Archive for August 9, 2018


AUG. 8, 2018

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Former Michigan state legislator, Rashida Tlaib, won the Democratic primary on Tuesday for the US House seat to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District and potentially first Muslim woman to become US Congresswoman.

Rashida Tlaib, a 42-year-old mother of two children, and a daughter of two Palestinian immigrants, was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1976. She later went on to study politics and subsequently law.

Tlaib ran a progressive anti-establishment campaign, focusing on environmental protections and opposing tax cuts for big corporations.

She also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

The campaign raised over $1 million, which gained 33.6% of the vote, as opposed to her rival, Detroit Council President Brenda Jones, who only took 28.5% of the vote.

Following the win, Tlaib described her combination of emotions as a “happy chaos.”

She added that “it has been amazing to interact with families at polling locations. I feel very much supported.”

Tlaib will represent the 13th Congressional District, which is the only congressional district entirely within one county. She is the second Muslim to serve in the Michigan State House of Representatives, after James Karoub, and the second Muslim woman to serve in a state legislature nationwide after Jamilah Nasheed from Missouri House of Representatives.

Since there are no Republican candidates contesting for the House seat, Tlaib will enter Congress unopposed, following a special election on November 6, 2018, when she will officially replace John James Conyers, the current US Representative for Michigan.

It is almost certain that Rashida Tlaib will enter into Congress and become the first Muslim Palestinian-American US congresswoman in the nation’s history.

Source: Ma’an News Agency.

Link: http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780641.

Advertisements

August 3, 2018

Kuwait has become one of the first country in the Middle East to give full political rights to women. Gulf news agencies reported that the oil rich state has granted full suffrage after decades of campaigning by women’s rights campaigners.

Praising Kuwait’s progressive move, regional media commented on the leading role women have been playing in driving the country’s overall development across all sectors, including public works, social services, economy and politics.

Opportunities for women are now said to exist in all areas of society with many high profile jobs overlooking men in favor of women.

The journey for full political rights has been a long one but the course had been set during the 90’s when women are said to have played a major role in coordinating resistance against Saddam Hussain’s invasion of the Gulf state in August 1990.

Ever since, women have overcome one hurdle after another to obtain equality; a rarity in the region dominated by powerful men. Dr. Rasha Al Sabah was one of the pioneers. She held the position of the first under-secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education in 1993. Others like Nabila Al Mulla followed in her step. She was appointed as the first Kuwaiti ambassador to Zimbabwe and South Africa in 1993. Mulla was then appointed in 2003 as the permanent representative at the United Nations to become the first Arab Muslim ambassadress to the global organisation.

In Kuwait women have bucked the trend and taken senior roles in several municipal, national and international positions that are normally the preserve of men only. They have achieved successes in many fields, proving that they represent half of the community and cannot be marginalized.

The progress has continued and more recently women have been appointed as ministers in several areas including the Minister of State for Housing Affairs which went to Dr. Jenan Bushahri in 2017. A similar rise to the top saw Hind Barak Al Subaih being appointed as minister of social and labour affairs and minister of state for planning and development.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180803-women-in-kuwait-granted-full-political-rights/.

August 06, 2018

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Monday ordered the Canadian ambassador to leave the ultraconservative kingdom within 24 hours after his nation criticized the recent arrest of women’s rights activists.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry also said it would freeze “all new business” between the kingdom and Canada. Some 10 percent of Canadian crude oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. “Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in an extraordinarily aggressive statement. “Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the kingdom over its own citizens.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Ambassador Dennis Horak was in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia said it would recall its ambassador to Canada as well. Marie-Pier Baril, a spokeswoman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Canada was “seriously concerned” by Saudi Arabia’s actions.

“Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women’s rights, and freedom of expression around the world,” she said in a statement. “Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy.”

The dispute appears centered around tweets by Canadian diplomats calling on the kingdom to “immediately release” women’s rights activists recently detained by the kingdom. Among those recently arrested is Samar Badawi, whose brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for criticizing clerics. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, is now living in Canada.

Freeland tweeted about the arrests on Thursday. “Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia,” she wrote. “Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.”

Saudi Arabia ended in June its long practice of not allowing women to drive automobiles in the Sunni kingdom. However, supporters of women’s rights were arrested just weeks before the ban was lifted, signaling that only King Salman and his powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will decide the pace of change.

Saudi women still need permission from male guardians to travel abroad or marry. The diplomatic dispute with Canada may be part of that assertive foreign policy pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed under his father. Germany similarly has found itself targeted by the kingdom in recent months over comments by its officials on the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

It isn’t immediately clear what new business could be affected between the two countries. Bilateral trade between the two nations reached $3 billion in 2016, with tanks and fighting vehicles among the top Canadian exports to the kingdom, according to government statistics.

Saudi Arabia in recent years has expelled Iran’s ambassador over attacks on its diplomatic posts following its 2016 execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.