is a graphic rendition of the building footprint of the Korla facility. It has
almost doubled in size over the past 17 months. By August this year, the
built-up area covered 114,000 square meters.
Gang of Non-Muslims Marrying Muslim Girls Busted
of ISIS Affiliated Bangladeshi Jihadist Sisters
Examining Sexual Abuse Claims on Afghan Women’s Football Team
Number of Women Elected To Bahrain Parliament
Series Showcases UAE through the Eyes of Women
women take to the ‘death boats’ of illegal migration
Women, Girls Raped, Whipped and Clubbed In South Sudan
Women Still Struggle with Inequitable System
Victims Come Clean About ‘Torture’ In UAE Jails
Political Prisoner Zeinab Jalalian Subjected To Violence in Prison
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Cleric Says 'It's Haram for Women to Wear Pants'
cleric Dr. Othman Al Khamees is no stranger to sparking controversy online and
things weren't so different over the weekend.
Thursday, the scholar uploaded a video to Twitter in which he states "it's
haram for women to wear pants."
statement came in reply to a question the cleric was asked about whether it's
permissible for women to wear pants above their heels.
his reply to the inquiry, Al Khamees said:
are 'haram' altogether and they're asking about ones that go above the heels!
It's impermissible for Muslim women to wear pants except if they put on a 'thawb' [floor-length garment] over them.
It isn't acceptable in Islam for a woman to expose her legs and thighs, and
pants define these body parts. Ones that go above the heels also reveal a part
of the body that shouldn't be out."
words divided people's opinions, with many supporting his stance on the issue
and others hitting back at his rhetoric.
isn't the first time an edict issued by Al Khamees divides people's opinions.
this year, a video of him saying it's unacceptable for a Muslim woman to travel
alone sparked controversy on Twitter.
statement came in response to a question the cleric was asked by one of his
followers and featured pretty bizarre reasons why females shouldn't travel
if she had to make an emergency landing in Holland or Germany, what if her
flight gets diverted? It's not right, it's just not acceptable to have her
travel alone," he added.
A fraudulent group of non-Muslims which married poor Muslim girls was busted.
They had married Muslim girls claiming themselves to be the Muslims. Later,
when they could not perform prayer according to Muslim traditions, people
suspected them and informed the police.
incident occurred in Sikhonia Village of Kabeer Asthan Thana.
to the report published in Inquilab Urdu Daily, a group of people came from
Rajasthan and stayed in a person’s house. The same person arranged the
marriages of these people in the evening of Thursday. After the marriage
ceremony, when the grooms came out to take the blessings of the elders, they
were following Hindu rituals. The onlookers felt surprised.
Friday, when these grooms went to Masjid for offering prayer, they were not
following Islamic traditions while performing namaz. The local residents got
suspicion. They convened a meeting and interrogated the persons who had married
Muslim girls. Some of them told that they are the Hindus. The villagers sent
them back without their brides.
South University (NSU), a privately-owned leading educational institution in
Bangladesh has once again been accused of housing jihadists – more precisely
Islamic State (ISIS) affiliated jihadists. Previously several students of NSU
were tracked as jihadists by the Bangladeshi and foreign counterterrorism
agencies. Following this latest incident, an internationally acclaimed
counter-jihad expert has rightly questioned – “Why did North South University
not oppose the jihadi culture and network it hosts?”
to information, a large number of the students of North South University
regularly join jihadist discussion through various groups on the Facebook. They
also use secured apps like Telegram for communicating amongst themselves. It is
further learnt that several students of NSU are already associated with another
jihadist group named Hizbut Tahrir as well as terrorist student front of Jamaat
e Islami Bangladesh.
scholar and President of the Middle East Forum, Dr. Daniel Pipes, while
commenting on two jihadist and ISIS connected sisters from Bangladesh has
questioned – Why did the Bangladeshi police not take proper protective steps
when it questioned Asmaul Husna (sister of a jihadist now under custody of the
Australian authorities)? Let us first of all know who this Asmaul Husna is. She
is the younger sister of Momena Shoma, a 24-year-old Bangladeshi ISIS jihadist
Shoma arrived in Melbourne on Feb. 1, 2018, to study linguistics on an
excellence scholarship at La Trobe University. Describing herself as “an
introvert and very shy in nature,” she spoke of an ambition to become a
university instructor. Coming from an affluent and secular Dhaka family which
considered her “brilliant,” Momena had been an ‘A’ student at some of the Dhaka’s
elite English-language educational institutions such as Loreto School,
Mastermind School, and North South University (NSU). She graduated from NSU
with an honors degree in English language and literature in 2016, and then
enrolled for a master’s degree at NSU before switching to La Trobe.
the height of ISIS’ notoriety in 2014, Momena applied for a student visa to
travel to Turkey to take up a scholarship from Ankara’s Atılım University, but
probably really intending to join ISIS. However, the Turkish consulate in Dhaka
turned her down, as it did about half the Bangladeshi student applicants.
