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The Arab awakening, Islam and the new Middle East


Book Review:
The Arab awakening, Islam and the new Middle East
New York: Penguin, 2012. 273pp ISBN 978 1 846 14650 3
Reviewed by Fakiha Hassan Rizvi



The unexpected spectacle, astonishing for the world and a trigger for mass mobilization in Middle East, involved a street vendor setting himself alight in Tunisia. The defiance of Mohamed Bouazizi against state oppression is often labeled as the beginning of Arab uprising. However, The Arab awakening,Islam and the new Middle East urges readers to view the demonstrations in the Arab world objectively and by taking into account broader historical, political, social and economic contexts. Ramadan explores the appropriate term that should be
associated with mass protests in the Arab world, instead of blindly projecting them as ‘revolutions’ or ‘springs’, he calls it an ‘awakening’, with “cautious optimism”. The author connects the deep-rooted indicators of ‘social explosion’ like unemployment, illiteracy, lack of opportunities and despotism at a specific and general level in Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Tracing down the origins of these unprecedented mass mobilizations, The Arab Awakening, Islam and the New Middle East, finds a midway between the notions of ‘Western control and manipulation of Arab uprising’ and the ‘exaggerated optimism that if often linked with the change in Middle East’. According to the text, “cyber-dissidents” and digital activists were trained by foreign funded organizations (centers like Albert Einstein Institution and Freedom House), back in 2004, to promote non-violent protest through the use of social networks and digital technology. However, none of the Western powers could have
anticipated the reaction of Mohamed Bouazizi and the chain of reactions after his death. Resistance against dictatorial set ups scattered at an exponential rate. This propelled the Global North to give a patient hearing to the aspirations of the people.

The author links this ‘revolting attitude’ of the Arabs with Edward Said’s concept of ‘other’ by marking it as an end point of a “time worn” debate between “Secularism and Islam”, “Occidents and Orients” and “We and Others”. For Ramadan, “the other no longer remains the other” as it is striving for the same values179
(equality, dignity and freedom) that the West has always promised, but has failed to provide. To validate his hypothesis, the author refers to other events occurring in the wake of Arab uprising. Considering the death of Osama Bin Laden as a ‘media coup’ planned by the American president at an appropriate time he opines that this event itself indicated the extension of a friendly-hand from the West towards the Muslim. After eliminating a man known as the symbol of “anti-Western ideal” a new “political orientation” was established for Muslim-
majority countries. There was no reason for the West for not listening to the voices in Liberation Square (Tahrir Square) when they non-violently demanded for human dignity and an end to coercive measures employed by the dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Throughout the text, references are made that explicitly indicate dual-standards and moral relativism of the West for the sake of safeguarding economic and geo-political interests. While
the United States and other NATO countries accepted the aspirations of the people to some extent in Egypt and Tunisia, at the same time, it maintained close contacts with the military establishments of these countries. On the other hand, the mass movements in oil-rich petro-monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar were downplayed and manipulated by the international media. The liberty to use Internet when curtailed
for the Egyptian bloggers was countered by Google, which provided them with satellite codes. The same ‘Google’ denied access to those codes when asked for by Syrian bloggers. It is noteworthy, as Ramadan mentions that the role of Google has been completely in line with the policies of NATO countries
along with the United States during the mass protests in the Middle East.

The author considers the ‘Arab awakening’ as an eye opener for the Muslim countries and the rest of the world as well, to devise new socio-political models instead of adhering to the present and flawed ones. Restoration of “self-confidence” in the Global South is the key to engage developing and under developed countries in a constructive debate. For the author, such debates can serve well to provide blueprints of socio- political models based of ethical governance, that is no where to be seen in today’s global order. The Muslims are advised by the author to use their state of awakening in a positive direction for the welfare of human society. He refutes the argument that democracy and political Islam are dissimilar by claiming that180 Journal of Media Studies 26(2)
five essential components of democracy are in “fundamental conformity” with Islam; ‘rule of law’, ‘equality for all citizens’, ‘universal suffrage’, ‘accountability and separation of powers’ (executive, legislative and judiciary). Religion can play a decisive role for formulating the ethical norms of governance that are absent in majority of the countries of today even “the civilized Occidents”. The Arab world needs to turn this uprising to its advantage as it has suffered a lot at the hands of Western imperialism and colonialism. Ramadan aptly puts it at two instances “ours is the era of mass communication”, “ours is the era of passivity” and the need of the hour is to change for the good of humanity. Relying on the ideology that there are “no ideologies” will not turn the Arab awakening into the Arab revolution as the author points out the necessity to create ideologies from within, which are irrefutable for both the East and the West and derive ethical principles from religion.

