pair held hands throughout the ceremony on November 22
High Court Lets Muslim Girl Marry Hindu Man, Kin Oppose
Saudi Women Detained For Demanding Basic Human Rights
Legal Age of Marriage Is contrary To Iran’s General Policies
Culture, Tribal System behind Violence against Women in Pakistan: Moot Told
Girl’s Selfless Gesture for Muslim Friend Meets Hospital Hurdles
Experts Call on Iran to Release Women’s Rights Protesters
Turkish Conscripts Given Training on Violence against Women
By Syrian Women Living In Turkey On Display
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Moscow Has Become the New "Queen of Malaysia" After She Converted To
Islam and Married the Country's King Muhammad V
Will Stewart in Moscow
Voevodina, 25, is 24 years younger than her new husband who has been on the
throne since 2016.
Voevodina, 25, wed the Malaysian monarch in a lavish royal wedding ceremony in
the best Sun stories with our daily Sun10 newsletter
wed the Malaysian monarch at a lavish royal wedding ceremony in Moscow.
49-year-old king was dressed in Malaysian national dress and the bride wore a
white wedding gown. The reception was alcohol free and all food was halal.
becoming a royal bride she said: “When I was at school I was a kind of bandit.
I liked some skaters, bikes, BMX, guys who took part in competitions."
she later commented: "I think that the man must be the head of the family
and of course shall not earn less than a woman.”
The pair held hands throughout the ceremony on
November 22EAST2WEST NEWS
posted this photo wearing a white hijab next to husband to be MuhammadEAST2WEST
Oksana Voevodina was 22 in 2015 when she won
the title of Miss MoscowEAST2WEST NEWS
Oksana Voevodina, 25, married King Muhammad V
of Kelantan, in a lavish royal wedding ceremony in MoscowEAST2WEST NEWS
is known about Oksana apart from her victory in the Miss Moscow contest three
years ago when her vital statistics were given as 33-23-35.
is not known how the pair met and it is unclear whether she has been married
daughter Voevodina was 22 in 2015 when she won the title of Miss Moscow.
dad Andrey Gorbatenko is an orthopaedic surgeon from Rostov-on-Don believed to
be in his late 50s.
becoming a royal bride she described her younger self as 'some kind of
Oksana with her dad Andrey Gorbatenko, a
surgeon from Rostov-on-DonEAST2WEST NEWS
winning the beauty contest, Oksana announced her plans to work in
She made a collection of swim wear some of
which was worn by beauty pageant contestantsEAST2WEST NEWS
is seen hugging her in a picture taken on a boat near the Kremlin as she wears
her beauty crown.
claimed she only realised the power of her looks when she went to university.
said: "I was the tallest in my class (at school) and the most slim, and I
was a bit worried about that.
when I was at university, did I realise that this was my strong side.
guys started to pay attention and I realised that they looked at me more often
than at fat and not very tall girls.”
Paving the way for an inter-faith marriage, the Karnataka high court on
Thursday ordered the release of a Muslim girl from the state women’s hostel
here and asked police to provide security to her and her Hindu boyfriend as
they were facing threats. The court also asked the girl to decide if she wanted
to marry her lover or live with her mother.
hours, though, under pressure from community leaders, the lovers returned to
their respective homes, with the boy saying his lover may commit suicide as she
was distraught. The Kalaburagi bench of the court had come to the rescue of
Nashwa Taha Sehena after her boyfriend Suresh Pawar filed a habeas corpus
petition questioning her “illegal detention” in a state-run institution for a
month with no valid grounds. The court hauled the hostel’s superintendent over
the coals for keeping the girl under custody based on a police letter.
decision of the couple to marry in October invited serious objections allegedly
from the girl’s mother and a section of her community.
to the habeas corpus petition, Pawar and Sehena finalised their m arriage plan
and approached Kalaburagi women’s police station in October seeking protection.
petition said police gave them a sympathetic hearing and asked the boy to
return to the station the next day. The girl was asked to stay back in the
station to ensure no harm was done to her. The boy went to the station the next
day to learn th e girl had been sent to the state women’s hostel. Despite his
requests and a letter from a woman police inspector, the hostel didn’t allow
the girl to leave its premises. That was when Pawar decided to approach the HC.
court, while hearing the case on Tuesday, gave the girl two days to decide
whether she wanted to live with her mother or marry the boy. The girl said she
would rather seek “permission to take her own life than return” to her mother.
