Age Islam News Bureau
Actress Sanam Saeed Asks Fans, What Kind Of Content Do They Want To See In
Dramas On Television And In Films?
Minister of Women Says Lawmaker Quota for Females Too Low
300 Female Soldiers Deployed to Fight Bandits On Kaduna-Abuja Road
Footballers From Remote Chitral Bring Their Game To Pakistani Capital
Cancer Awareness: Help Eradicate The Disease That Kills 7,500 Arab Women Yearly
Expat Scales Jebel Jais 7 Times To Help Blind Women
Women's First Weightlifting Tournament Concludes
Webinar Pays Tribute To Iranologist Anna Vanzan
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Author Sara Omar Uses Her Voice To Denounce Violence Inflicted On Women In The
Name Of Reactionary Islam
author Sara Omar, 34, uses her books to break taboos for Muslim women Thibault
amid the horrors of war in Iraqi Kurdistan, Danish author Sara Omar now uses
her voice to denounce violence inflicted on women in the name of reactionary
Islam, a "calling" that has left her living under police protection.
broke the taboo. I talk about the things you are not supposed to talk about. If
I don't do this, who will?" the 34-year-old tells AFP in an interview in
first novel "Dead Washer" sold more than 100,000 copies in Denmark
when it was published in 2017, a literary feat in the country of 5.8 million
where it was hailed as the "MeToo of Muslim women."
has since been translated into several languages, including Norwegian, Swedish
her writing and when she speaks out publicly, Omar describes abuse inflicted on
women and children behind closed doors -- rapes, beatings, female genital
mutilation and so-called honour crimes.
depictions have angered a small fringe in Muslim societies and required her to
now live under 24-hour police protection.
'Given me a voice' -
bestseller tells the story of a girl named Frmesk, which means "tear"
follows her from her birth in Sulaymaniah, Kurdistan, in 1986 -- just like Omar
-- to a hospital bed in Denmark in 2016 where she meets a medical student, also
a young Kurdish woman, who dreams of breaking free from her overly controlling
father but doesn't dare.
says that many Muslim women -- especially in the Nordic countries, where they
often find themselves caught between the liberalism of their adopted country and
their parents' conservative values -- have approached her to thank her for
bringing their sufferings to life through Frmesk.
books have started a very quiet movement among women, especially women of
Muslim background in Scandinavia, because they identify themselves with the
topics and the characters in the novels," Omar says.
reaction that affected me, and touched me in a way that I started crying, was
from a woman between 45 and 50 years old. She came to me and she whispered in
my ear: 'Thank you for giving me a voice'."
combative as her protagonist, Omar now refuses to speak about her personal
life, "due to her security situation and since her words can bring about
severe consequences," according to her assistant.
is known from earlier interviews is this: After several years in refugee camps,
Omar came to Denmark at the age of 15, like Frmesk. They also share a
distinctive look -- a streak of white in their jet-black hair.
has previously revealed that she has been married, is "the mother of a
murdered girl" and began writing Frmesk's story while in a psychiatric
ward after several suicide attempts.
her, writing books is not "a dream."
see it as a calling, because I have sacrificed everything for it," she
says with a fiery look in her eye, which gives way to a melancholic smile as
she refers to her security situation.
she calls herself an "agnostic Muslim", the author is not out to
criticise Islam as such and says her message is universal.
monotheistic religion has a dark side and a light side. Islam also has this
dark side but it is still up to interpretation. It's all about who is holding
the book," she says.
country preoccupied with immigrants who don't assimilate and which is still
recovering from the explosive Mohammed cartoons scandal, Omar's ardent defence
of freedom of speech has been warmly welcomed in Denmark.
long as we have other people who are threatening authors and people fighting for
the right to use words... then we have a problem," she says.
isn't done telling Frmesk's story.
sequel was published in 2019, "Shadow Dancer", it too the recipient
of literary prizes in Denmark.
not finished with Frmesk's story because I think she's more than an abused
child and an oppressed woman. She's more than that. She's a fighter and I need
to write the rest of the story," she says.
is currently studying for a Masters in Political Science, and is translating
her own books into Kurdish and Arabic, which she plans to publish at her own
expense to avoid any censorship.
