24 Apr 2012

Love, Not Hatred, Dear Mona !



Dear Mona Eltahawy

My name is Dima Khatib. I am an Arab, Muslim woman, proud of my identity and culture. I lived half my life in the Arab world and the other half between four continents: Europe, Asia, North America and South America. I got to know cultures much freer than ours, when it comes to women, politics and society. I learned and watched and noted…and wished that many things which do not exist in our societies and exist in other societies would come true for Arab women, although I also noted aspects of suffering and negativity in the life of non-Arab women.

I have not met you personally yet, but we have exchanged conversations and our relationship has always been amiable - in fact, quite warm. I have always felt that we share the same dreams. I was among the first to write about your arrest. And today I don’t wish to join the army of your adversaries or of your staunch attackers. I hope you take my letter as constructive criticism, in the spirit of plurality of opinions and exchanging viewpoints and dialogue, the exact spirit that we seek to build stone by stone on a perilous Arab land, and you know this better than most. 

I don’t think I am less emancipated than you, Mona, and no less someone who strives for and loves freedom. I dream of freedom for me and for you and for every Arab woman and Arab man, for every child and adult, the religious and non-religious, those who wear hijab, those who don’t wear hijab, and those who wear niqab, the women who work and the housewives, the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate. However I don’t belong to any feminist movements, I haven’t studied the theories of feminist movements, and I don’t write to you as a defender of women’s rights or in the name of all Arab women, I write to you as a female Arab citizen who feels that you have spoken in her name, in absentia.


I confess that the title of your article in Foreign Policy Magazine “Why do they hate us? – The real war on women is in the Middle East” made my blood boil. This was added to when I saw the picture of the woman, naked but for the black paint, so you see nothing but her eyes lined with kohl (with Arab kohl?). I could not keep myself from asking: Is this woman on the cover me, the Arab woman? I felt insulted, Mona. Did you not feel the same insult when you saw the article’s images? I felt an urge to tear the pictures apart.

I was attracted to the opening of your article. Your style is interesting and you do poke the issues, and our issues are one, Mona. There’s no doubt that the facts in your article are accurate, that the problems highlighted are real, and that the suffering you write of is experienced by Arab women, even if they are not always aware of it. My anger faded as I read, slowly…until I reached the section where you explain “The Arab men’s hatred toward women”. Hatred?

Let's see. In our Arab society, does the son hate his mother? The brother his sister? The father his daughter? And the husband hates his wife, and the lover his beloved? And the male colleague hates his female colleague, and the male friend his female friend, and the male neighbor his female neighbor? I don’t think our culture teaches us to hate women. In fact, mothers are sacred, grandmothers are sacred, aunts are treasured, and so are female cousins.

It is true that women’s issues are among our most thorny problems, and I believe that the liberation and progress of our societies will only take place through solving these problems, but I also believe that the other problems must be solved too. And the other problems are suffered by both men and women, social degradation, oppression, subordination, illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, exploitation, ignorance and many of the injustices, among other things you know well.


We, Arab women, are not weak, Mona, and the Arab revolutions have proved to us that we are stronger than we even thought, and the heroines of the Arab revolutions don’t need to be pointed out. I don’t think we need saviors from the hatred and grudges of our men, especially since the revolutions have proven that we are more than able to stand shoulder to shoulder with men to achieve progress for our societies. 

Your article paints a picture of the Arab society that matches the images of the article: black, bleak, depressing, a painted black body. You have reduced the problem of the Arab woman to the feelings of men; while the image of the Arab woman was reduced to the image that the West has of her. What you have tackled is true, and we have a long road ahead, and the revolutions have not achieved anything for women or for any one else when it comes to societal demands, and we have not yet been granted our basic rights, as women or as men. Like you, I felt a huge shock when the new Egyptian parliament was elected in front of my eyes while I was in Egypt, with women representing less than 2% of it. But the picture in your article is incomplete and gives the impression that we are all miserable, helpless female beings. Arab society is not as barbaric as you present it in the article. You actually enhance the typical stereotype in the non-Arab reader's mind, and it is a stereotype full of overwhelming generalisations, and contributes to the widening cultural rift between our society and other societies, and the increase of racism towards us.

