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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Reeds from Red Lips – Dr. Pamela Chrabieh (American University in Dubai News)

AUD School of Arts and Sciences Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Dr. Pamela Chrabieh has recently edited and published a book entitled Reeds from Red Lips on Arts and Gender in Southwestern Asia. The book includes diverse stories told through poetry and prose in English, French, Modern Standard Arabic and Lebanese, and encompasses a [...]

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Never give up your right: a story of domestic violence, sexual abuse and daily struggle

Today is international women’s day. It’s 4 in the morning and I can’t sleep. Ironic. I was born at 4 o’clock in the morning. I was born a girl. If I only knew then what I was going to go through in my life, I would have wished myself not to be born at all. [...]

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Lebanon vs Sweden…Who wins?

A girl growing up trying to fit in but fails miserably, lost between two cultures… I was born in a land of war, killing and bombing. I remember all the windows we had to change because the glass broke when the bombs fell outside like rain. Many of our neighbors soon stopped changing the glass [...]

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Contemporary Feminisms in Lebanon: Lights in the Tunnel

Though many commentators have warned that the Arab Spring has turned into a winter, and despite the fact that many countries in the Southwestern Asian region have for the last decades witnessed continuous wars, political turmoil, economic crises, as well as the rise of extremism and the dissemination of sectarianism, the reality, in my opinion, [...]

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I was born a girl…

I was born a girl… “Born a girl” means being judged by my family and relatives for who enters or not “the place” – a “place” where my entire family’s value and honor lay, i.e. “between my legs”. “Between my legs” is my father’s honor, my sisters’, my uncles’, yeah everyone in my ‘tribe’. The [...]

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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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Why are women’s roles limited in Southwestern Asia?

There are multiple causes that limit women’s roles in Southwestern Asia i.e. the Middle East. The first one has to do with the historical legacy as society equated physical strength to general ability, thus relegated women to a lower status than men. This has resulted in the objectification of women in many parts of Southwestern [...]

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The Middle Eastern Woman’s Handbook

You heralded bad news to your family the minute your mom found out she was pregnant with a girl. You could’ve been buried alive at birth. Be grateful. You must get married, you must get married, you must get married, you must- you must! The family’s entire honor is between your legs. Keep them closed. [...]

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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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