New Age Islam News Bureau
02 July 2022
• UN Urges Taliban to Follow Other Muslim States on
• Get Women Involved In Tourism, Malaysian Minister
Nancy Shukri Urges Islamic Nations
• Iran Mourns Death of ‘Saba Babaei’, Japanese Mother
of Holy Defence Martyr
• Emirati Racer Amna Al-Qubaisi Shows Her Bravery As
She Sets the Pace for Female Drivers in the Region
• UAE’s First Emirati Female Aviation Engineer
Celebrates International Women in Engineering Day at Heriot-Watt University
Compiled by New
Age Islam News Bureau
‘Every Day At Least One or Two Afghan Women Commit
Suicide’: Human Rights Council in Geneva
Fawzia Koofi, former
deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament
2 July, 2022
Geneva [Switzerland], July 2 (ANI): ‘Every day there
are at least one or two women who commit suicide’, said a former deputy speaker
of the Afghan Parliament on Friday, highlighting the lack of opportunity and
ailing mental health that is taking a toll on Afghan women.
This revelation came during a rare urgent debate on
the woman’s rights issue at Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.
The HRC held an urgent debate on the human rights of
women and girls in Afghanistan to discuss the rights situation in the country
since the takeover by the Taliban. This meeting comes as Afghan women are
witnessing the most significant and rapid roll-back of their rights across the
board in decades.
“Every day, at least one or two women committed
suicide due to the lack of opportunity and mental health pressures. Girls as
young as nine years old were being sold, not only because of economic pressure,
but because there was no hope for them and their family. This was not normal
and the women of Afghanistan did not deserve this,” said Fawzia Koofi, former
deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament.
Echoing widespread international concern for ordinary
Afghans, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet condemned the massive
unemployment of women, the restrictions placed on the way they dress, and their
access on basic services.
Women-owned and operated businesses have been shut
down, Bachelet added, saying that 1.2 million girls no longer have access to
secondary education, in line with a decision by the de facto authorities who
took power in August 2021.
“The de facto authorities I met with during my visit
in March this year, said they would honour their human rights obligations as
far as [being] in line with Sharia law.
“Yet despite these assurances, we are witnessing the
progressive exclusion of women and girls from the public sphere and their
institutionalised, systematic oppression”.
Bachelet encouraged the re-establishment of an
independent mechanism to receive complaints from the public and protect victims
of gender-based violence.
“Beyond being right, it is also a matter of practical
necessity”, said the High Commissioner. “Amid the economic crisis, women’s
contribution to economic activity is indispensable, which itself requires
access to education, and freedom of movement and from violence”.
Despite public assurances from the Taliban to respect
women and girls’ rights, they are reinstituting step by step the discrimination
against women and girls.
Koofi, a former member of the peace negotiation team
with the Taliban said that the fundamentalists “obviously have not kept their
promises of what they were telling us during the negotiations, in terms of
their respect for Islamic rights for women”.
She added that “in fact, what they do is in
contradiction to Islam. Our beautiful religion starts with reading. But today,
Taliban under the name of the same religion, deprive 55 per cent of the society
from going to school”. (ANI)
Source: The Print
UN Urges Taliban To Follow Other Muslim States On
Michelle Bachelet, UN
rights chief urged the Taliban to look to other Muslim countries on improving
the rights of women (AP)
01 Jul 2022
The UN rights chief urged the Taliban on Friday to
look to other Muslim countries for inspiration on improving the rights of women
and ending their "systematic oppression" in Afghanistan.
Speaking before the United Nations Human Rights
Council in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet condemned the "desperate
situation" facing Afghan women and girls.
Since the Taliban returned to power last August, she
said, "women and girls are experiencing the most significant and rapid
roll-back in enjoyment of their rights across the board in decades."
"Their future will be even darker, unless
something changes, quickly."
Addressing an urgent council debate on the situation
of women and girls in Afghanistan, she called for a "more concerted
effort" from the international community to push the Taliban to respect
In Kabul Friday, the Taliban's reclusive supreme
leader Hibatullah Akhundzada called on the world to stop
"interfering", saying sharia law was the only model for a successful
But Bachelet insisted they could follow Islamic law
and still respect women's rights.
"I strongly encourage the de facto authorities to
engage with predominantly Muslim countries with experience in promoting women
and girls' rights, as guaranteed in international law, in that religious
A recent visit to the country by an Organization of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC) delegation has been "a significant step".
Speaking on behalf of the 57-member OIC, Pakistan's
ambassador in Geneva Khalil Hashmi told the council that the organisation
shared concerns about women and girls' rights in Afghanistan, voicing
particular disappointment at the closing of secondary schools for girls.
