The First Saudi Woman to become Editor-in-Chief: New Achievements and Challenges

Somayya Jabarti. [Source].

On February 16, 2014, Khaled Almaeena announced his resignation as head of the editorial team of the Saudi Gazette, and appointed Somayya Jabarti as the first woman editor-in-chief in the history of the Saudi press.  In a tweet, Almaeena said: "For 25 years, I have been looking for the best journalistic skills and qualifications, and today, my dream comes true in appointing a qualified woman to head the editorial team of a Saudi newspaper." For those who don’t know Jabarti, she started her … [Read more...]

Thanks, Sheikh, But My Pelvis Is Fine

Eman Al Nafjan driving recently in Riyadh. [Source].

Editor’s note: I would like to welcome Nicole Hunter Mostafa, a past MMW guest contributor, on board as our newest regular writer! Currently in Saudi Arabia, sisters are attempting to do things for themselves. There is a movement afoot. Saudi women are being encouraged to drive on October 26, in defiance of the de facto ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.* Last week, as the movement ramped up, a Saudi sheikh, Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan, told the Saudi online newspaper Sabq that … [Read more...]

Saudi Women at the Helm: Beneficiaries of the Arab Spring

A Saudi ad against domestic abuse. [Source].

For the past two years, sweeping political changes in parts of the Middle East have had a profound impact on socio-cultural and legal traditions. Arab women have been at the forefront of this change, exercising their rights as political citizens and raising their voices against injustices within their own countries and in support of others across the region. Recent developments, however, suggest that while the Gulf states (excluding Bahrain) have remained largely untouched by revolutionary … [Read more...]

Nigerian Female Pilgrims Detained in Saudi Arabia

Nigerian women on hajj. Image via BBC News.

Two weeks ago, a dispute erupted between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria over the former's detainment of more than 1,000 women purported to be travelling for hajj without appropriate male chaperones. It started on Monday, September 24, when a number of Nigerian women were prevented from entering into Saudi Arabia after landing King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah. Subsequent flights into Jeddah’s international airport resulted in more women between the ages of 25 and 35 been stopped and … [Read more...]

Jellyfish Fantasies: The Creature with the Black Niqab Fetish

Farmborough's picture. Via the Express Tribune.

Like a horrific scene from a 1960s monster movie: unbeknownst to scientists on a fossil-hunting expedition along the mist-shrouded Arabian Gulf, a prehistoric creature of gargantuan proportions slowly emerges from the water to the piercing screams of... oh no, wait. It's not the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or even the Loch Ness monster -- it’s just a woman in niqab taking a dip off the cost of Dubai for a staged photoshoot. "An Emerging Mystery" is the creation of Sebastian … [Read more...]

Queendom of Saudi Arabia Actually a Result of Kneejerk Journalistic Illiteracy

The photo accompanying the original Russia Today story.

About two weeks ago, my bulging eyes nearly met my falling jaw when I came across a flood of tweets in my feed about the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, “MODON,” building an all-woman city to boost the country’s economy and productivity all while ensuring that no one gets a hickey from the opposite sex in the process. I’m not going to lie or even attempt to hide the fact that I was extremely excited at this prospect; the possibility for the emergence of a matriarchal society … [Read more...]

The “Problem” of Spinsterhood in the Gulf

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Last month, one of my close friends in Dubai got engaged. She is 35, an accountant, and her fiancé is a doctor. I still remember how her mother used to worry about her not getting married, to the extent that she kept wondering what was going to happen to her daughter after she (the mother) dies! In Arab-Muslim society, being a 'spinster' is a real 'problem,' and often a crippling stigma. A woman that reaches 30 years of age without getting married is considered a 'spinster', who contributes … [Read more...]


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