has been honoured for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab
for Women Inmates’ Children in Dubai
to Get Equal Representation on UAE Advisory Council
Female 'Pioneers' Bask In Filmmaking Spotlight
Gender Equality Reforms Condemned By Egypt’s Al Azhar
Muslim Community Calls On Government to Intervene in Hijab Crisis
Women Chair Acquitted on 3 Counts of Fraud
Woman Pioneers Exposé of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Egypt
1st Female English Premier League Footballer Wins ‘Best Arab Sports Award’
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Female Film Director Wins Top Award for Cultural Leadership
film director Haifaa Al-Mansour has been named as one of the recipients of the
25th Annual Crystal Award, which celebrates the achievements of leading artists
and cultural figures.
Marin Alsop and broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough were the
other recipients, the World Economic Forum announced.
winners will be honoured in the opening session of the World Economic Forum
Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on January 21.
new architecture for ‘Globalization 4.0’ will need to be both inclusive and
sustainable. The remarkable achievements of the recipients of the 25th Annual
Crystal Award inspire us to see beyond the limits of convention to find
solutions for the current issues the world faces,” said Hilde Schwab,
chairwoman and co-founder of the World Economic Forum’s World Arts Forum, which
hosts the awards.
has been honoured for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab
world, the Forum said in a statement.
is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and Wadjda, her feature debut,
was the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a
success of her 2005 documentary Women Without Shadows was a breakthrough that
was followed by a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and front-page headlines of
Saudi Arabia finally opening cinemas in the kingdom.
was recently appointed to the board of the General Authority for Culture to
advise on the development of the cultural and arts sectors in Saudi Arabia.
recently released Mary Shelly starring Elle Fanning, and Nappily Ever After
starring Sanaa Lathan. Al Mansour is also the first artist from the Arabian
Gulf region to be invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony since 2007, is one of the
greatest conductors of our time. Earlier this year she was the first woman to
be appointed chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and, in
2013, was the first woman in 118 years to conduct the BBC’s Last Night of the
David Attenborough’s broadcasting career spans more than six decades during
which he has played an extraordinary role both reinventing and developing the
medium of television and connecting people to the wonders of the natural world,
bringing distant peoples, animals and habitats into living rooms across the
Lt. Col. Jamila Khalifa Al Zaabi, Director of the Dubai Women’s Jail, has
confirmed that the jail’s five-star nursery, which serves 47 children of Arab
and Asian female inmates, aims to provide the necessary care for these children
in the presence of their mothers, who are serving penalties for their moral,
financial, theft or other committed crimes.
nursery provides 16 qualified babysitters to look after the children to ensure
proper living conditions for them. The children’s mothers are further provided
with a monthly stipend to secure the various needs for their children.
are also rehabilitated in various ways to help them regain their confidence in
themselves to start life afresh. The jail administration is keen to provide
babysitters for the inmates’ children keeping them happy and not to suffer in
the absence of their mothers’ absence, Al Zaabi added.
nursery cpvers around 658 square meters and consists of eight rooms, each with
seven beds, next to each a cradle. The building also has an indoor children’s
play area for daily activities, a small clinic, a dining hall, a classroom,
educational activities, and a reception and observation room.
nursery has been designed to provide a healthy environment and a perfect
atmosphere, in addition allowing them to be near their mothers around the clock
without isolating them in a separated dormitory. The inmates are also given
time for breastfeeding infants.
Arab Emirates federation president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has
decided that women should make up half of its semi-elected advisory body when
it is renewed next year, state-run WAM news agency reported on Saturday.
will increase the number of women on the UAE council, which expresses opinion
about public issues including bills and government budgets but has no role in
forming or dismissing cabinets or ministers, from nine to 20 next year.
40-member Federal National Council is currently chaired by a woman, Amal
al-Qubaisi. Half of its members are elected for a four-year term, while the
others are appointed by the rulers of the seven emirates making up the
federation. The last vote for the elected part was held in 2015.
