27-year-old Raha Moharrak made history by becoming the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest yesterday.
Moharrak’s ascent is the latest step in changing attitudes towards women and sports in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom fielded its first female Olympians at the 2012 Games and officially permitted sports in private girls schools for the first time earlier this month.
Read more at CNN.
Afghan Air Force 2nd Lt. Niloofar Rhmani made history May 14, 2013 when she became the first female in over 30 years to successfully complete undergraduate pilot training and earn the status of pilot. She will continue her service as she joins the Kabul Air Wing as a Cessna 208 pilot.
We love artist Saba Barnard’s portraits, including her current project “An-Noor” a series of paintings of American Muslim women.
In an interview with The Aerogram, Saba speaks about her artistic perspective which draws from her experiences growing up Pakistani and Muslim in Raleigh, North Carolina:
“A first generation Pakistani-American woman, I was confronted by my ‘otherness’ from a very young age. As a brown-skinned, big-haired, mosque-going, curry-eating, mustached girl who couldn’t date, eat bacon, or wear shorts, I was the token of diversity at my WASP dominated private school in Raleigh, North Carolina. I envied my blue-eyed, blonde-haired, pop-collared, seer-suckered, church-going peers who vacationed on islands, had boyfriends, and definitely did not have to squat over a hole to use the bathroom when they visited their grandmother.”
See more of Saba’s work on her website www.artbysaba.com
In the past couple of years I’ve watched friends, former lovers and exes alike choose people to boo up with and partner up with. Some I’ve been surprised by, others made sense to me. Real talk, it doesn’t matter what I think at the end of the day. If you like it, I love it.
I could ask why someone chooses one person over another person but I don’t think there’s any real rhyme or reason. It’s like asking why one person’s voice sounds like a warm and lovely lullaby while another person’s voice sounds like nails against a chalkboard.
I just don’t think we have a choice in the matter.
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I do not know your name, but you passed by me a week after Eid-ul-Fetr in the Bazaar in Kabul. You might remember me. I was the young woman wearing a white scarf and a long red embroidered tunic with dark pants. I was standing by a vegetable stand and bargaining the price of fresh mint when you passed me and nonchalantly pinched my bottom. I turned red. The old man who was selling vegetables noticed but didn’t say anything. He probably sees this every day. This had happened to me more than once, but this time I felt more embarrassed because the old man noticed.
I ran after you and grasped your wrist. Scared and sweating I started yelling. “Why did you do that? How dare you? Do you do this at home to your family members too?” and you started yelling back louder, “You crazy woman! I haven’t done anything. You are not worth doing anything to.”
I was still ashamed to tell people what you had done. You probably remember how everyone was watching us. Other women advised me to keep calm, that this would only ruin my reputation, but I wasn’t going to give up now. I started yelling. Soon the police arrived and took us both to the station.
Read the rest of this extraordinary letter by Noorjahan Akbar at Safe World for Women.