On Thursday, the girl told the court that she would live with the man. However,
the court advised the girl to keep ties with her mother intact and said she
should visit her often.
the hearing, they parted ways following threats to their families. Pawar said,
“My family has been threatened and my father who stood with me till the
evening...told me to leave the girl. I just wanted to bring her out of the
Saudi women detained for demanding basic human rights
Arabia continues to hold more than a dozen women rights activists in jail,
months after a crackdown on dissent intensified in May.
of them campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom's male
guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male
relative for major decisions.
1990, more than 40 women drove their cars in the capital Riyadh, the first
public demonstration against the ban, which is now lifted. They also called for
the abolishment of the male guardianship system.
then, other similar protests have been held, and the government initiated a
crackdown on rights activists this year.
under arrest have been branded threats to national security and have been
accused of being foreign agents. They face up to 20 years in prison if
Rights Watch (HRW) said that the reason for the arrest is to silence the women
and prevent others from participating in activism.
organisations and governments around the world have called on the Saudi
authorities to release all political prisoners, but to no avail.
week, Amnesty International said Saudi activists, including women, who have
been arrested in this year's crackdown have faced sexual harassment and torture
activists, held in Dhahban prison on the western Red Sea coast, faced repeated
electrocution and flogging, leaving some of them unable to stand or walk, the
Amnesty International said in a report, citing three separate testimonies.
least one activist was made to hang from the ceiling and another woman was
sexually harassed by interrogators wearing face masks, the United Kingdom-based
rights group added.
al-Assiri, the head of ALQST, a London-based Saudi rights group, said that
authorities targeted male human rights activists in the past, but as the
"regime became more aggressive" they also began targeting women.
justify that, they're trying to say that [these women] are coordinating with
embassies, or foreign countries … To say to the people that they are
traitors," al-Assiri told Al Jazeera.
activists have mostly been held incommunicado, without access to their families
are some of the prominent women dissidents jailed for demanding basic rights.
al-Hathloul is a women's rights activist from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She
obtained an undergraduate degree in French Literature from the University of
British Columbia in Canada and then pursued a Master's degree in the United
Arab Emirates (UAE).
years, she advocated for the women's right to drive in the kingdom, and in 2013
actively participated in a campaign where she posted videos of herself driving
in an attempt to encourage women to do the same.
an active social media presence, the 29-year-old had been arrested several
times for defying the now-lifted ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.
"We are no longer an isolated country, anyone can gather information about
what happens here. That's why we much strive to develop without ignoring the
pain of our sisters, we must speak out about what harms them and their
existence, especially at a time where we feel that our leadership is invested
in creating change for women."
was most recently imprisoned in May 2018, months after King Salman bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a royal decree in September 2017 that said women would
be allowed to drive "in accordance with Islamic laws".
along with other female activists who had been calling for the lifting of the
ban, was instructed not to comment on the decision prior to its announcement,
years prior to her latest arrest, al-Hathloul spent 73 days in jail and faced
charges of "terrorism" for attempting to drive into Saudi Arabia from
the neighbouring UAE in November 2014.
the time, Samah Hadid, director of campaigns at Amnesty International in the
Middle East, said, "The Saudi Arabian authorities' continuous harassment
of Loujain al-Hathloul is absurd and unjustifiable … It appears she is being
targeted once again because of her peaceful work as a human rights defender
speaking out for women's rights, which are consistently trammelled in the
2016, al-Hathloul signed a petition with thousands of others calling for the
abolishment of the male guardianship system. The following year, she was
arrested without charge and was unable to contact her lawyer or family members
until she was eventually released shortly after.
an interview with the Economist in January 2016, al-Hathloul highlighted the
challenges women in the kingdom face when they are unable to drive. She said
she had dedicated 30% of her salary to drivers, and said having to
"beg" people to driver her around was "insulting".
