BY Ellyn Kail
on Nov 20, 2013
In Saudi Arabia, images are censored in extreme ways; figures in magazines are drawn over or crossed out. In “Out of Line,” the photographer Jowhara Al-Saud presents a groundbreaking approach to her country’s limits on free expression. Her photographs obscure any personal markers; the faces of her subjects are erased. The images could easily be mistaken for drawings, and this ambiguity only adds to the frightening sense that the viewer isn’t being told everything. Read More
BY Adrienne Tooley
on Oct 25, 2013
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Luckily, that’s just what a few brave women in Saudi Arabia are doing in the hopes of finally lifting the ban against female drivers. According to NPR, Saudi women are continuously posting videos of themselves driving on YouTube, and have chosen Saturday, October 26th as a day for women in the country to rally together and drive.
Although women say that officials have lightened up on their general restrictions against females behind the wheel, women are still unable to procure their own driver’s licenses. Read More
BY Katie Fustich
on Sep 30, 2013
In Saudi Arabia, it is forbidden for a woman to get behind the wheel of a car. It seems silly, but sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan justifies this ban with irrevocable science: “[Driving] could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis.”
The law forbidding women from driving has been in effect since 1932, A.K.A. the entirety of Saudi Arabia’s existence. It remains the only country in the world with such a restriction. Read More
BY Tess Duncan
on May 21, 2013
Raha Moharrak, a 27-year-old Saudi graphic designer, reached the summit of Mount Everest over the weekend. Her amazing feat was part of an expedition called "Arabs with Attitude," which includes Qatari Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, Palestinian Raed Zidan and Iranian Masoud Mohammad. All members are aiming to the first of his or her nation to reach the top of the mountain. Moharrak revealed humble feelings about her impressive accomplishment. "It was very personal thing. Read More
BY Laurel Walsh
on May 17, 2013
It’s about time! School girls in Saudi Arabia can now participate in organized sports without breaking any laws.
The Saudi government announced it this month: private girls’ schools are allowed to hold sport activities in accordance with the rules of Sharia law. The country’s officials had previously tolerated some physical education in a few of these schools, but there's been no set curriculum and no outright endorsement of the girls’ right to play - until now, that is. Read More
BY Olivia Saperstein
on May 02, 2013
Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a straight-up badass. Under her traditional Saudi Arabian garb, the 10-year-old girl rocks Chuck Taylors, and her cassette player (yeah, she's that cool) screams indie rock from Grouplove. All Wadjda wants is a bike, so she can race her friend Abdullah (Abdullrahman Al Gohandi), a boy from the neighborhood. Despite being constantly reminded that "girls don't ride bikes," Wadjda hustles money left and right, and is so determined that she enters a religious contest in her school where the prize is enough cash to make her dream a reality. Read More
In a progressive and unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has sworn 30 women into the Shura Council. The Council, a previously all-male body, is in charge of advising the king on issues that affect Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah amended the council’s statute last month by requiring that 20 percent of the 150 members be women. King Abdullah’s female appointments mark the first time in Saudi Arabia’s history that women have been allowed to hold any political office. Read More
BY Katrina Pallop
on Feb 12, 2013
[Trigger Warning: This post contains a description of sexual and physical assault that may potentially be triggering for survivors of such abuse.]
A Saudi preacher in the city of Riyadh, imprisoned for the murder of his five-year-old daughter, may be looking at an unthinkably light sentence for his crimes. Fayhan Al Gamdi, a Muslim cleric who often appears as a guest on TV networks, confessed to the deadly beating and rape of his young daughter, Lama Al Ghamdi. The girl was admitted to the hospital in December 2011, and passed away this past October. Read More
BY Amy Bucknam
on Oct 10, 2012
IKEA has been under fire this past week after it was revealed that they had airbrushed all the women out of the images in their annual catalog for IKEA Saudi Arabia.
They have since apologized and expressed their “regret” for the situation, telling the Associated Press, "We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalog is in conflict with the IKEA Group values."
The company’s home country of Sweden was the first to criticize this move, followed by the U.S. Read More
BY Diana Denza
on Jul 31, 2012
It started with Saudi Twitter user Sultan Al Hilali, who posted a hash tag that translates as “Prostitutes of the Olympics.” Some tweeted in support of the vile phrase, but supporters of Saudi Arabia’s first two female Olympians flocked to the rescue, drowning out their ignorant and misogynistic words of hatred.
It’s no secret that it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Wojdan Shaherkani (Judo) and Sarah Attar (athletics), female athletes from a country where they jail women for getting behind the wheel of a car. Read More