Affaire Rossignol: Does Hating the Hijab Mean You’re an Islamophobe?

   L’affaire hijab in France is weighed down with almost 30 years of rhetoric, polemique and infamy and yet, 30 years on, it still won’t quit. The French obsession and stubbornness regarding the Islamic headscarf made headlines again recently with not one but three separate incidents (none involving actual Muslim women) which are both embarrassing … More Affaire Rossignol: Does Hating the Hijab Mean You’re an Islamophobe?

The Controversy of “La misère sexuelle”

  “What long seemed like the foreign spectacles of faraway places now feels like a clash of cultures playing out on the West’s very soil. Differences once defused by distance and a sense of superiority have become an imminent threat. People in the West are discovering, with anxiety and fear, that sex in the Muslim … More The Controversy of “La misère sexuelle”

More than a Song: Domestic Violence Tackled in Elissa’s Ya Merayti

 Lebanese superstar Elissa’s most recent music video is also her most serious: “Ya Merayti” (“My Mirror”) features Elissa as a domestic abuse survivor. Shunning the romantic lovey-dovey storylines popular with Arab music videos the clip, shot on location in Serbia, brings to light a problem that is all too familiar for plenty of Arab women, yet, … More More than a Song: Domestic Violence Tackled in Elissa’s Ya Merayti

Long Skirts VS Underwear: The Control of Women’s Bodies Continues

Dress codes come in all different shapes and sizes: some are strict and rigid, backed up by local laws or the rules of an establishment; others are more cultural ‘suggestions’ backed up by the frowns (and likely harassment) of a certain community. Dress codes serve different purposes: some are meant to unify; some are safety … More Long Skirts VS Underwear: The Control of Women’s Bodies Continues

Breathing You In: The Arab Music Video Goes International

Controversial Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe is at it again with her first English-language single Breathing You In, released on April 14th. The accompanying music video, shot by international Palestinian music director Tarik Freitekh (see picture below) in Las Vegas, has predictably taken the Arab world by storm, as all her music videos usually do. Haifa is the … More Breathing You In: The Arab Music Video Goes International

Fashion of Arabia Week #2: Denim, Black Abayas and Dominique Hourani

 Arab Business released its 100 Arabs Under 40 list, which included a few entertainers and beauty icons in addition to superachievers in business, science and technology. Congrats Nancy Ajram (#19) for being the highest performer/culture icon on the list! Also congrats to Sherine Abdel Wahdy (#84), Tima Shomali (#88), Diala Makki (#89), Huda Kattan (#94) … More Fashion of Arabia Week #2: Denim, Black Abayas and Dominique Hourani

Spotlight: Women’s Crisis Care International

I am declaring 2015 the Year of Women’s Rights. Given that it is only April, 2015 already seems posed to be the year that awareness about violence against women (VAW)-including domestic abuse, sexual harassment, psychological abuse and rape-came to the forefront. Whether this is because it’s the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, or … More Spotlight: Women’s Crisis Care International