Warning: Soap Box Moment
Without oversimplifying the complexity of the issues at play, I often think about whether I truly believe peace will come to the Middle East and the world as a whole.
Thoughts and linkage from an American graduate student in the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University on the role of the Middle East/North Africa and the Islamicate world in global affairs in modern times, as well as occasional personal musings. Keep track of blog updates and other linkage via my Twitter account. I'm also a contributing blogger at Al-Wasat Blog.
Saeema's husband was shot dead in a local dispute five years ago. "It was terrible," she says. "My children lost their father and I couldn't support them. I was forced to beg in my village."
An aid project has since provided Saeema, 32, with a cow that enables her to sell dairy products in the market. Today she gets nine litres of milk per day from her cow, earning her up to 6,000 Afghanis ($100) per month. She can also provide her children with fresh milk and cheese.
[Source: Pictures and script by Peter Biro, from the International Rescue Committee ]
Commentary: It is a sad fact that many Muslims, male and female, continue to confuse personal piety with a head scarf (hijab) and/or the "face covering" (niqab) or even the cape-like Iranian chador or the Afghan/Pakistani all-enveloping burqa. Personal piety cannot be equated with 36 square-inches of cloth. Bravo to Minister Nuria al-Sbeih for rejecting the calls of those in the Kuwaiti parliament whose understandings of Islam and religious piety are so shallow.