[government] told us that we are actually protected, that we have the right to
express ourselves freely without being condemned or sent to jail … but in
practice it's not there," al-Hathloul said.
still send us to jail for very normal, rationalised opinions."
asked what kind of country she would like Saudi to become, al-Hathloul said
"a Saudi Arabia that respects people's differences and human rights".
has been married to Saudi stand-up comedian and actor Fahad al-Butairi since
2014. Al-Butairi, a prominent comedian who had a large social media following,
was also arrested earlier this year.
Badawi, an award-winning activist, is known for her legal battle with her
abusive father, who filed a lawsuit against her when she sought refuge in a
women's shelter in 2008.
a result, she was arrested and spent six months in jail on the charge of
"parental disobedience". She was then released after a Jeddah general
court ruled in her favour and transferred her guardianship to her uncle.
Badawi has advocated for the abolishment of the male guardianship system, which
among other things, grants male custodians the right to prevent their daughters
from marrying, studying, or travelling without prior consent.
2011, Badawi filed an unsuccessful Grievances Board lawsuit against the
Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs for the rejection of her registration
for the 2011 municipal elections.
learned that we have laws to protect women's rights, but the woman needs to
search for them and to how harness them for her own benefit," Badawi said
in an interview.
also played an active role in the 2012 campaign to end the ban on women driving
in the kingdom, and along with fellow activists, filed a lawsuit against the
traffic department for refusing to issue her a driver's licence.
March 2012, the United States Department of State honoured Badawi with the
International Women of Courage Award for her work and activism.
2014, she was subjected to a travel ban and was arrested in 2016 for her human
rights work, before being freed on bail.
the mother of two was arrested again in July 2018 along with activist Nassima
arrests of Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah signal that the Saudi authorities
see any peaceful dissent, whether past or present, as a threat to their
autocratic rule," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, in
latest arrest prompted a diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada after
the Canadian ministry of foreign affairs said in a tweet it was "gravely
concerned" about the detention of rights activists in the kingdom,
Arabia accused Canada of "blatant interference in the Kingdom's domestic
affairs, against basic international norms and all international
is the sister of Raif Badawi, a prominent human rights campaigner sentenced to
10 years in prison in 2014 on charges of insulting Islam. His wife and children
are naturalised Canadian citizens.
al-Nafjan is a 39-year-old Saudi blogger and activist who was arrested in May
2018, along with Loujain al-Hathloul and five other female advocates amid a
government campaign that accused them of undermining the kingdom's stability
with financial assistance from abroad.
authorities accused the activists of having "suspicious contact with
foreign parties", providing financial support to "hostile elements
to HRW, the arrests are an attempt to silence dissent.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman's 'reform campaign' has been a frenzy of fear for
genuine Saudi reformers who dare to advocate publicly for human rights or
women's empowerment," HRW Middle East Director Sarah Leah Whitson said in
a statement in May.
message is clear that anyone expressing scepticism about the crown prince's
rights agenda faces time in jail."
Begum, a researcher at HRW, said the government is trying to silence critics,
particularly those who champion women's rights reforms.
it's not clear why they were arrested, today we have seen Saudi press reports
come to suggest that these women are traitors and have been arrested because
they are undermining the national unity of the country," Begum told Al
Jazeera at the time.
we know is that the Saudi crown prince wants to make it clear to all of his
citizens that they are his subjects who must be grateful for whatever liberties
he gives them, but they must not demand any of their rights."
mother of three obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of
Birmingham and worked as a schoolteacher and later as a university assistant.
then earned her master's degree from the same university in teaching English as
a foreign language.
began blogging in 2008, writing mainly about social and cultural issues with a
focus on women in Saudi Arabia, referring to the system in place as
"gender apartheid", according to the Washington Post.
few years later, she joined the women's driving campaign and published articles
in western media outlets to shed light on the campaign to allow women to drive
in the kingdom.
the ban on women driving was lifted, she wrote, "The manner in which the
ban was lifted seemed too simple to be real.
