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Gender

The Saudi Women Revolution Statement

[Image from Mona Kareem's Blog]

[The following statement in English and Arabic (below) was written by Mona Kareem on Friday March 18th, 2011, and can be found on her personal blog.] After the recent importance of Social Media in creating change in our societies, a lot of Saudi women have been active on Twitter through the hash tag #SaudiWomenRevoltion to write their demands of applying social equality in Saudi society, giving examples and telling stories on the injustice they are facing in their society. Media has talked about this hash tag but did not care to push this cause forward. Saudi Women, however, have created a page for their revolution on Facebook and talked to several media means to ...

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Support Women's Call for Democracy in Bahrain (Video and Petition)

[Bahrain women protesting as part of the uprising. Image from latimes.com]

[The below video and petition were created by the Bahrain group Women of Lulu. For the original posting, as well as to sign the peititon, see here. Also, be sure to read Jadaliyya's "Personal Revolutions: One Woman's View from the Bahraini Frontline."]   "A Better World for All" Bahrain is currently experiencing a massive popular uprising in which large numbers of women from different socio-economic, political and religious backgrounds have taken to the streets to demand greater rights, freedom and democracy. They were first met with a brutal crackdown from the Interior Ministry and Bahrain Defence Force which left ...

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The Marriage of Sexism and Islamophobia; Re-Making the News on Egypt

[Online Real Time Sexual Harassment Map of Egypt; Image by Harassmap.org]

I find myself intermittently infuriated and nauseated by the news coverage of the sexual assault on a female CBS reporter in Tahrir Square during the celebrations the day that Husni Mubarak resigned. This coverage has ranged from the disappointing silence of Al-Jazeera to the blatant racism of Fox News. What actually happened that day to Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for 60 Minutes, is not yet known and I have no interest in speculating over the lurid details of a sexual and physical assault, particularly while the victim remains in recovery. In this post, I want to focus on how much of the coverage of this “affair” has revealed the ways in which female ...

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Imperial Feminism, Islamophobia, and the Egyptian Revolution

[Image from unknown archive]

". . . I’m making this video to give you one simply message: We want to go down to Tahrir Square on January 25. If we still have honor and want to live with dignity on this land, we have to go down on January 25. We’ll go down and demand our rights, our fundamental human rights...The entire government is corrupt—a corrupt president and a corrupt security force…If you stay home, you deserve what will happen to you…and you’ll be guilty, before your nation and your people…Go down to the street, send SMS’s, post it post it on the ‘net. Make people aware…you know your own social circle, your building, your family, your friends, tell them to ...

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A Legal Guide to Being a Lebanese Woman (Part 1)

[Chart of Sex Based Differentiation in Lebanese law; Chart by Maya Mikdashi]

For the past four years I have been researching the histories and the applications of the Lebanese legal system. An understanding of this legal system, which is the architecture of the Lebanese state, has been vital to my dissertation. I have spent thousands of hours poring over legal texts and legal histories, putting together the puzzle of how, when, and why laws are promulgated, amended, and put into practice in Lebanon. I have met with countless lawyers, judges, plaintiffs, clerks, and defendants and have spent days on end in courtrooms, judges’ chambers, law offices, and in the living rooms of ordinary citizens in order to better understand how the legal system ...

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Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject

[Cover of Saba Mahmood,

Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005. Much of the implicit political background—the staging-point—of Saba Mahmood’s highly acclaimed ethnography of the women’s mosque movement in Egypt, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, is laid out in the brief preface to the book. In a couple of pages, Mahmood discusses the sense of embattlement and alienation experienced by an entire generation of men and women on the secular left all over the Middle East in the face of the rising tide of neo-colonial and Islamist politics and policies of the 1970s and 1980s. The ...

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At The Beach With Nancy Ajram

A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting next to Nancy Ajram at a beach/restaurant in Batroun-a lazy town in the north of Lebanon. No, not the Nancy Ajram, star of the stage, Melody TV, and many a teenage boy’s fantasy. I was sitting next to an attempt at Nancy, an approximation of her or rather, a mold of her made of plasticized flesh. My friends and I had gone to a restaurant that is situated inside a hollowed out rock cove in the sea. There are caves lining the cove that you can swim into and explore. And the food is quite delicious, even if exquisitely overpriced. We arrived first, claimed our plastic table in the shallow water, and promptly went for a swim. When I ...

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Women United for the Future of the Middle East

[This announcement was sent to Jadaliyya. For more information, click here or here.] We are a group of feminists from a few countries in the Middle East, getting together to create a regional feminist alliance (Women United for the Future of the Middle East), in these incredible times of struggle, victory and hope. Inspired by the power of people who transformed our region and our world in the past few weeks, we urgently feel the need for a feminist intervention in these defining times. Most of us are ...

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Personal Revolutions: One Woman's View from the Bahraini Frontline

Since February 14th 2011, Bahrain has been experiencing a massive popular uprising in which large numbers of women from different socio-economic, political and religious backgrounds have taken to the streets to demand greater rights, freedom and democracy. They were met with a brutal crackdown from the Interior Ministry and Bahrain Defense Force, which left seven demonstrators dead and scores injured. In light of international media frenzy, diplomatic condemnations, and rising public anger, the ...

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How Egyptian Women Took Back the Street Between Two “Black Wednesdays”: A First Person Account

On February 16, Roger Ebert, an American film critic and commentator, tweeted: "The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle East attitudes toward women into sad focus." While the attack on CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was a tragic and upsetting event, it needs to be understood in its political context. Any attempt to propound this in such familiar orientalist terms would be offensive and unfair, not only to Egyptians protesting for democracy, but to Logan herself. She was not attacked as a ...

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A Legal Guide to Being a Lebanese Woman, Part 2

In Part 1 of A Legal Guide to Being a Lebanese Woman, I represented graphically a number of the laws that constitute Lebanese male and female citizens differently. I meant to show how the Lebanese legal system as a whole is built to produce categories of citizenship that are differentiated according to sex. In this post I build on this argument and question why religious personal status is often posited as the “problem” for women in countries where the secular state is just as, if not more, ...

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Gynecology, Honor, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Last week Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech on honor. However, this speech was not about the honor of resisting occupation or the honor of the Palestinian cause. The Sayyed’s speech, rather, focused on how the Special Tribunal For Lebanon had threatened the honor of Lebanese citizens by requesting gynecological files from a women’s clinic in the southern suburbs of Beirut. The day before, when the STL investigators arrived at the women’s health clinic, a group of women attacked them and confiscated ...

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An Archive of Perversion; 1966 and a Desire to Criminalize

On Friday I was at the library of the Lebanese Syndicate of Lawyers (Bayt al Muhaami), where I have conducted much of the archival research related to my dissertation. As I was researching decisions made by the Ministry of Justice's advisory body regarding religious conversion, I came across an advisory opinion issued by Hay'at al Tashri` wa'l-Istisharat in 1966 in response to an inquiry made by then Prime Minister Rashid Karami. The Hay'at al Tishree` Wa Al Istisharat is an extra-judicial body housed ...

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