Middle Eastern Women: The Intersection of Law, Culture and Religion

A joint paper between Dr. Pamela Chrabieh and Dr. Nadia Wardeh about religious authority, interreligious dialogue and gender, has been published in an book edited by Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb (Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture/ Diyar Publishers): Middle Eastern Women: The Intersection of Law, Culture and Religion.

Description of the book:

Women in the Arab world suffer from a lack of equality in most rights, duties and within all areas of society, including the criminal justice court, economy, healthcare, media, politics, religion, family law and civil status law. International reports document the systematic gender gap that is based on discrimination, the prevalence of male traditions and unequal treatment. This book investigates the role that intersectionality of law, culture and religion plays in hindering movement towards equal rights for women. The majority of the papers highlights the challenges faced by women in traditional patriarchal societies. These challenges span from economic limitations to legal systems, and from lack of representation in the media to religiously inspired inequality. The papers included in this book are eye-opening in reporting the situation of women in diverse Middle Eastern countries and what they have in common, but also the differences between contexts, countries and denominations. Together, they construct an interdisciplinary vision of women’s lives in the Middle East. The papers show that the context is by no means static but is fluid and dynamic. There are setbacks but also breakthroughs. While one can see a polarization between conservative powers that seek to maintain the status quo on the one hand and progressive forces demanding change on the other, the direction for the future is clearly in favor of the latter. The hope is that this volume will contribute to this process.

The book is available on Amazon and Kindle.

Call for Papers – The 6th International Conference on “Higher Education Towards Inclusive Societies in the Middle East and North Africa”

Introduction
 
Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture (DAK) and the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) are organizing their sixth international conference on “Higher Education Towards Inclusive Societies in the Middle East and North Africa” in October 2020. This conference builds on the 2019 “Towards Inclusive Societies” conference, the recommendations of which urged us to focus our work and attention on the role of higher education and to pursue a collective journey towards more inclusive societies.
 
Goals
 
At this conference, we will encourage scholars, experts and activists from the MENA countries to engage in a critical dialogue regarding the role of higher education in promoting social, religious and gender inclusivity. We will also discuss the role of higher education in empowering young women in the Arab world. In addition, this conference will address the conditions and platforms invested in higher education and how to use their skills and knowledge to build more open and engaged societies. Today our societies remain at a distance from addressing the serious social challenges or assessing ways to deal with the obstacles and limitations that abort some good initiatives. Educating towards social responsibility and raising awareness to the various options for inclusive communities becomes a necessity. The conference aims to motivate scholars to investigate these issues in present and future research and to urge policymakers to ensure that higher education is more accessible to all society members.
 
As such, we invite scholars to submit papers that tackle issues related to the current situation of MENA societies. The conference “Higher Education Towards Inclusive Societies in the Middle East and North Africa” provides an umbrella for the following sub-themes:
 
The challenges and potentials of higher education regarding:
Socio-cultural inclusivity, Religious diversity, Gender. 
The conference provides a forum for sharing recent research, highlighting social initiatives of change, promoting interaction and dialogue among participants, and gathering results into a comprehensive monograph accessible to a wider public.
 
The participation of scholars from different countries will foster interdisciplinary, multi-cultural arena for genuine continuous dialogues and bold thoughts. The conference is planned to take place from October 29 to November 1, 2020 on the island of Cyprus. It will consist of three days of lecturesdialogues, and socio-cultural, economic and education context evaluation. The program will be conducted in Arabic.
 
Title
Education Towards Inclusive Societies in Middle East and North Africa
 
Aim
To spark a critical dialogue on the current situation in MENA societies in relation to: Higher Education, Religious Plurality, Gender Equality and Social Cohesion.
 
Goals
 Analyzing the impact of higher education on issues related to religious plurality, gender equality and socio-cultural and political diversity.Exploring and exchanging success stories and best practices.Providing a pertinent forum of discussion on the conference themes. Sharing the conference’s papers and recommendations with the academic community. Encouraging interdisciplinary analysis and further research in relation to higher education. 

