What has caused the sudden massive influx of Syrian refugees in Europe? Was it the warmer summer months, which made risking a passage by rickety boat across the Mediterranean more inviting? Is it the fact that the situation has grown worse in Syria, as Bashar Al-Assad’s regime seems to be losing steam against rebels and IS, and the … More Do Syrian Refugees in Hungary Have the Luxury of Choice?
Gay marriage and transgender acceptance have been hot topics in the United States recently, with the US Supreme Court voting to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states (Ireland beat us to it though) and transgender celebrities such as Caitlynn Jenner and Laverne Cox gracing magazine covers and headlines. Given that the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, … More The Middle East and its Tolerance Towards the LGBTQ Community
March 8th marked International Women’s Day and the kickoff to the Commission on the Status of Women, now in it’s 59th year. 2015 is a pretty important year for feminists, as it marks the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Conference, in which the Beijing Platform for Action was created to accelerate women’s rights across the world. … More International Women’s Day 2015 Celebrations in the Middle East
At the opening of the 69th United Nations General Assembly’s General Debate, world leaders took to the podium to address domestic and world issues. Unsurprisingly, the topic on everyone’s agenda was the Middle East, especially the Islamic State (IS or ISIS). But besides the bold, if messy, speech of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of … More Instigating the Islamic State
The Taliban in Pakistan tried to assassinate now 16-year-old Malala Yousufzai last year while she was riding the bus to school. Although severely wounded (she was shot in the head) Malala recovered with a clean bill of health and has become an international symbol of the fight for female education. The whole word has come … More Who’s Afraid of Malala Yousufzai?
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of heading down to the Angelika Film Center (my first time!) to see the film Wadjda, director Haifaa Mansour’s debut full-length feature film and the first feature film shot on location in Saudi Arabia. With superb acting and brilliantly shot scenes depicting Riyadh, as well as an inspirational plot … More Film Review: Wadjda
Society cannot get enough of telling women how to display their bodies. Whether we are being told to cover up or to strip down, to go out with naked faces or to rougez les levres, women are rarely free to choose their own style of dress. Women are often prevented, legally, from dressing as they … More The Female Body is a Scary Thing: Human Rights
Imagine growing up in a town where all women wore the burqa or niqab, even teenage girls, and you’re a male. Your whole life, how can you really know what a female looks like, until you marry your wife? Because even if you have a big family, the females still might not take off their … More Surrealism and the Niqab
Contradiction is common in many governments, and the Middle East is no exception: interpretations of the Qu’ran seem to have secret agendas and rules apply only to plebians, not the rulers (cue Gaddahfi and family partying it up with expensive booze, while alcohol was officially illegal in Libya). Nowhere do contradiction and hypocrisy reign supreme, as uchecked … More Contradiction and Hypocrisy in ‘Saudi Arabia Exposed’