I was overwhelmed with my own powerlessness as a woman living in a patriarchal
absolute monarchy. Were our efforts the reason the ban was lifted? Or was it a
decision that had been made regardless of our struggles?"
to her arrest, al-Nafjan was working towards completing a PhD in linguistics.
al-Fassi is a women's rights activist and writer who was arrested by Saudi
authorities on June 24. Prior to her arrest, she had been under a travel ban
since June 19.
a leading figure in the women's rights movement in the region, al-Fassi has
long been fighting for the rights of Saudi women, including their right to
participate in municipal elections.
originally from Mecca, is an associate professor of women's history at King
Saud University (KSU) in Saudi Arabia and at the International Affairs
Department at Qatar University.
secured an undergraduate degree in history from KSU, and in 2000, earned a PhD
in women's history from the University of Manchester.
a scholar, her work focuses on women's history and politics.
most notable work "Women In Pre-Islamic Arabia", argues women in the
pre-Islamic period enjoyed considerable rights in the Nabataean state, an urban
Arabian kingdom centred in modern Jordan, south Syria and northwest Saudi
Arabia during the Roman empire.
in Nabataea enjoyed more freedom than in Saudi Arabia today because Muslim
leaders have misunderstood the origins of Islamic law, her research said.
of the objectives of this book is to question the assumption of subordination
of women in pre-Islamic Arabia," al-Fassi said.
"And what are the characteristics of sheikhs? Does this question imply
perfection in men? My article deals with the truth and clarifies how much we
lose when religious authority is monopolised to the exclusion of women and
their perspective on fiqh and the issues that affect humanity."
2011, she joined a campaign called "Baladi", which called for women's
participation in the municipal elections.
help women interested in running for election, the Baladi campaign had planned
to organise training sessions to educate participants on campaigning techniques
and help them create agendas.
ministry has stopped us from holding these workshops as they wanted the
election programme to be more unified and centralised," al-Fassi said at
the time, according to Saudi Gazette.
evidenced by the 250 female members of the Baladi campaign, women have
expressed their commitment to elect the best person for the job … Whether it is
a woman or a man," she said.
initiative's efforts were blocked again during the 2015 municipal elections.
the legal age of marriage is contrary to the general policy of the
system," said Allahyar Malekshahi, Chairman of the parliamentary Judicial
and Legal Committee, in an interview with the state-run Fars News Agency, on
November 26, 2018.
an attempt to minimize the issue of child marriages, Malekshahi pointed out,
"A few parliamentarians, whom are mostly female representatives, are
seeking to increase the legal age of marriage." He added, "The
marriage rates in an early age are not significant."
Kamalipour, Vice Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Committee, also showed his
disregard for raising the legal age of marriage and said, "The issue of
child marriage is not an issue of importance in the country, and the number of
people covered by this law is not big enough to require us to reform the law in
a spokesperson for the parliamentary Judicial and Legal Committee, also said,
"Those who call these marriages ‘child marriage’ are exaggerating and
being extreme. The immediate proposal of this change in civil law will only
a member of the Judicial and Legal Committee, said, "Marriage is one of
the most personal issues in the lives of individuals, and laws should not have
any inappropriate interference in family matters. The marriage age is more of a
cultural and religious nature than a legal nature. It is not logical to
consider a single version of a ban on marriage for everyone."
added, "Currently, the plan is under consideration in the Committee, and
we are opposed to it, because we cannot oppose the sacred Islamic law."