I felt that your article in the magazine you chose was a plea for others to go save an oppressed Arab woman, poor, veiled in black, as though anyone would come to "save" her anyway… As they did when the United States liberated Afghan women, for example?

We have a heap of accumulated and intertwined problems in the relationship between men and women, in how men view women, and how women view men. If only we could learn how to love again, so that men learn to love women without controlling them, and women learn to love men instead of loving to please men. How about we start from love, Mona, instead of hatred?



---


Note: I wrote the response originally in Arabic because I felt it was an issue Arabs should read about and discuss. This English version was kindly translated by: Tasnim Qutait (Thank you @TasnimQ)

27 comments:

Lamya said...

So agree with you Dima.

I remember years ago taking a feminism class and wrote a paper on the adverse effects of "imported" feminism on Arab/Muslim women, and the need for "homegrown" feminism [ humanism even].

One of the women pioneering 'imported" feminism that estranged the very women she thought she was speaking for was Bouthaina Shaaban who is CURRENTLY political and media adviser to the President of Syria--YES Bashar Al Assad the BUTCHER!!!! She wrote in one of her books about Arab/Muslim woman that she was representing [particularly in Syria] while in an ALL woman's hair salon:

"Are these women lesbians, I wondered to myself. . . " "[ from "Both Right and Left Handed: Arab Women Talk About Their Lives" page 31]

Today Mona Eltahawy is recycling that old feminism -- when will they realize that we tried it and it didn't work, and we really need to move on to OTHER solutions to our problems. We need to stop playing the blaming game--pitting men against women and vice verse, and Hijabees and Niqabees against those who wear neither. How about us starting by respecting one another and not putting each other down by labeling each other as "Hijabee" "Niqabee" and "Neither-ee" and getting down to the REAL issues--poverty, ignorance etc. We have so many issues in common as Arab woman [of all faiths] and Muslim woman. Plus we share global issues of women around the world.

SIGH!

Lamya said...

So agree with you Dima.

I remember years ago taking a feminism class and wrote a paper on the adverse effects of "imported" feminism on Arab/Muslim women, and the need for "homegrown" feminism [ humanism even].

One of the women pioneering 'imported" feminism that estranged the very women she thought she was speaking for was Bouthaina Shaaban who is CURRENTLY political and media adviser to the President of Syria--YES Bashar Al Assad the BUTCHER!!!! She wrote in one of her books about Arab/Muslim woman that she was representing [particularly in Syria] while in an ALL woman's hair salon:

"Are these women lesbians, I wondered to myself. . . " "[ from "Both Right and Left Handed: Arab Women Talk About Their Lives" page 31]

Today Mona Eltahawy is recycling that old feminism -- when will they realize that we tried it and it didn't work, and we really need to move on to OTHER solutions to our problems. We need to stop playing the blaming game--pitting men against women and vice verse, and Hijabees and Niqabees against those who wear neither. How about us starting by respecting one another and not putting each other down by labeling each other as "Hijabee" "Niqabee" and "Neither-ee" and getting down to the REAL issues--poverty, ignorance etc. We have so many issues in common as Arab woman [of all faiths] and Muslim woman. Plus we share global issues of women around the world.

SIGH!

Nahed Eltantawy said...

Well said Dima. I think you highlighted the main issues that many Arab women, including myself, found or might find problematic with Mona's article. Mona's intentions might have been sincere, but there's no doubt that the article's weaving of various cultural practices added to the degrading images of women painted black force readers to revisit Orientalism views of the Muslim female Other, a woman who is helpless, weak and oppressed and waiting to be saved.

Roqayah said...

