El Moutawakel told AFP she embraces being a role model for Muslim women thanks
to her historic gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games POOL/AFP
Women Organisation Extends Financial Aid for Naamghar in Lakhimpur
Power on Display at Calligraphy Exhibition
Torch Bearer for Muslim Sportswomen, Winning Olympic Gold in the 400 Metres
Hurdles at the 1984 Games
Chosen as Top Brand by Women In UAE, Apple Tops Saudi List
Should Not Be Sacrificed For Peace, Say Afghan Women
Teachers Hold Fifth Round Of Nationwide Strikes and Sit-Ins
Egyptian Laws, Rulings That Protect, Support, Empower Women
of Converted Pakistani Muslim Woman Handed Over To Hindu Father
by New Age Islam News Bureau
With Me: Shamima Begum's Dutch Husband
Amit Roy in London
Begum’s 27-year-old Dutch husband, Yago Riedijk, who was a fighter for the
Islamic State, has said he wants her and their newborn son Jarrah to return
with him to the Netherlands.
should live in Holland,” said Riedijk, who is being held in a Kurdish detention
centre in north-eastern Syria.
19, has been stripped of her UK nationality by the British home secretary.
Bangladesh, too, has disowned her, so she appears to be stateless.
has not been deprived of his Dutch nationality but he faces at least six years
in prison for belonging to a terrorist organisation if he returns home — which
he might find difficult to do.
media in Arnhem have revealed he was raised in a “lovely” middle class family
before converting to Islam and leaving for Syria in October 2014 to join the
“marriage” also may not be considered legal either in Britain or in the
Netherlands because Shamima, a Bangladeshi girl who was only 15 when she ran
away from her school in Bethnal Green in East London in 2015, found a partner
barely 10 days after arriving in IS-controlled Syria.
told the BBC he saw nothing wrong with marrying Shamima because it was “her
choice”. Describing how he met her in a women’s centre in Raqqa, he said he was
initially not interested because she was too young.
said: “To be honest, when my friend came and said there was a girl who was
interested in marriage, I wasn’t that interested because of her age, but I
accepted the offer anyway.”
added that she had seemed to be “in a good state of mind”.
insisted: “It was her own choice. She asked to look for a partner for her, and
I was invited.”
conceded “she was very young, maybe it would have been better for her to wait a
bit”, before adding, “But she didn’t, she chose to get married and I chose to
IS fighter told the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville that he was imprisoned in Raqqa
and tortured after the extremists accused him of being a Dutch spy. He admitted
fighting for the IS but said he later rejected its ideology and had tried to
leave the group. Riedijk also said he attended the stoning of a woman for
“fornication”, saw piles of dead bodies in the city and lost an infant daughter
to malnutrition. Another son also did not survive.
and Shamima escaped the town of Baghouz, the terror group’s last territory in
eastern Syria, as the self-styled “caliphate” crumbled. Riedijk surrendered to
a group of Syrian fighters, and Shamima ended up among 39,000 people in the
al-Hol refugee camp in northern Syria.
has now moved to the Al-Roj refugee base nearer the Iraqi border, apparently
because of threats from other extremist brides.
Kurdish security sources denied claims from Shamima’s lawyer that this was
because of safety fears after reports that IS hardliners, angered by her high
profile and uncovered face in interviews with the media, had put a bounty on
her head.Officials insisted that Shamima was moved to make space for a surge in
IS fighters and their families pouring into al-Hol from Baghouz.
a time when cases of communal animosity are being reported from different parts
of the country, a women organisation of Muslim community has given financial
aid to a Naamghar in Assam’s Lakhimpur district.
Mahila Samaj, a Muslim women’s group in North Lakhimpur on Sunday offered
financial aid for a Naamghar here.
Hussain, the president of the NGO and its secretary Tajwar Sultana Talukdar
presented the cash amounts to Gunin Dutta, the president of the managing
committee of Borimuri Naamghar at Borimuri near the NH-15 by-pass here.
function was organized on that occasion inside the Borimuri Naamghar which
began with Naam-Kirtaan by the Bhagawat Samaj.
adviser of Ashroy Mahila Samaj Farhana Ahmed said the objective of the step by
the NGO in building bridges between Hindu and Islamic faiths that has been
defining Assamese identity.
said that it was a small step towards a bigger cause for the unity and
integrity of the society.
fund, comprising of Rs 7 thousand has been contributed for some construction
works of the Naamghar.
secretary of Ashroy Mahila Samaj Tajwar, Sultana Talukdar and treasurer Anowara
Begum also spoke on the occasion.
