Had You Been A Muslim: Joumana Haddad and the Liberated Arab Woman

When Lebanese writer and poet Joumana Haddad's I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of An Angry Arab Woman was published in 2010, it was described as a bold treatise, intentionally designed to be revolutionary, written in manifesto style. Recently, a revived interest has situated it in more superficial terms as "a provocative new book which "lifts the veil" on what the "Arab Spring" really means for women," with Haddad as the liberated Arab woman telling all about her unliberated sisters. In fact, … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Hypocrisy

This was written by Nadine Moawad and originally published at Sawt al Niswa.Ya3ni, we all know that corporations get especially greedy around Mother’s Day trying to shove ads down our throats everywhere we look. And it’s hypocritical of Lebanon to celebrate mothers anyway when they are so blatantly inferior to fathers in almost every aspect of the law. If you love mothers so much, give them their right to guardianship of their children, at least!But anyway, this particular billboard fro … [Read more...]

A War of Women: Al Jazeera’s Lebanon’s Women Warriors

Al Jazeera recently aired a piece titled Lebanon’s Women Warriors, which features the testimonies and stories of eight women who fought against occupying forces from 1975-1990 in Lebanon.The film offers a unique perspective: it shows the role women played in the war, the unconventional weapons they used, and ways they fought. Perhaps the most striking thing about the piece is that it shows the relationship between women and violence in a way that is not typically expressed.This period was m … [Read more...]

Salwa Says, “Speak Up!”

When Doha had to jump out of her cab three times after being assaulted by the drivers in broad daylight, she knew she had to do something about it. So she has joined a growing number of women in Lebanon who speak out against sexual harassment.A local non-government organization, IndyACT, supported a national campaign against sexual harassment called, “The adventures of Salwa.” Salwa is a fictional character in a series of television ads aimed at fighting sexual harassment:A television ad fe … [Read more...]

An Enchanted Modern: Lara Deeb’s Anthropologic Study

It is very rare to find a book that deals predominantly with Muslim women that does not have the words, "women", "Muslim", and most significantly "veil" in the title, especially when hijab is a recurring topic in the book. An Enchanted Modern by Lara Deeb immediately gets 10 points from me, for breaking the "behind/beyond/under/inside/uncovering the veil" title cliché.The subjects of the book (whom Deeb refers to as the "pious modern") give the reader an insider’s perspective into their lives a … [Read more...]

“Be Beautiful and Vote” or “Be Intelligent and Vote Blank?”

This was written by Alexandra Sandels and originally appeared on Menassat.A billboard advertisement calling on women to "Be Beautiful and Vote" in the upcoming Lebanese parliamentary elections has caused a fury among women's rights activists in the country, who are denouncing the ad as sexist and offensive. In response, one group of activists launched an online campaign, remaking the ad with the slogan "Be Intelligent and Vote Blank," and "No one cares about your rights."It’s e … [Read more...]

Jasad: Sex, Fetishes, and the Erotic in a new Arabic Glossy

Sex.Always an attention getter.So there's no wonder why Jasad, or "Body," a new quarterly Arabic magazine published in Lebanon, is making waves in the Arab world by promising to "deal with the forbidden," the *gasp* human body. The magazine's logo is 'body' spelled in Arabic and the first letter is a broken handcuff, alluding to the taboos the magazine breaks. An article in the Guardian reports: Officials of Hizbullah, the powerful Lebanese Shia movement, tried to close Jasad's stand at … [Read more...]