Some Thoughts on Privilege and Reform

Some Thoughts on Privilege and Reform

Several reforms to women’s rights in Saudi Arabia have been enacted in the past few months. Notably, the ban on women’s driving was lifted in September 2017. Male guardianship laws were relaxed to allow women access to certain services without the presence or permission of a male guardian, provided that such access does not contravene shari’ah law. Physical education is now allowed for girls in public schools. Yesterday, women entered stadiums for the first time to watch football matches in the kingdom.  Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Privilege and Reform”

I Love New Year’s Resolutions

I Love New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year, friends!

Something about a change in year resonates for many as an opportunity to do better, try harder, to change, to grow, to make mistakes, to learn, and to look forward. I often fall short of my resolutions, but every year, I make them. Even if they signal the triumph of hope over experience, I embrace New Year’s resolutions, whatever their actual shelf life. The only failure is failing to try.

Continue reading “I Love New Year’s Resolutions”

Resistance, solidarity and Dina Ali

Resistance, solidarity and Dina Ali

I am honoured to have had another brief piece published by sister-hood, an award-winning magazine that spotlights the voices of women of Muslim heritage. The post reflects on Dina Ali Lasloom as a symbol of resistance and courage in the campaign to end male guardianship in Saudi Arabia. Please visit the link below to view the piece in its entirety.

On April 10th, Dina Ali Lasloom, a 24-year-old Saudi woman, stepped off a plane in Manila on her way to seek asylum in Australia only to find herself detained by authorities in the airport. A video shows her left shoulder and the first few buttons of a grey coat that belonged to a Canadian woman, Meagan Khan. Meagan had met Dina in the airport and come to her aid.

In Dina’s own words, delivered in an unwavering voice … Continue Reading.

Image Credit: Sean Savage, “resistance is growing”

On Blood and Shame

On Blood and Shame

I am so thrilled and honoured to have had a short narrative essay featured in sister-hood,  an online magazine that spotlights the voices of women of Muslim heritage. The essay explores shame and coming of age in Saudi Arabia as a young girl through the lens of the experience of my first period. An excerpt appears below. To read the piece in full at sister-hood.com, please click the link after the excerpt.

Where I come from, menstruation remains a topic too awkward or embarrassing to discuss in public or even in private. A topic that like the female body itself remains shrouded in secrecy. And stigma. And shame. So much stigma surrounds the female body and its bodily functions that the first time I bled on my first period, I was completely ignorant and unprepared, and as with most changes my body underwent in the early years of my adolescence, I felt overwhelmed with inexplicable shame. Continue Reading.

Image Credit: Tasmeem QScience, ‘Figure 2. Dancers wearing reinvented versions of Arabic “abaya”’