Qatari filmmakers gathered on the red carpet at Doha's Ajyal Film Festival one
thing stood out -- the majority of local directors are women.
think this is a question that everyone is mesmerised by: the idea that we have
more women in filmmaking here in Doha than men," said festival director
those showing movies at the annual six-day festival were Aisha al-Shammakh,
Nouf al-Sulaiti and the rising star of Qatari cinema, Amal al-Muftah.
films focus on a variety of subjects, from "maligned" Qatari
millennials and father-daughter relationships through to stories from the
gas-rich country's recent and much less-wealthy past.
women are redressing "many misconceptions about them around the
world", said Remaihi, who also heads the Doha Film Institute.
number of female entrants at this year's festival, which runs until Monday, is
consistent with data from recent research.
2016 study by Northwestern University in Doha found that around 60 percent of
all emerging filmmakers in Qatar's nascent cinema industry were women.
the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region, the figure was around 25
per cent, the same study said.
influx of women directors in Qatar comes at a time when the bright lights of
Hollywood have been dimmed by the #MeToo movement's revelations.
the fresh blood has helped diversify the nature of films produced.
one filmmaker jokes, it was "all pearl diving" -- a reference to
Qatar's main economic activity, before the exploitation of vast natural gas
now the film topics are diverse.
example of that is Sulaiti's short film, "Gubgub" (Crab).
a movie about a day's crab hunting, it really focuses on a young girl's
determination to prove she can rival her older brother at a "male"
succeeds by catching 10 crabs.
feel like it gives us a platform where we can express ourselves," said
Sulaiti. "I don't think we had that platform or opportunity before."
want that little girl to believe that she can achieve whatever (she wants). I
want little girls to see that," the 25-year-old added.
Sulaiti said younger Qataris would understand that message.
the past, we got an education, we got married and we stayed at home with our
think slowly [Qatari] girls are seeing we can do whatever our brothers can
emergence of female filmmakers comes at a time when conservative Qatar is
seeking to portray itself as the progressive power in the Gulf.
is especially true as Doha remains politically isolated by neighbouring powers
in a bitter regional dispute.
June 2017, Qatar has been cut off by former allies including neighbouring
powers Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which accuse Doha of being too close to Iran
and sponsoring terrorism.
denies the charges, and has sought to present itself as the most tolerant of
the Gulf states.
of the most prominent Qatari figures during the Gulf crisis has been Lolwah
al-Khater, the foreign ministry spokeswoman.
films, Qatar has the highest proportion of women -- 51 per cent -- in the
workplace among Gulf nations, according to the United Nations.
1999, Qatar became the first Arab country in the Gulf to allow women to vote.
'Like pioneers' -
received a rapturous ovation as she was introduced at Ajyal and said filmmakers
in Qatar were "like pioneers".
know from the outside it seems like there is segregation... but here really I
feel like it's a level field... whether you're a man or a woman, you are
treated the same," she added.
directed "Sh'hab" (Shooting Star) showing at the festival, a story
passed on from her grandmother about a girl who wants to go to sea with her
father and brother, rather than stay at home.
rose to national prominence with a 2014 film Al-Himali, about market porters.
admits she had trouble convincing her family that she should seek a career in
the arts rather than the sciences.
she believes she can give a voice to generations of Qatari women through her
chosen career, since she feels "really strongly about my position as a
community of women in Doha -- especially in this society -- are very
private," she said.
I just feel like as women filmmakers we have access to that community and to so
many different stories."
in Tunisia will have rights to the same inheritance as men and will enjoy other
sweeping new rights under a new gender equality law approved last month by
which has a 99 percent Muslim population, has blazed the trail for full gender
equality sparking demands for similar laws in countries such as Egypt. The
calls for equal-share inheritance in Egypt can be traced back to the 1920s by
Egyptian journalist and activist Salama Moussa. The calls have recently been
reinvigorated by Egyptian thinkers, politicians and women’s rights activists
emboldened by the Tunisian revolutionary laws.
must be full equality between women and men in our Arab and Islamic countries,”
said novelist and feminist Nawal al-Saadwi. “Equality exists in the whole
world, but in our Arab countries there is a severe underdevelopment. Equality
should not be limited to inheritance, but to everything. There should be no
distinction between people, because these are matters that I think are obvious
and cannot be debated.” Other Egyptian figures echoed the demands for equality
to the Egyptian parliament, including Egyptian-American geologist Farouk
el-Baz, veteran woman rights activist Azza Kamel, and former Minister of
Culture Gaber Asfour.
far, however, no one in Egypt has introduced a measure similar to Tunisia’s
gender equality law.