"The OIC has consistently affirmed the
fundamental rights of all Afghans, including the right to education. They must
be fully upheld," he said.
Bachelet, who herself visited Afghanistan in March,
said that more than one million girls have been shut out of secondary school
and women widely banned from working and from travelling alone, and ordered to
wear face coverings in public.
When the Taliban seized power nearly a year ago, they
promised to pursue a softer version of the harsh rule that characterised their
first period in power from 1996 to 2001.
They said they would honour their human rights
obligations, including on women's rights, as far as these were consistent with
"Yet, despite these assurances, we are witnessing
the progressive exclusion of women and girls from the public sphere and their
institutionalised, systematic oppression," Bachelet said.
She demanded that the Taliban set a firm date for
reopening secondary schools for girls and remove the requirement that women
wear face coverings and only travel when accompanied by a so-called maharam, or
"All acts of gender-based violence must be
independently investigated and those responsible held to account," she
The top UN expert on the rights situation in
Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, meanwhile voiced alarm that the Taliban had
clearly showed their "intentions are not only to impose absolute gender
"They are aimed at making women invisible by
excluding them almost entirely from society," he told the council.
Fawzia Koofi, an exiled former member of the Afghan
parliament, described to the council how painful it was "to advocate for
our basic rights, the right to be visible, the right to not be erased".
She especially appealed to Muslim countries "not
to let the Taliban misrepresent our beautiful religion... What they do is in contradiction
And she called on countries everywhere to "stand
with the women of Afghanistan".
"Move from beautiful statements and resolutions
Following Friday's urgent debate, the rights council
will vote next week on a draft resolution condemning all violations against
women and girls in Afghanistan.
Source: Live Mint
Get Women Involved In Tourism, Malaysian Minister
Nancy Shukri Urges Islamic Nations
July 02, 2022
Nicholas Chung -July 2, 2022PETALING JAYA: Tourism,
arts and culture minister Nancy Shukri has called on member states of the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to get more women involved in the tourism
Nancy, who was the only female minister present at the
meeting of tourism ministers of the Islamic Conference, applauded the OIC
members who were starting to place more women in decision-making positions in
the tourism and culture sector.
She told the conference held in Baku, Azerbaijan, that
this was a step forward in establishing an inclusive and sustainable
environment for both female travellers and tourism workers.
“I hope the tourism industry continues to provide
greater support to ensure women are enabled to continue their contribution to
the tourism economy,” she told the conference held on June 28.
Nancy said there had been a rise in female Muslim
travellers over the past decade, with Malaysia among the top destinations for
She cited a MasterCard credit rating study in 2018 which
found that some 63 million female Muslim travellers aged 18 to 40 had spent a
total of US$80 billion, saying women’s role in the tourism sector cannot be
denied and must be “given special attention”.
While noting that 71% of Muslim females travelled with
their families currently, she predicted that even more women will start to
travel on their own due to health and safety concerns for young children
Nancy reiterated that Malaysia was committed to
accommodating a safe and streamlined return to international travel and
tourism, with entry procedures with neighbouring countries being harmonised in
“Since the reopening of our borders, Malaysia has
attracted over a million arrivals. The government has set a target of 4.5
million tourist arrivals for this year, which will be reviewed every three
months as more countries begin to ease outbound travel restrictions.”
She added that her ministry had been actively
promoting Muslim-friendly tourism in Malaysia, ensuring standardised
certifications to guarantee shariah-compliant travel to attract Muslim
She noted that the global halal industry market could
reach up to US$2.3 trillion in two years’ time, with the sector potentially
contributing to 8.1% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product by 2025.
“These numbers are promising and indicate that Muslim
tourism is a contributing niche of Malaysia’s economic growth.
“Moving forward, Malaysia looks to advancing
cooperation at the regional and international level, especially in
Muslim-friendly tourism, by working closely with the OIC.”
Source: Free Malaysia Today
Iran Mourns Death of ‘Saba Babaei’, Japanese Mother of
Holy Defence Martyr
01 July 2022
The Japanese mother of an Iranian Holy Defence martyr
passed away at a Tehran hospital on Friday after a brief spell of illness.
Koniko Yamamura, who changed her name to ‘Saba Babaei’
after converting to Islam, had been admitted to Khatam al-Anbiya Hospital in
Tehran recently after complaining of respiratory issues.
She was popular in Iran as the only Japanese mother of
an Iranian martyr, Mohammad Babaei, who fell during the Iraqi-imposed war in
the early 1980s.
Muhammad was 18 when he took part in ‘Operation Muslim
Ibn Aqeel’ launched on October 1, 1982 in the western region of Iran during the
After the operation, he returned and appeared at a
university entrance test, earning an engineering seat for himself; his mother
was quoted as saying in one of her interviews.