Great, timely response Dima; I pray that the main outcome of their, in my opinion, horrendously penned piece is that other Middle-Eastern/North African women chime in and therein refuse to allow their voices to be co-opted.

wa7da masrya said...

Arab men dont hate their mothers or daughters or sisters but they hate women in them

Maria said...

I totally understand your point and frustation of this orientalism and picture of arabic women. But still, I can't understand why so many arabic women have got so angry of Mona's article?

I'm Western Woman, travelled and lived in Egypt and even been in relationship with Egyptian guy. And I can really tell that the many things Mona is assuming are true. I never could get why my Egyptian spouse was able to be same time so full of love and same time so negative towards me and my feminity. Besides all the other issues what were happening in Egyptian society towards women (sexual abuse, unequal law etc)

The main thing is that all the grievances which Mona was writing about, are true. I don’t think Mona’s writing made Arabic Women helpless victims, she was just telling about the grievances towards women in Middle East. If we speak about grievances of Islam why it automatically makes us “orientalist” or “rasistic” or whatever?

Jonatham Moremi said...

While I find your blogpost very respectful and worth discussing I do not in all share your views. Since replying here would be too long, I have answered you with my blogpost:

"Women Do Hate Men, Dear Dima!"

http://bit.ly/Irv8AH

survivor said...

Hi Dima,

Middle aged American male here. Enjoyed your article very much. Glad to see you are taking the opportunities life has offered you, and like Mona, giving back to educate and illuminate areas so often shrouded in mystery and prejudice. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Sadiq Jalal al-Azm that wrote about this perverse male/female ralationship in Arab world, more precisely the infantile aspect of it, and that untill it is broken, there will be no progress. as author notes it's perfectly normal to rever one's mother and sister, while at the same time oggling one's fellow non-mother non-sister. so much for having agency, ditto all the underage brides and what not. all the responses I've read to Mona's article border on defensive, so there's way to go. When this woman was violated in Cairo, how many fellow ladies went out to vent their fury? a few thousand at best. as soon as an article appears questioning such passivity, you get a torrent of 'orientalist conspiracy' nonsense. If this is all to do with culture, of which majority seem to be so proud of, there's something very rotten at the heart of said culture. Good on Mona, shame about the rest.

wrath of khan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wrath of khan said...

I'm afraid I disagree with you on many fronts Dima. I do not think that Mona Eltahawy's comments compromise the situation of women or show them as hapless, helpless creatures as you claim. It is true that the title of her article is bizzarre. However, Mona's arguments are factual, well-researched and very valid. Mona is telling all men, not just Arab- to leave women alone. She is encouraging Arab women who are taking a stand against oppression and she is clearly stating that unless oppression ends at home and in the streets, there is no way state sanctioned oppression will end. And this applies to women, men and children. I think Mona is a courageous and talented writer and a feminist and an activist. Your disdain for the word 'feminism' is also disturbing. It is true that feminism has to be culturally adjusted, however things like rape, genital mutilation, virginity tests and physical abuse are not negotiable items in any interpretation of feminism. Mona is highlighting the problem of apologists who perpetuate the violence by justifying it through religion or culture. I will say that by taking offense to her article, you are contributing to the muzzling of a woman's voice. Not adding to it.

Anonymous said...