Tunisian cabinet approval sealed a long chapter of domestic disputes after
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi proposed a complete gender equality for
both sexes in an August 2017 speech. The declaration was applauded by
secularists, liberals and human rights activists while condemned by
conservatives and Islamists.
reforms were contradictory to Islamic teachings and an assault on the Quran,
said the Tunisian Society for National Coordination to Defend the Quran,
Constitution and Fair Development. “It also runs counter to the constitution of
Tunisia, based on which Islam is the official religion of the country,” said
society spokesman Salih Radid.
the move triggered a wave of condemnations by Tunisian Islamists, including an
August protest that drew thousands of Islamists in front of Tunisian capital.
While the cabinet approved the law, it still requires approval from Tunisia’s
parliament. The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Ennahda vowed to vote against it,
but observers do not think it has enough votes to stop it. A provision
guaranteeing “equality in inheritance contradict[s] the religious teachings and
the texts of the constitution and the personal status code, but also invokes
fear related to the stability of the Tunisian family and the customs of
society,” an Ennahda statement said.
Al Azhar, regarded as the oldest and most prominent Sunni institution, also
described the law as contradictory to Islamic law because it contradicts a
clear Quranic verse: “Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the
male, what is equal to the share of two females.”
tell the president of Tunisia to read the words of Allah and the Prophet, and
remember a day when your presidency, money or relatives would not help you,”
said Mahmoud Mehanna, a member of Al-Azhar’s Higher Committee of Scholars.
Grand Mufti, Shawki Allam, categorically rejected the Tunisian law, saying
people cannot re-interpret definitive Shariah rulings. The statements provoked
anger from Tunisians who believed that Al Azhar should stick to its Egyptian
affairs. “It appears that Al-Azhar decided to fight Tunisian people, and that
it recruited an army of its daughters and sons to spread the poison of
backwardness in our society and stop the growing trends of modernity and the
cultural revolution that are beginning to surface,” wrote Naila al-Silini, an
Islamic Studies professor who led Tunisia’s campaign for gender equality.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Osman Battikh supported the new law. People can have
different opinions, he said, but “[h]uman interests change by time and thus
should … our understanding of Sharia laws which should change in social and
daily life matters depending on the place and time.”
prominent Al Azhar professor, Saad Al Hilaly, apologized to Tunisia and
expressed his support for the gender-equality law. “What Tunisia did here is a
proper form of religious jurisprudence” he said. “The Quranic verse provides
the option for men to give women half her share or her full share of the
inheritance … and that is what Tunisian men have done.”
is a human right for women, he said, and it cannot be treated with parameters
governing compulsory Islamic duties such as prayers or fasting. Religious
interpretations or fatwas should change over time and not to be stuck in
abiding by ancient interpretations.
by Hilaly’s position supporting the provision, Al Azhar waged a media campaign
against him. Hilaly does not speak for the school, a university spokesman said
in a statement, and “what he said is contrary to the scripture of the Quran and
the curriculum of Al-Azhar.”
Constitution recognizes Al Azhar as “the primary source in religious sciences
and Islamic affairs.”
Azhar launched this attack on the gender equality law on Tunisia as a
pre-emptive strike against similar future calls in Egypt and other
predominantly Islamic countries that may follow.
battle between Al Azhar’s clergymen and reformers in the country is likely to
escalate as more Egyptian intellectuals and reformers side with their Tunisian
counterparts. At the moment, Al Azhar is in an open confrontation with those
who oppose its tight grip on religious affairs. Its grand imam even challenged
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s repeated calls for religious reforms.
