New Age Islam
Mon Nov 30 2020, 03:34 AM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 23 Aug 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Benevolent Smugglers Free Yazidi Women from Islamic State Slavery

















Zaina Erhaim. Erhaim, a Syrian-based journalist who has trained citizen reporters in the war-ravaged country has been named the recipient of the Peter Mackler Award, organizers said on Saturday. (AFP)

 

At Family Day in Nigeria, Muslim Women Condemn Insecurity

Aleppo Woman Bags Mackler Courageous Journalism Award

UAE PM Amends Law Establishing Women’s Establishment

14-Man Online Blackmail Ring Targeted Women in UAE, Saudi

Gang Harassing Young Lady Doctors in Lahore, Hacking Facebook and WhatsApp

No Women Prison in Balochistan

Malala's Security Tightened Up After Terror Threats

Saudi Education Ministry OKs Transport Agreements for Female Teachers

Muslims Complain Over Columbus Police Hijab Ban

Two Al-Shabaab ‘Brides’ Held by Police in Garissa

No Deal on Female Helps from Sudan

Painting A Brighter Future For Women With HIV

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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Benevolent Smugglers Free Yazidi Women from Islamic State Slavery

August 24th, 2015

DOHUK, Iraq — Sitting in a partially built house in an abandoned Christian village in Kurdistan, a 21-year-old Yazidi woman quietly recounted her ordeal at the hands of the Islamic State.

“ISIS separated me from my sisters,” the woman said as she sat on a worn mattress thrown onto the concrete floor. “They beat me, raped me, handcuffed me and left me in a room for days. I tried to kill myself by jumping from a tall building and by electrocuting myself.”

The woman asked to remain anonymous because she feared her three younger sisters who remain captives of the Islamic State might suffer if she were identified.

Just over a year ago, in a campaign that sparked outrage around the world, Islamic State militants charged into the area around Mount Sinjar, butchering hundreds of Yazidis, an ethno-religious minority whose Persian-influenced traditions predate Islam, and enslaving thousands of others who did not make it to the safety of the mountain. The perilous story of the Yazidi hostage and her family indicates that the suffering is far from over for one of Iraq’s most embattled populations.

Just a week before she told her story, the woman and her youngest sister escaped the Islamic State after eleven months of rape and abuse with the help of Khalil Dakhi, 38, a Yazidi lawyer who made it his mission to rescue enslaved Yazidis from the clutches of the militant group.

With a small group of accomplices, Mr. Dakhi by his own account has smuggled about 600 people to safety away from the Islamic State. Government officials in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where Mr. Dakhi brings the rescued Yazidis, corroborate his figures.

“They are very effective, and their work involves taking great personal risks,” said Mirza Dinnayi, an adviser to the Kurdish Regional Government, or KRG, that helps fund Mr. Dakhi’s mission.

The desperate defense of Mount Sinjar prompted the Obama administration to launch its air campaign against the Islamic State. U.S. airstrikes stalled the militants’ advance until Kurdish forces from Syria managed to break through the encirclement of fighters and usher the terrified survivors to safety.

Of the roughly 7,000 Yazidis who went missing then, about 5,000 were enslaved, said Matthew Barber, a researcher at the University of Chicago. Nearly 2,000 — mostly women and children — have escaped. Mr. Dakhi said he rarely rescues men. Islamic State fighters often kill men if they refuse to convert to Islam.

Yazidis, estimated to number from 300,000 to 700,000, practice an ancient religion that mixes Zoroastrianism and faiths indigenous to the pre-Muslim Middle East. The Islamic State considers the Yazidis devil worshippers who must convert to Islam or face death or enslavement.

Islamic State fighters caught the 21-year-old and her four younger sisters when they became separated from the rest of their family during the flight to Mount Sinjar.

The sisters soon found themselves in Raqqa, the Syrian city that has become the de facto capital of the Islamic State. The 21-year-old became a “jihadi bride” — a sex slave to a Libyan Jihadi fighter. (Press accounts last week reported that captured American aid worker Kayla Miller was forced to be a sex slave for Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before her apparent death in an allied airstrike this year.)

After she tried to kill herself a second time, her captor passed her on to a German Jihadi in Tel Afar in Iraq.

