Under Fire: Al-Watan’s “For hire” T-shirt Article

When a Chinese company manufactured a line of women’s T-shirts with the words “For Hire” on them, Al-Watan published its disapproval at their availability in Riyadh stores.At first, Al-Watan’s comment was on point when they described the T-shirt as “One more way to disrespect women.” But then they featured opinions against the T-shirt: "The truth this is very unfortunate,” Kattan, a Saudi citizen commented, “what is left is just adding the price on the T-shirt as well, where is the control fr … [Read more...]

That Post Where Maureen Dowd Got Ripped a New One

Maureen Dowd has opinions, everybody! And she is gracious enough to share them with us little people.When she heard about the June 17 campaign to drive that Saudi women are mounting on Facebook, the first thing Dowd did was call up her friend Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who is “a pillar of modernity in the medieval kingdom.” In fact, that’s exactly how she opens the piece—it’s very important that we know she has connections. And it’s very important that we know just how mod … [Read more...]

Facebook isn’t the Final Frontier for Female Drivers in Saudi Arabia

On June 17th, women in Saudi Arabia plan to take to the streets—they’re going to get behind the wheel to protest a religious edict forbidding them to drive. As Eman wrote in a post about the Women2Drive campaign yesterday, Manal Al-Sharif posted a Youtube video of herself calling on all women to drive their automobiles on that day. She told CNN that her move was induced by the fact that “there is no law that bans women from driving cars in Saudi Arabia, besides the fact that it is becoming so fru … [Read more...]

Manal Al-Sharif and the Ban on Saudi Women Driving

Last week, Manal Al-Sharif was arrested because she posted a video of herself driving around Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia, on YouTube. Because it is illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, both she and her brother were detained. Al-Sharif has since been released, having pledged to take no further part in the Women2Drive campaign.The Women2Drive is the campaign to overturn a ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia that was enacted in 1990. Through a web-based campaign that includes a blog, Facebook … [Read more...]

Shutting Down Misconceptions about Clothing & Culture’s Effect on Breast Cancer

Earlier this month, Ms. Magazine ran an article that looked at breast cancer stigma in Saudi Arabia.  The article provides breast cancer statistics in Saudi Arabia (without citation or link), breast cancer statistics in the United States, and American expat Carol Fleming’s experience with breast cancer in Saudi Arabia. Fleming suggests that promoting pink products for breast cancer awareness might help to curb the stigma associated with the illness in Saudi Arabia.  An nameless image of a pink bu … [Read more...]

Currents of Change for Women in Saudi Arabia

This was written by Maha Akeel and was originally published in Common Ground News Service.“Saudi Arabia is not yet ready for women to participate in the upcoming municipal elections on 23 April.” The election commissioner made this bold statement late last month, referring to women’s roles as both voters and candidates. Two years earlier, however, the first female deputy minister was appointed, and in 2005 officials from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs promised that women would be able to par … [Read more...]

Gender Bender: Abdulaziz’s Al Qahtani’s Lahd Exhibition

Abdulaziz Al Qahtani is a Saudi Arabian artist based in London. His first exhibition, “An Intimate Geography,” is at the Lahd Gallery. It examines the contradictory relationship between Middle Eastern women and Western society. The exhibition is comprised of a series of twelve images that aim to show the complexities of life in the Middle East.There were three main themes in the photographs; critiquing gender inequality, consumption, and individuality. Through examining the contradictions wit … [Read more...]


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