Archive | January, 2013

Middle Eastern Men should be involved in the Race for Gender Equality

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh raised quite the interesting bullet points: “We have to consider such questions as: How do we think about and understand men’s relations to and involvement with gender equality? What are the different kinds of relationship that men have to gender equality? Why is gender equality of interest to some, often relatively few, [...]

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Relax… Don’t be afraid of Feminism(s)!

This is my answer to one ‘intellectual and highly educated person’ who expressed a while ago his ‘fear’ of Feminism in Lebanon and the Arab World: ‘you, Feminists, want women’s power over men. Men will not help you in your fight. Even most women in our countries, who are impregnated with the Patriarchal System, seem [...]

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Expanding Spaces of Equality in the Middle East/Western Asia: My Recommendations

Much is needed in order to implement full gender equality in the Middle East / Western Asia, or at least expand existing spaces of equality. Below are few recommendations: 1) First, extensive researches in the past of this region’s societies would shed a light on current diversity and gender management. A central finding is the [...]

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Le Grand Rapt (Une analyse d’un fanatisme. A l’occasion de la montée du féminisme au Moyen-Orient)

Robert Fisk raconte: “The airline crew offered me a lift on their bus into Jalalabad, the same dusty frontier town I remembered from the previous July but this time with half its population missing. There were no women. Just occasionally I would catch site of them, cowled and burqa-ed in their shrouds, sometimes holding hands [...]

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Debating types of ‘Islamic dress’ (Hijab, Niqab, Burqa): Symbols of Freedom or Oppression?

Modern Islamic dress code has become a topic of much controversy and heated debate around the world. A number of countries have banned the wearing of these garments: hijab, which covers the woman’s body, leaving her face and hands visible; niqab, which covers everything except the eyes; and burqa, covering all parts of the face [...]

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Women, Sexuality and the Myth of the Virgin

As in most Arab societies, religion plays a fundamental role in the Lebanese society. Not only does it represent the base of the moral code but it also gives men of religion great power over the public opinion and allows them to practically dictate what the right and wrong ways to think and act are. [...]

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Transnational Prostitution in the Middle East

I thought of writing this article when a friend of mine told me her nationality (Eastern European) is labeled ‘only good for prostitution’ in certain Arab countries. I knew prostitution is an ancient reality in the Middle East, still, I wasn’t aware of the growing phenomenon of transnational prostitution and the stereotyping of nationality and [...]

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La femme guerrière: mythe ou réalité?

En lisant la presse ce matin, je tombe sur la photo d’une franc-tireuse syrienne, la ‘première’ femme guerrière de renom au sein du bataillon de l’opposition au régime en place (‘Armée Syrienne Libre’), nommée ‘Guevara’, opérant surtout à Alep, et voilée. Flash back à ‘la Violence et le Sacré’ par René Girard, et surtout, aux amazones, [...]

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Feminisms in Dialogue (I)

Following a first encounter organized by ‘Women in Front’ yesterday afternoon of at least 30 Lebanese women activists, journalists, university professors, lawyers, etc. all wanting to improve women’s participation in politics and decision making, I remembered the experience I had while living in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) with a group of women under the leadership of [...]

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Adultery in Lebanon: a Crime?

A question I have been asking for years , especially when I hear of women being publicly humiliated or murdered when caught in extra-marital relations or having sexual intercourse without being married, whereas men are generally ‘heroes’, or are easily forgiven for their acts – men are seen ‘naturally’ polygamous. Men and women are treated [...]

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