Mar 17 2013

“Solar Mama”

 

Empowering rural illiterate women in remote areas.
Film about Jordanian Bedouin mother premieres at HRW Film Festival in London
2013-03-16  Jessica Holland/ The National

• The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be held at venues across London from today until March 22. The screening of Rafea: Solar Mama and Q&A with filmmakers will be on Friday and Saturday. Visit www.ff.hrw.org for more details

 

A very inspiring documentary by two Egyptian woman filmmakers Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief about a Jordanian Bedouin woman who was chosen to participate  at the “Barefoot College” –  a school in the Indian state of Rajasthan that invites illiterate grandmothers from rural parts of Afghanistan, South Sudan, Peru and elsewhere in the world to take a six-month course on solar engineering.

Unfortunately I was not able to watch the premiere in Jordan but we can get an idea of the story in the official movie trailer on YouTube (please click on the picture.)

 

The film was received in Jordan with standing ovations on International Women’s Day in a huge theatre. “The audience was roaring and crying the whole time. It was amazing.”

There is wave of change and empowering woman in most conservatives Muslim societies, Al Hamdulillah. It is a wrong notion to argue  that women should stay home and have no say in the daily struggles of the society. Islam paved the way for women when in most parts of the world at that time women were nowhere near the freedom and chances as they have today. Unfortunately in later centuries the message somehow got lost.

 

If we read with open mind the relevant passages in the Quran and in the many Hadiths remembering that those are orally told reports of that time collected, sorted out to reliable and to less reliable ones and written down as late as 200-300 years later. Therefore they should be taken with caution. Not everything in the Hadith’s  is the absolute truth as human memory can err (please read Topic No. 8 on the right panel, too).

Not the right but the Duty is on every Muslim, male and female to search for education.. “even from as far as China.” (Prof. Mohammed)

“Do treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers.“ (Prof. Mohammed in his farewell speech on his last pilgrimage)

 

With best Greetings

Mona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Sep 29 2012

God Hates Chick Peas?

 

”JIHADI  FOODS ”

Quote —  controversial congresswoman Michele Bachmann:  “We need to stop these terror cakes now, before they infiltrate any further.”

We Must Ban Falafel’ in School Lunches.”

Bachmann stopped short of advocating a ban on all Arab food, saying that  “responsible adults can probably use Arab food safely in moderation.”

“I have no proof that President Obama is forcing our children to eat Arab and Middle Eastern food. But it would certainly fit the pattern.”

Thank you, Michele Marie Bachmann for a really rare chance to have a genuine lough about Middle Eastern politics, the only one I have had so far. Thanks again!

Too good to be true, but it could be. The source is a satirical magazine.

Chick peas are God’s creation. How could He, God, Allah hate falafel?  Remember, Jesus was praying to Allah, the word for God in his mother tongue Aramaic, but perhaps you did not know. Middle Eastern Christian still do. And eat falafel!

I checked your CV from Wikipedia. As you have been living in Israel for a while you should know Jews do like falafel, too and Israeli Jewish tourists love them when visiting Muslim countries. I am told it is the most sold snack for them.

Falafel is very popular in the Middle East as a fast food. Vendors sell it on the street corners in Cairo. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahini. Falafel is a favorite among vegetarians.

In Egypt, McDonald’s has their version of a falafel sandwich. Can you guess the name? McFalafel, of course.

Ingredients:
1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour
Salt

Preparation:
Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans.

Drain chickpeas, and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil.

Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then let simmer on low for about an hour.

Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour.

Mash chickpeas, ensuring to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste.

Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.

Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes).

Serve hot.

 

Bon Appetit!

With greetings Mona

 


Jan 22 2012

What went wrong?

 

Yesterday I stopped. There was a lighthearted discussion between friends about life in general and then talk about testimony in a disagreement. Someone said jokingly  “is it enough to have two female testimonies to prove you wrong?” Something in that direction.  We all knew the history of that ruling and it was a joke after all!

How did it come that things are in such a bad shape today in many Muslin countries especially with women rights and tolerance? And why is it that they are backward in many areas despite the immense material wealth under their feet in oil, minerals, gas etc.? One could argue that this wealth have been contributing to that fact, the reasons for it are open for discussion. Why is it that some Muslim countries with very little natural wealth have progressed better in areas of human rights and social welfare than those with riches?  This could be a very interesting research topic for a student thesis!