Themes
 The role of higher education in modern social change.Modern inclusive perspectives in higher education in MENA.The role of higher education in contributing to social and economic growth.The role of media in shaping opinions towards inclusive societies.The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic crisis on higher education in the Arab world.The development of exclusive and inclusive identities in today’s MENA.Analyzing university curricula in terms of the notion on inclusivity. 

Call for Papers
 
We invite the submission of papers on original and unpublished research on any of the related topics. Please note the following:
 
Papers should be in Arabic.Papers should be submitted to: ideeb@daralkalima.edu.ps.The only accepted format for submitted papers is word document.May 30, 2020: paper/panel submission deadline (maximum 500 words).June 15, 2020: paper accept/reject notification.August 15, 2020: full paper submission deadline.
 
 
دعوة لتقديم أوراق بحثية
المؤتمر الدولي السادس حول
“التعليم العالي نحو مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا”
 
مقدمة
ينظم كل من كلية دار الكلمة الجامعية للفنون والثقافة والمنتدى الأكاديمي المسيحي للمواطنة في العالم العربي المؤتمر السادس الذي يتمحور حول ” التعليم العالي نحو مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا” في شهر تشرين الأول / أكتوبر من العام 2020، ويأتي هذا المؤتمر استكمالاً للجهود والطروحات التي تمّت في مؤتمر عام 2019 بعنوان “نحو مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية”، وذلك انطلاقا من التوصيات التي أكدت ضرورة التركيز على دور التعليم العالي في بناء مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية والاهتمام بهذا الدور باستمرار وتطويره.
 
الأهداف
يهدف المؤتمر إلى تشجيع الباحثين, الخبراء والناشطين من دول الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا على الانخراط في حوار نقدي بنّاء حول دور التعليم العالي في تعزيز التعددية الاجتماعية والدينية والتعددية المرتبطة بالنوع الاجتماعي. كما سنناقش هنا دور التعليم العالي في تمكين الشابات في العالم العربي.
بالإضافة إلى ما سبق؛ سيتناول هذا المؤتمر الشروط والمنصات المستثمرة في التعليم العالي وكيفية استخدام مهارات الناشطين فيها ومعارفهم في بناء مجتمعات أكثر انفتاحًا وانخراطًا؛ ولا بدّ لنا من الاعتراف بأن مجتمعاتنا لا تزال إلى اليوم بعيدة عن معالجة التحديات الاجتماعية الخطيرة وهي بعيدة كذلك عن تقييم طرق التعامل مع العقبات والقيود التي تحبط بعض المبادرات الجيدة، مما يتحتم عليه توفير التعلم نحو المسؤولية الاجتماعية وزيادة الوعي حول الخيارات المختلفة للمجتمعات الحاضنة للتعددية. هذا من ناحية، أما من ناحية أخرى؛ فيهدف المؤتمر إلى تحفيز الباحثين على التحقيق في هذه القضايا في البحوث الحالية والمستقبلية وحث صانعي السياسات وأصحاب القرار على ضمان وجود التعليم العالي في متناول جميع أفراد المجتمع.
 
وعلى هذا النحو، ندعو الباحثين إلى تقديم أوراق علمية تتناول القضايا المتعلقة بالوضع الحالي لمجتمعات منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا وتناقشها وتعالجها في إطار المجتمعات الحاضنة للتعددية، بحيث يوفر مؤتمر “التعليم العالي نحو مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا” مظلة للمواضيع الفرعية الآتية:
تحديات التعليم العالي وإمكانياته فيما يتعلق بـِ:
1) التعددية الاجتماعية الثقافية.
2) التنوع الديني.
3) النوع الاجتماعي.
 
يوفر المؤتمر منتدى لتبادل الأبحاث الحديثة، وتسليط الضوء على المبادرات الاجتماعية للتغيير، وتعزيز التفاعل والحوار بين المشاركين، وجمع النتائج في دراسة شاملة يسهل نشرها على نطاق اوسع. فإن المشاركة في هذا المؤتمر من دول مختلفة سوف تعزز تعدد التخصصات والثقافات من أجل حوارات حقيقية وأفكار جريئة بشكل مستمر. ومن المقرر أن يُعقد المؤتمر في الفترة الواقعة بين 29 تشرين الأول / أكتوبر و1 تشرين الثاني / نوفمبر 2020م في جزيرة قبرص. وستتكون من ثلاثة أيام من المحاضرات والحوارات وتقييم السياقات الاجتماعية الثقافية والاقتصادية والتعليمية. كما سيتم تنفيذ البرنامج باللغة العربية.
 