Actress Sanam Saeed Asks Fans, What Kind Of Content Do They Want To See In
Dramas On Television And In Films?
Actress Sanam Saeed
Saeed is asking all the right questions! The Cake star recently took to Twitter
and asked fans, followers about their preferences on what they would like to
see on the television. Lately, there has been much debate about the
deteriorating content on television as dramas such as Nand, Jalan, Meray Paas
Tum Ho raised eyebrows. Many called out the makers for highlighting problematic
stories do we want [to be] told? What is your favourite genre? What kind of
content do you want to see in dramas on television and in films?" Saeed
tweeted. And the ideas that came forward were brilliant.
about brave women who existed before partition, during colonial rule, before
colonial rule, during the Mughal era, I want to learn about incidents from our
south Asian history, well-researched content about real people from our past,'
a user shared.
and heartbreaks are overrated," another user penned (and we agree),
adding, "I feel a soft simple story could click [with the] audience too if
the execution is done right and all the emotions are portrayed perfectly. Also,
I wanna see more of thriller kind of stuff too."
can't watch a drama whose main theme is love and separation," commented
another one. "It could be a part of the drama but I want to see other
things - it could be a thriller, inspirational, spiritual, things other than
love that happen in this world. I like the romance factor but that shouldn't be
the only thing happening."
Gulzar Hai struck a balance beautifully, Kis ki Ayegi Baraat did too. A group
of friends - adult women taking a 'girls trip' and a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
type Pakistani movie. To echo what everyone else has said just not more of the
same. And thank you for asking this question!" said one user.
stories of religious historic figures," one wrote, sharing another idea.
"More Stories based on spirituality, that project Islam the way it is and
how it would make us appreciate it. Coverage of what really happens in our
countries - social/political issues."
many more ideas floated around.
celebs like Mahira Khan, Sarwat Gilani and others hoped for a better narrative
will be portrayed on television.
Minister of Women Says Lawmaker Quota for Females Too Low
Mohamed Sheikh Nor
- Somalia's prime minister this month announced a 30 percent quota for female
lawmakers chosen in upcoming elections. If upheld by the clans, it would raise
the number of female representatives in parliament by 6% — but women's groups
see even that slight jump as doubtful in patriarchal Somalia.
Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble's spokesman, Mohamed Ibrahim, says that the
prime minister has pledged to solicit the support of clan elders and all
stakeholders in his efforts to reach the 30 percent quota.
Somalia's female activists remain skeptical that the male-dominated clans, who
will choose lawmakers in the indirect election, will follow the government's
Barqab, chairwoman of the Benadir Women Organization, says Somali male leaders'
history of ignoring the importance of women's input has had clear costs.
says that since men killed each other, destroyed the country, and still do not
agree, women have realized it is their turn to show leadership, beginning with
the 30 percent quota in both houses of parliament.
currently have 24 percent of the seats.
leaders note that mothers and wives have played a key role in reconciling
communities torn apart by years of conflict in Somalia.
Habsade, Somalia's Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, says that
women are more than 50 percent of the population and deserve the right to equal
representation in the executive and legislative branches of government. Women's
rights are a new phenomenon in Somali culture, she adds, but women deserve more
vote in Somalia is to take place by February 8, but may be postponed while
political leaders try to finalize the election process.
300 Female Soldiers Deployed to Fight Bandits On Kaduna-Abuja Road
Nigerian Army has deployed 300 female soldiers to reinforce security along
Kaduna-Abuja highways to tackle incessant kidnapping and banditry.
fewer than 100 of the soldiers from Nigeria Army Women Corps (N.A.W.C) were
yesterday formally received and welcomed to Kaduna State in the first batch by
governor Nasir El-Rufai.
army said the deployment of women soldiers is to complement the existing
operations along the highways and environs.
at the occasion, governor Nasir El-Rufai, expressed the hope that with the
deployment of the female soldiers, the insecurity along the highways will soon
be a thing of the past.
El-Rufai expressed gratitude to the military for deploying the troops and
assured them of the continued support of the Kaduna State government as they
work to improve security in the state.
problem of Abuja-Kaduna road will be over with these female soldiers because
what a man can do a woman can do better. We believe in the capability of women
in this state.
am confident the road will be the safest in Nigeria. We will do everything
possible to make this operation comfortable. We are very happy to have you.