Momena may also have tried, unsuccessfully, to obtain visas for Tunisia and the
Bangladeshi police report found that Momena’s sister Asmaul Husna also became
radicalized after their mother’s death from diabetes in June 2015; the sisters
together took to watching Al-Qaeda and ISIS videos. Both sisters got inspired
to devote [themselves] to jihad and vowed to fight for establishing an Islamic
caliphate in Bangladesh. They joined a faction of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen
Bangladesh (JMB), an ISIS-linked jihadist group with a violent record dating
back to 2005 (when it announced itself with 350 explosions in one hour) and
culminating with the attack, killing 29 people [mostly foreigners] at the Holy Artisan
Bakery in Dhaka’s posh diplomatic enclave named Gulshan on July 1, 2016. There
had been allegations of some of the top figures of Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP), one of the two largest political parties in the country giving
patronization to JMB and other radical Islamic groups.
was in contact with many Bangladeshi jihadists, both local and fighting for
ISIS in Syria. The latter included ATM Tajuddin and Gazi Sohan. Sohan, also an
ISIS recruiter until his arrest in 2015, met Najibullah Ansari, a Bangladeshi
marine engineer and JMB member, in an online chat room and introduced him to
Momena in 2014. Momena and Najibullah hit it off and quickly planned to marry
but did not due to family opposition. Soon after, Najibullah announced in January
2015 (in a Facebook message to his younger brother) that he was “going to Iraq
to join ISIS,” though it appears he actually went to Syria. Najibullah’s father
filed a report with the Chittagong police in 2015, informing them of his son’s
police also found evidence (on Momena’s smartphone and computer) pointing to an
important jihadi connection in Australia: an unnamed female friend from an
Islamic discussion group at NSU; the two then together communicated with ISIS
recruiter Gazi Sohan. Momena’s female friend married a Bangladeshi resident in
Australia and moved there after graduation in 2016. She stayed in steady
electronic contact on WhatsApp, inciting each other with jihadist videos. The
friend apparently convinced Momena to join her in Australia, leading to
Momena’s enrolling at La Trobe.
beasts beneath burqa:
Shoma was like a regular female students before she got enrolled at the North
South University. Before getting admitted with NSU, she never put on burqa or
hijab and was living a regular life as any of the members of an elite family
would do. But, the atmosphere at NSU had turned her into a jihadist. She
immediately started wearing hijab and then burqa thus giving her soul the scope
of turning into a monster.
after arriving in Australia, Momena Shoma started looking for her targets. To
the police, she calmly elaborated that she had come to Australia not to study
but to kill “in the name of God.” She expected that a knife stab to the neck
“would be fatal.” Seeing herself as a foot soldier of the Islamic State (ISIS),
Momena had planned out the attack; indeed, before leaving Dhaka, she had told
her younger sister Asmaul Husna, 22, of her murderous plan.
had put herself in a jihadi mood that morning by watching a gruesome 55-minute
ISIS video from 2014, Flames of War.
took a 25 cm (10 inch) kitchen knife to her Bundoora room and repeatedly
stabbed her bed, she signaled the danger to come. In the words of a magistrate,
“She did the practice run on the mattress with the first family that hosted her
and they felt intimidated enough to go to [AHN], saying, ‘We’re scared, we
don’t want her to continue living with us’.” Out she went, facing homelessness.
to her urgent need for accommodation, the Singaravelu family – husband and
nightshift nurse Roger (56), wife Maha (45), and daughter Shayla (5) – on Feb.
7 welcomed Momena into their 4-bedroom house in Melbourne’s Mill Park suburb
for a few days until she found more permanent lodgings. Maha explained her
motive in accepting Momena: “I felt for her, being in a foreign country. I put
myself in her shoes and her parents’ shoes.”
immigrants from Malaysia, the Singaravelus had come to Australia 30 years ago,
Roger explained, “to seek opportunity.” They had hosted foreign students since
2014 in a spirit of multiculturalism, of giving back, and of teaching tolerance
to their daughter. A neighbor, Neil Fitzroy, described the Singaravelus as
engaging and open, taking in foreign students to give them “an Australian
started well enough with Momena, Maha recalls: “She was very pleasant to deal
with. She even offered to babysit our daughter if we ever went out.” Roger
concurs: “Shoma gave a good impression right up before the attack.” He found
her “well mannered” and noted that she spoke better English than he did.
up in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, Roger tells me, he and Maha
“understand the norms that are embraced by Muslims.” But AHN had not informed
the family that Momena wore a burqa and her appearance, Roger recounts, “gave
us a shock when she first arrived at our doorstep.” That she was constantly
lifting the burqa during meal times to get food into her mouth caused the
family to feel “uncomfortable having meals together.” Much less did AHN inform
the couple about Momena having been thrown out of her prior homestay due to her
practice at stabbing. And no one knew she had stolen the knife from the first
February 9, 2018, after two days with the Singaravelus, Momena struck. At 4:25
p.m., with Maha out of the house and Roger napping on a mattress in the lounge,
child in arms, wearing her burqa, she used her stolen knife to stab her host in
the neck. But the under-five-foot woman lacked the strength to cut the much
larger Roger’s jugular vein, getting the knife only superficially into his neck
– enough to make him bleed “like a fountain” but not enough to do him fatal
his words: “I thought I was dreaming as I felt a sharp pain on my neck. I woke
up and started screaming.” He tried to pull the knife out as Momena leaned over
him and pushed it in, yelling all the while, “Allahu Akbar.”
ineptitude reached new heights when, three days after Momena’s attack on Feb.
