Rebellious Saudi woman. My life has began once i arrived to Canada in 2008, from that moment i realized that there is a lot of things i need to catch up with ....
Welcome to my Blog. If anything I have to say offends you, I can assure you that I am not sorry.
It’s important to use social media like Twitter to make sense of things
One of those ways is garbology, which means the study of a society or culture by examining or analyzing its refuse.
Sociologists use many ways to collect information about societies, in order to gain a better understanding of certain behaviours.
If we can look at what people have left in their dump and call it a scientific way to collect data, why not look at the 140 letters they wrote on a social networking site and call it “twittology”?
Some people may argue that I’m giving social media more credit than it deserves.
However, social media is nothing if not an online interaction about specific issues, in a space where the impact of state, society and cultural norms are decreased.
In fact, Twitter gave me the chance as a curious person who loves to watch people (with only innocent intentions), to follow people’s reactions over one story that recently happened in Saudi Arabia.
The story in question happened on Feb. 15. About 50 religious fanatics stormed into the location of Al-Janadrya Festival in Riyadh, claiming that there are sins committed between men and women there. They had come up with this conclusion based on Internet “Fatwa” (religious opinion), and decided to fix this immoral situation with verbal assaults.
by Khaled I. Al-Afain
Al-Janadrya culture festival is an annual national heritage and folk cultural festival. Traditional activities, including folk dances, camel races, arts and crafts exhibits as well as poetry readings are showcased for the entire duration of the festival. It lasts for two weeks and is organized by the National Guard.
During the time this story was happening, I followed some people’s reactions on Twitter. I can summarize the reactions thusly:
One group was upset with what they called “religious police.” They argued that this group shouldn’t even exist, and certainly shouldn’t be able to tell us how to be responsible and moral – we’re old enough to do that. I noticed that the number of people in this outraged group increase every time a story similar to this one comes up.
Another group wants these fanatical people to generally continue doing what they do, claiming that what happened in this story was just a mistake of few individuals.
A third group was totally okay with what happened, believing that this is the way it should be. This was not a significantly large group of people.
My point is that Twitter gives me the opportunity to see ordinary people’s reaction to certain issues, as opposed to the images from the media, which are far from real life; I get to do this without the limitations that people experience in everyday life, the taboos or restrictions imposed on people.
It’s important to use social media such as Twitter to make sense of things and find out what people think, especially for those who have it as the only way to use their right to freedom of expression.
Hello folks, Im helping a university student to recruit people for her research paper. She needs to interview Saudi Arabian male and female about "how the woman's driving ban in Saudi affecting their lifestyle". Read the research proposal bellow for better understanding on why she is doing this and if you are a Saudi Arabian citizen and you are interested or know any one interested to do the interview please contact the researcher (colleen Mcfee) at this e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please we need your help and we will help enhancing the situation of Saudi women through bringing the light to this important issue.
Project Proposal Guidelines
Proposed Title A Veiled Threat? Do Saudi Women Threaten the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
Research Question Do women in Saudi Arabia have rights and freedoms? What rights do Saudi women want and what challenges would they face meeting these goals? What are common hopes and dreams for Saudi women? Can they successfully achieve a healthy sense of self-worth, self- esteem and self-actualization? Does lack of female autonomy affect the health and well-being of the nation? If women are granted more rights, how would that impact their lives and what would change?
Context Saudi women have appeared in international news recently for different issues such as rebelling against the driving ban and being thrown in jail for it or receiving the right to vote in the 2015 elections. I will look at how these small changes will impact Saudi women. I will compare how the lifestyle of Saudi women differs from other women in other Arab States. I will examine the different institutions in Saudi culture that keep women subservient. Institutions such as family, religion, education, segregation, lack of freedom to travel freely and so forth will be analyzed in order to see a broader picture of the struggles. I would like to explore ways the women can slowly empower themselves and discover what change they would like to see happen with their lives.
It is important to examine social control and inequalities of Saudi Arabia because these women have second-class citizenship status. The social construct of women in Saudi Arabia restricts their ability to make decisions for themselves. Their “ownership” is passed from one male relative to another called her “guardian.” It is this guardian, who then has the power to make decisions for women about work, education, travel and even medical procedures. This type of societal power imbalance has the potential to humiliate women by restricting their participation, connection and choices in society and thus shows the extent to which women are still battling for the expansion of their own position in their country.
Objectives/Purpose I hope to bring awareness to the issue of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. I want to show how lack of autonomy can break the spirit of a whole gender. I want to explore self-actualization of people. I would like to explore in Saudi women the questions all people ask themselves: Who am I? What is my identity? What are my future goals and aspirations? Can women successfully achieve self-actualization and meet their needs? I want to broaden the understanding of Muslim women who live in Saudi Arabia.
Methodology/Approach I plan to answer my research question by using an interview technique of Saudi women and men in Winnipeg and in Saudi Arabia via Skype. I have several female Saudi contacts in Winnipeg to due my volunteer experience as a Language Partner through the University of Winnipeg. I would also like to use photo voice to express my project visually. I will use peer review literature to support my findings.
Research Contribution I am interested in understanding who the Muslim women of Saudi Arabia are and how I can help them in their plight to achieve some form of parity within their fundamental society. I want to gain insight into their struggles because after completing my Undergraduate degree and Masters degree in Conflict Resolution Studies, I would like to work with women in the Middle East. With understanding the patriarchal structure of their society I can successfully advocate for them. I am passionate about discussing issues of women’s rights in the Middle East because they require attention and support for change.
