Disabled Muslims Need More than Du’a to Overcome Mosque Barriers

A sign found in Singapore’s Sultan Mosque encouraging fit and able-bodied women to use the second floor.

“How is your situation with attending the mosque?” begins a video by Kuwaiti preacher Mishary Al-Kharaz, before he introduces us to his “friend in Yemen”.The video shows Kamal, a young man with a “handicap”, as he enters a mosque, prays sitting on a chair and then goes up to the second floor after the maghrib prayer to attend a Qur’an memorisation class.All this despite the fact that he walks with difficulty on level flooring, has to crawl up the stairs, and struggles to recite Qur’an … [Read more...]

Take Off Your Veil to Rock the World

Cover of Girls Who Rocked the World. [Source].

The daughter of a close friend recently turned 10, and I went to a children’s book and toy store to look for a gift.  I made my way past the picture books, marvelling at how fast the time has gone since I was buying her a Scaredy Squirrel book for her sixth birthday, and stood looking at the chapter book display, which was fairly small.  It had none of my own childhood favourites, but one title did catch my eye: Girls Who Rocked the World.I picked it up and flipped through.  The book consi … [Read more...]

Pink Yemen Taxi‏

Taxi in Yemen. Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

In recent years, women-only taxi services offering convenient and safe transit have sprung up in major cities all over the globe. These "pink taxis," driven by women for women, offer a variety of benefits -- not only giving women the option of avoiding harassment by male drivers, but also offer employment opportunities, business ownership, and in some cases, empowered transit in funky, candy pink rides decked out with lady magazines, beauty kits, and alarm buttons.In Beirut, they're styled as … [Read more...]

From Images of Piety to the Arab Spring and Anonymous Women in Burkas

Fatima al-Qaws is pictured holding her injured son in the World Press Photo of 2011. Image via (Notes on) Politics, Theory and Photography.

The World Press Photo contest is a competition where the best professional photographers have a chance to showcase their work. The contest focuses on photojournalism and features photographers from all over the world.Last year the controversial photo of Bibi Aisha, taken by Jodi Bieber and featured in Time Magazine (which MMW covered here), won first prize in the Portraits/Singles category.This year’s contest featured over 5000 photographers and more than 100,000 photos. Due to the n … [Read more...]

Women in the 2011 Revolutions: Tawakul Karman

This post was written by guest contributor Summar Shammakhi.For a long time, negative impressions have dominated world’s opinion of women in the Middle East and North Africa region. Media depictions of women as second-class citizens often deemphasises the root causes of the problem, which include the repressive, dictatorship-led countries of this region who sought to exploit many aspects of society, including religion. This past year has witnessed a dramatic turn of events due to the u … [Read more...]

Women’s Voices in the Revolutions Sweeping the Middle East

Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Egyptian revolution through the Facebook page “We are all Khalid Said,” which was a vital spark to the revolution. But another important spark was a video posted by 26-year-old Asmaa Mahfouz from the April 6 Youth Movement, where she declared that she was going out to Tahrir Square and urged people to join her in saving Egypt.The spirit of freedom Mahfouz spoke about was symbolized in Tahrir Square, where Egyptian women found an equ … [Read more...]

From Bikinis to Burkas: How to Write Another Clichéd Tell-All Exposé

It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover, or in this case, an article by its headline, when the first words that scream out at you are: From bikinis to burkas: A Yemeni memoir.If your first thought is, “Not again. Haven’t we been down this cliché-littered road before?” then you’re not alone.But since Yemen is the latest Muslim-majority country to grace the headlines of nearly every recent newspaper article and television broadcast, it was almost inevitable that the world would soon be privy … [Read more...]


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