9, a Dhaka Metropolitan Police team from the CTTC went to the Shoma family home
at the Royal Aroma Garden apartment building to investigate. Moniruzzaman
cooperated during the two-hour inquiry. But Momena’s sister Asmaul Husna (aka
Sumona), who also attended elite English-language schools, was “very rough” in
her attitude. Then, the CTTC reports: “when the police officers were leaving,
Sumona surprisingly launched a knife attack, shouting Allahu Akbar. She also
said, ‘You are Kafirs [infidels]. We must establish the rule of Islam in the
country. We must do jihad if necessary’.” A press account quotes her adding, “I
will kill [Bangladeshi Prime Minister] Sheikh Hasina, I will kill [Syrian
President Bashar] Assad. They are all infidels. One day everyone will join
jihad and Islam will rule the world.”
injured policeman was taken to the hospital and quickly released. The CTTC
subsequently found that, before departing for Melbourne, Momena had ordered her
sister to murder a policeman and instructed her on use of a knife. Due to her
JMB membership, Asmaul Husna was charged with terrorism. One would have
expected a counterterrorism team to be a little better prepared for trouble
from a potential jihadi.
three days, then, the two sisters, both inspired by Islamic motives, had
stabbed two victims in two countries. In the face of Momena’s eventual guilty
plea, the denial on the part of her family stands out. Her uncle asked, “How
can she be involved in militancy after only eight days in Australia? We cannot
picture her holding a knife. She is not aggressive or cruel person. No way she
can be part of terrorism. We are Muslim, but we are not terrorists or
extremists.” The uncle recently refused to reply to my question whether, after
she pleaded guilty, he still maintains Momena’s innocence.
she became a jihadist?
Momena’s uncle asked how she turned into a jihadist just within 8 days of her
arrival in Australia, here is my reply to it. Momena Shoma, like many other
students of the North South University must have been radicalized while she was
in Bangladesh. A clear evidence of her becoming radicalized is – she put on
hijab and then burqa, which are actually signs of a female becoming inclined
towards radical Islam and jihad. Also I would like to tell the family of Momena
Shoma – the way her younger sister Asmaul Husna [a student of Mastermind
school] became radicalized being in Bangladesh – Shoma must have been
radicalized in the same way. It certainly was a fault of the family to ignore
the fact that Momena Shoma suddenly covered her head with Islamic scarf and
stopped watching television. Her behavior was similar to that of any jihadist.
of the radicalized Muslim females:
I have been warning my readers for many years, I would like to remind them once
again to keep vigilance on every Muslim female in the West in particular, who
are wearing hijab or burqa. Before considering any of these females as mere
innocent people, everyone should remember – they have put on hijab or burqa
only after being substantially radicalized. Such radicalization can always lead
them towards extreme notoriety and cruelty. They can be lone wolf or even
worse. Most importantly, these Muslim females are filled with antisemitic and
nations and their diplomatic mission and consulates in the Muslim countries
should follow certain strict rule before issuing visa to a Muslim male or
female visa applicant. Western intelligence agencies need to keep eyes on the
Muslim-dominated areas in particular especially the mosques and Muslim
community centers to track female wearing hijab or burqa as well male growing
beard, Moreover, social media accounts of these individuals must come under
we take such measures forthwith, we will never know, if any or many ‘Momena
Shoma’ are already taking jihadist preparation and would cause severe harm to
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is examining the
sexual and physical abuse claims on Afghan women’s football team.
former head of the women’s football department Khalida Popal, players Shabnam
Mobarez and Mina Ahmadi and the head coach, Kelly Lindsey, have accused the
Afghanistan Football Federation officials of sexually and physically abusing
the players of the women’s football team.
has told Guardian that the members of the women’s football team were sexually
abused by two men who were accompanying the team during a trip to Jordan in
February of this year.
also added that her investigations revealed sexual, physical, and mental abuse
of the female footballers by Afghanistan Football Federation officials.
Afghanistan Football Federation in a statement said “The Afghanistan Football
Federation (AFF) vigorously rejects the false accusations recently made with
regard to the AFF’s women national team.”
statement further added “Should the AFF receive specific factual information
and/evidence, it will not hesitate to initiate further investigations
immediately and to take all appropriate steps to prevent such actions and
prosecute those responsible for them.”
