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Fairness Creams Expose the Ugly Truth

You’re flipping through channels on TV and you find yourself watching a commercial where a woman is at a job interview. She does not get the job. Two weeks later, after using a whitening cream that made her six shades lighter, she goes back for the same interview. This time, she gets the job. The [...]

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My story with Arranged Marriages

“I never knew that I would be able to write about my experience as a woman of this community. I’m here today because of it, I’m here because it has made me who I am today: a woman trying to embody the ideals of both the West and East, a constant struggle, a constant obstacle- [...]

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It’s Always an Exception When It Comes to Women’s Rights, Isn’t It?

مش وقتا ‘Mich Wa2ta’ (Lebanese saying for ‘This is not the time to…’) is a national slogan in Lebanon used on several occasions by people of different social-economic, political and religious backgrounds. Quite understandable in a country torn by cycles of physical and psychological wars, corruption, a dysfunctional system of diversity management, the reign of [...]

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Sexes Gap Multiple Roots in the MENA Region

My name is Fikir and I am currently working towards completing my degree in International Relations at the American University in Dubai. I then plan on continuing my Master’s degree at SOAS University in London before permanently settling in the MENA/Sub-Saharan region to pursue a career in community development of disadvantaged provinces. I grew up [...]

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Arabs, Islam, and the Oppression of Women?

Descending from a line of politically and socially active women, I always had a different perspective on women’s issues. I was just as vocal and as active as the generations of women that preceded me in my bloodline. I studied in Bahrain and came to the United Arab Emirates to pursue my university degree in [...]

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Stereotypes about Women in the Middle East

I’ve always been fascinated by stereotypes in general, because we often group individuals together and make collective, controversial judgements about them, despite not knowing them.  There can be positive as well as negative stereotypes, and I believe that they are harmful to society because they oversimplify people’s qualities and create an inaccurate image of them, [...]

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My Hope for a Better Afghan Society

Feminism is a word taken for granted. It is used by people who do not even know its true meaning. One of my first ideas of the word came from my high school English teacher who said, “the difference between a feminist and a normal woman is if you open a door for a normal [...]

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Women: An Inspiration

As a child, I grew up in a world that was part fantasy and part reality. I was very visual, and my mind would often wander as I looked at objects, observed patterns, and listened to conversations. I gained a particular interest in observing people and the way they behave. My mother took me along [...]

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Celebrating Women in our Families – International Women’s Day (American University in Dubai)

Writing history – and defining our identity, individually and collectively – is linked to memory and memorialization, which never seem to be complete. Someone is always forgotten. Pieces of the puzzle are always missing. I tend to agree with Napoleon or whoever said “History is but a fable agreed upon”. In the history – or [...]

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Rape Culture in the UAE

Rates of sexual harassment continue to rise in the Middle East, feasibly linked to culture-enforced lack of sex education, experts say. In an interview with Joan Abdalla, a Counselor and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the American University in Dubai, she has revealed that the absence of awareness could be a contributing factor to how [...]

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