Experience Relevant to the Project In 2010, I travelled alone to the Middle East for 4 months and although I did not go to Saudi Arabia I became keenly interested in the rich diversity of the region. I am very interested in the cultural freedoms males enjoy in the Middle East and the double standard females face. I saw this many times throughout my trip: what was acceptable for the male would never be acceptable for the female. My curiosity narrowed further upon my return to Canada because I met a female friend from Saudi Arabia through the language partner program at the University of Winnipeg. My friend tirelessly answered many questions I had about her culture, which focused mainly around the rights and freedoms of women.
Another relevant contribution I have to this research project is that I live my life from a feminist perspective and although I am very interested in human rights development, I favour more the fight for furthering women’s rights around the globe. Currently I am a volunteer at a local community health clinic called Klinic where I am a Sexual Assault Crisis Counsellor. It is in this position that I have gained a deeper social awareness into the status of women. It is clear to me that women are still being recklessly abused and degraded as I have seen through my experience with Klinic. I find myself wanting to do something official with my passion for women’s rights and the Middle East. This research project is the perfect forum to look further into this issue.
Don't forget to forward this message to people you know to help the researcher to collect more realistic data on this issue.Appreciate your cooperation
February 1 was a national day of action for the student-led Education is Right campaign organised by the Canadian Federation of Students. The campaign aims at promoting reduction of post-secondary tuition fees, lowering student debt, and increasing educational funding. I was fortunate to join the University of Winnipeg students rally and took few pictures of the event.
International students have to be aware of mental wellness risks
by Fatemah Kareem
by Matthew Dyck
According to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the number of visa students on Canadian campuses reached 70,000 full-time and 13,000 part-time students in 2006.
There are many reasons for an international student to choose to study in Canada.
Some of those reasons could be acquiring high quality education, as well as gaining a better international understanding.
However, starting a new academic program can be an extremely stressful experience, and this is especially true if this new experience took place in a different culture and a different country.
International students might face a variety of barriers at the beginning of their study program. Often the student manages to solve them over time, but sometimes those difficulties turn into something serious that may negatively impact their mental health.
Of course, stress and anxiety are often symptoms or indicators of the student’s mental health, and they increase due to reasons such as:
For students who arrive to their new country three weeks into the school year because of a visa delay they could in no way control, any given course is tougher. This can be a major source of stress right from the get-go.
Lack of familiarity with English
The student might know some English, but sometimes his or her language is not strong enough to be on the same level with students who are native speakers, or even with students who have had regular interaction with native speakers.
This will profoundly affect the student’s performance and confidence, and put him or her under heavy pressure.
Having one’s finances in order is the most important part of studying abroad.
This requires a huge amount of planning from the student, since without enough money they won’t be able to pay for the cost of living, let alone tuition and books.
Let’s say that a student has borrowed the money at a high rate of interest in his home country to pay for the course - this circumstance combined with the high expectations of the family will inevitably cause the student to be stressed out, and start to think about the possibility of failing and being unable to pay that money back.
Different academic culture
In some universities, the educational system is sometimes built on the idea of delivering the best services possible to local students, so that when it comes tointernational students, they may feel left behind.
This feeling is aggravated by the fact that for the reasons already mentioned, international students may have difficulties as basic as how to study properly, or how to properly structure a paper in English.
The University of Winnipeg’s International Student Office is a transitional tool that can help people new to this country not only to reach their academic goals, but also maintain good mental health while achieving those goals.
At the International Student Office, counselling services for students with issues such as anxiety, stress and culture shock are offered.
By utilizing this resource, international students can ease themselves into the educational experience in Canada.
For me, making resolutions isn’t usually an important part of my new year. However, maybe this is why I end up wanting to finish a million things but not finishing anything.
So I’m trying this year. This year, my resolutions are as follows:
1. To be thankful for my supportive father
In a country such as Saudi Arabia, if you’re a woman you don’t have the right to be responsible to make decisions and choose the life you want no matter how old you are.
For example, that means you can’t be completely free to travel and pursue your education without male approval (from a father, brother or even a husband).
My father always believed in education as a means of improving one’s life on many levels, which is why he supported my choice to come to Canada and finish my education, regardless of the social restrictions he faced as a member of such a closed culture.
Many women are not lucky enough to have this simple human right, just because their guardians don’t think it’s important for women to travel and have a degree from abroad, despite the benefits of empowering women and help them be independent not only for themselves but also for their society.
My father’s stance on this issue is not something I can take for granted.
2. To express myself and say what I believe in - no matter what
In many countries people don’t have the right to express themselves freely. Many people in these countries don’t try to express their opinions when they’re too different in order to avoid the possible consequences. Instead, they continue to live in miserable conditions.
So I’ve decided to express my opinions even if there are some people who get mad at me; at least it might change something.
3. Talk to more people on the bus
When I first came to Canada, using public transportation was a completely new experience in my life. Being in a place with so many people was uncomfortable in itself, let alone starting conversations with people you don’t really know.
It can be something frightening if you’re not familiar with North American culture, because you don’t really know how the conversation will go. It could be short pleasant comments on any number of topics, or it could just be uncomfortable.
In any case I think it’s important to make the effort, because I’ve found that being silent or putting on that blasé face can be strange for some people.
Once you get used to conversing with strangers, it makes you feel good about yourself and adds spice to your day.
4. Educate Saudi women about their rights
Before women can be asked to fight for their rights, they must know what their rights are. I will start writing in Arabic to defend women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, making sure that I deliver the right message to every woman.
In this way, I wish to make each woman able to effect change in her community and her life.
5. Get behind the wheel
Since women in Saudi Arabia don’t yet have the right to drive a car, my final New Year’s resolution is to get behind the wheel. I want to use my chance as a student in Canada to get my driver’s licence.
As with my other resolutions, this one’s all about making the most of my time in this country.