Bahraini women MP-elects have broken their country’s record of female
representation in parliament when official results on Sunday confirmed that
they – along with several fresh-faced independents – will make up part of the
island-kingdom’s fifth legislative term.
Saturday’s run-off vote, only eight districts were able to elect candidates
directly to parliament while the rest narrowed down the top two candidates to
Zainal from the southern fifth district and Fatema Abbas were the only women
who were able to win their seats outright during the Nov. 24 elections. A
record ten women contested Saturday’s run-off vote.
to the final results, Masooma Abdulrahim of the capital sixth district, Sawsan
Kamal of the capital second district and Kaltham Abdulkareem of the northern
first fistrict were confirmed winners against their male opponents. Zainab
Abdulameer defeated her female compatriot Afaf al-Mosawi in the capital seventh
other countries in the region, Bahrain has no quota for female representation
in parliament and many Bahrainis view such a system to be in contravention of
Bahrain’s constitution and the National Action Charter, a document passed in
2001 that set in motion a wide range of political, social and economic reforms
in the kingdom, which gained the approval of 98.4 per cent of the people in a
national referendum at the time.
2018 elections are historic for Bahrain, we will certainly have more women in
parliament and this is a source of pride for all Bahrainis as we believe in
equality and the important role played by Bahraini women in society and
politics,” Mohammed Al Sayed, spokesperson for Citizens for Bahrain – a group
that monitors and analyzes elections as an independent volunteer group, told Al
from her district of East Riffa, Zainal welcomed dozens of her supporters and
said that it was a long journey from 2006 and 2014 when she unsuccessfully bid
to represent them.
victory has broken the rule of male domination of this district and indicates
that the people of the area have reached the conviction and maturity that make
them not look at candidate’s gender, but at their capabilities and ability to
take responsibility,” Zainal said.
coming period will be the hardest, so parliament must be able to provide,
especially as we seek to exit from the difficult economic situation and the
challenges ahead,” she said.
also confirmed to Al Watan newspaper that she will be seeking to run for the
speaker position of the upcoming parliament and said that she has the backing
of at least 21 MPs so far. Should she be successful in her run, Zainal might
just become the second woman to head a parliament in the Gulf Arab region after
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) made history in 2015 when it appointed Amal
al-Qubaisi as president of the country’s Federal National Council (FNC).
figures from the Nov. 24 elections showed that women collected 32,254 votes in
the first round in various constituencies, of which 11,316 votes in the capital
governorate, 8,219 votes in the southern governorate, 7,961 votes in the northern
governorate and 4,858 votes in the Muharraq governorate, setting a new record
by female candidates in the number of votes cast in their favor compared to
previous election cycles.
the glass ceiling
the first elections of 2002, all 31 women candidates lost in the elections. In
2006, a total of 18 women candidates took part but only one candidate, Lateefa
al-Gaood, won a seat by default after her two male opponents dropped out of the
race before election day. She would retain her seat and representation as the
only woman MP in 2010.
2014, three women won their seats by vote when Fatima Al Asfoor, Roua Al Hayki
and Jameela Al Sammak all elected in the Northern Governorate, an area of
Bahrain that has traditionally been among the most conservative in the country.
on Bahrain Television, Bahrain Businesswomen's Society Ahlam Janahi said this
year’s election would be remembered as the one that finally broke the glass
the women of Bahrain have proven themselves that they are able to represent
themselves in all facets of life and proved that as a country, we do not need a
quota system in order guarantee female representation,” Janahi said.
to Bahrain’s Minister of Justice Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, the voter
turnout in this year’s election was estimated at 67%, adding that the voter
participation this year represented the largest in the island-kingdom’s
Shah: 'I am just one version of a Muslim woman, and people don’t get to see a
lot of my kind'
might think that music prize ceremonies are all glamour and excess. Not for
Nadine Shah, whose third album, Holiday Destination, was the bookies’ favourite
to win the Mercury this year. “I was looking after my parents,” says the
singer-songwriter, “and I was knackered and just wanted to go home, but was
convinced to go to a local pub and popped into Lily Allen’s for half an hour,
then went home and cleared the cat’s litter tray.”
Destination may have lost out to Wolf Alice’s Visions of a Life, but it was the
more potent album. Blending her sullen monotone with an intense post-punk
redolent of PJ Harvey, it bristled with prescient themes – the rise of
nationalism, refugees, divisive politicians and a pressing need for empathy. It
certainly struck a chord for many. Since its release last year, she’s won AIM’s
Album of the Year award, and has been invited to give countless talks on
we meet, she’s as happy as ever to discuss its troubling subject matter,
because, she says, they’re even more pertinent today: “They’ve got worse, if
anything. These topics need addressing more than ever.”
of those topics, of course, is Brexit. “It’s just really sad; the most
vulnerable people in society have been lied to and manipulated. And as a
musician, it’ll affect us with touring,” she says, acknowledging how much
harder and more expensive it will become to play abroad. “Touring is our bread
and butter, and it’s also my favourite part of the job. That’s a real worry.”