The Arab Awakening, Islam and the New Middle East is a well- researched attempt to understand and operationalize the accelerating changes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The author generously offers readers to negate his views and proposes that the debate in his book is open for all.

Originally written for and published in the Journal of Media Studies (JMS)- research journal of the Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab.
Link: http://www.jms.edu.pk/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID=127

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Turk and Arab Youth Unite


TAYC-3

 

VIEW : Turk and Arab youth unite — Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

Events unfolding as a consequence of the Arab Spring had a substantial impact on the young people living in the countries in revolt. The Arab awakening is described at times as a ‘youth-driven’ movement, which is driven by the poor performance of authoritarian regimes. However, despair lingered amidst slogans of democracy, equality and freedom of speech. A recent opinion poll by Miftah (the Palestinian initiative for global dialogue and promotion of democracy) unveils that the Palestinian youth are distinctly less positive today about the effects of the Arab Spring. Presently, only 18 percent of all youth believe regional changes are positively affecting the Palestinian situation. Moreover, a study by Al Jazeera in July 2013 revealed that Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Tunisia’s youth feels disenfranchised from politics. Although young people represented a majority of those who sparked the revolutions, today they are alienated from politics.

To guide the youth in the right direction and to carve a vision for its future, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Youth Assembly (IMMYA) planned to arrange the Turk Arab Youth Congress (TAYC). This year, the second congress was conducted in which participants belonging to 24 different Arab countries participated, including conflict-ridden areas like Palestine, Syria and Indian-occupied Kashmir. During the congress, Turk and Arab youth convincingly decided to work together in order to chalk out a future that assuages their sufferings. I got an opportunity to attend the TAYC 2013 as a student of journalism from Pakistan, and to gather some interesting insights relevant to the Turk-Arab cooperation.

On the first day of the congress, eminent intellectuals and politicians provided the participants with the background knowledge to build a theoretical framework for understanding regional issues. Advisor to the Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Ms Summeyya Erdogan, said that the common geography made Turks and Arabs closer to each other. She was of the view that borders had never been a barrier to the Turk and Arab brotherhood. Her message suggested that young people should remain optimistic under their common heritage and to think of Istanbul as their city. The notable part of her speech argued that Turkey works towards the ‘West’ but always takes the ‘East’ into consideration.

The first panel discussion for the first day was initiated by Fuat Keyman, Director of the Istanbul Policy Centre at Sabanci University. He threw light on the topic of the panel: “New approaches to the new world crisis” and defined the Arab Spring as a crisis of globalisation. He believed that integrated information and communication technologies (ICTs) can no longer allow countries to remain isolated. According to Mr Keyman, the Arab Spring proved both the Orientalist and Occidentalist perspectives wrong. Orientalism believed that the Arab world cannot change. However, the Arab Spring marks the initiation of a long term transformation in the region. On the other hand, the Occupy Wall Street protests challenged Occidentalism as well. As per Mr Keyman’s view, the west is weakening and the east is rising. Regarding democratisation of the Arab region, he held the opinion that Turkey cannot be taken as an exemplary model, as it is still in the phase where democracy needs to be consolidated. The rest of the Arab world is shifting towards democratic norms.

Bulent Aras, Chairman for the Centre of Strategic Research, defined the Arab awakening as the rise of collective consciousness. He elaborated that resistances do follow revolutions as history teaches us. The discussion was concluded by Yasin Aktay, Chairman of Institute of Strategic Thinking. He shared that things are only new when we have not experienced them before, and people only differ with regard to the way they react to the events happening around them. The second session of the congress revolved around building regional and global civil networks. The panel was led by Bekir Karliga, Chairman of the national coordination committee of the alliance of civilisation. He reiterated the need to develop a new and more robust sense of ‘civilisation’. As per his view, Islamic history proves that Muslims had a deep understanding of civilisation.