However, the teenager chose to go back to the
frontline, taking part in the Fekeh Operation in southwestern Khuzestan
province. He died after getting hit by shrapnel from a shell fired by the
forces of Iraq’s former Baathist regime.
Yamamura chose the name Saba Babaei for herself after
converting to Islam following her marriage to an Iranian Muslim trader in Japan
at the age of 20, according to her own account.
Her memoir, compiled by noted Iranian writers Hamid
Hesam and Massoud Amirkhani is titled ‘The Immigrant of the Land of Sun’, which
chronicles her early life in Japan, marriage to an Iranian Muslim trader,
conversion to Islam, the martyrdom of her young son and experiences in Iran.
Yamamura worked enthusiastically to promote the ideals
of the Islamic Revolution and taught at several Iranian educational institutes
including Refah School and the University of Tehran.
She was also associated with Iran’s ministry of
culture and Islamic guidance as a translator and played an instrumental role in
setting up the Japanese radio service of the IRIB World Service.
Last year, she led Iran’s Paralympics delegation at
the Tokyo Olympics.
Tributes pour in for the martyr’s mother
In a message of condolence on Friday, Iran’s President
Ebrahim Raeisi termed Yamamura’s death “sad and heart-rending”.
"I offer my condolences to the family of Babaei
on the passing away of this faithful lady, and I pray for God's grace for the
deceased and companionship with her martyred son, and patience and health for
the honorable family,” he said in his message.
Dr. Peyman Jabelli, the head of the Islamic Republic
of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), also offered his condolences on her demise in a
statement on Friday, hailing the deceased for her “revolutionary spirit”.
The head of IRIB’s World Service, Dr. Ahmad Noroozi,
also issued a statement condoling Yamamura’s demise, saying her memory will
“remain alive and cherished in our minds and hearts forever”.
He also recalled her efforts in laying the foundation
of the IRIB World Service’s Japanese radio service.
Both Jabelli and Noroozi had visited her at the
hospital recently and inquired about her condition.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali
Khamenei also sent his message of well-being to the Japanese mother when he was
admitted at the hospital through Mohammad Mohammadian, the deputy head of the
Hadi Tahan Nazif, the spokesperson of Iran’s Guardian
Council, also paid his tributes to the deceased lady, calling her a “free
woman” whose life path “changed under the influence of the Islamic Revolution
and Imam Khomeini”.
The Japanese Studies department at the University of
Tehran also posted a statement on Twitter expressing condolences over Yamamura’s
death, calling her “one of the first and oldest Japanese language teachers” in
the faculty of foreign languages and literature at the university.
Meanwhile, her death has been widely condoled in Iran
and abroad, with many people whose lives she touched in some way posting
messages of condolences on social media platforms.
Source: Press TV
Emirati racer Amna Al-Qubaisi shows her bravery as she
sets the pace for female drivers in the region
July 02, 2022
What Amna Al-Qubaisi lacks in physicality, she more
than make up for in bravery and fortitude.
The 21-year-old Emirati driver, who races for Abu
Dhabi Racing, suffered a heavy crash earlier this year that left her F3 car
A week later, she was back behind the wheel.
It has been an eventful start to her participation in
the Formula Regional Asian Championship.
“I had been off of racing for a year and coming back
into it, getting back into the rhythm took me a while,” Al-Qubaisi told Arab
News at the sideline of the #WhatSheSaid talk, a panel of inspirational female
athletes from the region.
“In my first race weekend, I claimed my first points,
so it started off really well. And then I had that big crash, and I had to
start gaining that confidence to get back into the rhythm.
“But overall, it was a really good race weekend, and I
managed to close the gap for my teammates.”
Those teammates happen to be her father, UAE racing
legend Khaled, and her 19-year-old sister Hamda. Amna has enjoyed building up
the sporting rapport with her family.
“It was actually really nice. I expected a lot of
arguments and fighting,” she said. “But all in all, it was like a bonding
moment. We gave each other advice, we helped each other on track, with
slipstream and everything. So it was really nice.”
The enjoyment does not mean there have been no
challenges, but the sibling rivalry has worked to the benefit of the team.
“There’s a lot of pushing (each other) with my sister
as well, because she’s been competing in F4, and then coming into F3,” said
“We’ve seen a lot on social media people comparing us,
in terms of our experience, and we try to shut that out and not let it affect
our relationship. So we take it as how it is, we help each other and we both
are good in our own different ways.”
Abu Dhabi Racing claimed a impressive fourth-place
finish in the Formula Regional Asian Championship. Above all, Al-Qubaisi was
racing at the highest level of her career so far.
“It was very challenging, especially the handling of
the car; it was very physical,” she said.