to a Norwegian mother and a Pakistani father in Whitburn, South Tyneside, Shah
was introduced to politics from a young age by her older brother, a documentary
maker. She remembers going to London as young as 10 years old to join him on
protests. Back in the family home she was aware of news beyond the UK, thanks
to the Pakistani television her father watched.
is conscious that being a Muslim woman in the music industry makes her a role
model: “If it inspires any young Muslim women to pick up a guitar and play a
song, that’s brilliant.” She recalls two young women wearing hijabs in the
crowd at her Roundhouse show, one of whom mouthed “thank you” and the other who
gave her two thumbs up. “Obviously I burst out crying,” she says. “That is a
memory that’s going to stay with me forever. It makes me want to do more. I am
just one version of a Muslim woman, and people don’t get to see a lot of my
had an idyllic childhood – that is, until the events of 9/11, at which point
everything changed overnight. Suddenly even she, with her Caucasian pale skin,
became the victim of Islamophobia. It forced her to move to London, aged 16, to
live with her brother.
loved being mixed race growing up,” she says. “I felt it was something that
made me different, and I had this wealth of beautiful culture to draw on that
friends didn’t know about and I could teach them. Things were awful after 9/11.
So I did find coming to London as an escape.” She now lives in north London’s
Tottenham, which she loves for its diversity.
debut album, Love Your Dum and Mad, tackled mental health – and was prompted by
the suicides of two former boyfriends. Her fourth album, which is “pretty much
all written”, is set to take an entirely different trajectory: female fertility
and the pressures on thirty-something women to settle down and get married.
It’s inspired by both her age (she turns 33 in January) and her suffering from
really want to have children,” she says, but such is her condition that she
doesn’t know if she can get pregnant. “It’s a thing we just assume we can do,
and it’s quite scary when you’re told you can’t – if you want to have children.
It also brought up conversations with my friends of: do you feel pressured, as
a woman, to have children? Do you feel stigmatised because you’re a woman who
doesn’t want to have children?”
inspires her songs, from current affairs (“normally some kind of injustice” –
the last thing that made her angry was hearing how in certain parts of the UK,
IVF services aren’t available on the NHS to women over age of 35) to
conversations. Her mobile phone voice memos are filled with chats overheard on
the bus or something an Uber driver told her. “It’s not always dark and gloomy
and political. Sometimes I want to write about lovely characters I meet”, she
says. “They probably won’t appear on this album, though, it’s going to be
that the album really will be a “misery”; you imagine it will be imbued with
the warmth and sharp wit that Shah displays throughout our interview. “A lot of
it’s tongue-in-cheek, like that desperation in your mid-30s to settle down, and
the most brilliant, beautiful, talented female friends of ours settling down
with the biggest losers just because [the women] are a ticking time bomb. It’s
a big topic to cover...” she says, switching to a comically deep, serious
voice, “gender politics”.
are issues we don’t often hear about in music, she says, and she feels
“compelled to tell the stories” that exist among her friends.
keeps Shah’s anxiety and depression at bay, and exercise helps, too, although a
recently injured ankle has set her back. “If I’m not stimulated, that’s when my
mind wanders and then unhealthy habits come into play,” she explains. “There
are loads of things that I didn’t realise when I first started out: it’s such a
caustic environment, the music industry.”
points out gradual improvements, such as charities including Music Mind Matters
and Calm, for which she’s an ambassador. “It’s improving a lot”, she says,
pointing out the disappointment of the friends she takes backstage at festivals
these days. “They’re all expecting some kind of Spinal Tap debauchery, and it’s
just bands talking about catering, drinking herbal teas and Skyping their
family, because people are starting to look after themselves a lot more.” Shah
is one of them.
of the many recent casualties in the music industry, from Amy Winehouse to Mac
Miller, there is heightened awareness around drug and alcohol abuse, and mental
health. But Shah says it’s also down to “the myth of the tortured artist”.
the romanticising of that image, I think, that is quite destructive. I used to
drink so much in the beginning and I also used to embrace my depression because
I felt it was part of the job, almost, to suffer.” But, the excessive drinking
had to stop: “I couldn’t keep up with it; I was having really severe panic
attacks. It was really awful, and my depression got really bad.”
the early days, though, alcohol was encouraged to help fuel her entertaining
chat on stage; people would line up drinks for her. These days she and the band
– “average age 50, my five dads” – will unwind with a bottle of wine, “but it’s
addition to the healthier lifestyle, in the lead up to Holiday Destination,
Shah extricated herself from a destructive relationship that she has described
as “being tortured every day”. Then she met her boyfriend (who works with
songwriters), “the kindest most decent human being in the world”.
was very aware of what I wanted to make me happy.” She throws herself back on
the sofa. “These interviews sometimes feel like therapy sessions!”
group of authors and filmmakers recently released Hi Dubai series to celebrate
the love of the UAE through the eyes of Emirati and expat women. Dedicated to
the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father
of the UAE, the series celebrates achievements of 12 local and 12 expat women
living in the UAE.
original English-spoken series, subtitled in six languages, addresses women in
youth, tolerance, happiness, sports and future, with the first episode
dedicated to Sheikh Zayed and the Spirit of the Union.
