On June 24th, the women of Saudi Arabia woke up and did something radical: they got behind the wheel of their family car and drove. This was radical, of course, because up until that day women in Saudi Arabia were not permitted to drive in the only country in the world to perpetuate such a … More Why Were the Women Jailed?
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?
“When I said I was a virgin no one beleieved me…why won’t you all just leave me alone?” The words are ironic: Selma is laying on her back at the doctors office as he checks to see if her hymen is still intact or not. It’s her wedding night, and Selma didn’t bleed as is … More Film Review: The Rebellion of Mustang
“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”
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
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
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
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
From April 10-13th Dubai held it’s 5th annual Fashion Forward fashion week, showcasing the best in Middle Eastern designers. The Gulf region has positively exploded with fashionistas with piles of cold hard cash to spend, and designers are keen on tapping local tastes. In response I have decided to do a weekly blogpost dedicated to the fashions … More Celeb Fashions of the Week
In the Middle East, Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 21st, not in May as is customary in the United States. As is expected nowadays, Arabs took to social media to praise their mothers including, of course, Arab celebrities. A good many of the Arab female chanteuses I follow on Instagram posted about the special … More Mother’s Day in the Middle East