Sarma, the secretary of the Borimuri Naamghar managing committee, expressed
gratitude to the women’s body for its rare gesture and hoped that such an
initiative would send a strong message to the society.
At an exhibition of magnificent pieces of Arabic Calligraphy of internationally
renowned Indian calligrapher Muqtar Ahmad and his students, the works of two
young girls from Kerala and Bengaluru have become cynosure of all eyes.
Kottiyal Hyder from Kerala and Beebee Laisa from Bengaluru left visitors
impressed with their Arabic calligraphy. Their creations were among nearly 200
‘Tughras’ or works of calligraphy that were on display at two-day exhibition at
the auditorium of Masjid-e-Baqee in Hyderabad.
who runs an Arabic Calligraphy training centre for young generation in
Bengaluru under the Institute of India Islamic Art and Culture said, Jehan
Hyder was highly talented and a fast learner who has mastered Riqqa style of
Arabic calligraphy in just four months. “She has done in four months what
others will normally take a couple of years to do”.
she continue to practice like this I am sure she will be among the top Arabic
calligraphers in the world. Her hand is very strong. After Riqqa she is now
practising in Nasq”, said Muqtar.
who originally worked as a Katib (calligrapher) in Bengaluru-based Urdu newspaper
Salar for five years, developed his skills in Arabic calligraphy under the
tutelage of world’s top most calligraphers, specially from Turkey and Arab
his meagre resources did not allow him to go abroad to learn the art, he used
online tools to take lessons from top experts of the field, like Mohammad
Zakaria in the US and Dawood Batashi.
passing various online examinations and earning praise from top calligraphers,
Nisar started participating in international exhibitions and competitions. His
works were displayed at the exhibitions in Dubai, Qatar, Algeria and Malaysia
and several other countries and earned awards.
other student who impressed with her works at Hyderabad is Laisa, an M.Tech in
communication technology from Bengaluru who is practising Arabic calligraphy
for last two years. She is also a trained English calligrapher.
who has completed learning Thuluth style of Arabic calligraphy, and it now
masterning the Nasq style. “My plan is to set up an institute to teach Arabic
as well as English calligraphy, specially to girls. Unlike Turkey and Arab
countries, we hardly have any women calligraphers in India”.
calligraphy fell on hard times after Urdu newspapers and book publishers
replaced the calligraphers with computers; a majority of them gave up the
profession thinking it was all over. But Ahmad said: “I looked at it from a
different angle and decided to go for Arabic calligraphy and master it as an
art. There are many calligraphers and artists practising Arabic calligraphy.
But unfortunately most of them are either ignorant of its intricacies and rules
or don’t feel it necessary to follow them. Because of this shortcoming they
don’t get recognition at the international level”, he said.
Nawal el-Moutawakel took just 54 seconds to go from the “dark to the light”
when she became the first Muslim woman from Africa to win Olympic gold in the
400 metres hurdles at the 1984 Games.
56-year-old Moroccan has since forged a successful career as a sports
administrator having twice been Minister of Sports and is an influential member
of both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International
Association of Athletics Federations.
consider myself a role model with my other Olympic champions back home in
Morocco,” she told AFP.
could have stayed and spent most of my life enjoying my glory of 1984 but no,
seconds allowed me to go from dark to light, like I said from zero to hero. I
would like to share every single moment with the younger generation.”
whose victory in Los Angeles was marked by the then King Hassan II ordering
every girl born that day named in her honour, said the hurdles on the track
reflected the challenges she had faced in her life.
she always met them head-on, claiming, “My victory meant no more just washing
the dishes for women”.
my religion, women were never forbidden to compete,” she said at the recent
prophet (Mohammed) used to run against his wife, and she used to beat him,
until she found out she was pregnant, that’s how he beat her.”
could compete equally as men, and that’s why I felt growing up in an
environment that was very supportive, very positive until today, so I don’t
think there is any resistance whatsoever.”
supports her claim by citing a passage from the Koran in Arabic.
your children how to run, do horse-back riding, and also swimming,” she said.
is in our religion. He never said, teach your daughter, or teach your son. It
says ‘teach your children’, and in children, there is a son and daughter.”
diamonds come in small packages’
a mother of two children, daughter Zineb and son Roda, certainly received all
the support she desired from her parents, especially her father Mohammed.
allayed her fears of how much bigger some of her rivals were by saying, “Rubies
and diamonds come in small packages.”
father was a judoka, my mum did physical activities at high school, we grew up
five brothers and sisters, we were all in the same club and we all did
athletics so I was in an environment that was very positive, very supportive,”
never felt any resistance (to her wanting to be an athlete) whatsoever.”
the day I won in 1984, August 8th, when many microphones were placed in front
of me, talking about this resistance.”