Paravia, Italian producer of the series, said in each of the seven episodes,
four women share their inspirational and motivational stories and their love
for the UAE.
series, she said, aims to reflect the city's soul, unveiling characters,
opportunities, ways of living, social events, sites and amusements of the 'City
of Future'. "All protagonists share how Dubai enriched them, through their
culture, traditions, experiences, engagement and lifestyles," she said.
pre-production of Hi Dubai started in the 'Year of Giving' as a way to give
back to the community and to the wise leadership. The production has been
completed in the 'Year of Zayed'. It went live on Dubai One channel from
November 30. Viewers can also watch it online and on the Dubai Media
said the series plans to give enough empowerment and information for those who
want to move to Dubai, as women are a pillar of empowerment and enrichment for
the whole community. "Though I travel continuously outside the UAE, I
consider myself a 'Dubaiite' since I moved to the city in 2002. I am often
faced with misconceptions and rhetoric around Arab culture in general and Islam
in particular. With this series I hope to present instances of Islamic hospitality,
generosity and inclusiveness starting from the UAE, my beloved home," she
can expect to see women speaking of tolerance, addressing four different
religions living in the UAE including Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and
Hinduism. Among the participants in the 'happiness' episode is Italian expat
Simona Briggiotta, mother of a triplet among which two are special needs.
"(Briggiotta) tells the story of how Dubai is inclusive, and how she's
happy with her children here," said Paravia.
series is endorsed by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development,
General Authority of Sports and Zayed University.
- Illegal migration is widespread but the migrants are generally male. Despite
the perilous experience, however, some women in Tunisia were not deterred from
getting on the boats. They were fleeing tough living conditions that have
become even harder since the 2011 revolution.
to lax security, illegal migration became endemic in Tunisia but it was brought
under check when authorities clamped down on traffickers. Still, the “death
boats” of illegal migration entice young Tunisians, including women.
2018, there were at least two sinking incidents off the Tunisian coast. In
June, more than 80 migrants drowned near the coast of the Tunisian island of
Kerkennah and eight drowned off the coast of the island of Djerba last August.
the victims in the Kerkennah tragedy were quite a few women, some of whom were
pregnant. Experts said desperation in their home countries led some of them to
seek to have their babies born in Europe so they can more easily obtain
residence documents and give their children a chance at a better life.
the first nine months of 2017, Tunisian authorities foiled 164 immigration
attempts, 1,300 Tunisians were among them.
October 2017, the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior said the number of women
attempting to illegally cross to Europe had risen to 5% of the total from just
1% in 2016. The Tunisian Forum on Economic and Social Rights said Tunisian
women make up 4% of irregular migration from the country.
President Messaoud Romdhani pointed out that “Tunisian females suffer twice as
much than males from unemployment. More than 30% of women complain from the
lack of job opportunities and that leads them to risk a dangerous adventure.”
sociologist Taieb Touili said a Tunisian woman “would not dare to get on board
a ‘death boat’ unless she is experiencing a real economic or social threat or
in case her family fabric is torn apart by the absence of her husband. There
are significant numbers of women who migrate to join their husbands.”
said the fluctuation of the proportion of females among illegal immigrants
“should be considered as a real indicator of the gravity of the security,
economic and social conditions in the country.”
is not the only country experiencing a rise in the illegal migration of women.
Morocco has seen the same phenomenon.
and marginalisation that characterise the lives of some young men and women are
not the only reasons behind a growing clandestine immigration in Morocco. Many
young women are fascinated with Europe and believe it to be the land of their
dreams and happiness.
Hab, deputy head of the Moroccan Centre for Youth and Democratic Transitions,
said illegal “migration of Moroccan women to Europe via ‘death boats’ is not a
new phenomenon in Morocco. The new phenomenon, however, is the wide media
coverage it is getting because of the popularity of social media networks in
pointed out the country’s growing youth population will inevitably lead to
increased demand for services to meet their social, economic and psychological
needs. So, there should be an expected increase in the number of female
migrants from Morocco if they see few opportunities at home.
Egypt, too, women are taking to the “death boats.” Some are fleeing male
domination and attempt the passage alone. Others cross with their husbands.
