Tag Archives: Associated Press

Nigeria extremist: It’s divine will that we decapitate

 

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#Egypt: Veiled rapper speaks out for women

Eighteen-year-old Myam Mahmoud tackles some of the biggest social challenges women face in the Arab world through music

Egyptian rapper Myam Mahmoud poses for a portrait in downtown Cairo. Mahmoud, an 18-year-old Egyptian, rapped her way to the semi-finals of the Middle East’s hit TV show Arabs Got Talent. While she didn’t win the program, Mahmoud did succeed in shining a spotlight on the social ills that plague Egypt today. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Egyptian rapper Myam Mahmoud poses for a portrait in downtown Cairo. Mahmoud, an 18-year-old Egyptian, rapped her way to the semi-finals of the Middle East’s hit TV show Arabs Got Talent. While she didn’t win the program, Mahmoud did succeed in shining a spotlight on the social ills that plague Egypt today. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
CAIRO (AP) — As soon as the beat started, the young veiled woman bobbed her head to the rhythm, raised her hands to get the crowd clapping and then unleashed a flood of rap lyrics that tackled some of the biggest social challenges women face in the Arab world.

With the Middle East’s hit TV show Arabs Got Talent as her stage, 18-year-old Myam Mahmoud rapped about sexual harassment, second-class treatment of women, and societal expectations of how a young religious woman should behave.

The Egyptian teenager didn’t win the program — she crashed out in the semifinals — but she did succeed in shining the spotlight on something bigger than herself.

“I wanted to tell girls in Egypt and everywhere else that they are not alone, we all have the same problems, but we cannot stay silent, we have to speak up,” Mahmoud told The Associated Press.

In Egypt, a country where politics have grabbed most of the headlines for the past three years, little space has been dedicated to addressing social problems. So Mahmoud, who is a first-year student of politics and economics at the October 6 University in a western Cairo suburb, decided to draw attention to women’s rights through rap.

“Everybody speaks about politics, but nobody tackles the topics that relate to me the most,” Mahmoud said.

She said she gets the ideas for her songs from the surrounding community, and that sometimes girls send her their problems to write about and give them a voice.

“Many girls want to say what I rap about, but they cannot for many reasons,” she said. “I speak for them.”

One of the biggest problems for woman in Egypt is sexual harassment. A UN report released in April said the issue had reached “unprecedented levels,” with 99.3 percent of women in the country reporting that they have been subjected to sexual harassment.

“There is no single female in Egypt that has not been harassed, regardless of her looks,” Mahmoud said. “As soon as a girl is born in Egypt, she is repressed with many pressures.”

Part of the problem, in Mahmoud’s eyes, is that women don’t speak out against harassment.

“I wish we would not be silent about our problems,” she said. “We have to snatch our freedoms, nobody will just offer them.”

Her lyrics take the issue head on.

“Some of us see the answer is to cover up, and if the girl is hidden she will not be assaulted,” she raps in one song. “My body is only mine.”

Initiatives to counter the problem have increased in the past year in Egypt, where volunteer groups have started protecting women at street protests. On the other side of the debate are conservative religious clerics who blame women, saying they invite harassment and sexual abuse by mixing with men.

The issue is, in part at least, linked to the broader expectations that many men in religiously conservative Egypt have about women and their roles in society. Mahmoud, with her quiet self-confidence and animated performances in a genre that has gained more acceptance among younger Egyptians in recent years, has challenged those expectations.

She said she received a flood of messages after her performance on TV accusing her of misrepresenting Islam with her look — read veil — and attitude. But she dismissed the criticism, saying “religion has never been a constraint — we put the curbs on.”

“The veil was never a problem for me because it is my personal choice,” she said. “If I’m going to add anything new to my life it has to go with my initial choices.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Huffington Post Serves as a Mouthpiece for Hamas

 

On Monday, November 11, the Huffington Post featured a front-page story, sourced from the Associated Press, about Hamas hiring its first female “spokesperson,” Isra Almodallal, replete with a staged picture of her looking like a teenage U.S. blogger.

In the article, Almodallal voices her support for standard-issue genocidal Hamas threats (that all of Israel should be wiped out, as it sits on Palestinian land), and her belief that Hamas has a bad reputation not because of its terrorism, genocidal threats, or suicide bombings, but because of “unfair Israeli media.” Her new job, she says, is to make the Palestinian issues “more human” to the outside world.

Ironically, earlier this year, another pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel propagandist, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin – who happens to be one of the top hosts of HuffPostLive, its video “news” service – described his job in almost identical terms: as being “to humanize” the Palestinians.

If you define “humanizing” a culture as whitewashing terrorists and publishing false, incendiary propaganda about their victims (namely Jews), then HuffPost’s senior management (which repeatedly claims it is a “nonpartisan” news operation) has been allowing Shihab-Eldin to fulfill his “job”. See the following links for more details:

Is HuffPost even more anti-Israel than the Iranian regime is? Yes – and here’s the proof

HuffPost video “news” host pushes Hamas lies, ignores savage reality of Hamas

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin Cheers for Gaza and Qatar

People like Ahmed Shihab-Eldin are Destroying Huffington Post Live

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin Counts the Bodies

Perhaps Hamas’ new propagandist spokeswoman should apply for a job with the Huffington Post.  And judging by his actions, we already know that Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is fully capable of taking over for her, in case Hamas’ propaganda begins to suffer.

November 14 update: On November 13, HuffPost published – deep on a secondary page – an obscurely-titled, sanitized version of the story of the murder of 19-year-old Eden Atias by a Palestinian teenager. The URL that HuffPost assigned to the piece is “palestinian-teen-kills-israeli-soldier”; it knew full well the details of this brutal attack.  Yet the headline that HuffPost wrote, “IDF Soldier Stabbing Could Impair Peace Talks,” intentionally creates an unclear impression. Does that mean the IDF soldier stabbed someone – or that the IDF soldier was stabbed?  Did anyone die?

Soon after, as The Algemeiner reported, a Hamas spokesperson issued an official statement by the terror group, celebrating the murder of Eden, and threatening more. HuffPost, however, did not publish that story (even though just two days earlier, it published a glossy, uncritical story of Hamas’ new female spokesperson).

Instead, HuffPost’s editors (including Shihab-Eldin?) decided other “news” stories were far more deserving of top-line coverage – such as a propaganda story about Vladmir Putin, and an assortment of celebrity gossip and various nonsense, such as “the $500 milkshake.”

Apparently, this was the latest effort by HuffPost to “humanize” Palestinians – this time, at the expense of dehumanizing a 19-year-old Jew, whom one of them savagely murdered.

“HuffWatcher” is the anonymous creator and editor of HUFF-WATCH, a blog primarily dedicated to conducting deep investigative research on the Huffington Post’s anti-Israel, pro-Islamist bias.  Contact: huffwatcher1@gmail.com.

uff Watcher