Monthly Archives: December 2012

Age-defying recipes - Recettes anti-âge

pignons et basilic, deux aliments exceptionnels pour un plat tout simple 

Ingrédients : (pour 4 personnes)

  • 300 g de spaghetti
  • 1 pomme de terre
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • 1 bouquet de basilic
  • 120 g de parmesan
  • 2 cuillers à soupe de pignons
  • 10 cl d’huile d’olive
  • sel, poivre
  1. Mixez les feuilles de basilic avec l’ail et les pignons. Salez et poivrez. Ajoutez 50 g de parmesan râpé et l’huile d’olive.
  2. faites cuire la pomme de terre coupée en petits cubes et les spaghetti à l’eau bouillante salée.
  3. Egouttez, déposez-les dans un plat, ajoutez le pistou et parsemez de copeaux de parmesan, de quelques pignons et de feuilles de basilic.

Bienfaits anti-âge :  les spaghetti.  Sans un être un aliment spécifiquement anti-âge, les pâtes sont riches en protéines végétales, ce qui permet de contrebalancer notre trop grande consommation de protéines animales. Les protéines sont littéralement une nourriture pour le cerveau, un…

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How Many Malalas?

Posted on October 18, 2012 by womansplace
The question is posed by Alayna Ahmad in her recent Huffington Post blog, Malala Yousafzai’s Attempted Assassination: The War Against Intellectual Freedom. How many Malalas will it take?


The 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl and activist was shot last week. She stood up to the Taliban. She stood up for girl’s education. She stood up… and was gunned down.

Also last week – The Day of the Girl. October 11, The Day of the Girl, was a global opportunity and movement to celebrate and advance the lives of girls. As stated in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the International Day of the Girl Child,

Recognizing that empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth…, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights….”

Each day I get up, get my two girls off to school, and then head into the office for a day of working to end violence against women. Except, it isn’t just a 9-5, is it? For anyone in the work, anyone in the movement, anyone raising girls, anyone who has a mother or a sister or a female friend, it isn’t just a 9-5. To commit to recognizing the empowerment of girls and their critical role in the success of any and every community is to commit to a lifestyle, not just a job. I live ending violence against women and girls and am honored to stand with countless advocates across the world who are living that same commitment. We live it courageously and creatively. We sing, we dance, we tell stories, we analyze, we strategize, we adapt, and we breathe a passion for a world defined by social justice. We stand with the Malalas – and stay standing, even when the Malalas are viciously gunned down.

The question remains, both baffling and unanswered. How many Malalas will it take?

How will you celebrate The Day of the Girl – each and every day?

Ifeoma Aduba, AWP Interim Executive Director

Courage: A Woman’s Place acts bravely and boldly, not withstanding fear.
Creativity: A Woman’s Place encourages the creation of meaningful new ideas, interpretations, and rules.*
*excerpt from the Values Statement of A Woman’s Place

Are Muslim Women Really Second Class Citizens?

By: alyana ahmad
Alayna Ahmad – Student, The Extension School, Harvard University

Posted: 12/27/2012 5:34 pm

The Muslim world today is inundated with stereotypes and fallacies about women’s role within society. Despite the Quran’s clear promotion of women’s rights in Islam, the interpretation of the Hadith and Quran by men has led to patriarchal structures and male dominated cultures. Ironically, Muslim women had more rights during the time of the Prophet in seventh century Arabia than they do in some overtly religious societies. The lack of access to education and authentic Islamic education for women today has contributed to the widespread acceptance of their inferior status.

One of the reasons for the establishment of Islam was to liberate women. It gave them equal civil status with men through the right to own property, to inherit, to petition for divorce and to receive an education amongst many other entitlements. The Prophet’s wife Khadija was a prominent businesswoman and the first person to accept Islam, whilst reassuring her husband of his Prophethood. It was not until post-Muhammad, with the codification of the laws and the development of Islamic jurisprudence that the role of women in society became limited. This can be attributed to the motivation to interpret the Quran and Hadith literature by some men to reflect the cultural nuances of the time.

The countless number of Hadiths that flooded into the early Islamic community were filled with inaccuracies not least by combining fact with allegory. Hence, evidence could be located to support a Caliph and promote his purpose without any test to establish the legitimacy of Hadiths. An example of an aHadith (singular form of Hadith) that contradicts the Quran is the creation of Eve. The aHadith, which has become authenticated, states that Eve was created from Adam’s ribcage, an idea most likely borrowed from the book of Genesis 2:18-24. However, the Quran speaks of creation in equal terms. There is no mention of man being created before woman or vice versa. So, with no mention in the Quran, which is believed by virtually every Muslim to be the word of God, should the scholars not have interpreted this aHadith as weak or even false? This, however, has not happened. Instead, due to this aHadith, women have been faced with prejudices against them for being God’s second best creation and moreover solely created for the pleasure of men.