عنوان المؤتمر
التعليم نحو مجتمعات حاضنة للتعددية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا
 
الهدف الرئيس للمؤتمر
إثارة حوار نقدي حول الوضع الحالي في مجتمعات الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا فيما يتعلق بـ: التعليم العالي، والتعددية الدينية، والمساواة بين الجنسين، والتماسك الاجتماعي.
 
أهداف المؤتمر
• تحليل أثر التعليم العالي على القضايا المتعلقة بالتعددية الدينية والمساواة بين الجنسين والتنوع الاجتماعي والثقافي والسياسي.
• استكشاف قصص النجاح وأفضل الممارسات والخبرات وتبادلها.
• توفير منتدى ذي صلة وثيقة بين الأعضاء لمناقشة موضوعات المؤتمر.
• مشاركة أوراق وتوصيات المؤتمر مع المجتمع الأكاديمي.
• تشجيع التحليل متعدد التخصصات وإجراء المزيد من البحوث فيما يتعلق بالتعليم العالي.
 
موضوعات المؤتمر ومحاوره
• دور التعليم العالي في التغيير الاجتماعي الحديث.
• منظورات ووجهات نظر شاملة حديثة في التعليم العالي في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا.
• دور التعليم العالي في المساهمة في النمو الاجتماعي والاقتصادي.
• دور الإعلام في تشكيل الآراء تجاه المجتمعات الحاضنة للتعددية.
• أثر أزمة جائحة فيروس كورونا على التعليم العالي في العالم العربي.
• تطوير هويات حصرية ومتعددة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا اليوم.
. تحليل مساقات جامعية من حيث التطرق الى موضوع التعددية.
 
دعوة لإرسال الأوراق البحثية:
ندعو الباحثين إلى تقديم أوراق بحثية أصلية وليس بالضرورة منشورة حول أي من الموضوعات ذات الصلة.
نرجو ملاحظة ما يلي:

يجب أن تكون الأوراق مكتوبة باللغة العربية. 
• يتم إرسال الأوراق عبر البريد الالكتروني التالي: ideeb@daralkalima.edu.ps
• يتم إرسال الملف بصيغة مستند Word وهي الصيغة الوحيدة المقبولة.
• 30 مايو 2020: الموعد النهائي لتقديم ملخص حول الورقة البحثية في 500 كلمة حد أقصى.
• 15 يونيو 2020: يتم إشعار الراغبين في المشاركة حول قبول الورقة البحثية أو رفضها.
• 15 أغسطس 2020: الموعد النهائي لتقديم الورقة البحثية كاملة.
 
 

Peace Education: A Priority for our Youth and Society

My latest article published by Executive Women

December 9, 2019 

Peace Education
Dr. Pamela Chrabieh-Director of SPNC Learning & Communication Expertise, University Professor, & Visual Artist

Much has been said about social responsibility in the last two to three decades, and many non-governmental organizations have created programs and organized youth camps in the Arab world to encourage individuals and groups to act for the benefit of society at large. However, ongoing political disorder, wars, and economic crises in several countries have contributed to the implementation of national security-based strategies, whereas any society’s survival depends on a social responsibility strategy, and this strategy should include peace education. 

Peace education encompasses a variety of pedagogical approaches within formal curricula in schools and universities, and non-formal popular education projects. It aims to cultivate the knowledge and practices of a culture of peace, and plays an important role in individual and collective mindset changes.

Unfortunately, most academic curricula in the Arab world do not offer peace education courses, and little attention has been paid so far to the inclusion of peace programs in universities — they are considered to be low priorities.

In addition, many avoid giving too much attention and too many resources to Peace Studies programs out of fear that they may become politicized. The emphasis is usually placed on subjects considered to be tangible and have practical value for competition in the local, regional, and global marketplaces.