The next speaker for the second panel discussion was Ms Humeyra Sahin, an author. She believed that a uniform paradigm of modernisation was being imposed on the world at the moment. According to her, Internet is a tool for the present generation and it should be used for the right purposes and in the right manner. Ms Sahin thought that instead of letting the west define the east, the latter should write its own history.

Mesut Ozcan, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took the topic further by explaining the significance of ‘soft power’ and civil diplomacy. His discussion tried to convince the participants that classical diplomacy is now changing, especially through cultural and academic exchanges between different countries.

On the second and third day of the congress, participants were asked to discuss different topics under three different commissions. One was based on social, humanitarian and cultural issues, the second one on economics, while the third one was based on the intervention of foreign powers and organisations in local conflicts. At the end, every commission proposed a social, economic and political solution to the Syrian refugee problem. The Turk and Arab youth had achieved a consensus on building networks to ensure an interest-free Islamic economic ecosystem. They opined that the Syrian refugees should be hosted and sponsored by the neighbouring countries (Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan), following the spirit of Muhajirin and Ansar during the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). On the stage of international politics, they thought that the Organisation of Islamic Conference should take a leading role and advocate the case of oppressed Muslims belonging to any region.

The Turk Arab Youth Congress 2013 was an interesting way of creating an interactive platform for the Turk and Arab youth; however, what is left to be seen is the practical application of what the youth aspires for the region. 

The writer is a student of Communication Studies at University of the Punjab. She blogs at http://www.fakihahassanrizvi.wordpress.com and tweets at @Fakiha_Rizvi

The verbal content of this post was published in Daily Times on November 5, 2013. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C11%5C05%5Cstory_5-11-2013_pg3_6

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in International Affairs

 

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PML-N’s Youth Policy


VIEW : PML-N’s Youth Policy — Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

Earlier this year the slogans of change were highly charged. The initiators constituted of ‘vibrant Pakistani youth’. The polling stations filled up, as the Election Day converted into a day of celebration for a nation weary of rampant corruption, fomenting extremism and uncertain modes of governance. The unemployed but educated youth also foresaw the amelioration of a country that provided them with lesser chances to excel. The younger population became a large chunk of the ‘electoral target’ for two mainstream political parties: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Convincing an emotionally driven segment of society tested the political acumen and persuasiveness of Pakistani politicians. At the end of the day, PML-Nawaz was triumphant. Not only did the majority of Pakistanis voted for the PML-N but also the majority of youngsters believed in its leadership for a better tomorrow.

According to a Gallup Pakistan survey, on May 11, 2013, among the new voters who took part in the general elections this time, 37 percent voted in favour of the PML-N, whereas 26 percent of them voted for the PTI. Regardless of complaintss of rigging and other electoral malpractices, the PML-N is now handling the affairs of the state and it also owes that to the youth that voted for it.

The PML-N remained cognizant of the possible consequences ensuing in case of resentment from the young voters. Taking the leverage of its’ government’s term in Punjab from 2008 to 2013, it took timely and strategic steps to garner support of younger population. The laptop scheme under the e-youth initiative of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif raised the popularity graph of the PML-N among students belonging to public sector universities. The Ujala Scheme (distribution of free solar lamps) and the extravagant Punjab Youth festival, which created back-to-back world records, encouraged more membership in PML-N’s youth wing. ‘Merit’ was a condition that had to be fulfiled by the students. The internship programmes also motivated the fresh graduates to earn and prepare themselves for professional life ahead. Foreign tours were arranged for outstanding students who scored the highest marks at matriculation and intermediate level. Regular visits were paid by the chief minister to educational institutes, which was even termed as ‘pre-poll rigging’ by his opponents, as the chief minister used to ask for votes from students. The Danish schools represented the PML-N’s volition to improve the state of education in Pakistan and to provide state-of- the-art facilities to the underprivileged students.