Another prominent issue, which continues to dominate some Muslim societies, is the concept of the veil. It is important to note there is no mention of the veil in the Quran. Nonetheless, it only asks women to draw “their veils over their bosoms” (Quran 24:30-31). The veil initially was only worn by women of a high social status in society, a custom borrowed from the Christian Byzantine Empire. The proletarian woman could not be veiled, as it would interfere with her practical and household duties often carried out whilst working outside the home. Gradually through the reduction of female education, women’s social role was restricted to that of a housewife. A parallel development was the requirement to wear the veil outside the home. Eventually the veil became a symbol of female Muslim identity.

In the last century ideologues such as Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb, have called for women’s roles to be confined to their household duties, thus limiting the development of women. Their ideas had a detrimental effect on men as well as women as they learned to view women as their inferiors. Their circumstances are such that women not only accept the lives determined for them by their men folk, but end up believing in their absolute inferiority. It is hardly surprising that their children are brought up with similar attitudes and hence the cycle of inequality is perpetuated.

Unfortunately today, women are unaware of the extent their God given rights have been violated by Muslim society to less than half of those of men. The Quran recognises the childbearing and childrearing roles of women, but does not present women as inferior to or unequal to men. On the contrary, central to Islamic belief is the importance and high value placed on education. From the true Islamic point of view education should be freely and equally available to women as much as men. Thus, if the Quran is correctly followed it will inevitably lead to progress and to the full emancipation of women.

Egyptian Upholds Sex-War View of Revolution

By Hajer Naili
WeNews correspondent
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

After stirring an outcry for her article in Foreign Policy magazine, Egyptian-American columnist Mona Eltahawy on Tuesday night offered a vigorous defense of her views that the real Middle East revolution is yet to come, between men and women.

After stirring an outcry for her article in Foreign Policy magazine, Egyptian-American columnist Mona Eltahawy on Tuesday night offered a vigorous defense of her views that the real Middle East revolution is yet to come, between men and women.
Hajer Naili


Mona Eltahawy
Photo by personaldemocracy on Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0

Mona Eltahawy said quite frankly that she wanted “to piss off as many people as possible” with her essay, “Why Do They Hate Us?” published in last week’s issue of Foreign Policy magazine.

At a Tuesday night panel on the Egyptian revolution at Columbia University, the Egyptian-American columnist said she was expecting a lot of people to be upset by her premise of an Egyptian patriarchy hostile to women.”They” in the headline refers to Egyptian men, “us” to Arab women.

“Clearly when you read it I am being very provocative, I am using a very strong language. I have been a writer for 20 years, so I know what I am doing,” she said.

She added that what actually surprised her was “so much positive feedback,” adding that a Saudi female activist has offered to translate her article into Arabic so Saudi women also have a chance to read it.

The journalist was arrested on Nov. 24 last year while protesting in Tahrir Square in Cairo. She was held in custody for 12 hours, during which time she said she was physically and sexually assaulted. Her left arm and right hand were fractured. The news of her arrest went viral on the Internet, as she tweeted that she was “beaten arrested in interior ministry.”

In this essay, Eltahawy writes that women have not yet benefitted from the revolution and the women’s revolution won’t begin “until the rage shifts from the oppressors in our presidential palaces to the oppressors on our streets and in our homes.”

“We have to remove the Mubarak that is in our head,” Eltahawy reiterated at the Columbia panel, referring to Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down in February 2011 after 18 days of street protests. “We have to remove the Mubarak in our head, the Mubarak in our bedroom, the Mubarak in our streets.”

The article spurred a flood of comments to Eltahawy’s widely followed Twitter page.

Her critics have argued that while women’s oppression does exist, her analysis is simplistic and irresponsible as it uses “Orientalist” arguments to defame Arabic culture and serves a neo-colonial agenda of the “white man.”

Several bloggers with an Arab background–female and male and from different countries–have challenged Eltahawy’s ability to speak for them.

Gigi Ibrahim, a blogger and prominent activist in the Egyptian revolution, called the essay ”disgraceful.” Samia Errazzouki, a Moroccan-American writer, wrote a rebuttal entitled, ”Dear Mona Eltahawy, You Do Not Represent ‘Us’.” In a blogpost, journalist and activist Mona Kareem called on Western media to highlight the voices of other Arab women for an accurate picture of “Arab feminism.”

Eltahawy rejected critics saying that she has been denying Arab women’s agency. “Women will complete the revolution that a man called Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia began when it set himself on fire,” she said. “When I say that Arab women will complete a revolution that a man began, I am clearly recognizing their agency.”

