tale. Instead, it is about extraordinary womanhood and moral courage in the face of injustice.The film is … [Read more...]