Wiam Wahhab’s Trash-Talking Politics

Wiam Wahhab is the leader of the Tawhid Movement in Lebanon. A former MP and journalist, he is also a close ally of Syria. In a rant against Syria’s rival, Saudi Arabia, Wahhab compared Saudi women to “garbage bags,” in reference to the black niqab that is common in the country. Sparking the anger of protesters, Wahhab eventually retracted his statements, clarifying that his comments were not meant to insult the veil, but rather the lack of human rights afforded to women in Saudi Arabia.While a … [Read more...]

More female Saudi TV stars this Ramadan

This originally appeared in the Saudi Gazette.Saudi TV dramas are undergoing a revolution with more Saudi actresses than ever before appearing in television serials this Ramadan. While Saudi actresses were once marginalized and relegated to minor roles in Arab TV dramas, they are now appearing in major roles and receiving star billing, Al-Riyadh Arabic daily reported on Sunday.Among those who have recently become famous are: Reem Al-Abdullah, Aghadeer Al-Saeed, Hind Muhammad and Qamar … [Read more...]

Putting Texts in Context: Saudi Text Tagging

Earlier this month, CNN Expansión reported that the Saudi government aimed to prohibit the Blackberry Messenger service, since it is considered a threat to national security because the service doesn’t allow the government to intercept messages.Blackberry has become very popular among single young people, who use it as a way to connect with men or women in a society where gender segregation is strictly imposed. Although negotiations continue between Blackberry and the government, the go … [Read more...]

Nothing is worse for a Saudi man than imagining himself a woman

This post was written by Eman Al Nafjan and originally appeared at her blog Saudiwoman's Weblog.Every Ramadan for the past sixteen years a show called Tash Ma Tash, which means something in the literal lines of "splash what may," is closely watched by almost every Saudi household. The show is a satire of Saudi society and it’s funny, to say the least. It’s also been prohibited by several sheikhs as un-Islamic, especially due to the actors’ portrayal of those very same sheik … [Read more...]

68 Percent of Saudi Girls Drop Last Name on Facebook

This was written by Iman al Khaddaf and originally appeared in Asharq Alawsat.Are you on Facebook under your real name? This is the question that continues to haunt a large number of Saudi Arabian women, despite the fact that internet social networking sites rely primarily on factual personal information. However, a recent study carried out in Saudi Arabia shows that 68% of Saudi girls prefer to withhold their family name due to the sensitivity of this information, in comparison to just 32% of … [Read more...]

Saudi women bridge the gender gap

A U.A.E.-based newspaper, The National, published a story yesterday about increasing numbers of Saudi women entering the workplace (read here). While this isn't the first story written about Saudi women in the workforce, it is one of the best written ones I've seen. There is no presumption of Western superiority in regards to women in the workplace, something seen far too often in stories about women in the Muslim world, and cultural attitudes aren't confused with Islamic norms, something also … [Read more...]

Drawn-Out: Stan of Arabia

So this is old. 2005 old. But I just saw it so I'm writing.I'm not the biggest fan of animated cartoon series like South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad. Mainly because I believe that there are so many underlying messages that you don't notice you're exposed to because they're packaged in this cutesy way that makes you let down your guard and get sucked in. They perpetuate ideologies and modes of thinking according to the whims of the scriptwriters—whether they be supremacist, … [Read more...]