“Rain begins with a single drop.” If you’re looking for some inspiration this week, look no further than Saudi activist Manal Al Sharif’s recent book, Daring to Drive. It tells the story of a fearless Saudi woman who went from living in a poverty, to being radicalised by her extremist education, to risking her life … Continue reading “Driving while female”: Manal Al Sharif and the fight for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia
In 2015, Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Taher had an idea. Inspired by New York City’s Ballerina Project, Taher wanted to show a different side to the Egyptian capital, which has in recent years played host to headline grabbing protests, instances of sexual abuse and terrorist attacks. He discussed his idea with photographer Ahmed Fathy and dancer … Continue reading Cairo’s Ballerinas are redefining Egyptian society
On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a narrow majority in a national referendum that will transform Turkey’s political system and extend his powers. 58 million people out of a population of 75 million voted in the referendum, with 51.3% voting ‘yes’ to the new measures. This represents a sharp turn away from Turkey’s … Continue reading Turkey: The new Middle Eastern dictatorship?
Ever since Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States last Friday, the simple act of checking the news has become a distressing activity for millions of people both inside America and worldwide. Since his inauguration Trump has signed executive order after executive order, launching a terrifying campaign against freedom of information … Continue reading 8 TED Talks to get you through Trump’s first week – and inspire you to #resist
On Tuesday 24th January – his fourth day in office – President Donald Trump signed an executive order to revive the construction of two key oil pipelines in the US, in the latest of a number of moves that have emboldened the oil and gas industry and hampered the efforts of environmentalists. For years, Trump … Continue reading Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline: A new chapter in America’s history of oppression
By Francesca Kelsall As Internet access across the world becomes more and more pervasive, the use of social media is growing exponentially. Whilst some of the consequences of this development are positive, such as access to information, others are much more sinister. The BBC has recently launched an investigation entitled “Sex, Honour and Blackmail in … Continue reading Online Shame: Women’s Empowerment and Modern Techniques of Repression
November 8th 2016 is being hailed by some as the greatest day in US political history. The day the people took back power from the “political establishment”. For others, it represents the sadness, disappointment and despair that came with the realisation that an arrogant, divisive and abusive individual was able to rally a majority of … Continue reading Hard Choices: Trump, Brexit and the Rise of the Far Right
Earlier this month, National Geographic released an article entitled ‘The Changing Face of Saudi Women’, celebrating the achievements of young Saudi women who are increasingly entering the work force and “redefining the boundaries of public life”. The idea of women’s empowerment in such a deeply conservative country is surely cause for celebration, but it cannot … Continue reading The Changing Face of Saudi Women?
When one thinks of the Maldives, a number of images spring to mind: sparkling blue lagoons, infinite white beaches and luxurious lodges on the edge of the ocean. As a frequented destination for the most exclusive of honeymooners, you would be forgiven for believing that this collection of Indian Ocean islands is the epitome of … Continue reading Trouble in Paradise: Amal Clooney’s Fight for Justice in the Maldives
I have recently read Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy. A thought that went through my mind as I finished each page, each chapter, and eventually the whole book was simply, ‘Yes’. I say yes to this book. It contains stories that need to be heard and … Continue reading Mona Eltahawy: Leading the Middle East’s Sexual Revolution