And thanks, BuzzFlash, for the link.
I’m nearing the end of reading “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and so Afghanistan women are very much on my mind. Between the Soviet invasion, warlord fighting, Taliban takeover and then U.S. invasion, these women have suffered enormously in the last few decades. I just can’t imagine living through all of that and the severe oppression. My heart goes out to them and I am inspired by their will to endure and survive. I’m glad we haven’t abandoned them.
Thank you for this, I will share it with my book club friends.
Loved that book. What did you think of it?
I loved the book, too, and appreciated the female perspective especially in light of recent global discussions on what to do next in Afghanistan.
My husband and I were talking about the withdrawal and I said ‘Look, if US Troops help a nation of women, then I’m cool with it.”
I would love to go there and see for myself. But then, I’d only be seeing a little bit of what’s there.
I have Jones’s book “Kabul in Winter” and have read about half of it — maybe now I’ll crack it open again. Another good one is “The Bookseller of Kabul,” written by the female Scandinavian journalist Asne Seierstad. She moves in with a family headed by a man who considers himself quite enlightened, but the lives of his female relatives are NOT a whole lot better than those of the — ahem — unenlightened.
I read that last one and loved it. Any more Kabul/Afghanistan suggestions?
Interestingly (to me), the photo is quite a lovely image — wonderful color and movement, and yet the clothing is horribly symbolic. Interesting too that the women are barefoot — how is it okay to bare feet? Makes it harder for them to, say, run away?
Funny you should mention that, as I noticed the bare feet, too. Could be a way of hobbling them, or they just might prefer bare feet.
Probably says that shoes are expensive.
That might be the reason. I honestly don’t know.
A few years ago, while in London, I was surprised to see women in niqabs (not much better than burqas). Unbelievably, both niqabs and burqas are worn in European countries, too. This past summer, France said no to burqas. Thank goodness Sarkozy saw it for what it really was: ” a symbol of subservience that suppresses women’s identities and turns them into “prisoners behind a screen.”
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/22/sarkozy-burqas-are-not-we_n_218920.html
Thanks, Jac. I came out of a bakery today and there was a woman in a niqab. I did not stare but I was fascinated.
About France’s ban on burquas: I’m coming at this from the opposite direction. If a person wants to wear it, so what? It shouldn’t be the state’s business to dictate clothing unless it is too revealing or too dangerous.
Come to think of it, France has nudie beaches, not?
And here again we’ve stumbled onto a topic about which I am firmly on the fence. Back to the whole “westernized” thing, is it our right, as supposely more progressive (I said “supposedly”) countries, to seek to pull other countries onto our particular plateau? I’ve read some interesting essays by Muslim women that suggest the burqua, in their minds, can be quite freeing. On the other hand, as an American woman, they seem oppressive to the extreme. See? Both sides of the fence, brought to you by a conflicted me.
I’m far from the fence on this one, too. France isn’t the only country considering this and Muslim groups are actually pushing for it. I know that Italy and Canada are among the others and this is what a Canadian Muslim Group had to say about burqas: (they are) “medieval and misogynist symbols of extremism with no basis in Islam.”
They claim that the “practice of covering one’s face has no place in a society that supports gender equality”
“Muslims around the world know that this attire is misogynistic dress for women that is being promoted by the Taliban and al-Qaeda,” said Tarek Fatah, founder of the group. “It is a means of holding women back in society.”
Now why can’t I find the really interesting essays I read a few weeks back that showed a different side to this? Did I dream them? Lemme keep looking.
While you’re looking, I wondered if maybe it was the hijab that was acceptable to women. I would frustrated with the eye screen on the burqa. I found this for anyone who may be wondering about the different veils:
Just page down to see illustrations of each type.
I must have made it up. During the Iranian election demonstrations, there was a really excellent essay that asked western women to step back and think about their concern about the burqa. But I can not find it. And thanks for the link.
I remember something about something about that, too. I just don’t remember the exact somethings.
Is this our dotage smelling like lavendar and knocking on the door?
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