Education had been completely banned for girls, and boys limited to learning the Quran when the Taliban entered Afghanistan. Latifa and her friend Farida had ‘lived this closeted life’ in which they do ‘nothing at all’ and they both thought they should pass on the knowledge they had acquired. Inspired by the bravery of their former teacher Mrs Fawzia who had set up a secret school but was then caught by the Taliban in the middle of teaching (her pupils were beaten, and she was thrown down the stairs causing her leg to break and then thrown into jail), Latifa, Farida, Maryam and another one of their friends (unnamed) set up a school where they teach mathematics, reading, writing, history and English in their own homes. The girls, their families, and neighbours all work together to ensure the school runs safely and smoothly, each person contributing one way or another, from gathering school supplies to keeping lookout for the Taliban. The creation of the school shows incredible bravery and resilience of the families’ human spirit in that they decided to all work together to give an education to their children, even though they could be caught and executed by the Taliban. By creating the school, their lives were transformed for the better because they had a focus and a purpose in their
Women’s rights in Iran or the Middle East has always been an arguable issue. Although there rights have been changed throughout the centuries they were never really compared equal to men or noone really accepted them. Specially for women in Iran, they barely had any rights in culture, marriage or other aspects of their lives. In the following essay you will read about the everday lives of Middle Eastern women.
Women's rights in the Middle East have always been a controversial issue. Although the rights of women have changed over the years, they have never really been equal to the rights of a man. This poses a threat on Iran because women have very limited options when it comes to labor, marriage and other aspects of their culture. I believe that equal treatment for women and men is a fundamental principal of international human rights standards. Yet, in some places like Iran, discriminatory practices against women are not only prevalent, but in some cases, required by law. In this essay I will explain to you the every day life of an every day Islamic woman living in Iran. You will be astonished by what these women have endured through the
Though the veil forms an inconvenience in the lives of all Iranian women, it serves as a form of protection in their lives against the dangerous religious extremists fighting for the revolution. Marjane and her mother did not believe in the religious importance of wearing the veil but knew they had to wear them for their own protection against radical religious men that could try to take advantage of them. The president claimed that “women’s hair emanates rays that excite men” (74). Supported by this proposition, men could claim that a woman without a head scarf excited him and he would rape her because that is what she deserved for being a “little
One of these incidents occurs when Marjane is in art school. When the students were told that they needed to wear longer headscarves, Satrapi immediately responded that “as a student of art…I need to move freely to be able to draw.” She further questions “why is it that I, as a woman, am expected to feel nothing when watching these men with their clothes sculpted on but they, as men, can get excited by two-inches less of my head scarf?” here Marjane questions the restrictiveness of the veil and comments on the injustice in Muslim society and the gender inequality. The veil represent the repressions and the gender injustices in Iran. By revolting against the veil Marjane is able to protest the repressions. On hearing Marjanes complaint, the school administrators asked Satrapi to design her own veil. Marjane accepts this offer while still in the confines of the veil. Marjane designs the veil to suit the needs of the students and
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novel that provides insight into a young girl living in Iran during the hardship of war. Persepolis takes place during the childhood of Marjane Satrapi. It gives a background of the Islamic Revolution and the war in Iran. Satrapi attempts to guide herself in a corrupted world filled with propaganda. She tries to develop her own morality concerning religion, politics, and humanity. Satrapi was blessed enough to have high class status and parents who had an open mindset about the world around them. Thanks to her slightly alternative lifestyle, she is able to reconstruct gender norms that society has set by depicting the different ways women resist them. “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others” by Lila Abu-Lughod is an essay detailing the misconceptions surrounding the veil. Through this essay we can see how colonial feminism, the form of feminism in which western women push for a western way of living on their third world counterparts, has shined a negative light on cultures all around the world - particularly Islamic women. The essay shows how women who don’t conform to American societal structures are labeled as women who urgently require saving. Through this essay one can develop a thorough understanding of the veil itself and the many representations it holds to different entities. Although in Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Satrapi
One of the most controversial topics concerning Muslim women’s rights is the idea of the veil. It is believed by some Muslims that the veil is an Islamic obligation that all Muslim women must adhere to. But nowadays, the veil can have different meanings that are not necessarily religious. In her article “Reinventing the Veil,” Leila Ahmed addresses some of the different meanings that the veil can have. Marjane Satrapi explores one of those meanings in her animated autobiography Persepolis (2008). In Persepolis, Marjane tells the story of her rebellion against the Iranian Islamist regime that takes over Iran, oppresses women, and forces them to wear the veil. What was interesting to me was seeing Marjane wear the veil without being oppressed, although she does not believe in it, and is being forced to wear it. In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi escapes being a subject to the Iranian Islamist ideology by establishing her individual identity through transforming the veil from a means of oppression into a means of feminist rebellion.