There are women with young children in their arms or babies in their wombs.
illegal migration first came to light in Egypt in September 2016 when the ship
Rasheed sank off the coast of Beheira governorate and more than 200 people
died. The bodies of women in their 20s were recovered. Ten women survived.
similar incident occurred three months earlier when the Egyptian Navy found
nine decomposing bodies, including the body of an Egyptian woman. Also, a boat
bound for the coast of Europe sunk and the navy rescued 12 people, including
Wajih, a 30-year-old Egyptian woman, lives with her 47-year-old husband in
Italy after arriving there via illegal immigration channels. The passage to
Europe had cost her about $2,250. Amal said by phone that she chose to get on a
“death boat” rather than to live the bitterness of the conditions in Egypt.
said she was comforted by the presence of other women on the boat. There were
women with their husbands. There was a woman who was running away from an
“obedience” sentence and another who had served a prison sentence and could no
longer stand the mean looks of society and what she said was her husband’s
said she could not remember how many days she spent on the boat because of pain
and dizziness she suffered during the journey. She said she remembered howling
winds and roaring waves that pounded the boat, knocking those on board to the
many women, the journey must have seemed a “ticket to death.”
government efforts to stem illegal migration have significantly reduced “death
boat” incidents. Still, illegal migration of females is expected to continue
due to economic decline, the reluctance of young women to marry and their
resentment of male dominance.
Ashmawi, an Egyptian sociologist, said, despite tough measures provided by
Egypt’s Law 82 of 2016 against illegal migration and human trafficking and the
toughening of security measures, women would continue to risk their lives on
the vessels. This will hold true even though clerics place attempts to cross on
“death boat” on a par with suicide, which is considered a sin in Islam, Ashmawi
view was confirmed by a young woman from the village of Borg Mghizel in Kafar
Sheikh District in northern Egypt. She said: “My ardent desire to get to the
shores of Greece and join my sweetheart as soon as the chance presents itself
will not be deterred by the dangers ahead at sea.”
had been in Greece for four years but could not save enough to afford a proper
wedding. “Sailing into the unknown with a death ticket is not as painful as
feeling estranged in a society that looks at a female only as a body for sexual
satisfaction and for making babies,” the woman said.
these experiences reveal is that more Arab women are willing to take great
risks to achieve their ambitions and the migration of women from countries that
fail to provide decent lives for them to more developed countries is
South Sudan: One hundred and twenty-five women and girls have been raped,
whipped and clubbed in attacks so shocking that some aid workers in South Sudan
say they are left speechless.
Without Borders on Saturday said the “dramatic increase” in sexual violence
occurred over 10 days, between Nov. 19 and Thursday, as the women and girls
walked to a food distribution site in Bentiu in Unity state. By contrast, the
medical charity’s Bentiu clinic treated 104 survivors of sexual assault in the
first 10 months of this year.
violence has been widespread in South Sudan’s civil war, and even under a
recent peace deal humanitarians have warned of higher rates of sexual assault
as growing numbers of desperate people try to reach aid.
midwife with Doctors Without Borders who treated some of the survivors said
those targeted include pregnant and elderly women and girls as young as 10.
is happening since last week is indescribable. I haven’t got words for it,”
Ruth Okello told The Associated Press. The women were robbed of clothing and
shoes, and even their ration cards for food distribution were seized and
destroyed, the aid group said.
United Nations mission chief, David Shearer, said the “abhorrent” attacks were
carried out by young men in military uniforms and civilian clothing. The UN has
increased patrols in the area and launched an investigation while urging local
authorities to hold the attackers accountable.
Sudan’s government was not immediately available for comment.
UN’s World Food Program said that while there was a distribution underway in
Bentiu for displaced people, the women and girls weren’t due to receive food
assistance until the following week. WFP said it was looking into whether it
can move distribution sites closer to communities in the area.
new report by the United Nations panel of experts monitoring sanctions on South
Sudan says it remains “extremely concerned” about the continued high level of
conflict-related sexual violence, despite the peace deal signed in September.
are a few tragic situations that test the limits of humanity and shake one to
the core. Chief among them, the sight of a child forcefully and unjustly
removed from the bosom of his or her mother over an ugly custody battle.
Lebanese recently witnessed incidents involving two mothers who were forced to
hand over their child or risk incarceration. In one case, police stormed the
house of the mother and handed the 2-year-old boy to his father, a high-ranking
crux of this predicament does not dwell on the fact that the personal status
laws of Lebanon merely empower women but rather that the legal and political
system is rooted on a paternal male chauvinism that promises, yet never
delivers any kind of, reform.
have rigorously campaigned for women to achieve some parity in the sectarian
Lebanese political system. Despite their huge efforts, only limited changes
have been made
attaining suffrage in 1953, Lebanese women have played little or no role in the
political life of their country. Most of the well-known female politicians only
played a leading role due to their family feudal status or other subjective
reasons that moved them to the forefront.
it stands, six women have seats in the 128-member Lebanese parliament, most of
whom were picked by their respective governments to portray an image of
like their male colleagues, female parliamentarians are pawns to their sectarian
parties. Be that as it may, the overhaul of the Lebanese political system is
not the hindrance to women achieving their political and social rights but
rather the fact that their legitimate demands have been sidelined by the ruling
establishment for lacking urgency.
topping these women’s rights demands is the campaign to grant Lebanese women
married to foreigners the right to pass on their nationality to their children,
which current law prohibits, citing the naturalisation of Palestinian refugees
and the delicate demographic balance as its weak pretext.
their palpable complaints and lobbying, female activists are yet to get the
endorsement of any major parliamentary bloc to the bill submitted by a member
of the Progressive Socialist Party.
women wait for the legislators to fulfil their empty promise, their children
suffer from a state bureaucracy and regulations, which goes out of its way to
make the non-Lebanese, especially Palestinians and Syrians, feel unwelcome.