This incentive-based trend has continued and initiatives of such nature are again being introduced, now at the national level. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his latest address to the public, has briefed the nation about six new youth-centered programmes. He has promised the future architects with the provision of ‘youth training’, ‘loans’, ‘youth employment’ and laptops. To make things easier and accessible a website has been launched (www.pmo.gov.pk) that will be operational from September 28, 2013. It is a good indicator that the PML-N wants the youth to give its’ feedback about the new schemes that it can provide through the website and SMS service. However, it should be kept in mind that these schemes cannot continue for a long period of time. The younger population is more concerned about education and respectable living standards at home. Nationwide surveys show that most young Pakistanis list jobs, education and access to resources as their top priorities. For this, it has to be converted into a valuable human resource. On the other hand, the large number of young voters reaching the ballot boxes on May 11, 2013 also indicates that the Pakistani youth now wants to have a greater say in the policies that influence or govern the country.

Along with the continuation of support and development programmes, the PML-N has to accentuate long-term goals. Strategic and tangible measures are required to secure a reasonable future for the possible ‘youth bulge’. It is evident that political parties did realise the problems being faced by the Pakistani youth. The electoral manifestos of all political parties contesting the general elections 2013 did not and could not afford to ignore the word ‘youth’. In the case of the PML-N, the manifesto consisting of 110 pages, reiterated the word youth 17 times. Among a long list of initiatives that the manifesto promises, one is to “involve youth in governance at the local level and reservation of special seats in Union Councils and District Councils to prepare them for a bigger role in National and Provincial Assemblies.” This part of the manifesto seems to be unattended to date. Almost two-thirds of Pakistan’s total population is under the age of 25 and there is no way that this fraction can be excluded from political participation. The PML-N led government needs to declare and explain the plans for enhanced participation of youth in policy-making and governance. Legislative amendments and restructuring of state policies must be steered towards ‘inclusion of youth’ at all levels.

The writer is a student of Communication Studies at University of the Punjab and blogs at http://www.fakihahassanrizvi.wordpress.com. She Tweets at @Fakiha_Rizvi

Originally published in Pakistan Daily Times on September 30, 2013. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C09%5C30%5Cstory_30-9-2013_pg3_6

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Political Ticker

 

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Without Dreams by Shahbano Bilgrami – Book Review


Author: Shahbano Bilgrami 

Pages: 262

Reviewed by: Fakiha Hassan Rizvi 

This novel is a clear depiction of ethnic and social segregations among the people of South Asia. The story revolves around two boys, Haroon Rizwan, the son of a renowned businessman of Saathpari and their servant boy Abdul. Although belonging to a rich family, Haroon’s nights are sleepless and marked by dreadful nightmares. Domestic violence and the shouts of a drunk father highlighting his high-handedness over Tahira (Haroon’s mother) give a psychological jolt to their child. He tries to intercept his parents during small quarrels, but finds himself as helpless as a statue, like the servant boy Abdul, who has no volition in the things defining his life.

As years pass by, Haroon sometimes wonders that how come Abdul breathe in subjugation. The servant boy on the other hand has special association with Haroon’s mother and is often noticed by her. After so many years when Haroon comes back to Saathpari, he realizes that it was him who murdered his father. Abdul wanted to stop him that night, but was accused of killing Javaid Rizwan (Haroon’s father). At that point Haroon identifies that despite the differences in social strata and financial statuses, there was still something in common between the servant boy and him. It was a life marred by violence, struggle and helplessness.

However, Abdul thought that the only thing that differentiated between him and Haroon was that the latter had a history. From his first prodding to his teenage, everything was recorded in the form of photographs. On the other hand, Abdul had no clue about his existence.

Without Dreams is a a must read for readers of South Asia. It gives a strong message about child labour, psychological influence of domestic violence over children and how even the privileged segment of the society is burdened by social differences.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Book Review, Reviews

 

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Academic Exchanges and Cultural Perceptions


VIEW : Academic Exchanges and Cultural Perceptions — Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

I remember watching the famous British comedy television series “Mind Your Language” when I was about eight-years-old. It was broadcast in Pakistan during the 1990s. The show was set in an adult education college in London and focused on ‘English’ as a foreign language. The classes were taught by Mr Jeremy Brown, a role played by Barry Evans, who had to deal with a motley crew of foreign students. The student body ranged from an Italian chef to an unemployed Pakistani. There was also a stereotypical German, Anna Schmidt, who was so proud of her physical strength and was not afraid to punch her fellows. She was hard working and always bragged about ‘German efficiency’, but had a rigid personality. Anna was the only German that I knew till I was fortunate enough to get selected for a summer school on political communication at the University of Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany.