Wrath of Khan: actually, I think you're being rather generous in your interpretation of the article. Eltahwy's piece - whether well intended, providing advice to women, pointing to problems that exist within the context of the revolution period- can only be sustained by a racist orientalist narrative that juxtaposes a Western emancipatory culture with Arab and Muslim society as regressive and misogynistic. Moreover, what is missing in the critiques of Eltahawy and broader feminist debates is under what notion of woman, freedom, equality, subjectivity and autonomy is Eltahawy's feminist critique of Arab and Muslim society operating under? People like her talk about oppression, freedom, etc. as if they're neutral categories and have universal meanings. This isn't a cultural relativist argument, rather, it is pointing to the fact that when Western observers like Elthawy judges and scrutinises other societies and their practice, they are participating in an arrogant assumption that they know best and their version of freedom, agency, and desire - as such should be applied uniformly. Lord Cromer and Laura Bush echoed similar sentiments. Further, they also rely on the assumption that FGM, rape, virginity tests, etc. should only be understood within a uni-dimensional narrative. How do you reconcile the reality that FGM is largely enforced by women themselves? Or are going to fall into the 'false consciousness' trap? Moreover, Eltahawy's entire career has been reliant upon pitting herself as liberal, free, enlightened against her oppressed sisters of which she alone has a permission to narrate their experiences for they have the inability to speak for themselves. This is Said's Orientalism 101 and the fact that Eltahawy is Arab and Muslim doesn't change her incredibly racist views. The fact that she is unaware of the implications of everything she writes and even supports the banning of niqab in the context of a rise in Islamophobia in the West reaffirms her parochial and naive politics. Her voice SHOULD be silenced through discrediting her - I'm not interested in the postmodernist argument that every voice has a validity and authenticity to be heard when these narratives are deployed to wage wars, structurally marginalise entire communities and perpetuate racist views that dehumanise others. The greatest irony here is that Eltahawy participates in the ultimate violence against women and Islam: an epistemic violence that erases entire histories and cultural realities with a narcissistic cry of self-righteous indignation.

-Sahar.

Anonymous said...

Mona El Tahawy's real crime was criticizing Muslim society in the presence of outsiders. The backlash from Muslim women is so predictable.

Anonymous said...

When I read Mona´s article my first reaction was: it was about high time telling this truth and no longer closing eyes to reality. I know it´s hard to be confronted with the reality and not easy to cope with.
So I´m not wondering that Dima´s answer to Mona is much more smoothing. But sorry to say: There is no way to solve fundamental problems like this with love. Where would she come from? From men who don´t respect women? From men who torture, abuse and rape women? From men who don´t accept women as what they are: independent, intelligent, warmhearted,self-conscious human beeings! Men all over the world treat women badly. In some countries, like the so much abhorred western, less in some more. But it is a matter of fact that men can´t stand women. Because if they look into a womens soul they can see reflections of theirselves. They see emotions, the see empathy, they see weekness, they see compassion. They see everything they don´t want so see or want to be. That´s why they hate us so much. And this is not to be cured by love. Because this is something men have the least.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dima,
I am one of your twitter followers and I believe in your sincerety and equally in Mona's sincerety as well. Yet, the hatred I understood from Mona's article was not "hatred" in the literal meaning of the word, I mean it is not the feeling of hating rather the meaning I got and which I fully agree with is that all the negativiies practiced in the name of "love" "fear for the woman" "knowing what is good for her better than she does" boil down to how the recepient of those feelings (the woman) in this case, view them, she views them as "hatred". Also I didn't get the feeling that Mona was advocating the western stereotype, because frankly speaking women are subordinated everywhere it is only a matter of to what degree, and how far the Rule of Law is well established "in personal status matters, I mean".
As for the picture, you are right, I disapprove of it, yet it is only symbolic, I'll get back to you anyway, because I wanna revisit the book "Women and Gender in Islam" by Leila Ahmed, where she impeccably dissects the feminist movement in the Islamic world and the gives account of the various approaches, the westernized feminism and the pristine, locally made version of feminism with examples of outstanding historic female figures champoining both approaches.

LOrion said...