“The formula regional car is a really heavy car, much
heavier than the FIA F3, so physically, it was really difficult to overcome.
But pace-wise I was there. It’s just a matter of consistency, trying to be more
focused and putting things together.
“It took me a while to adapt to it when I was off for
a year. So I was training in the gym just didn’t have that same feeling of
being in the car.”
The from the early days of karting at Yas Marina and
Al-Ain raceway as nine-year-old, Al-Qubaisi has set an example for other aspiring
female drivers in the UAE and the region. Slowly, other are starting to rise
through the ranks as well.
“I’ve heard in our team, that there are two girls
competing in karting, and they’re doing pretty well,” she said. “I’ve heard
also a younger female Emirati is competing in Europe. So we are seeing a couple
of girls getting into the sport and raising more awareness of the sport. So,
hopefully, we can see them also in single seaters, or maybe even in GT cars.”
With government backing in terms of funding, programs
and facilities, there has never been a better time for young drivers to get
“I think people should be taking a lot of advantage of
(what’s on offer) ,” she said.
“We have really good tracks. We have an F1 track, Yas
Marina has a school where they provide opportunities for people who would like
to take racing as a career, as a sport. They host a lot of races at Yas Marina,
and at Dubai Autodrome as well. I think we should really take advantage because
it’s also at low cost. It’s much cheaper than what Europe charges. So they are
helping the racing community.”
For now, the Al-Qubaisi family remains firmly in the
driving seat, in every sense, and Amna has high hopes for the future.
“Next season, we’re thinking to do a few rounds in Europe,”
she said. “And hopefully F3 Asia again.”
Source: Arab News
UAE’s First Emirati female aviation engineer
celebrates international women in Engineering Day at Heriot-Watt University
June 30, 2022
Heriot-Watt University Dubai hosted Dr Eng. Suaad Al
Shamsi as part of the celebrations for International Women in Engineering Day
(INWED) to honour and encourage female participation in the field of
engineering. INWED was launched for the first time in the UK on June 23, 2014
by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary.
Commenting on her participation, Dr Eng. Suaad Al
Shamsi, who has worked on some of the biggest aviation projects in the UAE till
date, said, “It was a pleasure to celebrate the success of young female
engineers in the UAE in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University Dubai.
Despite the progress that has been made in the past few decades, women are
still underrepresented in STEM fields. Therefore, I think it is very important
to encourage young women embarking on this journey.
"I am indebted to the support I was given by the
UAE government and the mentors who guided me along the way. I believe educational
institutions have a critical role to play in empowering young girls and
teaching them that the sky is the limit no matter what sort of career they
choose to pursue.”
Dr Rula Sharqi, Assistant Professor for the school of
Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University Dubai added, “It
was an honor to host Dr Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi on this day. Her journey is a
shining example of how much women can achieve when they believe in themselves
and have the right institutional support. As a global University, we have a
responsibility to be cognizant of social disparities and underrepresentation
and take tangible steps to overcome them.
"As a result, we today have incredibly talented
and ambitious female students pursuing engineering degrees. It is our priority
to make sure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the
future, empower them to pursue their dreams and play a role in ensuring equal
representation of women in STEM workplaces.”
The INWED programme included networking opportunities,
photobooth and video recording sessions as well as a tour of the engineering
labs. The University also organized various panel discussion tackling topics
including challenges in future industry developments, women’s creativity and
added value, women to men ratio in the engineering industry and why women
should choose engineering as a career.
As the first Emirati female aviation engineer, Dr Eng.
Suaad Al Shamsi shared details of her journey including challenges faced, with
aspiring female engineers who were also present. Also present were Dr. Shetha
Al_Zubaidi, CEO at Brookson Project Management; Dr. Hagir Hakim, Associate
Professor and Senior Director of Studies in the School of Energy Geoscience
Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University Dubai; Tanishi Mathur -
Business Analyst in the AI and Data Department at Deloitte; Liliana Calderón
Jerez - MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering student at Heriot-Watt University
Right from childhood, Dr Eng. Suaad Al Shamsi was
fascinated by airplanes and curious about mechanics and ways to fix things. She
earned an MBA with a double major in aviation management and aeronautical
engineering from Coventry University in the UK. She is also the founder of the
Middle East chapter of Women in Aviation, a non-profit association dedicated to
encouraging women in the Middle East to seek opportunities in the aviation
According to UNESCO, 34-57 per cent of STEM graduates
in Arab countries are women. However, this does not translate to representation
in the workforce as studies show low rates of female participation in these
fields. As such, observance days like INWED aim to counter the
underrepresentation of women through raising awareness, empowering women, and
facilitating their contribution to the field.
Source: Gulf News
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