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Connection Point

Women and men express their viewpoints and share their perspectives in a weekly column. These columns form the groundwork for a discourse across cultural and religious boundaries.

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[12 Nov 2012 | 2 Comments | ]
Femin Ijtihad: Islamic Perspectives on Women’s Rights

Deya Bhattacharya
Calcutta, India

“At one time, inspired, I worked hard at creating this organization. Now I feel it is creating me…” -Natasha Latiff, Director, Femin Ijtihad
Femin Ijtihad began, as most things begin, with a story.
Inspired by a story about an Afghan girl’s defiance of the Taliban, a young law student undertook a journey to Afghanistan. There she conducted field research on the construction of Afghan rape laws that involved the participation of several judges, lawyers, MPs, and professors in Kabul. It was during this research that she realized there was a …

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[9 Nov 2012 | One Comment | ]
In Jerusalem, I Sat Crying

Nora Lester Murad
Jerusalem, Palestine
“They will light up cigarettes and wait for their turn to enter Jerusalem—if they are deemed legitimate, acceptable, human.”
I pull out of Beit Hanina, the East Jerusalem suburb where I live, and turn onto the main road towards Ramallah. Traffic is light. It is only 6:30 am. In less than one hour, cars will fill the street and spill onto the sidewalks like raspberry, orange, and grape candies forgotten to rot and collect dust. They will elbow their way through the roundabout, the space between them only …

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[2 Nov 2012 | No Comment | ]
Al-Thawra: Hardcore Punk and Social Change

We interviewed Sahar Salameh and Marwan Kamel, members Chicago-based experimental hardcore punk band Al-Thawra,* about the inspiration behind their work, their perspectives on the role of women in music, and the role of music in social change. Their responses are below.

What is Al-Thawra? Who are its members, and what is the inspiration behind the band’s music?
S: Al-Thawra is a Chicago based experimental hardcore punk band with a backbone of Middle Eastern influence. Currently we have four members: Marwan on guitar/vocals, Mario on bass,  Tanya on drums, and I do …

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[30 Oct 2012 | One Comment | ]
An Imagined Letter from Hifni Malak: This Is a Self-Critique

Najuan Daadleh
Washington, DC, USA, and Palestine
Something didn’t feel right after submitting my previous piece on international development and the ‘empowerment’ of women. In this imagined letter from Hifni Malak Nassef, I tried to address the issues that “poked” me in an uncomfortable way.
Dear Ms. Daadleh,
After some time of contemplation and intrapersonal debate I decided to write this letter to you as a response to your last piece titled “Empowering women as a Development Tool”…What Would Hifni Malak Say?.
You may expect this to be a letter thanking you, Ms. Daadleh, for …