Malalagate, Patriotism, and Disingenuous Agendas

Last week, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai was declared a co-winner of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, along with activist Kailash Satyarthi. Since then there have been numerous articles, support pieces and critiques addressing her win, and the expected conspiracy theories. The announcement even reheated a discussion on the validity and relevance of the Nobel Peace Prize itself.We have covered Malala a few times on MMW. Merium has written of the media frenzies that have engulfed … [Read more...]

What Should We Make of the Malala Issue?

Editor’s note: Malala Yousafzai has been extensively covered in media lately, and several MMW writers wanted to weigh in on the way she is being portrayed. This is the final post about her; see also Amina's and Nicole's posts from earlier this week.Malala Yousafzai has figured in MMW’s posts since the Taliban attempted to kill her due to her activism, which was discussed by Merium last year.  In another post, guest contributor Ossob described the difficulties that Malala’s figure posed not on … [Read more...]

However Tall the Mountain: Stories from an Afghan Girls’ Soccer Team

Named from an Afghan saying that “However tall the mountain, there’s always a road,” However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, & A Journey Home is the true story of a project conceived by the book’s author, Awista Ayub, to bring teenaged girls from Afghanistan to the United States for soccer training.  The story follows the eight girls’ experiences in the United States as well as in Afghanistan before and after the trip.The story itself is interesting and engaging, and quick to rea … [Read more...]

Riz Khan on Afghan Women

The recent cover of Time magazine featuring the photo of Aisha has sparked debate about the US presence in Afghanistan and what it means for women’s rights there. Here at MMW, the overwhelming sentiment seems to be that the image is yellow journalism at its finest, reinforcing the antiquated rhetoric of “saving women” and exploiting Afghan women by intimating that US occupation has kept Afghan women safe.Riz Khan of Al Jazeera seems to be cognizant of the sensationalistic effects of the image. … [Read more...]

Fashion Statements

This is an edited version of an article published at Café Pyala. You can read the article in its entirety at their website.Oh, shoot. Here we go again with coverage of Fashion Week in Pakistan. Can we do anything in Pakistan without it being linked in some way to either appeasing the Taliban or kicking sand in their faces?I refer of course to the latest "I-spit-on-the-runway-the-Taliban-sashay-down" type of pieces in the American Christian Science Monitor (titled predictably "Lahore F … [Read more...]

The Whipping Girl: Examining the Video of the Flogging in Pakistan

The recent release of a video showing the flogging of a girl by the Taliban in Pakistan has created a stir across the web. Various articles have been published about it, both on mainstream news sites and blogs.  The reason for the whipping remains unclear: media outlets report intercourse before marriage, rejection of a marriage proposal, and going outside without a male escort as the possible reasons for the flogging. Whatever the Taliban’s reasoning for the flogging, the video itself presents a … [Read more...]