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Women’s Rights in the Middle East Today: Law, Religion and Culture – International Conference in Cyprus

I had the honor of participating in this wonderful gathering of scholars, activists and artists working on gender and women’s rights issues in Southwestern Asia and North Africa. Once again, Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture and CAFCAW have succeeded in challenging the intellect and establishing a dialogue between diverse identities and currents. The conference was [...]

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A Taboo Question Revisited

I live in a predominantly European neighborhood in a ‘cosmopolitan city in the Arab world’. It’s beautiful, modern, and quiet, with big villas surrounded by lots of greenery. It’s picture perfect, and every time I leave my compound and drive away, I feel like I am leaving a story book. As I drive, I see [...]

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Let’s End Violence Against Women!

Although women enjoyed sometimes important roles in ancient cultures such as the Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Greek, most women in the past and the present of Southwestern Asia and North Africa live in oppressive environments. Women are usually considered as tools of pleasure – tools to be thrown away when they ‘expire’. They have their roles [...]

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A Little Empathy Would Go A Long Way

I attended a Dubai Slam Poetry session few days ago and one of the talented young poets, Syrian Sarah Tamimi, told the story of war through a daughter’s promise to her departed mother: ‘Don’t look back’… What I understood from Sarah’s tearful performance which content evoked my own experience in Lebanon’s physical war zone in [...]

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Wonder Women

As a female, growing up in Saudi has had a huge impact on my lifestyle, perceptions and way of thinking. Although I am not originally from Saudi, living there my whole life has affected me enormously in different aspects of my life such as the way I speak and dress up. Moreover, as the Middle [...]

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Nazret Mogtama3 نظرة مجتمع

I’m a 20 year old Muslim Egyptian girl who was born and raised in Dubai. However, I visit my home country every year (…). In my family, I’m the only girl who is not wearing a Hijab and I get judged for that – ‘a girl who doesn’t fulfill her religious duties’. It used to [...]

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Let’s Talk about Female Circumcision and Islam!

Combating female circumcision (FC), also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or cutting, is a shared goal amongst human rights activists and feminists. The exact reason behind FGM’s emergence is unknown, but there is proof that it began long before the rise of Islam. Historians believe it was first developed in ancient Egypt for ritualistic [...]

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Islam through the Lens of Young Syrian Women: between Unity and Diversity

On February 28th, 12pm, students in Dr. Pamela Chrabieh’s “Religions of the World” course at the American University in Dubai had the opportunity to watch the documentary “Turoq” and meet its directors, Sarah Hassan and Leen Al Faysal. Sarah and Leen are former students of Dr. Chrabieh. Sarah is journalist and producer with CNN International [...]

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Keset Hayaty El Gdeeda (My New Life Story)

I took 3 different photographs of my sister in which she resembles 3 different women. I made sure all 3 pictures are exactly the same, in terms of makeup and lighting, and focused on dark makeup on her eyes and eyebrows, for a deeper intensity. The first picture depicts my sister with her long flowy [...]

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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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