Heavy rain pummeled Jeddah this week, a Saudi Arabian city on the Red Sea, flooding streets, submerging cars, and closing schools. At least two people died, and hundreds were left stranded. Critics credit poor urban planning for the city’s inability to cope with unusual precipitation. Others argue that the event is a wake-up call to […]
Pressure on women to marry young is not unique to the Middle East, but in this region, once a woman turns 25 she is commonly considered past her sell-by date. A Saudi woman defied peer pressure by publicly celebrating her singleness, and – with her story spiraling on social media – her online exposure may […]
Restaurants and cafes in Jeddah have posted signs warning women that if they want to be served sheesha, their mahrams (male guardians) must be at their side.
It takes a special man to carry off a skirt. In Iran, a growing group of Kurdish guys are rocking girly frocks to promote a serious message: being a woman is nothing to laugh at. It began when a convicted domestic abuser was sentenced to parade around town dressed in traditional Kurdish women’s clothing.
Two years after the revolution in Egypt, sexual assaults against women are rising and becoming more violent, says several human rights organizations. A recent New York Times piece created a storm of reactions with it’s portrayal of the dangers to women in Egypt since the Arab Spring. According to the story, at least 18 rapes […]
Malina Suliman’s Fighting the Taliban with Paint and Graffiti Sometimes graffiti can be seen from space. In Tunisia it graces the country’s tallest minaret. In Lebanon, they are making green graffiti for the city streets. And Egyptians have converted military barriers into trompe l’oeil streetscapes. Afghan artist Malina Suliman finds her inspiration in southern Kandahar, […]
As if Saudis don’t have enough banned behaviors, the traffic department now prohibits tinted bus windows preventing fewer women from using public transport. Teachers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can count on costlier work commutes following the recent decision by the Traffic Department to ban tinted windows in school buses. Several bus companies that transport […]
There may have been a public battle to allow Saudi women to drive but an award-winning film explores the sensitive issue of women’s rights through a young girl and her green bike The battle for Saudi women to drive (and also take part in the Olympics) may have hit the headlines in 2012 but there […]
‘Rafea – Solar Mama’ marks a young mother’s battle to bring solar power to her village in the deserts of Jordan Green films have been making a real splash across the region right now. From Eco Qatari folktales about drought to hard-hitting documentaries about trash in Turkey, environmentally-aware movies have been on the up. Now, […]
Date-rape risk at nightclubs and parties is high these days, but women will enjoy a safer night life in the near future. Easy access to odorless, tasteless knock-out drugs makes victimizing women easy. These drugs go by hip names like Cat Valium, Special K, Bump, Ruffies, and, with horrible humor, Black Hole – referring to […]
The patriarchal kingdom of Saudi Arabia creates an all-female city where (the arguably better half) of humanity can work freely, within Islamic guidelines. Saudi Arabia has an increasingly educated female population, but its ultraconservative interpretation of Wahabi sharia law and rigid tribal customs forbid women from interacting with men. The upshot is chronic female unemployment. An […]
On Tuesday thousands of Turkish women and activists sent government ministries a petition protesting the bill proposed by the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) that would ban abortions not taking place between the fourth and sixth week of pregnancy. Turkish law currently allows abortion until the tenth week. With dwindling environmental resources and rampant […]
SlutWalk started in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in April 2011 in response to the slur of a Toronto Police officer who suggested that women could remain safe by avoiding dressing like ‘sluts.’ Since then, the movement has spread across the globe as a worldwide protest against aggression and rape. Activists are reframing the dialogue, calling on […]
Israel will host the first SlutWalk in the Middle East this weekend, but the movement has growing support in other countries, including Morocco. Will these efforts finally lead to greater freedom for women of all religious persuasions? When I wrote the article, The Middle East Needs More Sluts, the response was overwhelming and heated, with […]
A “green” Arab renaissance cannot be accomplished without the rise of women in Arab countries. Recently in Jordan, the Google image was of Middle Eastern intellectual, feminist and writer, the late May Ziyade. Don’t you love peeling the evolutionary onion, seeing who came before to take us where we are today? A century ago, in a pre-digital world, ideas were exchanged […]