She told the forum that a revolution is about freedom and dignity and there would be no real revolution if gender issues are not tackled. “There are hierarchies of oppression,” insisted Eltahawy. “When you unpack the layers of oppression, it is clear that Mubarak oppressed everybody, men and women, but under that, society oppresses women and this is where we get to the real revolution.”

When asked about the rise of Islamism in Egypt and the prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the parliament, Eltahawy frowned on the mixing of politics and religion, saying that it would be detrimental to women.
“We didn’t have a revolution so a 14-year-old girl can get married in Egypt. We had a revolution for freedom and dignity and if that freedom and dignity doesn’t apply to more than half of the society, then it’s not a revolution,” concluded Eltahawy.

Eltahawy said she would see success only if the revolution goes “social,” “sexual” and “moral.”

In her essay, Eltahawy also offers examples of women’s oppression in other parts of the Middle East, from Yemen where “12-year-old girls dying in childbirth do little to stem the tide of child marriage” to Saudi Arabia, where “a gang-rape survivor was sentenced to jail for agreeing to get into a car with an unrelated male and needed a royal pardon.”

BIO: Hajer Naili is a New York-based writer for Women’s eNews. She has worked for several radio stations and publications in France and North Africa and specializes in Middle East and North Africa.

Action needed to encourage more Arab women scientists

Wagdy Sawahel
21 October 2012 University World News Global Edition Issue 244


“More Arab women than men are graduating in science, but not at all are finding their way into postgraduate research or into the workplace,” says a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. It calls for news ways of teaching and improved workplaces to tackle the problem. “More Arab women than men are graduating in science, but not at all are finding their way into postgraduate research or into the workplace,” says a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. It calls for news ways of teaching and improved workplaces to tackle the problem.

This was outlined in the report, Accelerating Growth: Women in science and technology in the Arab Middle East. The Economist Intelligence Unit announced its findings on 17 October at the Abu Dhabi headquarters of the Advanced Technology Investment Company.

Based on research and in-depth interviews with experts, including policy-makers, academics and business people, the report examines the role of women scientists in Arab nations, the state of science education in the region and the prospects for women scientists in the workplace.

It also highlights discrepancies between numbers of women earning advanced degrees, and those able to integrate effectively into the workforce.

According to the report, female students perform at least as well as their male counterparts in science and maths, and in many instances are outperforming them. Grade eight girls across the majority of countries in the Arab Middle East, for example, score consistently better than boys in maths and science.

Early high performance is reflected in the number of women seeking higher education.

In Palestine, 56% of undergraduate enrolments in 2010 were women, compared to 47% a decade earlier. This is especially pronounced in science: in Saudi Arabia, 65% of all enrolments in science degrees in 2010 were women, versus 40% a decade earlier.

But the rising number of Arab women graduating in science is not translating into more women scientists in the workplace. Women account for just 1% of researchers in Saudi Arabia, 19% in Palestine and 22% in Libya, markedly lower than the world average of 30%.

And despite their high proportions in undergraduate places, many do not pursue postgraduate research. Women make up just 34% of participants in science masters courses in Saudi Arabia, and 29% in PhD programmes.

“These figures are especially remarkable given that women pick up almost three-quarters of bachelors degrees in science in the country,” the report pointed out.

Explaining the Saudi pattern – which exists across most of the Arab Middle East – Moneef Zou’bi, director-general of the Jordan-based Islamic World Academy of Science, was quoted in the report as saying:

“While women perform well, it can be difficult for those wising to pursue postgraduate study to do so, because of social, economic or family factors.”

The report recommends that efforts be made to remove these obstacles in order to increase female participation in the fields of science and technology, and that workplaces be made more attractive to women.

Other initiatives needed to motivate women scientists to participate in the workforce include introducing policies such as parental leave and flexible working hours for female graduates.

Zou’bi also described the higher education systems in most Arab and developing countries as “at least a generation out of date” in terms of market demand and current jobs on offer.

Curriculum content needed a sharper focus on science, technology, maths and foreign languages and students needed to get excited about science at an early age. One successful programme is sending UAE students to South Korea for hands-on training in nuclear power plants.

Besides intensifying collaboration between industry and the growing ranks of female science undergraduates, to bridge the divide between study and work, the report suggested that vocational education in partnership with the private sector be improved, along with introducing summer jobs and internships for students.

Sponsorships and scholarships were another useful tool to strengthen ties between employers and undergraduates, according to the report.

A further way to encourage qualified Arab women to pursue careers in science would be to highlight success stories among women scientists via conferences, workshops and industry events, and to give female graduates opportunities to engage with these successful women scientists at first hand. Mentoring and role-model initiatives should also be enhanced.

Magdi Tawfik Abdelhamid, a researcher at Cairo’s National Research Centre, welcomed the report.