(The state-run Fars News Agency – November 25 - 26, 2018)
marriage, which is one of the examples of violence against women, has been
institutionalized by the mullahs’ regime by setting the legal age of marriage
at 13. According to the regime's officials and experts, some 180,000 girls
under 18 get married in Iran every year. Only in 2017, the marriages of at
least 37,000 Iranian girls between the ages of 10 and 14 have been registered.
It has also been reported that there are 24,000 widows under 18, of which
15,000 are under the age of 15.
University of Karachi (KU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan has said
that the primitive culture, as well as the tribal system in the county, is one
of the major reasons behind violence against women in the country.
was addressing a seminar titled ‘End violence against women and girls’ here on
Thursday. The seminar was part of 16-day long activities chartered by the
United Nations (UN) against violence and crimes being faced by women. The event
was jointly organised by the KU and Management Consultancy and Training
four provinces are a victim of honour killings and crimes against females,”
said Dr Khan while stressing upon collective and continuous efforts to change
society’s mindsets in order to prevent crimes and violence against females.
must develop a culture which has the capacity to raise voice against such
issues and come forward to stop these problems at the grassroots level;
otherwise, it will be very difficult to achieve the target,” he added.
advised the audience to avoid self-projection and work constructively for the
betterment of the society instead. “Both individuals and groups must play their
role in spreading awareness among their circles of family, friends and
relatives as well as work and worship places so that we can practically do
something to end violence against women and girls,” he said.
Khan said that society can be educated to bring a change; however, implementing
all desired changes in oneself helps in achieving the desired results in a much
shorter span of time. “We cannot bring changes by preaching only. We cannot
force people to adopt changes. But along with teaching, having a practical
approach and in-depth analysis can help in getting positive results,” he added.
KU VC stated that violence against women and girls could not be stopped without
eradicating socio-economics barriers as they are one of the major reasons
behind such crimes.
Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) Niaz Siddiki shed light on how society
can prevent honour killings and other crimes against females. “All kind of
systems are made and run by humans. So, if we want to make a change and improve
society, we have to change ourselves first.”
informed the audience that honour killing is a homicide crime. Sharing the
details of honour crimes, he mentioned that 87 per cent women and 13 per cent
of men are victims of violence in Pakistan.
to him, a recent survey report shows that close relatives were almost always
involved in honour crimes and killings.
further shared that 21 per cent brothers, 15 per cent fathers, 11 per cent
intimate partners and cousins, nine per cent relatives, seven per cent spouses,
three per cent unknown factors and one per cent women are behind honour killing
incidents. “Although everyone in this country claims to be a good Muslim, both
women and men are killed in name of so-called honour despite that fact that
killing is strongly prohibited in Islam and there are numbers of verses in the
Holy Quran in this regard,” he reminded.
mentioned that Punjab has the highest honour related crime rate while Sindh,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan are second, third and fourth,
former IGP also informed that honour crime victims are buried without offering
funeral prayers or shrouds in rural Sindh and no other bodies are allowed be to
buried near those victims.
UN Women Sindh Chapter President Kapil Dev mentioned that most of the victims
of violence do not have access to social and mainstream media. “It is
unfortunate that crime data against women is not available in the country and
the masses did not raise their voices against honour crimes,” Kapil said.
television channel The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Faiz Borohi claimed that
the positive use of social media could help in identifying and stopping cases
Tariq of Management Consultancy and Training Services informed the audience
about the categories and reasons for honour crimes and how to stop them. She
encouraged participates to speak up against such crimes and teach children
around them how to behave with females.
