My heart is torn between East and West. I live somewhere between the present and the past. I don't know who I am.
Mohammad Assaf…..sort of.
This year’s participation of the Palestinian singer in the popular singing contest Arab Idol has afforded the show as well as the singer himself much attention. His participation in the show has caused a stir and has been extensively discussed and analysed by various reports, articles and talk shows. He’s the favourite to win the show but many contend that even if he’s not awarded the title, he has undoubtedly gained the most out of the experience.
The Gaza-based singer has risen to fame within the Arab world, less for his vocals and more as a champion and a “fresh” face for the Palestinian cause. That’s not to deny his singing ability which has been highly praised but the real problem is that we’re being led to falsely believe that a win for Mohammad Assaf is also a win for the people of Gaza and Palestine. This without a doubt has been a driving force behind many of the viewer’s decision to vote for Assaf. Even The Bank of Palestine is throwing money into his campaign, promising to match up to 350,000 texted votes – each one costing 1.50 shekels ($.40). Taking this into account, I think we’ve really got to start asking ourselves, who’s really profiting from promoting such a narrative? Surely that money could be better spent elsewhere, especially with the Palestinian government’s crippling budget deficit?
Let’s not kid ourselves, the real winners of Arab Idol, the ones really benefiting and indeed, profiting from all this are MBC themselves, their sponsors and the Saudi Arabian government alongside the Saudi chairman of MBC, Waleed Al-Ibrahim. The millions of votes that the viewers send in equate into millions of dollars. It’s their money of course and they’re free to do whatever they want with it but don’t for one second believe that your money is helping Palestine or the Palestinian cause and struggle in any way. The only struggle your money is helping to alleviate is the struggle of the big corporations and the billionaires who own them to get bigger, richer and more corrupt. So please, enough with all the “hope for Palestine” talk because the only time we seem to be good at remembering Palestine is when it’s associated with something fun and light-hearted. Assaf might win, fireworks will go off, confetti will be thrown, zaghareet will be sounded and sweets and sharbat will be passed round but after the celebrations die down, will we still remember the Palestinian cause?
I really don’t understand Muslims who say ‘omfg’, like I am pretty sure you know what it stands for so why use it?
The following books are some of the ones I used for my research:
This is by no means an exhaustive list but there’s are the ones that I would particularly recommend (especially the first two books.) You can also get the names of many more titles by looking through the bibliography of these books to see which authors/other books the writer cites frequently.
Hope it helps!
I am so glad I did my research paper for my History class on black women within the Civil Rights movement. It just made me realise how uneducated I was about the topic. Seriously, if you haven’t considered the role of women within the struggle for Civil Rights then you know very little. Black women were quite literally reduced to the footnotes of history yet they played some of the most important roles within the movement. If you mention the names Jo Ann Robinson, Ella Baker, Ida B. Wells, Septima Clark, Esther V. Cooper and Fannie Lou Hamer to anyone today, the most common reaction you’ll draw out of them is a look of total bewilderment. On the other hand, you can talk about Martin Luther King and Malcom X and people will know exactly who you are referring to.
These women were key female figures in the struggle for African-American Civil Rights. They and other women like them risked their lives and worked tirelessly, demanding a social revolution but their efforts weren’t even recognised by historians many of whom write the textbooks about the Civil Rights movement used in schools and universities today. Their King-centric stance completely overlooks the contributions made by black women to the movement and the worst thing is that Martin Luther King Jr. did next to nothing in order to get the voices of these women heard. Yeah he did some good work but he’s literally one of the most over-hyped figures in history. People like Malcom X did far more for black women than King ever did yet King is all we’re ever taught about in school. The only female figure we’re told about is Rosa Parks but even her story has been inaccurately retold to the point where she’s now described as a sweet and reticent elderly woman whose tired feet caused her to defy segregation on Montgomery’s city buses. People don’t even realise the amazing work she did as an investigator of rape cases against black women and that her refusal to give up her seat on that bus was not a coincidental action but a deliberate one.
What’s more, black women in the Civil Rights movement laboured under a double burden of sex discrimination and race discrimination. As a result, they were forced to put the battle for gender equality to one side to fight for racial equality. This is made clear when you consider the decision taken by organisers of the 1963 march on Washington D.C to ban all women from speaking at the event despite the majority of attendees being compromised of women, children and youth. The omission was deliberate and this is highlighted by the fact that there was no shortage of widely respected female figures and leaders that were willing to speak at the event yet none of them were invited to do so.
A lot of that changed with the rise of the Black Power movement. The male-centered views which had so often characterised previous campaigns were challenged with the emergence of black women on the front lines and the increased recognition and coverage they received as a result. Rather than confining themselves to organisational roles and working behind the scenes, black women in the Black Power movement were highly visible and more outspoken in their pursuit for black equality. Funny then how this movement should be portrayed as barbaric and violent when it probably did the most for black women.
This doesn’t really make much sense but I felt like writing this down somewhere. I am just sick of people overlooking the role of women, especially black women within the Civil Rights movement (I am definitely one of those people and I still know very little about the contribution of these amazing women). I really wish more people would make an effort to learn about their struggles because these women did more to shape history than any man in the Civil Rights movement.
The single most factor that unites the opposition in Egypt is their deep-rooted and often Islamophobic hatred for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis (the so-called “Islamists”.) They’re even willing to work with prominent figures from the old regime in order to try and “make Egypt a better place”…the very same figures who helped to ruin the country in the first place
An effective opposition would provide alternative solutions or at least offer useful critique of the government’s policies/actions. The opposition in Egypt does neither and until they do, they will never be able to gain the trust or support of the Egyptian people.
Short answer: No.
Long answer: No because quite frankly, I have better things to do with my time than protest the supposed “failing” of Morsi and his government, never mind that he hasn’t even been in office for one whole year let alone the fact that him and his government are trying to fix up a broken country after 30+ years of corrupt rule because let’s not kid ourselves, Mubarak and his cronies weren’t the only corrupt officials on the scene, Mubarak had great examples to follow with Sadat and Nasser. Oh and let’s just ignore the fact that he’s A DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED PRESIDENT. Go tell the 51.73% of voters who waited for hours in lines to get inside polling stations in order to exercise their democratic right that their choice is ‘invalid’.
I am probably going to get so much hate for this but hey, that’s just my view. Thanks for sending that question in.
I look like this…
A green, Anna Wintour look-alike with a tennis-ball shaped head and really bad highlights. This picture was taken before I wore the hijab though so if you feel offended then please feel free to avert your gaze.
omg guys, I just found my French coursework piece from high school about ‘My Ideal Partner’ - I actually submitted this to the exam board…
Mon partenaire idéal serait vraiment beau comme Ken, le copain de Barbie. Il aurait les cheveux blonds et les yeux verts. Il travaillerait comme mannequin et il habiterait dans une grande maison. Il devrait être riche et généreux et il serait mon petit ami, bien sûr. En plus, il n’aimerait que moi! Je peux rêver, non?!
No. Thank the lord I am done with high school. I absolutely hated that godforsaken place. I met some lovely people there but it really wasn’t a very nice place, not for me at least. I hated every single moment of it. I hope I never have to go back there ever again.