The birth of Islam 1400 years ago was a beacon light for humanity: no racism (all are equal before God), equal rights for all and caring for the less fortunate.  For instance the ruling that two women’s testimonies are worth of that of a man was revolutionary for the pagan Bedouin tribes of Arabian Peninsula.  At that time in Europe people were living in deep superstition despite of their Christian faith. And still 1100 years later witch-hunt and burning suspect (mostly women) alive authorized by the Church was common practice.

Christianity wrong understood by the religious elite. There were virtually no women rights at time in Europe. Only in the last couple of centuries women have reached through long campaigning equal rights, although they often still do not get the same salary for the same job done even in the most advanced countries.

Why is it that in too many Islamic countries that should be in the forefront in this battle of humanity backwardness and intolerance is dominant?  And women in the most conservative corners of societies are less fortunate in many ways than in the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh). Not necessary to mention that the first wife of Prof. Mohammed was a confident businesswoman and his employer and after his death his wife Lady Aisha was an accepted Islamic scholar and became active in politics.

How can it be that today some scholars argue that women have no right to express their opinion, no rights in many ways when it is Clearly ruled in the Quran and no believing Muslim can argue against it?  In my opinion the reason can be found in the overemphasizing of  the Hadith’s, memorized stories from the lifetime of the Prophet and the years thereafter that in some Islamic rulings overrun clear statements of the Quran.

As the late Dr. Lila Fahlman (Founder of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women ) once wrote: “Man-written Hadith’s have ruined Islam”.

Islam introduced women rights concerning her own property, inheritance and the right to choose her husband. Please read on the right panel Topic No. 8 “Women and Islam”, too. For example

Qur’an 2:228 “Women shall, in all fairness, enjoy rights equal to those exercised against them.” (This statement occurs in the context of divorce.)

Qur’an 2:282. “O you who believe! When you deal with each other in contracting a debt for a fixed time, then write it down; and let a scribe write it down between you with fairness; and the scribe should not refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so he should write; and let him who owes the debt dictate, and he should be careful of (his duty to) Allah, his Lord, and not diminish anything from it; but if he who owes the debt is unsound in understanding, or weak, or (if) he is not able to dictate himself, let his guardian dictate with fairness; and call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other; and the witnesses should not refuse when they are summoned; and be not averse to writing it (whether it is) small or large, with the time of its falling due; this is more equitable in the sight of Allah and assures greater accuracy in testimony, and the nearest (way) that you may not entertain doubts (afterwards), except when it is ready merchandise which you give and take among yourselves from hand to hand, then there is no blame on you in not writing it down; and have witnesses when you barter with one another, and let no harm be done to the scribe or to the witness; and if you do (it) then surely it will be a transgression in you, and be careful of (your duty) to Allah, Allah teaches you, and Allah knows all things.”

Arab women gathering at the Town wall, by American Orientalist painter Frederick Arthur Bridgman  (1847-1928)

Wishing you a happy, healthy and spiritually rewarding 2012 and hoping that this little drop in the ocean could initiate some small scale awakening to the realities of the modern world!

Mona


Jan 09 2011

“Accidental theologist” Lesley Hazleton on reading the Quran

 

 

Once in a while one comes across of ray of light in this world of misinformation, misinterpretation and misguided interpreters of Religion. Journalist and “accidental theologist” Lesley Hazleton is one those and I am so grateful to have someone to quote from her perfect English arguing (which is not my mother tongue).

 

Lesley Hazleton : “The fact that so few people do actually read the Quran is that is so easy to quote, that is to misquote. Phrases and snippets taken out of context what I call the highlighter version which is the one favored both by the Muslim fundamentalists and anti-Muslim islamphobes…”


VIDEO: Brilliant arguing about 72 Virgins, Huris and flowing rivers in Paradise.

British-born, Lesley lived for thirteen years in Jerusalem, where she worked simultaneously as a psychologist and as a reporter for Time Magazine.
“Religion is easy” (c. Prophet Mohammed). But unfortunately many Muslims believers do not bother to think by themselves but leave it to others. Especially those young people who are brain washed and made to act as human bombs. Nothing could be more un-Islamic starting with the fact that suicide is strongly forbidden in Islam.

 

Journalist and “accidental theologist” Lesley Hazleton

 

Please, my dear readers, watch the  video from her speech at TED: Lesley Hazleton: On reading the Koran
Why you should listen to her:
A psychologist by training and Middle East reporter by experience, British-born she has spent the last ten years exploring the vast and often terrifying arena in which politics and religion, past and present, intersect. Her most recent book, After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split, was a finalist for the 2010 PEN-USA nonfiction award.
All the best to my readers for the New Year 2011!
Mona


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