I am sorry Dima, I too, did not like the 'hate' reference in Mona's article, but as a physician must state your response is extremely revealing as you admit to the DOMINANT-Submisssive status of Arab men and women. This type of relationship between two adults is only non-pathological when it is accepted openly by both parties, there are contractual obligations for both, and can be stopped at ANY TIME by simply a word when either no longer deisre it. Otherwise it allows no true freedom in any way to the Submissive, it is abnormal no matter what cultural or religious guise it is hidden under. And eventually becomes pathological as Mona so eloquently describes in her original story.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dima:
I am so thankful for this rich, timely, and critical discussion. I too am an Arab Muslim woman raised in the Arab world.I am currently living in the US. At times I feel at home in both cultures and other times I feel exiled in both.
I do not often agree with Mona Tahawy's writings and points of view.
However,this article really struck a nerve for me. I share my life with my soulmate,-- my loving husband, I have kind and devoted brothers and a loving dad, and I had the most amazing grandfather who raised six daughters to feel happy, strong and independent. He was proudly known as the father of his eldest DAUGHTER (no boys needed!) I have hardly had the experience of hatred.
Having said all of that; I found myself agreeing with so much of what Mona said in her article; even though I dislike her often shrill tone and some of the recycled cliches of western feminism.
Let's face it, dear sisters and brothers of the Arab world. There is indeed a kind of hatred for all things female. Yes, not all hate, yes, the hatred is not conscious. However, there is rage against anything that is perceived as "femnizing" to men in our culture. And quite often, tender-hearted men behave in beastly horrifying ways because the society (through a mixture of old custom and selective interpretations of religious doctrine)places the burden of protecting family honor on men, and places that honor literally and figuartively in the laps of females.
For all the women I know who choose to veil because of their own beliefs and devotion, I know as many who choose to veil because they want to take the burden of "3ayb" off of their young sons. When I taught writing to young middle schoolers in an Arab city, 13 year old boys explained to me how they never want their male friends to know their mothers' names, for fear they would use them in slurs that are designed to dishonor and shame them. These boys may not technically "hate" their mothers, but their mothers' names are potential sources of dishonor of the worst kind. This is a hateful relationship with all of womankind that is worth examining and undoing!

I recently returned to the Arab world, and living there as an adult woman and a mother was an important experience for me. I will tell you honestly that I felt every single day, in one hundred small ways, that women, myself included are marginalized and have to struggle through all sorts of ridiculous assumptions and imaginary barriers just for basic respect. I am not talking about Western feminist standards, I am talking about the basic right to equal treatment when standing on line at a post office or green grocers, walking in my neighborhood (unveiled but modestly dressed and trying to avoid a barrage of verbal humiliation which I also witnessed veiled sisters subjected to on more than one occasion.)These are all symptoms of a larger problem.
I know Mona lost a lot of credibility because of her position on niqab. I accept that. I don't particularly care for the practice but I will ALWAYS speak out for the right of women to dress any way they see fit, to practice their faith any way they see fit, regardless of my own personal choices. I think it's unfortunate to dismiss all the points in Mona's article simply because there were tasteless images printed with it.
I think the worst part of Mona's article is that it presented a laundry list of complaints all in one place,and made no distincition between the struggles women face in the public sphere and inside there own lives and homes. But I really think, in spite of her flaws, that she is on to something important, that we need to deal with and expose and take apart on our own, with courage and openness, for our own sake.

Mahmoud nasr said...

I am totally with you Rima, Mona is talking from the Western point of view not ours, for me I adore my mother and i could contently give her my own life only to see her happy, same for my late sister and as any other man i have the instinct to love women and defend them whenever vulnerable.

Patrick said...

Yes indeed, as the first comment says, Arabs need to learn humanism before they learn femanism.

I would say that men need to learn to respect themselves and understand the value of respect for each other and of human rights. Feminism probably comes along once there is a common set of values in place which respect each person's rights to life.

In this, it feminism is possibly borrowed from the west but it won't work until the men themselves value their own well-being. Attempting to impose freedom for woman first will, arguably, just create resistance from men, who are not able to understand how they (mis)treat women. Help men improve their own lives and it will improve women's lives at the same time.
______

The constant defence against the article is that it is western feminism or that what has been said just feeds western stereotypes.
It is strange because each person who comments says that the topics touched on are real, but you fear for how the West will see it.

