California Chronicle: Algerian, Jordanian Feminists Stun Southern California Audiences

By Twair, Pat McDonnell | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June 1995 | Go to article overview

California Chronicle: Algerian, Jordanian Feminists Stun Southern California Audiences


Twair, Pat McDonnell, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


California Chronicle: Algerian, Jordanian Feminists Stun Southern California Audiences

By Pat McDonnell Twair

The American Friends Service Committee, which has been assisting Arab feminists to address the issue of violence toward women in their respective countries, brought 10 activists to the United States this spring to network on strategies to combat domestic crimes against women. Speaking in the Los Angeles area were Dr. Faika Medjahed, an Algerian dental surgeon, filmmaker and writer, and Leah Sawalha, a public health specialist from Amman, Jordan.

Dr. Medjahed spoke passionately as she described the all--out war being waged on women in Algeria. Explaining that her country is close to anarchy, with radical Islamists ruling most of the country at night and all but the capital by day, the dentist--turned--documentary filmmaker said women are the most vulnerable members of her society and, hence, are targeted first.

At an AFSC reception in Pasadena, the phenomenon of contemporary Islamic women choosing to wear the hijab (a head scarf which many non--Arabs refer to as a "veil") dominated questions posed to both of the visiting feminists.

"The practice of hijab has increased in Jordan commensurate with the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood," Sawalha explained. "I'd venture to say 90 percent of women university students and professors wear scarves as a political statement."

The fiery Dr. Medjahed said that in Algeria the hijab has become the "supreme obligation" for women. Those who don't cover up are subject to death by Islamists, who have killed more than 200 women since 1992.

"Peasant women who work in the fields aren't forced to cover, but in the cities women must hide behind the hijab," Dr. Medhajed asserted. "They are walking graves whose minds are entombed."

Asked who imposes the rule that Algerian women must wear hijab, she replied: "The fundamentalists. If there isn't enough employment for men, they say women are holding their jobs. If there is a housing shortage, they kill widows who are living alone to take their homes. They even blame the hole in the ozone layer on women."

"No matter what the problem, they say the solution is to veil women and keep them at home in the kitchen," she continued. "When we've asked the government to stop this inquistion, we get no response. During Ramadan, they killed the president of the feminist movement because she wasn't veiled while helping village women to start their own carpet factory. They killed a three--year--old because they said his mother had loose morals. They interrogate children in the mosques and schools and ask if their parents fast during Ramadan and if they drink alcohol."

Asked how Americans can assist Arab feminists, Sawalha stated: "During this visit, we've become aware of many myths Americans accept about Arab women. Maybe these myths are intended to keep Western and Eastern women divided, to make them fearful of what they don't know. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

California Chronicle: Algerian, Jordanian Feminists Stun Southern California Audiences
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.