Alas, Al Azhar will impede any tangible reform as long as it still wields such
power within Egyptian society.
Oyo State Muslim Community on Wednesday appealed to the federal government and
the National Assembly to intervene in the ongoing controversy surrounding the
use of hijabs by female Muslim students at the University of Ibadan
TIMES reported that the International School of the University of Ibadan was
shut following controversy over wearing of hijab to school by some of the
students, who were reported to have being accompanied by their parents to the
in further reaction to the development, the Muslim Community, at a press
conference jointly organised with Muslim Parents' Forum of the school, declared
that the issue must be urgently addressed.
alleged that the management of the school was tampering with the constitutional
rights of the female students of Muslim background.
secretary general, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Ismail Busari, while
addressing journalists, said there is an urgent need for the federal
government, national assembly, state government and the authority of the University
of Ibadan to intervene in the matter, before the issue escalates.
explained that wearing of hijab by female Muslim students is a God-given right
which is enshrined in the constitution. He noted that Muslims will not allow
anyone to tamper with their rights, unchallenged.
are calling on (the) government, and those in positions of authority to
intervene to ensure that this does not escalate. Hijab is a global phenomenon,
it is a God-given right. It is our right. We have seen case of judges, nurses
and even uniform women in other countries putting on hijab," he said.
want the authority of (the) University of Ibadan to intervene. We want the
government; the national assembly to come to the aid of the school, before it
escalates. They are calling (for) anarchy. We want those in government to come
before our God-given right is tampered upon," he stated.
reiterated further that they should desist from calling Muslim names and
Muslims should not be labelled as terrorists again.
those victimising us to desist from victimising us. If Muslims can wear hijab
in USA, Britain and other countries, we are Nigerians, our children should be
allowed to wear hijab."
chairman, Muslim Parents' Forum of the School, Abdulrahman Balogun, while
speaking to journalists, added that the Muslim parents and their children have
over the years, called for the use of hijab but all efforts to make it work
have been turned down by the school management.
also explained that several letters written to the management of the school on
the issue are yet to be responded to.
we are, we want you to hear our own side of the story. I am a parent; my
children are in the school. They are profiling Muslim students separately. I
have been to many countries; no one does that. Putting Muslims in a separate
class and putting Christians in a separate class.
have written several letters to the principal but up till now they are yet to
reply us. We have been suffering in silence."
when journalists visited the school for reaction of the principal, Phebean
Olowe, all efforts were unsuccessful as the principal was said to be in a
gateman at the school, identified as John Mike, told journalists to leave the
school premises following directive from the management that they,
(journalists), should not go beyond the school gate.
Women Trust Fund chairperson Aisha Kayabwe shed tears of joy after the Lusaka
Magistrate Court acquitted her of three counts of fraud.
pronouncement of judgment by the court, Kayabwe burst into tears attracting the
interest of onlookers within the court grounds.
was facing three counts of forgery, uttering a false document and fraudulent
disposing of a trust property.
the first count, it was alleged between January 2005 and May 2005, Kayabwe
forged a deed of transfer of property number
F/687/A1/D/34 purporting to show that it was genuinely issued and signed
by Mirriam Bilali when in fact not.
the second count, it was alleged that between January 2005 and May 2006,
Kayabwe uttered a deed of transfer of property number F/687/A1/D/34 to the
Ministry of Lands.
the third count, Kayabwe being a trustee of property number F/687/A1/D/34, is
alleged to with intent to defraud, converted the said property to Benny Chundu
before the court is that Chundu’s contractor erroneously built on the land
belonging to the Trust while he was away in diplomatic service.