I was like, what do you mean?”
whose great regret is her devoted father did not live to see her moment of
glory, dying in a car crash in early 1984 a week after she had started
university in the United States, found the spotlight unnerving.
I ran in 1984, my coaches (Iowa University’s Ron Renko and Pat Moynihan) were
teaching me how to run, but they weren’t teaching me how to speak,” she said.
all of a sudden I had hundreds of journalists with microphones wanting me to
speak, and I said ‘I have nothing to say, I showed you in my performance’.”
airline Emirates has emerged as the top brand for women in the UAE for the
third time in a row, according to the latest survey by YouGov.
carrier received the highest positive impression score of 70 among women in the
UAE, the survey found.
also retained its second position this year, while Carrefour moved up one place
in the list to third, replacing Apple.
rankings were compiled using the impression score from YouGov’s daily brand
tracker, BrandIndex, by asking respondents, “Which of the following brands do
you generally have a positive/negative feeling about?” over the past 12 months.
brand that moved the rankings this year is Samsung, which went to fifth from
eighth place last year. Dairy brand Almarai also improved its perception among
women moving up one place to ninth. Baskin-Robbins made an entry into the list
at sixth position this year, while Facebook exited the rankings.
past year has been difficult for technology brands, with each of those present
in the top 10 list showing declining scores year-on-year,” the report said.
also revealed the 10 brands that made the largest improvement to their
impression scores over the past 12 months. Coca-Cola topped the list, followed
by Netflix, and fast-food brands KFC and McDonald’s.
Saudi Arabia, the YouGov survey found that Apple beat Almarai to become the top
brand for women.
the launch of the new iPhones and Apple watch last year, the brand generated a
lot of noise and has strengthened its appeal among women. Apple’s smartphone
brand, iPhone, has likewise seen great improvement and places in second,” the
food restaurant chain Al Baik has climbed from seventh place last year to third
year was a tough one for dairy brand Almarai. The rise in the price of milk by
the brand generated substantial resentment among consumers and they took to
social media to boycott the brand. Almarai’s perception among women in Saudi
Arabia has declined subsequently, pulling it down from first to fifth place
this year,” the report explained.
Saudi too, technology brands seem to have had a rather difficult year with both
WhatsApp and YouTube seeing a decline in their ranks.
terms of the 10 brands that made the largest improvement over the past 12
months, Saudi payments network mada topped the list, followed by food and
beverage brands Maestro Pizza and Coca-Cola.
group of women activists and residents of Jawzjan at a ceremony in the province
announced their support to the ongoing talks in Qatar but said that the
achievements of Afghanistan in women’s rights, freedom of press and other gains
should not be ignored the process.
called o government to share the developments of peace talks with the people.
The women said they want peace but their freedoms should not be sacrificed for
it. “We support the peace talks which are ongoing abroad on condition that
Taliban will not ignore the [Afghan] Constitution and women’s freedoms,” said
Sayera Shakib Sadat, a women’s rights activist in Jawzjan. “Peace is a need in
today’s society and every citizen of this country is thinking about this.”
activists said peace is a basic need for Afghanistan and that government and
Taliban should not ignore the values of the Constitution. “At least 40,000
soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice in the war in past five years. We can find
few families who have not been affected by the war,” said Farahnaz, a civil
teachers and educators held nationwide strikes and sit-ins for the fifth time
this year, on Sunday, March 3, 2019, upon a previous call.
nationwide strikes and sit-ins have taken place in 31 cities of Iran so far and
are currently spreading with more hardworking Iranian teachers and educators
joining the protest movements.
teachers and educators have played an active role in these strikes and sit-ins.
and educators have refused to go to classrooms and have stayed in the school
offices to protest the current status of their livelihood and living below the
teachers are also demanding the release of imprisoned teachers, the removal of
all legal barriers for free guild union activities, the suspension of school
monetary policies, the allocation of adequate and sufficient resources for
education in the 2019 budget plan, the increase in wages, and the cancellation
of contracts with ineffective supplementary insurances.