Catching a lifeline

In Tel Afar, fate threw the young woman a lifeline. A few months ago, she managed to get hold of a mobile phone and called her elder sister Hanifah, who had made it to the safety of Kurdistan. Hanifah, who agreed to share her first name, told her about Mr. Dakhi’s smuggling ring, gave her his number, and soon the woman was on the phone with him.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/18/yazidi-women-freed-from-islamic-state-slavery-by-b/

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At Family Day in Nigeria, Muslim Women Condemn Insecurity

August 23, 2015

It was time to celebrate the family when the women wing of Ansar-Ud-Deen Islamic Society of Nigeria, Lagos Council came together to mark its annual Family Day.  Daniel Adeleye reports

IT was an atmosphere of love, friendship and celebration, as the women wing of Ansar-Ud-Deen Islamic Society of Nigeria, Lagos Council held its 11th Family Day.

The yearly event took place penultimate Sunday, at the Ansar-Ud-Deen College of Education, in Isolo, Lagos. The women were clad in green and white attires, and came with their families.

Islamic tunes  rent the air, setting the mood for the day’s activities that included a talk show, fund-raising; schools match past, dance, lecture, and thanksgiving and prize presentation. Pupils of Ansar-Ud-Deen schools also capped the day’s proceeding with a colourful march past to the admiration of all present.

Chairperson of the association, Alhaja Riskat Olayide Oke, eulogized the women for their inestimable support for the development of the council in Lagos State and Nigeria at large since its inception.

“I am extremely delighted to welcome you all to this memorable occasion of the 11th Annual Family Day, which brings together all and sundry to rejoice and praise Allah for his endless mercies on us all.”

“Since inception, women at all levels of the society have acted like Khadijat (Mother of the faithful and wife of the Holy prophet Muhammad’s S.A.W), who supported the Deen (Islam) morally, physically, financially and with all her influence.”

Oke who is also the Deputy National Chairperson of Women’s Council of the Society, commended the women saying that “Women have contributed in no small measure to the growth of all branches of the society in the Lagos State Council, and Islam in the country.”

She seized the opportunity of the occasion to condemn the high level of insecurity in the country and lent a word of advice to the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to consider the present situation as “a national embarrassment.”

“Insecurity in the country has reached a wide and unprecedented dimension; power failure is ever so frequent and has badly affected the economy; unemployment rates are alarming; and many social ills prevail, to the extent that one perceives that youngsters no longer hold noble values dear, while older ones no longer find room in daily life for the good values they grew up knowing.”

Against this backdrop, she appealed to the new government to fulfill its electoral promises so that the country can become a better place for all.

The women leader congratulated Miss Aisha Olaitan and Abdul Warith Sadiq, who emerged as the One Day State Chairperson/Chairman respectively, while also giving kudos to the schools that produced them.

In his own reaction, the chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Abd’ Lateef Ekundayo lauded the gesture of the women council in a time when some house wives are taking back seat and leaving family responsibilities solely in the hands of their husbands.

“We thank God that at this time when a lot of women are withdrawing to the back seats, and hardly caring about the future of their children, our own women are coming together like this once in a year to deliberate on how to maintain good families and happy homes.”

Ekudayo likened the women’s gesture to the wise saying that ‘a family that prays together wins together.’ He also scored them high on the innovation of introducing the concept of One Day State Chairman/Chairperson among pupils of Ansar-Ud-Deen Private Nursery/Primary Schools, saying it is one sure way of preparing the youth for future leadership.

On the current government’s fight against the insurgent boko haram sect in the North-East of the country, the Muslim Cleric said, “I believe that some evil perpetrators are hiding under the shadows of religion to unleash terror on Nigerians because Islam is about teaching peace.”

He said “Boko Haram is only trying to set Christians against Muslims and this was why they started first with bombing of churches, and when they realised that the approach did not work, they started bombing mosques as well.

“Muslims and Christians have been co-habiting for a very long time. How can someone like me who have Christians in my family wake up one day and start killing them simply because they are not my religious faithful?” He asked.

Ekundayo also advised the government of President Buhari to shun any dialogue with the faceless characters and stamp out the insurgents with  military might.

Speaking separately, the Secretary Ansar-Ud-Deen Islamic Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter, Alhaji Daud Soile and Chairperson 2015 Family Day Planning Committee, Alhaja Memunat Sanni frowned against attaching Boko Haram to Islam and called on the present administration to do everything within its capacity to tackle the sects’ activities.

The annual Family Day of the women’s council is organised after the month of Ramadan every year to thank almighty Allah for sparing their lives to see a new Islamic month.

http://thenationonlineng.net/at-family-day-muslim-women-condemn-insecurity/

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Aleppo woman bags Mackler courageous journalism award

23 August 2015

WASHINGTON: A Syrian-based journalist who has trained citizen reporters in the war-ravaged country has been named the recipient of the 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, organizers said Saturday.

