Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arab Revolution Cartoons

I found these cartoons and thought I'd share them. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saudi Women Revolution Statement

On Monday March 28, 2011 the Saudi Arabian government denied women the right to vote, again. 

The decision was met with anger and frustration as Saudi women felt left out of the wave of freedom sweeping the Middle East. As I was researching for information about the current state of Saudi women, I came across a great blog by Mona Kareem, in her blog she outlined the Saudi Women Revolution Statement. You can also follow Mona on Twitter: @monakareem

The statement demands the abolition of Male Guardianship (among other things), which does not allow a women to travel, drive, apply for a job, receive an education, marry or divorce, attend school or open a bank account without a male escort!!! Can you imagine such a life ?! I can't. 

I remember protesting for women's right to vote in Kuwait in 2005, so many people told me it would never happen, it was too soon, people weren't ready (the same shit they are telling Saudi women now). We protested anyway, we fought even though we knew that the fight wasn't fair and we won. We now have the right to vote and women in Parliament. 

I must be realistic though, women in Saudi Arabia had much less rights and freedoms than Kuwaiti women had before they got the right to vote. So the fight that Saudi women have to fight has much more challenges than the one I had to fight, but I still believe that Saudi women have a chance. The women of Saudi Arabia must unite on a massive scale and defy all the laws, they should start driving and doing other things alone. I'm sure some of the women who defy Saudi law will be prosecuted, but I am sad to say that sacrifices must be made to gain freedom. This is something we have witnessed from Tunisia to Libya to Yemen to Bahrain and Syria. Freedom is not free... 

My thoughts and prayers are with Saudi women right now, hoping they can rise up and show the world how much they have to offer!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Media Coups vs. Military Coups

The revolts in the Arab world were definitely fueled by the media and social media, although I would argue that these revolutions would have taken place with or without Facebook and Twitter.

I would (or should I say 'will') also argue that social media helped keep the revolutions peaceful. A group of people can only have power (peacefully), against an armed group if they have greater numbers. This was the case in Tunisia and Egypt, where the protesters were able to connect on such a massive scale with the help of Facebook and Twitter, and therefore were able to remain peaceful and march forward in the face of an armed yet outnumbered group.

In the past, the overthrowing of Mubarak and Bin Ali would have only been conceived to happen in a violent and bloody way. The Arab youth have disproved this with their actions and constant calls of "Silmeya Silmeya" (Peaceful, Peaceful).

That's also why I believe that the Arab youth may have possibly invented the first "Media Coup d'etat", from a cellphone video clip in Tahrir Square to millions of Facebook/Twitter pages and TV screens around the world until they got the attention and support of the world leaders for their cause and the world stood with them in solidarity.

Military coup d'etats are no longer relevant in the Middle East, and we have the Arab youth to thank for that.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comment box below.

Gulf States and the Revolutions

Will the wave of revolutions in the Arab world spread to the Gulf states? 

Well, it has already spread to Bahrain in a big way, but some argue that this is the influence of Iranians or Shiites, but this is untrue. First of all, the Bahraini protesters made it a point to state that its not about Shiites or Sunnis; its about Bahrainis. Secondly, the people of Iran themselves are also protesting their repressive government (but they are being brutality silenced). These arguments are being used by the monarchies of the Gulf states to play to the fears of their US allies.

The truth is that the all of the young generations of the Middle East are experiencing a new awakening; we are losing fear and gaining hope, we want freedom, democracy and dignity. We are placing less importance of sectarianism and are moving towards a more liberal and inclusive government.

As a young woman from Kuwait, I worry that this new awakening may not reach the Gulf or that any new political movement will exclude equality for women from its demands.

What do you think? Will the revolutions spread to the other Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman? Should they?

The Media Revolution

There is another revolution happening alongside the pro-democracy revolutions in the Middle East, a Media Revolution!!

I came to this realization when I was on twitter. I am following the Arab revolutions by following people on the ground in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria etc. and then I am also following major news outlets like CNN, BBC and AlJazeera.

What I began noticing is that I would receive news from the ground first, saying that whatever is being reported is confirmed. Then hours later I would get the same update from CNN or AlJazeera. I came to the conclusion that I don't need the mainstream media anymore, because I have a direct line to where the action is. This is revolutionary!! Citizen Journalism is the rise and I'm loving it... !!

If you want to get a direct line to these revolutions too.. here are some people I recommend following on twitter:

For a general overview and discussion on the issues @monaeltahawy is amazing, I love her. She is based out of New York, but has a lot of contacts on the ground in the Middle East.

For news on Libya: @ShababLibya and/or @LibyansRevolt

For news on Egypt: @Gsquare86 and/or @monasosh

For news on Yemen: @YemenWatch

For news on Bahrain: @BAHRAINIAC

For news on Syria: @SilmyaSilmya

My Twitter: @enwayer

Hopefully we can start connecting directly with people all over the world, and end this age of misinformation the mainstream media has brought us!!

......and remember ... PEACE is the new black!

Photos of the Day

I love photography.... and I found some amazing pictures from the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.

Enjoyy! :)

Love this guy

Religious Unity among Egyptian Christian and Muslim Protesters 

Protesters sleeping under tanks to prevent them from dispersing protests.

no comment....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Women of the Arab Revolution

By now most people have seen the footage of young Arab men rushing the streets demanding democracy and freedom in their countries. What most people have not seen is the role of women in these protests. From Egypt to Yemen women have played vital roles in the pro-democracy movements sweeping the region. I found some videos about women in the revolutions and found them incredibly inspiring.


Egyptian Women


Libyan Women

Yemeni Women

Rape Victim Silenced

These videos are what inspired me to start a blog.

The video shows a Libyan woman who ran into a hotel in the Libyan capital Tripoli, where journalists were staying closely monitored by Gaddafi's thugs. The woman in the video is Iman Al-Obeidi and she was claiming that 15 of Gaddafi's thugs raped, defecated and urinated on her for two days. As journalists were trying to interview her, you see Gaddafi's men taking her away to God knows where. My thoughts are with her right now, although I fear the worst may have already happened.

If you would like to do something to help or vent about this horrific scene, there is a Facebook page dedicated to her: Free Iman Al-Obeidi.

If your really pissed off (or maybe a little tipsy) you can call the hotel in the video, (RIXOS Hotel) and tell them how you feel about the way Iman was treated - Reception: 00218213622902  Manager: 00218914501693

Either way, something like this should not go unchallenged.