This summer school aimed at assessing the ‘Changing Role of Social Media in Muslim Countries’. It was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service — DAAD. It was a consequence of mutual cooperation with two Pakistani universities (University of the Punjab and University of Peshawar). This project is a brainchild of the Chair of Muslim Culture and Religious History, University of Erfurt and was initiated in 2012. Apart from its core aim, this academic tour provided a platform for interaction between students of different nationalities (the prime ones being German and Pakistani). I already knew that majority of the Germans do not hold a positive opinion about Pakistanis. Going there along with the scattered media representations of a character in an old sitcom was not rational at all. However, the childhood perception still prevailed. On the other hand, it was just a matter of days after reaching there to dispel the rigidity associated with Germans. During the period of 12 days, I realised that students belonging to other countries also knew little about my country. They were not reluctant to use the terms ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘conservative’ while describing their perceptions about Pakistanis before participating in the summer school. In addition to this, Pakistanis were of the view that bars and pub culture comprises of under-dressed drunkards as seen in movies. As for the Germans, they were not happy with the students who remained at distance from the bars at night. Misunderstandings on both the ends strengthened the case of academic exchanges that give a chance for person-to-person to communication.

Among the long list of inspirational aspects, the tranquil and serene environment of Erfurt was one. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the University of Erfurt provided the ideal ambiance, conducive for studying. Personally, I envied the German transport system and its rejection of automobile slavery. Even most of the professors used bicycles for short trips. With regards to the preservation of cultural heritage, Germany provides an unprecedented example. The visit to the German parliament (Bundestag) and Goethe House was audio guided. One did not have to rely on a tour guide for a very long time and was free to explore parts of the building by himself/herself. The respect for time and punctual behaviour of Germans was also laudable.

On our very first day we received a warm welcome and some goody bags containing pamphlets and other written material about the University of Erfurt. I flipped through some of the material and came across a glossy card that had the following words on it ‘I love Uni Erfurt’. After staring at the card for a while I gathered that students loving their educational institutions might be playing a decisive role in ensuring high literacy rates at Germany. The summer school participants did not get a chance to meet away from the university and discuss their aspirations in life. Luckily, Petersburg (a historical citadel at Erfurt) turned out to be an adequate venue to gain inspiration from each other. After two and a half hours of patient hearing, our bonding with each other had strengthened. During the conversation, I was startled to see how every single person was absorbed while listening to another participant. That was a much-needed activity to establish our association with each other. A visit to MDR television, FREI radio station and Deutsche Welle gave a clear picture of German media systems. Moreover, a visit to the headquarters of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) gave insights about political culture in Germany. With elections around the corner, I could hardly see any political advertising except for A3 size posters on poles in the streets.

Books or Internet was the only source through which I got to learn about Berlin before August 14, 2013. Fortunately, the summer school included a two-day tour of the capital city of Germany. This happened to be the second formal excursion trip of the summer school. Being the capital city, Berlin was quite different from Erfurt. Contrasts between the East and the West (before unification) also made it historically significant.

This summer school reiterated the need for academic exchanges that level the insurmountable cultural barriers. Not only do the students enhance their knowledge and discover new horizons of learning, but the stimulation of dialogue also aids in understanding each other. At least, they do not let us dwell on images like Anna Schmidt constructed by the media.

The writer is a student of Communication Studies at University of the Punjab. She blogs at http://www.fakihahassanrizvi.wordpress.com and tweets at @Fakiha_Rizvi

Originally published in Pakistan Daily Times: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C08%5C25%5Cstory_25-8-2013_pg3_6

Participants of Summer School on Political Communication

Participants of Summer School on Political Communication

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Inspiration, Random Scape

 

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Afghan Women after 2014


VIEW : Afghan women after 2014 — Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), one in two girls who should go to school remain at home in Afghanistan 

The unwavering faith and intense struggle of Afghan women has continued since the civil war started in Afghanistan. As the only woman to this date ever to be crowned ‘Miss Afghanistan’ (Zuhra Yousaf) puts it, “War steals the very breath of life. Afghanistan stopped breathing and the little that was achieved by Afghan women came to a standstill.” The female gender in the land operating under the yoke of Taliban rule had always been striving to deny the gender role that was assigned to them. They had coveted the identity that was invaded by the feudal lords, bigots and warlords. An average Afghan woman, even today, in any part of the world, feels like a pendulum swinging between ‘Orientalist representations’ and ‘stereotypes of Islamic tradition’ imposed on her. All she is worried about is ‘what others think of her’. The promises of peace, security and egalitarianism for them seem to fade away. Even after a decade of bombing and NATO strikes, Afghan women are still searching for their lost identity.