The prize from Reporters Without Borders and Agence France-Presse was awarded to Zaina Erhaim, who lives and works in Aleppo, Syria.

Over the last two years, Erhaim has trained about 100 citizen reporters from inside Syria, approximately a third of them women, in print and TV journalism, and helped establish new, independent newspapers and magazines in the country.

The 30-year-old Erhaim is also the Syria project coordinator for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an international organization that supports journalists in countries undergoing conflict, crisis or transition.

The work of some of her students has been published in major international news outlets.

“Zaina Erhaim is a force multiplier of journalistic values in a country torn by violence and irrationality,” said Camille Mackler, the Peter Mackler Award’s project director. “We salute her courage, upholding professional ethics and bringing them to the service of those left to write history.”

David Millikin, AFP’s director for North America, said Erhaim “embodies the ideals which the Peter Mackler Award was created to honor.”

He added that Erhaim “has done extraordinary work both in training local residents and journalists who have become nearly the only first-hand source of news on the Syrian conflict and in supporting Syrian women living under siege.”

With the award, “we pay tribute to the courage of those in Syria who fight for the freedom of information,” added Delphine Halgand, director of Reporters Without Borders USA.

Syria has been the deadliest country for journalists since 2011.

“Facing harsh oppression, Erhaim is an outstanding journalist and journalism teacher,” Halgand said.

The award, named for the late Agence France-Presse journalist Peter Mackler, will be presented at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington on Oct. 22.

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/795501

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UAE PM Amends Law Establishing Women’s Establishment

August 23, 2015

Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, issued a law amending some provisions of Law No 24 for 2006 on Dubai Women’s Establishment.

The new law defines the establishment’s goals to enhance women’s role locally and internationally, narrowing the gender gap and achieving gender balance in all fields.

As per the law, the establishment is assigned to set and review policies aiming to empower women and strengthen their roles in the community, as well as to help set policies that encourage women’s engagement in all activities and give them proper opportunities in the private and public sectors.

The law came into force on August 10, and is to be published in the official gazette.

http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/government/mohammad-amends-law-establishing-women-s-establishment-1.1571696

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14-Man Online Blackmail Ring Targeted Women in UAE, Saudi

August 24, 2015

Palestinian authorities arrested 14 men involved in extorting money from women in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf country by threatening to publish their pictures on social media networks, a Saudi newspaper reported on Monday.

Saudi authorities contacted police in the occupied West Bank and informed them about the activities of the ring after a Saudi girl reported she was being blackmailed.

The Saudi Arabic language daily 'Okaz' said the 19-year-old girl told local police that a man on social media fooled her when he made her send her photograph, which he threatened to publish unless she sent money to him in Palestine.

It said Saudi authorities contacted the Palestinian ambassador in the Gulf Kingdom, who informed the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank about the case.

“Palestinian authorities raided some houses and arrested all the suspects. Officials there said the suspects, if convicted, will be jailed for at least one year,” it said, without mentioning how many women had been extorted by the ring.

http://www.emirates247.com/news/region/14-man-online-blackmail-ring-targeted-women-in-uae-saudi-2015-08-24-1.601182

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Gang harassing young lady doctors in Lahore, hacking Facebook and Whatsapp

ASIF CHAUDHRY

August 24th, 2015

LAHORE: A well-organized group of unidentified men is allegedly harassing young lady doctors of government hospitals in the provincial capital by using names of country’s two top spy agencies.

The suspects are hacking Facebook and Whatsapp accounts of female doctors to get access to their private life, photos and related stuff to blackmail them.

They have so far harassed seven female medics, mostly postgraduate trainees and house officers, and minted Rs15, 000 from one of them, an official privy to the information told Dawn.

Initially, he said, seven lady doctors of different hospitals dared to bring the matter to the knowledge of authorities concerned. “The victim medics may be in dozens as many “terrified lady doctors” prefer to pay to “unknown callers” the small amount which ranges from Rs15,000 to Rs30,000 rather than to take risk of getting their personal profiles uploaded on the internet,” he said.

Facebook, WhatsApp accounts being used for blackmailing

The official said this cybercrime was going unchecked as callers introduced them as senior officials of top sensitive agencies. “They give a strict message to the target lady doctors that they are not “accountable” to police or any other law enforcement agencies,” he said.

The scam surfaced when the suspects extended the crime from one hospital to other state-run medical institutions after they realized that “the poor lady doctors” were becoming a very soft target for them, he said.