In a noble gesture, a Sikh girl from Jammu’s Udhampur district has decided to
donate one of her kidneys to save the life of her 22-year-old Muslim friend
from Rajouri, who is suffering from the organ’s failure.
the 23-year-old activist, Manjot Singh Kohli, has been hailed by friends and
family for her selfless act towards her friend Samreen Akhtar, doctors at the
Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura are delaying the
procedure by creating unnecessary hurdles.
my love for my friend and my strong belief in humanity that is motivating me to
donate my kidney,” Manjot said.
doctors at SKIMS Soura are giving the friends a tough time by delaying the
procedure, even as the authorisation committee for organ donation has cleared
both as candidates for the transplant procedure.
don’t know why we are being pushed to the wall by doctors and administration at
SKIMS Soura. They resorted to harassment and dillydallying tactics for the last
seven months, even as the expert committee cleared both of us for the
transplant,” Manjot said.
of them appeared before the SKIMS Soura authorisation committee many times to
complete formalities with regard to the organ donation, but were told “you
belong to different religions”.
cleared us for the transplant procedure two months ago but they are raising
unnecessary hurdles saying that we belong to different religions and it may
create an issue for them,” said Manjot.
said she was beyond grateful to Manjot, an activist and entrepreneur who
stepped up and offered to donate a kidney to her friend.
is an incredible person. I simply want to thank her for her selfless act of
love and kindness,” Samreen said.
medical problems began last year when she was declared a renal failure patient.
Her condition suddenly deteriorated due to high-blood pressure and other
was devastating news for me and my family. But Manjot’s great gesture really
rescued us from our distress,” she told Kashmir Reader
Samreen’s mother decided to donate her own kidney but was declared unfit by
doctors due to some rare condition.
many months of struggle and suffering, the family was forced to make Samreen’s
medical condition public. They posted it to Facebook for relatives and friends
were hopeful that someone from my relatives would come to our help, but no one
came forward. Manjot was prompt to contact me and express her willingness to
donate her kidney. At first, I didn’t believe my ears, but when she came to
meet me and accompanied me before the authorisation committee, then I was
overwhelmed. It was really life changing for me,” Samreen told Kashmir Reader.
is presently admitted in SKIMS Soura as her condition deteriorated once again
due to the hospital’s delay in the procedure.
am feeling totally down. Allah should help me and accept my friend’s gesture
towards me. I am tired of convincing doctors and officials at the Institute. I
am only seeking Allah’s divine intervention,” she said.
SKIMS Soura, Dr Omar J Shah told Kashmir Reader that he has directed the
committee to decide on the matter immediately.
will do whatever best we can. The authorisation committee has informed me that
they need some more papers before they decide about it,” he said.
group of UN human rights experts on Thursday criticized the actions of the
Iranian government in jailing human rights defenders and lawyers.
urge the Government to immediately release all those who have been imprisoned
for promoting and protecting the rights of women.”
experts called for the government of Iran to guarantee the rights of those
imprisoned, not to arbitrarily deprive them of their liberty, and to guarantee
rights to fair proceedings before an independent and impartial tribunal.
human rights defenders and lawyers were jailed because of their public support
of protests against the mandatory wearing of the hijab. According to experts,
there is a concerning lack of due process rights for those imprisoned.
of the persons imprisoned is a medical doctor, Dr. Meysami, who was arrested in
July and began a hunger strike in August to protest the charges brought against
him. Dr. Meysami is reportedly in isolation at a medical center in the prison
where he is receiving IV injections.
charges that he faces include “disseminating propaganda against the
establishment,” and “insulting the hijab.” Some others are facing charges of
“encouraging moral corruption.” The experts are urging the government to
address his grievances.
second figure identified by the press release is Ms. Sotoudeh, who was convicted
of security-related charges. She acted as legal council for several female
protesters. The experts are concerned about her in-absentia conviction and
imprisonment. Her husband Mr. Khandan was arrested in September and faces
several charges including “speaking propaganda against the system.”
of these concerns have been communicated to the government of Iran, encouraging
the government to take action.
40,000 conscripts have been so far given a training on violence against women
in a bid to raise their awareness regarding this issue, said an official of the
Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services.
