Category » General
  Women’s bodies, and therefore our clothes, are consistently under global scrutiny. How we chose to dress may or may not reflect our political or religious views; whatever we choose to wear is continuously watched, discussed and judged. Arguably, women in Islamic communities get hit especially hard with that judgement part. If and how a woman chooses to veil is up for international religious, social, and political debate.    As Americans, ... Read More
  For the past decades, women in Saudi Arabia have faced driving and working bans. But thanks to women’s rights activists fighting for what they call the “Feminization” of the culture, more women are entering the workforce and labor laws are beginning to change. Because women historically have not been allowed to participate in the public realm, working women are unaccustomed to working and speaking to men who are not family members or ... Read More
  In Saudi Arabia, images are censored in extreme ways; figures in magazines are drawn over or crossed out. In “Out of Line,” the photographer Jowhara Al-Saud presents a groundbreaking approach to her country’s limits on free expression. Her photographs obscure any personal markers; the faces of her subjects are erased. The images could easily be mistaken for drawings, and this ambiguity only adds to the frightening sense that the viewer ... Read More
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Luckily, that’s just what a few brave women in Saudi Arabia are doing in the hopes of finally lifting the ban against female drivers. According to NPR, Saudi women are continuously posting videos of themselves driving on YouTube, and have chosen Saturday, October 26th as a day for women in the country to rally together and drive.  Although women say that officials have lightened up on their ... Read More
In Saudi Arabia, it is forbidden for a woman to get behind the wheel of a car. It seems silly, but sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan justifies this ban with irrevocable science:  “[Driving] could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis.” The law forbidding women from driving has been in effect since 1932, A.K.A. the ... Read More
Raha Moharrak, a 27-year-old Saudi graphic designer, reached the summit of Mount Everest over the weekend. Her amazing feat was part of an expedition called "Arabs with Attitude," which includes Qatari Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, Palestinian Raed Zidan and Iranian Masoud Mohammad. All members are aiming to the first of his or her nation to reach the top of the mountain. Moharrak revealed humble feelings about her impressive accomplishment. "It was very personal ... Read More
It’s about time! School girls in Saudi Arabia can now participate in organized sports without breaking any laws. The Saudi government announced it this month: private girls’ schools are allowed to hold sport activities in accordance with the rules of Sharia law. The country’s officials had previously tolerated some physical education in a few of these schools, but there's been no set curriculum and no outright endorsement of the girls’ right to play - ... Read More
  Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a straight-up badass. Under her traditional Saudi Arabian garb, the 10-year-old girl rocks Chuck Taylors, and her cassette player (yeah, she's that cool) screams indie rock from Grouplove.  All Wadjda wants is a bike, so she can race her friend Abdullah (Abdullrahman Al Gohandi), a boy from the neighborhood. Despite being constantly reminded that "girls don't ride bikes," Wadjda hustles money left and right, and is so ... Read More
In a progressive and unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has sworn 30 women into the Shura Council.  The Council, a previously all-male body, is in charge of advising the king on issues that affect Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah amended the council’s statute last month by requiring that 20 percent of the 150 members be women.  King Abdullah’s female appointments mark the first time in Saudi Arabia’s history that women ... Read More
[Trigger Warning: This post contains a description of sexual and physical assault that may potentially be triggering for survivors of such abuse.] A Saudi preacher in the city of Riyadh, imprisoned for the murder of his five-year-old daughter, may be looking at an unthinkably light sentence for his crimes. Fayhan Al Gamdi, a Muslim cleric who often appears as a guest on TV networks, confessed to the deadly beating and rape of his young daughter, Lama Al Ghamdi. ... Read More
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