Recently, a female medical officer of Mayo Hospital informed her senior male colleagues when an unknown caller, who introduced himself as “Maj Asim” of a sensitive agency, continued to harass her even after getting Rs15, 000 from her.

The man asked her to send money via Easy Paisa Service in order to maintain her respect. And she provided her CNIC and cell number to transfer Rs15, 000.

He threatened the lady doctor to upload her photos, mobile phone and private information related to her family and the institution on the internet if she did not “cooperate with him”.

Later, the female medical officer involved her relative who managed to get information that the money was withdrawn from Multan.

A lady house officer of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was shocked to know that an unknown caller shared with her private information which she had communicated with her female colleagues of the same institute through her account on social media. The caller also had an access to her all family photos and those of the institute’s function.

The official said that lady doctors were also receiving calls from another person who pretended to be “Capt Nabeel” of a sensitive agency.

Both the unknown men have blackmailed two lady medical officers of the Social Security Hospital, two postgraduate trainees of Mayo Hospital, one house officer of Fatima Jinnah Medical University/Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and two MOs of the Children’s Hospital, Lahore.

The cybercrime has sent a wave of panic among the female medical students and doctors of government hospitals as a large number of them are using Facebook and Whatsapp with their original names and institutes’ profiles.

As most of victim lady doctors are reluctant to become a party, they have lodged a complaint with the Inspector General of Police Punjab and the Federal Ombudsman through their male colleague Dr Salman Kazmi.

“We have approached the Federal Ombudsman when the Punjab police and a sensitive agency did no action on our complaint against the culprits behind this ugly crime”, Dr Kazmi said.

He said a team of his male colleagues had worked up a lot to collect evidences, including CNIC numbers and mobile phones used in the cybercrime.

It is matter of grave concern that the alleged “criminals” are getting access quite easily to mobile phones of lady doctors, their family background, addresses and their workplaces.

“The most disturbing is the fact that they are hacking Facebook accounts of the targeted lady doctors to have an access to their personal information which otherwise is not possible for a common man,” Dr Kazmi said and added that surprisingly one of the unknown callers was using foreign dialing code which showed they were highly influential people.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1202471/gang-harassing-young-lady-doctors-in-lahore-hacking-facebook-and-whatsapp

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No women prison in Balochistan

August 24, 2015

QUETTA - Despite the largest province of the country Balochistan has no separate prison for women and they are kept in District Prison Quetta and Gaddani Prison Lasbela where male prisoners are detained.

In an interview with APP here on Sunday, Assistant Inspector General Prisons Balochistan Ziaullah Khan Tareen confirmed that the province had no separate prison for women.

"Presently, Balochistan has no separate prison for women and they are brought to District Prison Quetta," he said.

He, however, said that they had submitted a summery to commissioner Quetta for procurement of land for building a separate prison for women prisoners.

"A separate prison with the cost of Rs 25 million can be built for women," he said.

To a question, he said presently two prisons of Balochistan including Quetta and Gaddani had 18 women prisoners who were kept in separate barracks in these prisons.

"In District Prison Quetta, there are 14 women prisoners, of them seven have been convicted including one was awarded life imprisonment," he said adding, that in Gaddani Prison in Lasbela district had four women prisoners, of them, one is convicted.

Tareen said that usually, women prisoners from across Balochistan province are shifted to district prison Quetta and some of them to Gaddani Prison, Lasbela district.

He said Balochistan had total 11 prisons in different areas of the province.

Tareen added that Balochistan Prison Department’s annual budget was over Rs 300 million, which was spent for salaries to 1,600 employees of the department, providing food to prisoners, payment of utility bills and other expenditures.

Ziaullah Khan said that some women were forced by their relatives, especially husbands to work as drug smugglers who later, were arrested by law enforcement agencies and brought to courts where they were convicted.

"The women used in narcotics smuggling entered in this bad business due to pressure by their relatives and some others who are arrested in crimes including robbery and theft, they are also forced by their relatives, especially husbands who pressurized them to be involved in these bad activities for minting money for them," he said.

He said following the Supreme Court's orders, they had sent recommendations to the authorities concerned to improve the conditions of prisons and prisoners.