“It has a good agenda and action plan to be adopted by regional bodies including the UAE-based Arab science and technology foundation’s Arab women network for research and development, and the Bahrain-based Arab network for women in science and technology,” Abdelhamid told University Word News.
University World News

Only Ed

The Rising Voices of Arab Women – From Social Activism to Eco-Feminism

Posted April 18th, 2011, by Rola Tassabehji, Green Prophet,

Defiant women, some “worth 100 men” are reshaping the Arab world in grassroots activism.

While news of a minority of Muslim women in burkas continues to spread islamophobia in the West, a growing number of Arab women (veiled or otherwise) are shedding their typical conservative image and gaining more visibility in the pro-democracy protests around the region. Western liberal understanding of feminism may prevent many from acknowledging any real progress, but a new role for Arab women in grass root activism is plain to see.

From hunger fasts in Bahrain, to women’s only marches in Yemen, to Asmaa Mahfouz (known as “a woman worth 100 men”), whose anti-Mubarak video helped trigger the revolution against autocratic rule, to the defiant Iman Al-Obeidi in Libya, women are playing as…

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The new wave of Arab supermodels

By Zubeida Malik
Today programme

Hind Sahli joined her first modelling agency in 2008

Arab supermodels are making a name for themselves in the fashion industry, and are changing the way Arab women are perceived by the rest of the world.

Hind Sahli is from Morocco, has been modelling for a couple of years and has worked with names such as Marc Jacobs, Kenzo and Vera Wang.

She puts her success down to a couple of things. “In fashion, they like to have new. Anything new is good.”

But the diversity and culture of the Arab world is also appealing to those in the fashion industry.

“Designers and photographers – they like that we’re not all the same and also we have such a big culture, it’s so different from others – we can get inspired from so many things.”

Coming from a conservative culture, the reaction to her modelling as a career choice has been mixed.

“Mostly, I have had positive reactions. Most people think it’s good to have a Moroccan model. I have also had some young girls sending messages by Facebook asking me how I did it and how I started. I have had just a few bad reactions from people, but I don’t mind – I’m happy what I’m doing.”

But it is not just Hind Sahli making a name for herself – other models have also broken through, such as Hanaa ben Abdesslem from Tunisia, who has landed the holy grail of modelling – a contract with a cosmetic company, Lancome.

Shaista Gohir, a director of Muslim Women’s Network UK and campaigner for women’s rights believes that in the West, there is a generic stereotype of Arab Muslim women and that these models will help to change that.

“It’s definitely revolutionary and a bold career choice, particularly because in that part of the world they are quite traditional.

Model Hanaa ben Abdesslem grew up in Tunisia, where modelling was not considered to be a profession
“You always need that first person to actually break the boundary, break the stereotypes that will inspire other girls,” she says.

“I think the stereotypes do come from the media that show Muslim women as veiled and voiceless – and you only have to look at the 100 most powerful Arab women list that comes out every year, just to see quite a different image of women from that part of the world.”

Many of the models are from a Muslim background, says Hind Sahli, who describes herself as a practising Muslim. She says her distant family members may have a problem with it, but her parents have encouraged her.

“My mum – she chooses to wear the Hijab, it’s her choice. My father, my mum and everyone are practising the Muslim religion, praying and everything.”

“Designers and brands have to go where the money is – and at the moment quite a lot of the money is in the Arab states”

Lauretta Roberts
WSGN fashion forecasters
There is a burgeoning youth market in the Arab world – one that designers and brands want to tap into.

One way of doing that is using Arab models because consumers want to buy a product marketed by someone who looks similar to them.

Lauretta Roberts is a director at Fashion forecasters WGSN and believes the use of Arab models marks a groundbreaking moment for the fashion industry.

”The models are being portrayed in a more mainstream and everyday manner. It doesn’t necessarily look as revolutionary as perhaps it is, because there’s no big deal being made of the culture that they come from.

“They’re portrayed in exactly the same way as any model from Eastern Europe or America might be and I think that’s incredibly positive. There were a number of models who broke the mould in the 1970s – for instance somebody like Iman – but they were almost portrayed in a slightly exotic way.”

According to Ms Roberts, another reason for the rise of the Arab model is down to money, because the growth markets are in the Middle East and Asia.

Designers and brands have to go where the money is – and at the moment quite a lot of the money is in the Arab states. You only have to look at the couture market, which is right at the very high end of fashion. That market used to appeal to rich Americans.

“Nowadays, if you look at those shows, it’s all about appealing to the Arab consumer because those are the ones who can afford it right now.”

At the same time as the rise of the Arab model, there has been the Arab Spring and things are beginning to change slowly for Arab women in the Middle East. Hind Sahli feels proud to part of the change in her own small way.

“The fact that I left, I’m working and I’m doing well, will give other young girls the courage to do it.”

Zubeida Malik’s report was originally broadcast on the Today programme.