Many children of Lebanese women married to foreigners must leave Lebanon after
they become adults because they are barred from certain professions.
equally important legal demand that women have yet to attain is the
criminalisation of sexual harassment, which is not clearly stipulated under the
Lebanese penal code.
the previous parliament in 2014, former MP Ghassan Moukheiber, a renowned legal
and civic activist, proposed a law that would punish all forms of sexual
harassment, including the despicable act of cat-calling. Shamefully, many of
his lawmaker colleagues ridiculed this proposal as being a waste of the
assembly’s resources, which should be used to attend to more pressing matters
such as the economy and political stability.
those Lebanese legislators and the political elite have yet to address those
more pressing matters because the so-called elite has been unable to moderate
their differences. This has led to the collapse of the state and an
ever-menacing economic catastrophe looming.
than merely empathising with Lebanese mothers and their uphill battle with the
custody laws, the Lebanese should acknowledge that the system they so fondly
vote for every few years disenfranchises not only women but most of the
the legal battles won over time, ultimately the difficulties facing women in
Lebanon are reminders that, contrary to what the Lebanese propagate, their
country’s laws remain far behind in being
to women and there is little chance of reform.
new report has revealed the extent of torture and violent instances of
mistreatment practiced against women in UAE prisons.
New Khalij - an Arabic-language news website covering the human rights
situation in the Persian Gulf’s littoral Arab countries - in an audio report
published on Friday studied several cases in which of sufferings by female
detainees in UAE prisons.
audio report provided oral testimonies of the victims, themselves, who called
on the United Nations and human rights organizations to investigate the
specifically mentioned the al-Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi as a venue that needed
to be investigated.
woman, who introduced herself as Maryam, said she was detained in 2015 and held
in “secret detention” for five months in a row, noting that she had been faced
with insult in addition to torture.
in the audio, the females described the situation in their prison cells as
“inhumane,” complaining about “overcrowding, unsavory food, and absence of
have fallen victim to life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
said one had contracted colon cancer, and was left without medical assistance
for four months.
blamed Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for issuing the decree
enabling the inmates’ torture.
is not the first time the Emirati royalty have been associated with torture.
June, the Brussels criminal court handed eight Emirati princesses -- a mother
and her seven daughters -- suspended sentences of 15 months for human
trafficking and degrading treatment of their servants. Sheikha Hamda al-Nahyan
and her daughters were accused of abusing more than 20 female servants, whom
they had brought along while staying at the luxury Conrad Hotel in the Belgian
capital for several months back in 2007 and 2008.
February 2016, a report by The Guardian said two Americans and a Canadian, all
holding dual Libyan citizenship, and two other Libyan nationals had faced grave
torture while in custody in the UAE.
experts noted back at the time that the men had been tried for “terrorism”
based on a law enacted after their arrest, given limited access to lawyers,
adding that the confessions signed during detention could have been the result
giving any clear indication or reason, prison agents inspected the personal
belongings of Zeinab Jalalian, political prisoner in the women’s ward of Khoy
Prison, in West Azerbaijan Province in northwestern Iran.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018, several of the Khoy Prison agents went into the
women’s wards and, without any explanation, inspected the bed of political
prisoner Zeinab Jalalian. They then seized all her personal belongings,
including blankets, clothes, books and manuscripts.
prisoner Zeinab Jalalian is sentenced to life in Khoy Prison.
the illegal inspection, the agents gave her a blanket and told her that until
further notice she cannot have anything with her other than the clothes she is
and other female prisoners objected to this illegitimate action and asked the
agents to explain. The agents responded that they were executing the orders of
the higher authorities and did not give any satisfactory answers.
to reports, Zeinab Jalalian’s family went to Khoy Prison on Monday, November
26, 2018, for a family visit. The political prisoner’s family were interrogated
before the visit, and the visit was delayed for several hours.
a call for urgent action on June 15, 2018, Amnesty International said Zeinab
Jalalian is being subjected to torture by blocking her access to medical care.
Jalalian also has heart, intestinal, and kidney problems, as well as an oral
thrush condition that has caused painful white bumps on her tongue and
interferes with her ability to eat and swallow. She is at risk of losing her
eyesight in prison as she is being denied surgery for a worsening eye condition
called pterygium, which is impairing her vision and causing her severe discomfort.
The right side of her body is numb, the reason for which remains unknown, as
she has not received any diagnostic tests.
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