Don't fear for the opinion of others and feel embarrassed. Just help yourselves and maybe try to view it from the perspective of others:
It is baffling to many outsiders why parts of the world still view women as a danger and something best kept locked away. The western world changed its attitude towards women just a Century ago. At first the battle was only by a minority before it trickled down through society and -it must be said- the first world war gave women their chance, while their men were away, women needed to take on more work. When the men came back, society had changed for good.

We do not wish to demonise you for some practises that still exist in the middle east. We would simply wish more rights to be granted to women, as we ourselves came to do.
And we simply do not agree any more that a woman's place is behind her husband, her brother or her son. I have 2 sisters and a mother and I could never imagine telling them how to behave and who they can see.

These are things my ancestors would have done, in part, and the practise has disappeared now. Women are able to decide who they can see and who they can't and do not need their own sons to decide for them.

As Mahmoud Nasr says in his comment, just above mine, he would give his own life for his mother or sister's happiness. Maybe think about what really could make these women happy. Do not view them as vulnerable creatures who need defending and hidden away for their own protection. Allow them to fulfil their lives without interference of a man's view of what is decent and what she needs.

Don't resist social change simply because you compare yourself to a West which you resent. Make social change for yourselves and to improve your own lives and the lives of all those you love.

Nermeen Negm said...

Hi Dima,

I have a lot of respect that you did not take the route of attacking ElTahawy as many others have chosen. Your article is constructive and I respect the points you raised... but I do beg to differ on most of them.

First of all - the title of your post. Love? Really Dima? Love not hate? I feel that the huge controversy raised by ElTahawy's article has been exaggerated by many angry women that don't realize that the article is not intended to generalize - but at the same time, it is not referring to you and me... or any of the people that can actually comprehend her article and write an English elaborate response as yours. The article actually speaks about THE MAJORITY of Arab/Middle Eastern men and women.And to this I ask you Dima...

The men who legislated the legality of honor killing… is that not hateful?
The men who legislated the legality of marrying a victim off to her rapist… is that not hateful?
The men who refuse to marry a non-virgin girl (never mind that he could be the one that took her virginity as her boyfriend) even though he is probably encouraged to have sexual experiences before marriage – is that not hateful?
The fathers that marry off their minor daughters to their friends or anyone who will pay under the name of religion (following the prophet)… is that not hate?
The men that legislated a law against women wearing pants in Sudan to the extent that they get jailed, even as foreigners, if they do… is that not hateful?
The religious men that call on parents to perform FGM on their daughters… do they not hate them? Men who harass us on the streets every damn day… do they not hate us?

Sure... we can say that the Mother is honored in Islam and women are regarded as the precious half of society... but you stating that it's actually love? Sure, they'll love you if you stick to the norms that have been placed for you by the men in our society. Try stepping out of line, and tell me they still love and respect you.

The fact that Mona ElTahawy’s article you find ‘simplistic’ – only means that there is so much MORE than hate… but hate is definitely there. She just tore it down to the basics… I do think that on a subconscious level - our Middle Eastern culture is misogynous.

I feel that many of the responses stem from pride... and your response as well touched me in the same way a couple of times. "We don't want to be portrayed as such to the west."... you know - that kind of pride? True - I wish the west would change their perception of the Arab woman - but unfortunately, that can't be done when only a minority of women are not so oppressed and actually have the freedoms that you and I enjoy.

As for the sensational images... first of all - that's media for you, right? Secondly - has countries like Saudi Arabia not forced women to be present only in the form of a black mobile body/object? Generalized the "Islamic Dress Code" to be black bodies hiding their faces with no identities? I actually think the images portrayed are exactly that very mentality behind the Niqab... No woman should ever have to hide her identity in the name of religion - behind black cloth - or paint... it's all the same... and it's all a shame.

I am quite astonished at how all the responses state that - "all facts in Mona ElTahawy's article are true, but..." But what? Bellah 3alina... Aren't these facts enough to make your body cringe in disgust at the true misogyny of our culture, most of which is labeled under the name of religion?

1/2

Nermeen Negm said...

