Earlier this year, I shared a personal reflection on the mental health toll of living with systematic gender discrimination both at home and in a wider social context in Saudi Arabia. Depression remained a close and unwelcome companion well into my twenties, and among the many tools I used to cope with the illness – therapy, antidepressants, exercise, socialising, solitude – books remained the most consistent. Continue reading “World Book Day, or How Books Saved My Life”
Had we responded in any other way, we might have avoided the relatively low-speed but high-stress police chase through Al-Akaria shopping centre in downtown Riyadh. Continue reading “Run, Hide, Laugh, and Cry: A Memory”
There was no single word for how I felt. Dead inside. Different. Lonely. Cold. My body felt like it wasn’t my own, like a corpse I was inhabiting for a brief period while my soul, I dragged in tow, an anvil at the end of a chain I did not fasten but could not break. Continue reading “There is a Word for It”
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”
“You know those things that you look through,” he curled his hands and brought them to his eyes, as if holding a pair of binoculars, “and you click it, and it shows you pictures? You know, you press a button, and you can see a different one? It’s plastic?” Continue reading “The Stereoscope and The Stamps”
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.
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”