Your presence will inspire other girls to join the military. That is why we
have female deputy governor to inspire other women," El-Rufai said.
the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Kaduna, major general Usman
Mohammed, acknowledged the support the Kaduna State government has provided to
the military in its internal security operations.
footballers from remote Chitral bring their game to Pakistani capital
Forty young football enthusiasts in matching black tracksuits jogged down the
cement bleachers framing the expansive football pitch of the Islamabad Sports
Complex on Tuesday, egging one another on and cheering as they embarked on a
new day of sports and fun.
athletes of all stripes could be seen on the many fields and tracks of the
complex, what made this particular sight unique was that all of the athletes
were young girls from Pakistan’s northernmost, long-neglected region of
Chitral. The girls were brought to the capital by the Chitral Women’s Sports
Club, the brainchild of national football star Karishma Ali.
a football club for girls from poor families in a remote, mountainous area of
Pakistan is not easy during a pandemic, but Ali has not let the challenging
circumstances stop her from pursuing her dream of helping girls in her native
when we do our activities, it’s kept secret and done far from their villages
for security reasons,” Ali, 23, told Arab News on Tuesday, at the Islamabad
Sports Complex. “This is why I brought them here, to give them a more
comfortable environment. You can already see the change in their confidence,
how they are playing out in the open versus at home.”
started her club two years ago with 60 girls between the ages of 8 and 16. Now
the club has over 150 members who ski and play volleyball, cricket and
hopes the club will help the girls overcome both sexual discrimination and
poverty in a country where boys’ education and sports are prioritized. Her
dream is to help her girls win sports scholarships in professional colleges in
Pakistan and beyond.
girls have talent,” said Ali, who has represented her country at international
football tournaments. “If we get requisite support, we can have 1,000 female
footballers from Chitral.”
Islamabad, the footballers are attending a week-long camp from Jan. 23-29 under
Coach Jose Alonso who runs a Spanish Football Academy in the capital. The camp
has also given them the opportunity to interact and play with other female
excited and happy because I see the girls smiling every day,” said Ali. “I
haven’t seen a single upset face. They are getting the chance not only to play
the way other athletes get to play and practice out in the open, but also to
for many of the girls, aged between 12 and 16, this is their first time away
from home and in the capital.
do not get opportunities like this back home. Just having the chance to come
and play every day has been really fun,” Zakira Nida, 14, said. “That’s what we
lack the most: opportunities.”
get a lot of chances to play in our region,” said Mehek Sultan, 15. “But our
society does not just consist of boys. We are here, too. We should also get to
play because participating in sports is good for everyone.”
Pakistani women’s football team, which faced a FIFA ban due to inactivity in
2013, remained dormant even after the ban was lifted in 2017. Last year in
October 2020, the Pakistan Football Federation began work to revive the sport
by organizing football camps.
own passion for football began when she was nine years old and watched the 2006
FIFA World Cup with her father.
just knew this is the game for me,” she had said in media interviews last year.
it was not easy. When the community discovered Ali’s football career, some were
deeply hostile, and she received messages threatening to kill her if she
was seen as inappropriate culturally because I would wear shorts, thereby
baring my skin,” she told reporters.
situation eased in 2019 when Ali was selected for Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30
Asia list of rising stars and the community began to recognize her
Ali says it is high time people in Pakistani sports management begin to believe
teams are becoming famous all over the world,” she said. “In the US, they are
winning the fight to be paid equally and we are still fighting for our right to
cancer awareness: Help eradicate the disease that kills 7,500 Arab women yearly
cancer is taking away from us a little girl with the dream of a better future.
year, 7,500 women die of cervical cancer in the Middle East and North Africa —
a staggering number, considering that vaccination could possibly prevent the
disease. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the
Ruler of Sharjah, and Founder and Patron of Friends Of Cancer Patients (FoCP),
has called on everyone to stand together and join the global movement to raise
awareness, protect women, and eradicate cervical cancer.