I wish the article was target to the Middle Eastern audience in hope it might change a heart or too about their perception of women's rights. But at the same time, unfortunately - that's another freedom we DO NOT have. You think any woman can publish an article with these awful facts in Saudi or Sudan or even Egypt?

Open up your hearts and minds ladies and let’s stop attacking one another. ElTahawy’s article at the end of the day is a call for women to unite and stand up against misogyny and oppression. If you find her article lacking – rather than criticize, please – write your own… and try to get it published to the audience you think should read them... adding all the more points that contribute to the reasons of women’s mistreatment and oppression in our culture in the Middle East in hope that with many many such articles, someone will change.

Thank you for your time to read this.
2/2

Anonymous said...

for 'hate' substitute 'fear', for 'women'
substitute 'life'. You'd get a very different, maybe more accurate view, where women are
hated as the carriers and nurturers of life
in cultures that are obsessed with death and killing and how marvelous things will be in the afterlife.
ICK!!!

Diahni said...

Dima,
One positive thing you might say about Mona's article is that it has a lot of people talking, and that's good!
Diane Gordon

Angela said...

Nicely stated Dima, I too think saying Arabs hate women is misleading and absurd, and most of the times this is just propaganda talk. Sadly, inequality towards women is way more widespread than just in the Middle East..

Anonymous said...

Dima - is a male name in Russia. Troll so much troll.

Andrea Fontani said...

Dima,
I've lived in Bahrain for a few years, and I can only say: "What a good response" Well done.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I totally agree with Ghassan from Tunisia in every word he said.I also want to say that it is not only wrong to confront patriatism with love ,it is olso often dangerous. The abuse and agression aplied on women should be fought against with all mean of law, legistlation, education, and with social assistant to aid women who are subjected to such mal treatment and definitely not by love. Loving people with such behaviour is really dangerous and only lead us to sinking more and more in the bad tradition of dealing with women in a bad way and continue treting women the way it is nowadays in Arab countries. In my opinion, I do not need to explain how women are treated in Arab counties, because everybody know well about that fact. The fact that there are a few women from the elite who have a defferent life story than the majority of women in arab countries doese not concil the reality of the majority of arab women situation. Let us say at list abourt the wright to give her husband and children her nationality like any sitizen in other countries. Let us speak about her wright to travel outside her country without a permission from her father or her husband, or her wright to travel with her children without a permission from her husband... and the list is very long and it all lead to treating women as prisoner to the will of her father , husband, even somtinmes brother or son. A womean in Arab county is subjected to the abuse from her male familly members without having an access to social assistent and families in arab countries support boys financially and so often do not support girls who often find themselve obliged to keep silent regarding an abusive man because she can not stand up on her own ( having no place to live in or somtimes to support her self if she sacrify her job to looke after her children). In the absence of legistlation which give here the wright to stay with here children in the matrimonial house, like the europian women make here an easy target becouse she is dum about all the mal treatment she get. This abuse toward women in Arab country is witnessed by the children and will be repeated by them in there families when they grow up and a ficious circle is created and it is gowing on unless women and clever men stand up to fight the mad situation women live .Not with love certainly, loving such kind of contolling men is what we women were tought to practice and do and is what let us still suffering and unduring this second hand life. Yes, all clever men will be standing up with women in the fight for the freedum of arab women, because a woman who won her destiny is a better mother and wife and becouse a women who is free is only the women who can be an exist in a free society. If the arab societies are strugling with such dectators for so long time, that is becouse the women who are 50% percent of the societies are not free. Yes, clever arab men will be supporting the change for freedom for arab women becouse the patriartic mentality is the result of the whole society belief and not only men. For this reason can we please stop generalising and put the blame on the whole. Can we please stop saying men are like that, muslim are like this, christian do that.....etc because this is very wrong and often dangerous as well. Can we stop this way of thinking of putting every body in one place as a target to our blame and let us start standing up for what is wright and fight till the end against what is wrong and be afraid only from God and nobody but God.

Nada United kingdem