Thanks, Sheikh, But My Pelvis Is Fine

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 d … [Read more...]

Saudi Women at the Helm: Beneficiaries of the Arab Spring

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

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 d … [Read more...]

Jellyfish Fantasies: The Creature with the Black Niqab Fetish

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 Farmborough, a … [Read more...]

Queendom of Saudi Arabia Actually a Result of Kneejerk Journalistic Illiteracy

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 challenging Saud … [Read more...]

The “Problem” of Spinsterhood in the Gulf

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...]

The Right to Play or Creeping Sharia? FIFA Overturns its Headscarf Ban

FIFA has overturned its headscarf ban, enforced since 2007, on women playing soccer with their heads covered. Predictably, the French Football Federation issued an instant “this won’t happen here” communiqué, whereas Qatar, hosting the 2022 Olympics, commended the decision.FIFA’s decision has incited strong criticism online. All you have to do is read the comments in news articles (including the ones I have linked) or participate in discussions on social media (if you like coming face to face … [Read more...]


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