Hot off the Arab press

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

Veiled women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  521 (photo credit: REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser )
Veiled women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 521
(photo credit: REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser )
TV shows TARGETING women Al-Hayat, London, March 2
Most television shows targeting women or segments on women in programs on the Arabic channels see the women from one angle, says Rasim al-Madhoun.
These shows only care about appearance, he says, and offer information about clothes, makeup and staying in shape. These details are important to women and society, but the focus on appearance makes us forget the other roles of women.
A successful show can’t be selective, and needs to pay attention to all issues women are facing. There are real problems and negative attitudes toward women that need to be highlighted and discussed in order to find solutions. TV is not only for entertainment, it is an educational tool for the society as a whole. It’s not enough to say that women are half of the society, we need to reflect that by focusing on core issues and not superficial ones, hoping that we can improve women’s role in the society.
Freedom for women
Al-Ayyam, Manama, March 2 No society will advance if gender separation continues, says writer Ishaq al-Sheikh. This goes against nature, and the way men and women were created, the writer says. Harmony between the two genders is the basis of life. Everything in life relies on pluralism, and people need to interact with one another for the good of humanity.
Religion came for the people’s benefit and not to complicate their lives, so the separation between the two genders can’t be religiously justified. Scholars of violence and terror lobby for the separation, using Islam as camouflage for their agendas.
Some women and enlightened men still strive to achieve more rights for women. They are starting a fight against dark ideologies that don’t want women to be a part of society’s development and renaissance.
These people, especially those working in education, must be removed from influential positions. We need to fight the old traditions that don’t belong to our time, and this begins by giving women their freedom.
Only in Saudi Arabia: A mother gives birth to her guardian Al Jazeera, Riyadh, March 3
Imagine a woman giving birth to a baby, feeding him and staying up nights to raise him, only to have him become her guardian when he turns 18.
This is the fate of each widow or a divorced woman in Saudi Arabia. She can’t travel or renew important documents like passports without his permission.
If her father dies, she can only get married if her son approves.
A society that boasts about religion treats the “other half” as incomplete citizens. The personal status law in the kingdom faces many problems, and puts women in difficult situations. Women are mysteriously kept away from the legal process, or even from voting for their own representatives to defend their existence.
What is this law that requires a woman, who is in her 70s, to ask her son’s approval to get a passport? Any civilized society needs to do women justice.
A free and struggling woman Nawa, Ramallah, March 3
The book Female Premeditated documents the sacrifices of women through the Arab Spring, and tells women to be proud, live in dignity, take their freedom and not accept oppression. The book’s author, Fatima Kheir, believes in Simone De Beauvoir’s quote, “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” Kheir advises women not to give into old traditions, especially a famous Arabic saying that goes, “Paradise is at the feet of mothers.” She says these were tricks used to make women a tool only to raise children.
Many women put fake photos on their social media websites, and most of these women put photos of celebrities and free women they wish to become. “Even 1,000 men are not equal to Shahinda,” the book concludes in regard to its main character, for her role in the Egyptian revolution.
Women for Women Dar Al-Khaleej, Dubai, March 3
In the 1950s, around the world, one out of eight marriages ended in divorce. Today, the rate has increased to 50 percent, according to the European statistics bureau – and commentator Fahd Bin Jalloud doesn’t know if the Arab world was counted or not. Women are women, whether in Saudi Arabia or in Europe, so these women tried to imitate the European habit of throwing parties celebrating divorces. Many people attacked the idea, because they said it shows the Arab husband negatively.
However, the Arabs imported it in a different way. The idea is not to throw a party to celebrate the divorce; the main idea is to give the woman back her self-esteem, and support her through this difficult time.