More on Hijab and Other Things We’re Not Supposed to Talk About

Yes…. again one MORE coming out from under the abaya but… WOW!

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I don’t like driving anyway

““I don’t like to drive” is an entirely different category than “I’m not allowed to drive,” my friends. Please put this justification to rest. Not allowed means that your freedom of movement is entirely up to other people. Not allowed means you can be arrested if you do. Not allowed means that the independence and privacy you so loved back in your home country is gone, because even if you are lucky enough to be able to afford a driver, he will know your every move, he will know your comings and your goings, you will always need to be careful about what you say in front of him, and you can never again turn on the radio and sing to your favorite songs.”

… yes, my dear western wannabe-arab-princesses… you can’t even sing in your car anymore, in the wahabbi paradise … even when you need it so badly!

hope is:

You all know Syria as the main war zone in the headlines now, but that doesn’t mean we’re sitting here and thinking of our funeral next week. we’re trying to overcome our obstacles on a small scale. we can’t control gas and oil prices but we can use bicycles.

hope is not sitting on your couch and dreaming only.. it’s getting up and doing something. no matter how small or big this thing is if you just get up and start DOING.

Levant woman

I was hesitated about posting any article in the last few weeks. 

there’s a lot to speak about but I’m to shy to write! should I speak about the thirst of Aleppo? 

how could I speak up about people’s pain after having my hot shower! would I really feel it and speak from the heart with a glass of juice and a laptop on my desk! that’s not enough. if I have to speak about thirst when I’m and doing nothing but speaking, then I’d better shut up. 

could I speak about the hunger of Yarmouk camp and throw away the old food next moment? how could I! 

could I speak about Homs ! the damaged city ? could I speak about my friend’s pain when she got back home in Homs and all was found were few walls and nothing else… 

I still have my home, my memories and my room ……

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Bananas & Monkeys

منال مسعود الشريف

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In El Madrigal stadium and during Barcelona’s game against Villarreal in the Spanish Liga, Barcelona was ahead by a score of 3/2, dark skinned Brazilian player Daniel Alves was getting ready for a corner kick when a Villarreal fan threw a banana at him.

Danny’s reaction was utterly simple; he picked up the banana, took a bite, threw away the rest of it and continued playing. But for the Sports scene worldwide, that bite didn’t go by that simply, and unleashed bottled up anger and resentment against racism in sports.

Alves’ banana coincided with another incident in the US; a leaked phone call between Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA team Los Angeles Clippers, and his girlfriend. Sterling was asking her not to appear in public with colored athletes, including NBA legend Magic Johnson

As I’m writing this from Rio de Janeiro, I was able to personally feel the…

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Living Two Lives

منال مسعود الشريف

Every time I leave the country, as I stand before the passport control officer in his usual military attire, I hold my breath on two accounts. My first fear is that a travel ban – an oft-received punishment by people like me, human rights advocates – will see me sent directly back home again.

My second is that my father, my assigned male guardian according to Saudi law, decides to revoke the travel permission he granted me. I can envision my father doing this either out of fear for my own safety or else as a response to the ongoing pressure he receives from people around him or from our al Sharif tribe. It’s strange the way that other countries punish activism with exile, yet in Saudi it’s the other way around: those who protest the system are doomed with internal exile! There is a well-known saying timidly mumbled by…

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