Accepting environments on the other hand, allow for the creation of imagination and personal connections. Nafisi in her “Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran” speaks about the creation of her reading group, and provides the type of education she desired to provide as an educator but was restricted to provide based on the Iranian regime. The Iranian society oppresses against women, forcing them to conform to societal norms. On the other hand, Nafisi introduces her students to a fantasy like environment during their literature class. This allows for the connection amongst the girls and Nafisi to be personal. The idea of connection can be done while making a comparison between the women in Iran and characters within a novel Nafisi discussed with her students. Nafisi states:
Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator. Through the years since the book was published there has been an emencice amount of controversy on the actual contents of the book, but when applying the psychoanalytic literary lens an entirely different understanding of the text is presented. Through an abstract point of view, an intense inner conflict in the narrator, and an unusual definition of beauty, the text evokes an intense emotional response from readers that can not be expected from the initial perspective of the book.
Stranded in America by the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, Neshat returned to her country in 1990 for the first time. She found this journey extremely shocking, due to the huge amount of difference in Iranian costumes and social behavior, between the after revolution time, and what she could remember.” I had never been in a country that was so ideologically based” . She could remember that chador- a black veil that covers most of the body except the face- in a movement against the Shah’s dictatorship and the influences of the Western beauty industry, was adopted by educated feminists in the 1960s and 1970s, and now many women treated the chador as a captive uniform.
This was one reverse too far, for Iran's young “cherish a packet of grievances, ranging from the acute shortage of jobs to the social restrictions that ban most boy- and-girl outings. Restrictive though it is, the system allows discussion of these complaints, and many niggling rules have been quietly eased since Mr. Khatami took over” (Anonymous Iran's second revolution? 13). It was, however, after the police and their allies, the Islamist bully-boy militia, raided the dormitories in Tehran University, where they killed at least one student and probably more, that the shout for change began to penetrate “out-of-bounds areas. The students started to call for fundamental reforms, questioning the legitimacy of clerical control” (Anonymous Iran's second revolution? 13). They even went so far as to challenge the sacrosanct heart of Iran's Islamist edifice, the ultimate authority of the “supreme leader.”
Shirin Neshat is a female Iranian artist born in 1957, she left Iran when she was only 17 years old and moved to the United States, she arrived there a few years before the 1979 revolution, during which the more secular shah was overthrown and replaced by the strict Islamic rule of Ayatollah Khomeini. This puts Neshat in an ideal position to understand and appreciate the changes that have occurred in Iran as a result of this political change, particularly in relation to the social status of women. Neshat takes full advantage of this opportunity, and returns to Iran in 1990 to create a series of photographs known as the Women of Allah, The series embodies the struggle of Iranian women in the current day and age. The
In March 2002, female activists gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day in Iran for the first time since the Revolution of 1979. They came together in a united front to criticize the family law and call for the abolishment of discriminatory laws against women.
The Islamic Golden age represents an era of time in which the Muslim world experienced an intellectual flourishing. At the very heart of this civilization is it’s constant pursuit of learning, as prophet Mohammed said: “the best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge.” People from different ethnic backgrounds, religions, and even gender came side by side to participate in this vast intellectual movement. Unlike Europe during the Middle Ages, women played a major role in the field of education in the Islamic Golden Age. Rather than being seen as second-class citizens, women had a great impact in public life, particularly in the field of education. One of the many influential participants in this civilization was Fatima Alfihri, in which she reflects the role and contribution of Muslim women during that period of time.