A National Day Like No Other in the UAE

American Independence Day has nothing-I repeat nothing-on the United Arab Emirates’ National Day. I love the Fourth of July, because of the symbolism behind it and because, on the Eastern End of Long Island, it means high summer is in full swing. But Independence Day here is lowkey-parties, barbecues, a parade, lots of red, white … More A National Day Like No Other in the UAE

MENA Viewpoints: USA Presidential Primaries Debate (R) #1

August 6 marked the second American Presidential Primary debate for the Republican party, an event that promised to be full of interesting (read: highly questionable) soundbites, particularly on American foreign policy in the Middle East. The candidates did not disappoint, sharing their (scary) views on the future of the Islamic State aka Daesh; how to … More MENA Viewpoints: USA Presidential Primaries Debate (R) #1

Nogomi Fashions #10: Ramadan Styles Part 1

what’s happening: the Holy month of Ramadan does not mean that there’s a lack of stylish ladies around: au contraire. Between sohours, iftars and other events the fashionistas of the Middle East were kept busy one-upping each other. One star-studded event was singer (and recent Murex D’or winner) Shatha Hassoun’s sohour at the Sofitel Hotel … More Nogomi Fashions #10: Ramadan Styles Part 1

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

Ramadan Kareem! A look at Mosques Around the World

First of all, a very happy Ramadan (Ramadan Kareem) to the Muslim ummah! Ramadan is a very special time, one of contemplation, community, charity, celebration and, most of all, faith. It’s a time of sacrifice and solidarity, peace and perseverance; a time to ask forgiveness for one’s sins. In honor of the start of Ramadan, … More Ramadan Kareem! A look at Mosques Around the World

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

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