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[24 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
A Letter to the Culture That Raised Me

Yasmin Mogahed

“My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness and piety.”
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Growing up, you read me The Ugly Duckling. And for years I believed that was me. For so long you taught me I was nothing more than a bad copy of the standard (men).
I couldn’t run as fast or lift as much. I didn’t make the same money and I …

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[23 May 2012 | One Comment | ]
Why We Need to Talk—Now

Yasmina Mrabet
Connection Point Manager

“My personal background is Arab-American…and the divisions between my two identities are so strong that sometimes I feel like I need to talk to myself.”
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I am writing today to advocate for the increased participation of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding work, to encourage women to address and rise above stereotypes and misperceptions that persist in mainstream media news bytes, and to make a contribution, however small, to building a global community of trust, and an awareness of a rich world culture.
Arab, Muslim, and Western women need …

Connection Point, Voices from the Frontlines »

[16 May 2012 | 3 Comments | ]
In Egypt, the Complicated Politics of Circumcision

Nadine Ibrahim
Egypt

“To refuse the surgery is not to prevent it happening elsewhere––to its full extent––where razors are blunt, and anesthetic a luxury. The psychologically destructive aspect of the procedure is never brought up.”
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The two young girls––one six, one ten––flocked to my side, holding my hand, telling me enthusiastically that they are cousins. “I can tell! You look alike; you are both very pretty,” I told them, and they glanced at each other surprised before running back to their mothers. A few days prior, the mother of the youngest girl had come to …

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[16 May 2012 | 5 Comments | ]
An American Woman in Saudi Arabia

Michele La Morte-Shbat
Saudia Arabia
“I was gratified by the deferential response I received from the Saudi men I met on that trip, treatment which flew in the face of all that I had heard before about the Kingdom.”    
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Interestingly enough, it was my idea to live and work in Saudi Arabia. It was late 1999, and although I had a wonderful life as an economist in Washington, DC, where I lived with my husband and two miniature poodles, much of my daily routine had become stale and rather ordinary. I had …