The question arises: why?

After the twin bombing of the World Trade Center, which the world remembers as 9/11, the weakening of the Taliban and al Qaeda was being portrayed as the liberation of Afghan women. However, nothing ‘just’ seems to prevail in their homeland for them. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), one in two girls who should go to school remain at home in Afghanistan. One in five children do not survive long enough to make it to school. Women trafficking rose to unprecedented levels since 2001. Economic problems, enhanced poverty and problems such as forced marriages have resulted in the dramatic increase of ‘self-immolation’ among women. Although 25 percent of parliament comprises of women, honour killings are still executed at an expeditious rate. Despite tragedies and hopelessness, Afghan women are valiantly fighting for their rights. They clearly denied the gender roles being ascribed to them by the Taliban and now they are dissenting against the tags placed on them by the invading forces. Had the champions of ‘peace, equality and humanity’ kept their promises, the situation would have been a lot different. Now, even a baby girl born in Afghanistan would be a matter of concern for her mother who would be worried about her existence in a respectable way. In her own way and according to her culture, norms and religious beliefs, she tries to shield her from forced social control.

While directly relating the downfall of the Taliban with the emancipation and empowerment of women, the west has forgotten the state structure and laws in Afghanistan. It is evident that Afghans emphasise on state-imposed changes to women’s legal and social status. The reforms initiated from 1919-1929 were a consequence of constitutional amendments. During the reign of King Amanullah Khan, women were guaranteed equal rights under the constitution. Female students were sent to Turkey for higher education. Then in 1959, the policies of Muhammad Zahir Shah allowed women to unveil voluntarily and to find employment. By 1964, women even won their right to cast votes. All these changes were legitimised only through constitutional means.

Contrary to the above mentioned measures of the past, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the United States failed to devise any workable or long term strategy to ensure peace in the region. The devastation worsened due to drug cultivation, terrorist activities and the upward trajectory in crime rates. NATO forces made Afghanistan a battleground between themselves and the insurgents. The worst affected actors were the Afghan women. They were deprived of a conducive socio-political environment to institutionalise their legal rights such as education. This is the reason that women are still questioning their fate and future in Afghanistan, especially after the withdrawal of NATO forces from their country. Activist and author of A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, Malalai Joya has faced attempts on her life after speaking out against the oppression of women under the Taliban, but she is explicit in counting the US and NATO too as enemies of Afghan women’s (and men’s) right to live and learn in peace.

Entrenched in the mesh of uncertainty and trepidation, Afghan women are now looking forward to an alliance with the clerics. They are requesting pro-female Friday sermons. For them it is a hope to defeat violence and ameliorate the pitiful state of their rights. This campaign is likely to start in Kabul and would be implemented in all the provinces. However, there are 160,000 mosques in the country of 30 million people and this campaign will remain restricted to 3,500 government-funded mosques. With the withdrawal of the foreign invaders looming, Afghan women are now retreating to seek the support of traditional men who have always been represented as their worst enemies. Had the western analogy of ‘de-Talibanisation’ and ‘peace for women’ been correct or fruitful, the Afghan women would not have been left pleading for their fundamental rights.

The writer is a student of Communication Studies at University of the Punjab. She blogs at http://www.fakihahassanrizvi.wordpress.com and tweets at @Fakiha_Rizvi

Originally published in Pakistan Daily Times http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C07%5C20%5Cstory_20-7-2013_pg3_6#.UeojaMpqcYI.twitter

Tweets about Afghan Women after 2014

Tweets about Afghan Women after 2014

 

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Ramadan Mubarak


Ramadan 1

Ramadan 3

Ramadan 5

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Random Scape

 

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