Chundu was recalled in 2004, his lawyers brought the issue to his attention and
further approached the Ministry of Lands to help resolve it.
a meeting was held with members of the Muslim Women Trust Fund, it was agreed
that the Trust be given an alternative land.
in the presence of Trust members, signed a deed of transfer.
when the mater came up for judgment Principal Resident Magistrate Mwaka
Mikalile said the State failed to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt
said the prosecution failed to prove that Kayabwe forged the deed of transfer
and found her not guilty of the offence.
most youth on a global on scale, especially in Cairo are taking the topic of
Rise Up Summit is an annual event which connects both stakeholders and startups
together, providing start-up owners with opportunities for exposure, resources,
as well as advice.
event was properly marketed worldwide to the extent that it witnessed for the
sixth consecutive year a considerable representation from all over the world
during the period from 7 to 9 December.
this took Daily News Egypt to ponder about this strong exposure of the
entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt.
further into the subject matter, DNE found that since 2013, the RiseUp Summit partnered
with a Public Relation (PR) consultancy named Publicist inc. Noteworthy, this
partnership helped propel the entrepreneurship ecosystem exposure in Egypt, but
you might be surprised when you discover that the founder of this company is a
female entrepreneur called Mai Abaza.
DNE interviewed Abaza to learn more about her journey as a woman entrepreneur,
her company’s role in the RiseUp summit, and the obstacles that she faced
during her journey in the PR field.
the interview tackled the status of women entrepreneurs in Egypt, including
their obstacles and opportunities, the transcript for which is below, lightly
edited for clarity:
and how did your journey in the PR field start?
graduated from the Faculty of Mass Communication at the American University of
Cairo, and specialised in integrated marketing communications; thus my
education itself was in the field of the PR.
was born and raised in Dubai, and after my graduation, I worked for seven years
in a PR agency there. During these years I worked with clients across many
sectors including the government, ICT, lifestyle, entertainment, retail, and
healthcare. My work also included planning, driving, and managing campaigns in
the UAE, Kuwait, and region-wide.
2009, I returned to Egypt, and worked in a multinational PR company dealing
Authority for Investment (GAFI), where I was managing its global communication
campaign in 10 countries around Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
after the revolution this work stopped, so my friend and I thought about
opening our own business in the PR field. Then we came to the conclusion to
open Publicist Inc.
services does your company offer?
Inc provides strategic communications advice to clients across diverse
industries and delivers corporate communications, media relations, event
management, and social media services.
are the sectors or fields that Publicist Inc. deals with?
2011, the idea of using social media to promote products or services was very
basic so we began with working in the restaurants field, but by time we grew to
the extent that our work now spans the government, technology telecom, consumer
market, entrepreneurship, health care, and many other industries.
your company’s vision?
vision is to be a learning organisation where people come and learn the meaning
of being a PR consultant, and to help organisations achieve their objectives
are Publicist Inc.’s most prominent clients?
Uber, Maged Al-Futaim group, Discovery Education, and Watanya association.
many employees does the company have, and out of them how many of them are
have 17 employees, only three of them are men.
field of PR is highly controversial because some people think the PR is trying
to overtake the press’s role, what is your opinion?
is completely false. PR companies are considered facilitators, as they
facilitate the work of the press, especially when journalists deal with the
private sector, as the private sector’s employees and owners usually find it
too hard to understand what the journalists specifically want to know.
example, some clients came to us at Publicist Inc. asking that journalists
publish an announcement for their company since it was launching a new product,
but the journalist fond that this was something which was not newsworthy. This
is where the role of the PR agency comes in order to meet the expectations of
both the journalist and the client, through thinking with the client about the
impact of his product on the society and the economy, thereby transforming the
announcement the new product into a newsworthy article for both the journalist
and the reader.
you elaborate on your company’s exact role in the Rise-Up summit?
are RiseUp’s PR partner since the second year for the summit, providing PR
consultancy. We also control the press centre, presenting all the press
releases to the journalists, and subsequently dealing with all the conference
want to underline that in the first three years of the summit, the company
exerted substantial efforts in communicating with journalists and launched for
them a two-day workshop to provide them with the required terminology used in
the entrepreneurial community, in addition to elaborating on the real meaning
of the entrepreneurship community.