Jawaher was among the key international personalities and top government
officials who came together on Wednesday for the second edition of the Cervical
Cancer Forum. Held virtually, the two-day global event was organised by FoCP in
partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). More than 35
pioneering actors and global stakeholders from 11 countries took part in the
cancer is) taking away from us a little girl with the dream of a better future,
a sister helping look after her family with love and care, or a mother raising
her precious family. Therefore, it is our duty as individuals, institutions and
societies to join hands in the fight against cervical cancer so that all women
and young girls stay safe and healthy,” Sheikha Jawaher said in her opening
the UAE, national preventive strategies and health awareness programmes have
been in place for the early detection of cancers, including cervical cancer,
said Abdulrahman Al Owais, the UAE’s Minister of Health and Prevention,
awareness about the importance of early screening for cervical cancer, and its
vital role in minimising the death rate between females in the UAE is very
important and we are focused on it,” Al Owais said as he addressed the forum.
on the UAE’s response, Sawsan Al Fahoum Jafar, chairperson of the Board of
Directors of FOCP, said: “Following the first Cervical Cancer Forum hosted in
the UAE in 2018, the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention had announced a
country-wide rollout for the vaccination.
in the year 2019-20, against a target of 16,590, a total of 13,874 were
vaccinated for HPV1, HPV2, and HPV3, providing an extensive 84 per cent
coverage. I am confident that the discussions over the next two days will bring
us new insights on how to incorporate global best practices in our healthcare
key speaker at the event pointed out that the UAE is one of only two countries
in the Arab region that have included the HPV vaccine in the national
immunisation programme. The other one is Libya.
Kieta, deputy executive director for programmes at the UNFPA, said: “This forum
is an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves that the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development aims to achieve a life of dignity for all people and
calls for reducing by one-third premature deaths from non-communicable
diseases. While applauding the success of cervical cancer screening in many
high-income countries, we have a responsibility to replicate this progress in
all settings, in all countries.
will take the lead on executing the Global Strategy to eliminate Cervical
Cancer and is ready to support documenting good practices to inform regional
and national policies on prevention, early detection and treatment of cervical
cancer in the Arab region.”
Jawaher noted that although the healthcare industry had faced challenges in the
time of Covid-19, international efforts rose to the occasion and managed to
boost awareness campaigns.
FoCP continues to mobilise efforts, locally as well as globally, to develop
sustainable programmes aimed at eliminating cancer. The first edition of the
Cervical Cancer Forum resulted in the launch of the ‘Sharjah Declaration on
Cervical Cancer 3X3’.
trust that this edition will achieve outcomes that will facilitate and expedite
regular examination, treatment and vaccination for those who need them, as well
as adopting polices and strategies to deal with the ongoing challenges, helping
save the lives of many women and ending the emotional suffering of their
families,” Sheikha Jawaher said.
talks on the first day of this year’s forum — conducted by some of the world’s
top experts on cervical cancer — shed light on how primary healthcare is
providing screening, prevention and access to HPV vaccinations amid Covid-19.
Other sessions were about ensuring equity and access in cervical cancer care.
forum will continue tomorrow, with three panel discussions and two keynote
addresses, and propose a set of recommendations and a call for action that
integrates the pillars of prevention, treatment, palliative care, and social
aspects globally and specifically in the Arab region.
Cancer Forum 2021 is FoCP’s first joint event with the UNFPA, since the two
entities signed an MoU in November 2020 to boost collaborative efforts in
reducing the burden of cervical cancer on the Arab states.
expat scales Jebel Jais 7 times to help blind women
42-year-old Sharjah resident covered a distance of nearly 9,000 metres,
surpassing the height of Mt Everest above sea level.
Australia Day on Tuesday, expat Scott Melgaard did something ‘unusual’. He
biked up and down Jebel Jais mountains — seven times in 33 hours, all for a
noble cause. He wanted to give sight to hundreds of blind women in developing
such an incredible feat, the 42-year-old Sharjah resident covered a distance of
nearly 9,000 metres, surpassing the height of Mt Everest above sea level. He
was able to raise Dh27,000 for an Australian charity, the Fred Hollows
Foundation, which will use the fund to help restore the sight of almost 300
science teacher at Victoria International School of Sharjah, Melgaard became
the face of his school as he personally took up the fundraising campaign for
Australia Day. He started the challenging ride at around 1pm in the afternoon
and finished it the next day at 9.45pm.
said his school regularly ties up with the charity every year for fund-raising.
