WVN Lectures at Santa Monica College

WVN_Lectures_at_Santa_Monica_College.jpgI was once again invited to lecture to one of Professor Melanie Klein’s classes. This time I presented to her Women’s Studies class at Santa Monica College. The class was comprised of female students with only three male students. These young people had not had a lecture or presentation on women’s issues in the Arab world. So I began with a background on the region and the women’s movement including the newly developing Islamic feminist movement. I continued with stories from our screenings in the UAE earlier that month and in Jordan from October 2011. There were several women in our various screenings which had shared their experiences as leaders in their communities or going against the grain in their families or villages with regards to their career choice. The students watched Festival film “Male and Female” by a director from Egypt. The first question that I received was “I heard women wear the hijab because they want to protect themselves from rape, is that right?”. Another question was how women’s rights in Pakistan have been affected after the assassination of President Benazir Bhutto. That was really an opportunity to talk about how women’s rights would be affected by the recent revolutions in the Middle East and the rise of theocratic governments. My favorite question was, “how could you go into these countries and even have these kinds of discussions given the political climate? It just sounds like a suicide mission!” The only comment given by a male student was pointing me to the controversy around M.I.A’s “Bad Girls” music video which addresses Saudi women’s fight for the right to drive.

Suzie Abdou
Director of Global Programs

March 20, 2012 at 1pm - 4pm
Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90405
United States
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