RiseUp mainly focuses startups and technology, what challenges do you think
women face in these sectors?
the technology field, women entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges as investors
do not highly regard women-led start-ups, although statistics prove women-led
startups are more successful than men-led-startups.
women’s representation in RiseUp increase this year compared to previous years?
yes, but still there is a lack in women’s representation in the technical side,
including the developers and the engineers, despite the fact that we have women
who are of qualified calibres in the technical side, although there is no focus
your presence in RiseUp, what is the difference between female and male
think that women always don’t seek to brag about their success, as they always
focus on their work on the ground, but they rarely think about marketing their
work. For example, throughout the six years of my work with RiseUp, only one
woman entrepreneur came to ask about PR consultancy. Thus, this confirms that
they are more focused on what they are doing.
you think there is enough support from the government towards the entrepreneur
ship community and entrepreneurs in general?
has come a very long way, but definitely there is considerable interest and
focus. For example, in the Africa 2018 Forum there was a whole day for
entrepreneurship. I think the link that Egypt lacks in order to provide full
support for entrepreneurs is to raise awareness and focus in education. It
could be, for example, part of the curricula for students to discuss
technology, innovation, etc.
an entrepreneur, what obstacles did you face at the beginning of your
the personal side, the only obstacle is managing the time between my domestic
affairs and the workload, but I want to highlight that I have a strong support
system, including my husband and mother-in-law who both support me, in addition
to that my work was beside my home which helped me to succeed in managing my
the other hand, regarding large corporations and clients, the stereotypical
concept that female entrepreneurs are not as qualified as men still exists.
want to highlight that sometimes we as women put limitations on ourselves
internalising the stereotyped image of women in the public’s mindset which
places upon us the nuisance of trying to sever this stereotypical image.
think there is a challenge that faces entrepreneurs whether female or male
which is the lack of knowledge about the legal procedures to establish a new
is your advice for women entrepreneurs?
not personally limit yourself.
Essam, Egypt’s first female footballer in the English Premier League, was given
this year’s Best Arab Sports Award by the London Arab Foundation.
was an honor to be recognized by the Arab nation and to have my achievements
appreciated. This will motivate me a lot, push me forward, and strengthen my
diligence,” She said in an interview with Al-Dostor website.
am proud of this honor, because it will encourage the younger generation of
girls who love football in the Arab world. They will feel that there is hope,
that girls practicing football is normal, and that they can practice and study
at the same time.
is not just a masculine game, and everything can be achieved with determination
and strong will.”
the age of 15, Essam joined Wadi Degla Club’s junior football team before
moving to the first club’s women’s team, becoming the youngest female football
player in Egypt.
age 19, she had officially signed with Stoke City Ladies Club as a forward,
making history as the first Egyptian to ever compete in the women’s Premier
League. She had also won three Football League Championships, in addition to
winning the Africa Cup of Nations with the national team.
her interview, Essam said that she believes that God rewards every human for
their effort, so she used her free time to practice football and study, instead
of spending time with friends.
studied civil engineering in England, and before that, I was at the British
School in Egypt, and frankly, I always faced a lack of time and a difficulty
with balancing study and football practiced.
I sacrificed the entertainment that girls at my age used to have, in order to
reach my greater goal which I sought by all means, and I never regretted that.”
went on recounting how her path took an unexpected turn. “I shifted from
playing basketball to football, even though I took the best player award in
basketball in 2008 when I played for Wadi Degla. It was a big challenge, but
nothing is impossible. I hope that I can achieve the rest of my dreams. My
mother has always encouraged me to insist on my goals.”
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
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In Arab, Islamophobia
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What is peace? Where is peace? In
spiritual world, when your mind is not at peace, you are not peaceful.
Respect for human beings is not
limited to non-mullas as mullas are also human beings.
Mullas giving bas words for non
mullas take space of limelight but everyday thousands of non mullas are abusing
mullas and this is hardly given focus.
Khuda ke liye do nazri choriye
Ek rang hoiye, sachche pakke thinker
baniye and bad words are after all bad words in all respects.
But question is what is bad word? Do
not take it as a question of a fool, as
it is too philosophical to reach your mind. May be you are endowed with
intellect. Think and introspect; it is time!