Çadır, a senior official at the ministry‘s directorate general on the status of
women, however said that their aim was to reach 500,000 conscripts.
training has been so far provided for conscripts serving 21 days in the
military as they are exempt from the rest of their obligatory having paid a
made the comments on Nov. 28 during a meeting of a parliamentary committee
responsible from the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, which is
formally known as The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating
violence against women and domestic violence.
said that the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services was conducting
cooperation with various institutions regarding the issue of violence against
women, including the Defense Ministry and the Directorate of Religious Affairs
have so far given a training to 40,000 conscripts. Our target is to reach above
500,000 conscripts. In our awareness raising trainings, our experts are
explaining the issue in a simple way such that everyone can understand,” said
for Diyanet, the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services has provided a
training for 1,000 clerics, according to Çadır. The official said the clerics
were then conveying what they have learned at the trainings to the locals of
the areas where they were working at.
ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP Hülya Nergis has also taken the
floor during meeting, saying: “The problems are not solved in one day. With our
works, we will determine the issues that raise a problem regarding the
prevention of violence against women. We’ll listen to representatives of the
relevant institutions as well as experts. If a new law needs to be adopted, we
can also talk about that.”
against women is a recurrent issue in Turkey, where several hundred femicides
are recorded each year.
Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), an
association that monitors cases of violence against women, counted 409 murders
of women or girls last year and 328 in 2016.
exhibition featuring artworks by 12 Syrian women showing their experiences
opened in the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday.
exhibition at CerModern Gallery opened following a three-month experimental
project conducted as part of the EU's Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) cash
assistance program for refugees, according to a statement from the EU
delegation in Turkey.
the 'Umudun Renkleri' ['Colors of Hope'] initiative, 12 Syrian women learned
art techniques from Turkish instructors and then used the techniques to create
works reflecting their experiences of fleeing the war in Syria and seeking
safety in Turkey," the statement said.
the project – implemented by the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), the Turkish Red
Crescent and the Turkish government – the women learned serigraphy, patchwork
and linocut techniques.
at the opening event, Nils Grede, WFP representative in Turkey, said: "The
works on display here offer a window into the emotional journey that these
women have undertaken since becoming refugees."
fact that they were even able to take part in this project shows that, with the
help of all of us, they have regained a certain stability in their lives,"
supports about 1.5M refugees
assistance program that we implement with the ESSN card (Kizilaykart) preserves
the dignity of people in need and has become a pilot project in the
world," Deputy General Director of the Turkish Red Crescent, Alper Kucuk,
was quoted as saying in the statement.
have the freedom to buy what they need. The happiness of a mother who has a
chance to cook what her children want to eat at dinner cannot be
described," Kucuk added.
said that around 1.5 million refugees are currently supported by the project.
statement also quoted Claudia Amaral, head of the EU's humanitarian office in
said: "With nearly 1 billion euros in EU funding, the ESSN is improving
lives of the refugees and their host communities in Turkey."
covering the basic needs of the refugees, the ESSN program improves the living
conditions of the refugees in Turkey and allows them to also engage in social activities,"
one of the women involved in the project, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that she
came to Turkey from Aleppo, Syria, in 2015 and that she joined the project in
said she loves the color green and used it in her project, because it reminded
her of her balcony and flowers back home in Aleppo. She said her project
reflected her hopes for the future.
Syrian woman is Hanan from the civil-war-torn country's west-central city of
Hama. She described Turkey as her second home.
project has helped us to forget the conflicted, dark days in Syria," she
another Syrian woman, whose works are displayed as part of the exhibition,
said: "Producing this art helped me come to terms with the past and to move
on from those experiences."
Umudun Renkleri initiative is a pilot project aimed at helping refugees to use
art as a way of dealing with their experiences and of moving on mentally,"
according to the statement.
the same time, the project and the exhibition are intended as a tool for
fostering a better understanding of the refugee community in Turkey," it
added. Turkey hosts more Syrian refugees than any other country in the world.
The country has spent more than $32 billion from its own national resources for
helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
The exhibition of Syrian women will be on display in Yenikapı Metro Station in
Istanbul in the middle of December after launching in Ankara
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