Middle East

بأيام كانت كلها خوف
قتل و خراب و جنون
رحلة حملتني لأرض مش بعيدة
حكمها زمان توت عنخ آمون
لقيت حالي بين شلة صبايا 
من كل بلد و من كل لون
الكل غريب و ما بيجمعنا
غير الوجع ببلدنا الحنون
و بلحظة سريعة ما أخدت كتير
اتلفتت حواليا و شفت المضمون

سألته مرّة ان كان يمانع أن أكتب عن تجربته فقال “أي تجربة؟“، قلت له “تجربتك في الحرب الأهلية“، فردّ بسرعة بعينين شبه عابستين: “أنا ما شاركت بالحرب الأهلية“. ضحكت أمي وقالت بلهجة ساخرة: “انت ما شاركت بالحرب الأهلية؟!”. سؤال استنكاري دفع به الى اطلاق شبه ضحكة. أبي لا يعتبر نفسه مشاركاً في الحرب الأهلية، على الرغم من أنه قضى نصف عمره حاملا الكلاشينكوف بين زواريب “الغربية” و“الشرقية” تحت أزيز الرصاص، والنصف الآخر قضاه يدفع ثمن النصف الأول.

On Thursday, October 31st, Murad Sobay; a young Yemeni graffiti artist, and some other young activists were painting drones on the walls of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, to protest the repeated strikes against al-Qaeda in many parts of Yemen. At the same time, several battles between the Salafists and Shiites (Houthis) were taking place in Dammaj, Saada; northern Yemen.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and the Violence is Not Our Culture Campaign (VNC) strongly condemn the conviction of two Saudi Arabian women's rights activists, Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni, for the crime of takhbib, or incitement of a wife to defy her husband.  Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni have been long time campaigners for women's rights in Saudi Arabia; they pioneered the Women2Drive campaign -  a campaign for Saudi women to be allowed to drive - in addition to offering support to women victims of domestic abuse.  

In June 2011 Ms Al-Huwaider and Ms Al-Oyouni responded to a call for help from a woman attempting to flee her husband, after the woman reported that he had been abusing her.  The wife is a Canadian citizen married to a Saudi national and had asked the women to meet her at her home to help her get to the Canadian Embassy.  When they arrived, it became clear that the husband had used his wife's cell phone to trick Ms Al-Huwaider and Ms Al-Oyouni into coming at that time and had arranged for the police to be there.  After the original charges of kidnap were dropped in 2011, the women were charged again on the 15th of June 2013, this time with takhbib and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and two-year travel bans.   They appealed their conviction, but the sentence was upheld.

في خضم الأحداث التي تجري في مصر منذ 28 حزيران- يونيو و حتى كتابة هذا المقال، تعتري البلاد موجات عنف واستقطاب سياسي حاد، ويتساقط المصريون بانتماءاتهم المختلفة  قتلى ومصابين في صراع يعلم الله متى ينتهي وإلى أي منقلب سننقلب.

بين كل الضحايا الذين سيقوا إلى مذابح -بسبب تشبث طرف بالسلطة وبسبب رغبة أطراف أخرى في إعادة صياغة الموقف السياسي باستخدام البطاقة الأخيرة وهي الحشد  الجماهيري ووضع الطرف الأول أمام الأمر الواقع- لفت نظري بعض الملاحظات لها علاقة بدور النساء في الأحداث الجارية واستخدامهن.

This bibliography intends to contribute to the desire for learning and engagement identified by activists in the Middle East and North Africa region when reflecting on the aftermath of fast unfolding transitions in the region. Such transitions, while specific to the context of MENA, are not unique in their occurrences around the world. Experiences and practices of feminists from around the world engaged in similar, even if not identical, struggles towards the democratization of their countries with a gendered lens and a feminist politics constitute an important knowledge bank that activists can draw upon, learn from, and engage with. This resource mapping aims to fill the gap realized in various convenings and conversations of a lack of information sharing and knowledge bridging among feminists across the regions that experienced similar uprisings; particularly along south-south and east-south lines.

Forced marriages result from harmful traditional practices1 justified in the name of cultural, economic, political and/or legal standards. Forced marriages are a phenomenon tantamount to slavery, as explicated in a report by a United Nations Special Rapporteur, and often affect boys and girls under 18 years of age, especially under 10. 2 Global statistics demonstrate that every minute an average of 27 girls are forced into marriage.

WLUML has been shocked to learn that there are two individuals at imminent risk of execution by stoning in Iran. In 2012, Zahra Pour Sai and Ali Sai Bashsiz were tried in Tabriz (Iranian Azerbaijan) court, convicted of Zina (adultery), and sentenced to death by stoning. They appealed their convictions, but the appeal was refused and the verdict was confirmed by Branch 7 of the Supreme Court. It is now feared that they are at imminent risk of death by stoning.

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