"The condition of prisons and prisoners will be improved if these recommendations are approved and implemented in letter and spirit," he added.

http://nation.com.pk/national/24-Aug-2015/no-women-prison-in-balochistan

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Malala's security tightened up after terror threats

August 23, 2015

LONDON - Security of youngest noble prize winner Malala Yousafzai has been beefed up after threats from terrorists while Scotland Yard has also deployed at least two officers for her safety. According to British newspaper The Sun, Malala’s security was enhanced after the report of intelligence agencies stating that she is under threat from militants. The paper further reported that Scotland Yard has also deployed its two officers with education activist Malala whereas police protection was also given to her.

http://nation.com.pk/national/23-Aug-2015/malala-s-security-tightened-up-after-terror-threats

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Saudi Education Ministry OKs Transport Agreements for Female Teachers

24 August 2015

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Education is moving forward on implementing the teacher transport project by appealing to transport companies with years of experience in the educational transportation field.

Officials overseeing the King Abdullah Program for Educational Development, Tatweer, and responsible for the issue of transportation at the Ministry of Education, had conducted numerous meetings and interviews over the past few months with officials at teacher transport companies in Asir. Following a competitive bidding period, the companies — which had all united under the umbrella of one specialized company — emerged successful and were granted licenses from the Ministry of Transport as the first company in Asir to transport teachers.

Sources reveal the Ministry of Education’s transport project in Asir is still in its first phase, which includes giving these companies the green light to carry out their activities in accordance with direct contracts between the teacher and the company. A development company is working on evaluating the work of the new company via field visits.

As per the requirements of the Tatweer project, transportation companies are required to provide newer model vehicles, equip them with monitoring systems, and establish an operations room to monitor vehicles. No more than nine teachers may be present in the vehicle at once, while emergency service sites are to be set up and a number of empty vehicles will be present along the road for use in any emergency situation.

Director of the teachers’ transport company in Asir, Turki Al-Ghamdi, said the company has sought to comply with all requirements and regulations set by the Ministry of Transport and Roads, and the company will employ Saudi drivers who have the necessary driving and technical skills and whose family situations allow them to commit to daily work.

He said his company is facing harassment from other companies and individuals who carry out teacher transportation activities. These companies have no licenses as they were not able to provide the necessary guarantees to obtain them, but offer attractive and lower prices in order to win customers, he explained.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/795971

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Muslims Complain Over Columbus Police Hijab Ban

21 August 2015

CAIRO – A leading US Muslim advocacy group has filed a complaint over the Columbus Police Division’s refusal to allow women officers to wear hijab, calling the decision a discriminatory one.

"CAIR-Ohio brings this complaint to end the discriminatory ban on the hiring of Muslim women who wear a religious headscarf by Columbus Division of Police," Romin Iqbal, a Staff Attorney in the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, wrote in a complaint filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and cited in a statement sent to OnIslam.net.

"The ban by Columbus Division of Police on hiring Muslim women who wear their religiously mandated headscarf discriminates against religious Muslim women who want to join the Columbus police force, and is a violation of Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code under which employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation for sincerely held religious belief of employees and prospective employees."

The complaint followed a decision in which the Columbus police department refused to hire Muslim women officers who wear hijab.

CAIR-Ohio filed the complaint after Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman recently told the Columbus Dispatch that he supports the hijab ban.

“When officers go out into the community, they should be identified as Columbus police officers, not Muslim police officers, not Christian police officers, not Jewish police officers, not Hindus, Baptists or anything else,” Coleman told The Columbus Dispatch.

Police Chief Kim Jacobs was quoted warning against hijab-wearing officers "turning anyone off" and stating, "If it's a head scarf next week, it might be a burqa the next week."

In March, 2015 a Muslim American woman recruit at the Columbus Police Academy was forced to drop out after that Columbus Police refused to grant her a religious accommodation for her hijab.

The Dispatch wrote a story in April about Ismahan Isse, a Somali-American woman who left the police academy in March because of the head-scarf ban.

Isse has said she would like to return to the academy but her head covering is an important part of her religion and identity.

Though there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to nearly seven million Muslims.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/492323-muslims-complain-over-columbus-police-hijab-ban-.html

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Two Al-Shabaab ‘brides’ held by police in Garissa

AUGUST 23, 2015

A Kenyan and a Tanzanian women and their three young children, are being held by police after their arrest in Garissa as they attempted to sneak into Somalia to join Al-Shabaab.

Ms Fatuma Bariki Makame, 28, and Ms Swabra Abdallah, 23, were lured by the terror group through the Internet with promises of bliss in marriage to militants. They were travelling with their children aged seven, four and two years when they were arrested.

A security report seen by Sunday Nation said the two linked up at Ukunda, South Coast, on August 12.

