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In media representations of Muslim women in the Middle East, images of veils, exoticism and oppressive silence are often standard fare. However, if we explore individual experiences and perspectives, it becomes clear that Muslim women defy one-dimensional stereotypes and that no single image can adequately represent such a diverse population. By examining the lives and work of three Muslim activists living in the Middle East, we uncover stories that are rarely told in history books: stories that Muslim women tell, rather than the stories that are told about them. We see that instead of silently observing the world around them, these women use music, literature, and the Internet to affect social change both locally and internationally. The song, interview, and blog post featured in these activities challenge long-held stereotypes of Muslim women. These primary sources provide us with an inside look into the complex lives of Muslim women in the Middle East, and showcase their efforts to carve out spaces in which their unique voices can be heard.
Name: Louise Forsyth
Institutional Affiliation: Poly Prep Country Day School
“Florentine and Ottoman Women of the 14th – 16th Centuries: A Comparative Curriculum Unit”
This lesson uses short primary documents to challenge students’ assumptions about the status of women in the Ottoman Empire and Renaissance Florence.
AmericanMuslimMom.com is an online magazine aimed for Muslim Moms living in America, or American Muslim Moms living aboard. What started off as a family blog in 2005, AmericanMuslimMom.com encourages Muslim Moms to share tips, tools and resources as they raise Mumins (true believers) based on the Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him). The community has a large following of non-Muslims, all of who benefits from Islamic, motivational, educational, practical, and fun articles, reviews, videos, contests, give-aways, and much more. American Muslim Moms are “Mommies Determined to Raise Mumins Together”.
You will find:
- A repository of useful articles for Muslim Moms. The articles are aimed to help you with all aspects of raising Mumin (true believers) in a non-Muslim country.
- Fresh content is added regularly including interviews with other Muslim moms and experts, How-To instructional articles, and audios dealing with current interests such as Freebie Friday, and “Everyone’s Favorites”
- Comprehensive Freebies List Online!Freebies online galoreFree Museums, Parks, Field Trips in your state – How to find them
- Teaching children how to type and have fun
A great documentary from Al Jazeera English about the women of Hezbollah; the social, political and moral roles they play are essential to all, the functionality of the the world’s most legitimate and pure resistance group.
Zeynep Fadillioglu is one of Turkey’s best known designers and architects. She has designed the interiors of countless homes and hotels around the globe but her most important assignment was at home in Istanbul where she became the first woman in the Islamic world to design a mosque. Her goal was to create a modern look that would combine with Islamic culture — and she succeeded. Although her design has been criticized as a high society mosque by some traditionalists, it has been accepted by the wider public.
Women in Struggle presents rare testimony from four female Palestinian ex-prisoners who disclose their experiences during their years of imprisonment in Israeli jails and the effect it has had on their present and future lives. Once content to live their lives as sisters, wives and mothers, each of the women became active members in the national fight for Palestinian independence, though their ‘crimes’ differed markedly – one woman was detained in a peaceful protest while another was arrested for her participation in a bombing. Their painful recollections provide a fascinating personal perspective on their motives for political involvement, reveal their struggles in prison and define the difficulties they have faced and continue to face adjusting to life in Palestinian society.