cities that have participated in this strike and sit-ins are as follows:
Isfahan, Tabriz, Jolfa, Ardabil, Shiraz, Buin Zahra, Mashhad, Babol, Iranshahr,
Najaf Abad, Sari, Shahreza, Qorveh, Takestan, Mohammadiyeh Qazvin, Muchesh
Kurdistan, Urmia, Nishapur, Ziviyeh, and Falavarjan.
addition to the protests, students joined the sit-in in support of their
hardworking teachers. In Hamadan, students joined the strike and sit-in in
solidarity with their teachers.
teachers and educators had held nationwide protests, strikes, and sit-ins on
four previous occasions in the months of May, October, November, and February.
Female teachers had extensive participation in these protests and strikes. Women
also got arrested in the wave of crackdown on teachers in the aftermath of the
second round of their protests in November.
salaries in Iran are one-third of the poverty line, but most of the teachers
are on temporary contracts and they receive even smaller wages, less than
one-fourth of the poverty line.
– 3 March 2019: Two main legislative documents protect, support and empower
women in Egypt: The Egyptian constitution of 2014 and the Criminal Code of 1937
and its amendments.
legislative pieces divide crimes against women in Egypt to two separate groups:
Misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors, such as catcalling or sexual
harassment, are seen as less significant crimes than felonies, and are usually
punished by fines and short-term jail time; the trails are also shortened.
Felonies, like FGM, rape, kidnapping a female, or sexual assault, are punished
by longer jail time, and a permanent record is placed for those convicted.
celebration of the Month of Women, March, Egypt Today looks at the top 15
rulings and laws that protect women.
to the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation in Ruling No. 289 of April
24, 1950, there is no need to prove that the offender had complete sexual
intercourse with the victim against the victim’s will. It is sufficient for the
offender to touch the victim with their hands, reproductive organs, or device
against the victim’s will. To ensure justice, Ruling No. 4794 of February 14,
1985, was amended to add that the assailant must have had mental intent,
meaning that it was not accidental. Law No. 11 of 2011 was later added to
increase the penalty against attackers of children under the age of 18, under
article 269 of the Criminal Code, to three to fifteen years in prison.
Genital Mutilation (FGM)
was condoned in the early 2000s by the state and the community, and later, the
state, in 2008, launched a nation-wide campaign to condemn and limit the
solidify its stance, in August 2016, Article 242 of the Criminal code suggested
that the punishment of performing FGM is imprisonment with hard labor for up to
for a divorce—Khula
2000, the groundbreaking Khula Law, known as Law No. 1 of 2000, allowed women
to file for divorce, in registered and unregistered marriages, without the
husband’s consent. During the same year, Egypt also saw the establishment of
the right for women to apply for a passport and travel without the husband’s
No. 10 of 2004 introduced the Family Courts, allowing women to demand their
rights and seek legal protection from domestic violence. Building on Law No.
10, Law No. 11 of 2004 established the Family Insurance Fund, a system through
which women can collect court-ordered alimony and child support money. Law No.
154 was also changed in 2004 to allow children of Egyptian mothers and a
foreign father to have equal citizenship rights; in the past, one could only be
an Egyptian citizen if their father is Egyptian.
2008 reforms were also made to extend the mother’s legal custody to 15 years of
age, raise the legal age of marriage to 18, and allow children to take their
mother’s name, if their father is not proven.
violence, torture and mutilation
11, 52, 60, 67, 71, 80, and 89 of the 2014 Constitution ensure the protection
of women against violence, torture, mutilation and organ trade, incitement of
violence against women or specific women-based groups, “impingement of
individual honor”, sexual exploitation and assault, and human trafficking,
District and Sessions Judge Zahoor Ahmed Hakro ordered to handover children to
a Hindu father when the mother converted and embraced Islam. The father, Bhero
Chand, pleaded the court that his children with his former wife Poonam, who has
changed her religion and married to a Muslim, should be handed over to him.
court after hearing the case ordered the woman to hand over their three
children, Haresh, Mahesh and Pawna, to their father Bhero Chand. The court,
however, ordered the father to arrange at least twice a month meetings of the
children with their mother Poonam. The mother who embraced Islam and changed
her name as Hasina, said that she married Rab Nawaz for the better future of
her children and requested the court not to separate them.
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