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...]

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

Source: weareasia.com

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...]

Saudi Women’s Right to Kick Balls

Dalma Malhas

With the summer Olympics fast approaching (and truly, what place says summer better than London), it was only natural that a bit of controversy would have to preface an event upon which the integrity of your otherwise boring country lies.And who better to offer this controversy than Saudi Arabia?Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch launched a campaign “Let Them Play” aimed to pressure the Kingdom into allowing female athletic participation in the upcoming Olympics. The campaign led to a … [Read more...]

Saudi Female Students Spark a Revolution

Saudi women protestors. Image via mubasheer.com.

On a quiet Saturday morning, while browsing the web for the day’s news, a story from Saudi Arabia caught my attention: thousands of female university students at the King Khalid University in the southern city of Abha were reported protesting against against poor on-campus sanitary services. According to Emirati newspaper Al Bayan, one of the students said: “The University has to take extra care of us. They can’t just leave the trash for three days on campus. There was a bad smell all over the pl … [Read more...]

Riding in Cars with Satan

Please do not place pocket mahram in a haraam location, especially when batteries are in the device. This is to avoid forbidden sensations.

2001: Driver’s Education on a warm spring day. Despite years of riding in cars, I felt the tremors of Western decadence between my legs once I sat behind the wheel. My hijab felt a little looser, and I was overwhelmed with so many haraam thoughts that I could not hear a word that my driving instructor was saying.  My brush with life behind the wheel showed me a darker element to driving. Professor Kamal Al-Subhi recently warned against lifting the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, as women dr … [Read more...]

Roundtable: Amnesty UK’s Video on Saudi Women (and Men)

Editor's note: When Azra forwarded us this article, everyone had something to say.  Below are thoughts from several MMW contributors.Azra: I saw this post from The Atlantic come up in my twitter feed, and was intrigued. And then I saw the video and read Max Fisher’s thoughts. My intrigue turned to disappointment.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p6dri_OQMI&feature=player_embedded[See the bottom of this post for a transcript of the video.]Amnesty UK’s video paints the entire coun … [Read more...]

Muslim Women In The Eye of the Camera

2-05

In a short interview in The New Yorker this past September, American photographer Lynsey Addario, who has covered the Middle East and South Asia for over a decade, talks about her experience photographing Muslim women:“The more I photographed Muslim women, the more I was able to metaphorically strip away the burqas and hijabs, and start chipping away at the profound misconceptions that existed in other parts of the world about these women and their culture.” The language used here has bec … [Read more...]


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