However, the campus had been facing issues this year because of the pandemic,
so he stepped forward and embarked on the extreme adventure.
decided to do something unusual to mark Australia Day, as we are living in
unusual times because of the pandemic crises. One of the major push behind this
project was living and working with people of so many nationalities,” Melgaard
I am from a small rural area in Australia and was restricted to only a very
small community, I was amazed at the multiculturalism I witness here in the
UAE. I worked with people of different nationalities, such as Pakistanis,
Indians, Syrians, and coincidentally the charity Fred Hollows foundation is
also working in some of these developing countries. This made me reflect that
the money that will go the charity will in some way benefit the communities of
my lovely colleagues.”
funds were donated to the charity’s global ‘She Sees’ campaign, which helps
restore the sight of more than 300 women and girls in developing nations.
who is also a triathlete, said that since he teaches science to students in
Grade 6-12, he decided to wear different shirts representing each grade in each
of the seven laps. “The idea was to represent the seven senior school classes
that I teach by climbing the mountain seven times from the base to the summit
on my bike and cross 8,848 metres, which is the height of Mt Everest.”
thanked his wife, three kids, teachers and students who had come to Jebel Jais
to cheer him on and motivate him to achieve his target as he biked day day and
night uphill and downhill, at times under freezing temperatures, without a
minute of sleep.
Women's First Weightlifting tournament concludes
Kuwait's first Women's weightlifting
tournament concluded on Tuesday its competitions that took place at Al-Tadamun
SC over the course of three days.
tournament was held to serve the purpose of improving player-lifting abilities.
of Kuwait Weightlifting Association Talal Al-Jassar said to KUNA, that the
tournament witnessed the participation of 34 players in different weight
goal behind this tournament is prepping and scouting for lifters to represent
Kuwait in future tournaments," he added.
has many talents and the National Team includes a lot of star players not only
locally but also regionally, and the association supports those players in
order to represent Kuwait and achieve goals internationally," he noted.
mentioned that a lot players have achieved first places and honored on the
podium in different weight categories such as 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 71kg, 76kg
,81kg and 87kg. (end)
webinar pays tribute to Iranologist Anna Vanzan
webinar was organized at the center of the Italian Encyclopedia of Sciences,
Letters and Arts, best known as Treccani.
Ms. Vanzan will remain in our memories by around 200 articles and books of
hers, and nearly 100 papers for international meetings,” Iranian cultural
attaché Mohammad-Taqi Amini said at the webinar.
pointed to the Career Award for Translation she received from the Italian
culture ministry in 2017 and the International Prize Feudo di Maida for her
book “Muslim Women in Italy’s Collective Imagination” in 2006, and said,
“Luckily, her cultural activities were acknowledged over her life.”
Iranian Cultural Center in Rome plans to show appreciation for those scholars
who help improve mutual understanding across the world by organizing
international meetings and conferences,” he added.
Cristoforetti of the International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental
Studies (ISMEO) also attended the webinar.
praised Vanzan for the great endeavors she made to introduce books from Persian
literature to Italian readers.
writer Antonello Sacchetti, the author of “Misteri Persiani” and several other
Italian literati, including Maria Vittoria Paladinoa and Tiziano Buccico, also
attended the meeting.
in Venice in 1955, Vanzan held a degree in Oriental languages and cultures from
the University of Ca’ Foscari of Venice and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern studies
from New York University.
she was interested in West Asia in general, her research was focused especially
on Iran, Central Asia and the subcontinent – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Muslim
worked in gender studies with a particular interest for contemporary fictional
literature produced by Iranian women.
was the author of many publications in Italian and English, including “La
Storia Velata: le Donne dell’Islam Nell’Immaginario Italiano”, “Figlie di
book “Le Donne di Allah, Viaggio Nei Femminismi Islamici” offers a collection
of conversations and discussions with Muslim women who are engaged in finding
their way to feminism.
was a co-founder of the Italian journal Afriche&Orienti. She regularly
lectured in various Italian institutions on issues of multiculturalism.
was teaching culture and mediation at Ca Foscari University in Venice before
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