Middle East

 

تفجيرين لمقرات عسكرية مهمة كان كل مايلزم لدخول مدينتي التي أعشق في عشرين يوم من الخوف والموت والقصف والجوع والحرمان ، ولتدخل المدينة في ظلام مستمر يقطعه ضوء القذائف قبل انفجارها ووميض الصورايخ حين مرورها.

تفجيرين هزا منزلنا ودمرا نوافذنا ليبدأ بعدها هزمشاعرنا وضمائرنا ، وتدمير مدينتنا.

لم أكن أعلم وأنا خارجة من منزلي بسرعة أني لن أعود إليه كل هذه الأيام وأني ذاهبة إلى ملجأ ، فقد خرجت وأنا أكلم نفسي وأطمئنها أنه يوم واحد كالعادة وسأعود ليلاً.

On 22 January 2014, the United Nations (UN)-backed Geneva II peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition are scheduled to be held with the goal of ending the Syrian conflict and creating a transitional government. However, nearly 14 years after the landmark passage of  UN Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) calling on UN member states to “increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts,” no women have been included in the Syrian peace negotiations.

I've always felt that I have an inside voice which guides me and opens my eyes to the kind of things that many other women feel nothing towards and just cope with. I was born in a country which suffers from a hierarchical authority. What makes this worse is that the women inside it are often part of that; they remain neutral or, even worse, support this authority. As women are an integral part in the dilemma, their negativity towards being subjected by men is perhaps the worst part of the equation. 

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.

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