It added: “These arrests are part of an on-going investigation by police on the network of Al-Shabaab recruiters targeting young men and women. Disappearance of young Kenyan men and women has been of great concern. Out of this, parents have been working closely with security authorities by reporting those who may have travelled to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab terrorists.”

We could not immediately establish who the secret government report was addressed to.

It also had the photographs of Ms Makame, the Tanzanian, and Ms Abdallah. The two are “helping police with investigations,” the report added.

“It is suspected that the two women, who were travelling with young children, were lured by Al-Shabaab militants who sought to marry them. There are those who have managed to flee back to Kenya and have told stories of horror in Somalia,” the report also said.

Meanwhile, two women who fled from Al-Shabaab in April this year after being wives of Al-Shabaab fighters have undergone rehabilitation and rejoined their families.

The Garissa arrest comes barely a week after another government report showed at least six schools are on security watch because a number of students have dropped out to join terror organisations in Somalia and Syria.

http://www.mareeg.com/two-al-shabaab-brides-held-by-police-in-garissa/

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No deal on female helps from Sudan

August 24th, 2015

RIYADH — The Ministry of Labor has not signed any agreement for the recruitment of female domestic workers from Sudan, the ministry's spokesman Tayseer Al-Mufarrij said in response to rumors being circulated on the Internet to this effect.

He clarified that if the name of a country appears on the ministry's lists of countries for the recruitment of domestic workers, it does not necessary mean that country would send female domestic workers to the Kingdom.

Al-Mufarrij  added that many countries that allow recruitment of male domestic workers such as drivers, guards and gardeners do not permit their women to work as domestic workers abroad. — Mishal Al-Otaibi

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150822254115

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Painting a brighter future for women with HIV

August 24, 2015

THE ARTAID15 exhibition, a collaboration between the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) and Segaris Art Centre, hopes to highlight and relieve the plight of underprivileged women living with HIV in Malaysia.

Nineteen contemporary artists, 16 from Malaysia and three from Indonesia, contributed 23 original art pieces, some of which were their most cherished and personal, to be sold for the benefit of MAF’s treatment, care and support programmes. Also part of the group and leading the artists are two of Malaysia’s acclaimed fine artists Ahmad Zakii Anwar and Jalaini Abu Hassan.

“I am proud of my fellow artists for heeding the call to stand in solidarity with the more than 11,000 women in Malaysia whose lives have been directly impacted by HIV,” said Ahmad Zakii, who is also an MAF trustee.

“As storytellers and observers of issues that affect us, artists have a responsibility to share their talent and canvas with women whose voices have been unjustly silenced by HIV-associated stigma and discrimination,” he added.

While new HIV infections in Malaysia have declined by 50% in the past decade, new cases among women are showing no sign of slowing down.

“A little over 10 years ago, for every 10 new HIV infections reported, one involved a woman. Now, the ratio has narrowed to 4:1,” said MAF chairman Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

“Gender disparity and a myriad of other socio-economic and health inequalities predispose women to heightened risk of HIV. As women continue to bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic, we need to aggressively scale up our HIV interventions to meet their specific gender needs.

“Money raised from ARTAID15 will enable us to expand our reach to many more women living with HIV, particularly those in hard-to-reach, impoverished and underserved settings in Malaysia, with health literacy, education and empowerment training activities, livelihood support and financial assistance schemes.”

The first instalment of its kind, ARTAID15 is poised to become an annual arts and social event, especially with the participation of three renowned Indonesian artists Jumaldi Alfi, Putu Sutawijaya and Yunizar.

Jalaini, who also serves as Segaris Art Centre director said, “Not only do our Indonesian counterparts add an international flair to ARTAID15, they also speak to the universality of the HIV crisis and the urgency to respond to its negative health, socio-cultural and economic impact.”

Joining the three Indonesian artists are Malaysia’s own Ahmad Shukri Mohamed, Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Chang Fee Ming, Chong Ai Lei, Chong Siew Ying, Fadilah Karim, Fauzul Yusri, Johari Said, Kow Leong Kiang, Noor Mahnun Mohamed, Sabri Idrus, Shia Yih Ying, Umi Baizura and Yusri Suleiman, in addition to Ahmad Zakii and Jalaini.

ARTAID15 ends on Aug 31 in Segaris Art Centre, Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur. The public are welcome to view all the 23 art pieces for sale and make purchases ranging from RM5,000 to RM60,000. All purchases are entitled to tax exemption.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/08/24/Painting-a-brighter-future-for-women-with-HIV-Nineteen-Malaysian-and-Indonesian-artists-contribute-a/

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