Peace education’s advantages are numerous:

  • It develops cultural awareness and effective communication strategies in intercultural/interreligious settings,
  • It leads to increased and differentiated understandings of cultures and a desire to expand one’s own knowledge of cultural customs, concepts, and values,
  • It helps deconstruct stereotypes and fight against xenophobia, discrimination, and ethnocentrism,
  • It helps the youth to reflect on the subjectivity of their own thoughts and language as they learn to step outside boundaries and develop more critical thinking,
  • It helps students to understand and experience unity in human diversity.

I have developed my own peace education approach and applied it in universities in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates with thousands of students from 2007 to 2018. The results of my research were published in several books and academic journals, proving the positive impact of peace education.

The basis of this educational approach is dialogue, which is not used as a mere technique to achieve some cognitive results, but to transform social relations. Through interactive practices and an emphasis on cooperation, students are provided with space in which they can undergo constructive analysis, build bridges, and develop a sense of national inclusive belonging. 

Nonetheless, peace education faces many challenges and obstacles in our region, starting with the context itself that makes it hard to disseminate — such as the context of continuous physical and psychological wars in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq,… 

Furthermore, it still is a socially isolated affair. For peace education to have a large-scale impact, there are many conditions that need to be fulfilled, such as support from private institutions and public authorities, sustained interaction between students and their professors, interdependence in completing common tasks, etc. 

In the context of both formal and non-formal education, funding for projects and their sustainability are two major challenges. Only elite schools and universities can offer sufficiently long training and the much needed follow-up support as inequalities and discrimination are a major challenge. In fact, they do not disappear when the classroom doors close or when they open again; students may continue pursuing opposing agendas, especially when they have unsupportive home environments.

Even when they are equipped with a new way of perceiving themselves and the “others”, the students enter into a collision course with their social surroundings and their “unquestionable truths” through their homes, neighborhoods, sectarian communities, political parties, and the media. In my opinion, peace education should be considered a public good and, as such, should be offered as a free service to all. 

Youth represent the largest group in the region, and they are exposed to an increasing number of vulnerabilities, threats, and challenges. The lack of economic, educational, and leadership opportunities limits the youth’s full potential for contribution to their families and communities, and for sustainable development and peace.

Facing these challenges requires investment in youth education, active participation, visibility and empowerment. Such investment must target youth from all cultural and religious backgrounds, including young people from disparate communities, as well as young people with disabilities and vulnerable or marginalized youth.

Clearly, this investment will not be a waste, for a culture of peace is needed to build prosperous countries and inclusive societies, and this culture is not an unattainable ideal. It is a culture we can make, embody, and share.

By, Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Director of SPNC Learning & Communication Expertise, University Professor, & Visual Artist.

https://executive-women.me/2019/12/09/peace-education-a-priority-for-our-youth-and-society/

Entrevue sur RFI sur la révolution au Liban, la jeunesse et les droits des femmes

Mon entrevue cet après-midi sur Radio France Internationale (RFI) sur la révolution des femmes au Liban. A partir de la minute 33. Merci à Emmanuelle Bastide pour l’invitation!

“Depuis le 17 octobre, la population libanaise occupe la rue. A l’origine des contestations qui a rassemblé jusqu’à 1,5 millions de personnes, soit 20% de la population du pays, l’annonce d’une taxe sur la messagerie WhatsApp. Le pays a été immobilisé et le premier ministre a annoncé sa démission. Mais le mouvement ne faiblit pas et dénonce désormais les défaillances de l’Etat. Pénuries d’électricité et de gaz, chômage endémique, mariages précoces, dette abyssale, violences conjugales : quelles sont les revendications de la population dans ce pays où l’âge médian est de 29 ans?

Avec :

Bilal TARABAY, Journaliste pigiste franco libanais à France 24, photojournaliste pour l’agence le pictorium, agence indépendante
Dalia OBEID, libanaise, activiste installée en France qui a beaucoup agi en faveur du mariage civil.
Souraya KARAM, étudiante en relations internationales et histoire à l’Université St Joseph de Beyrouth.
Pamela CHRABIEH, activiste féministe et pour la paix depuis 20 ans, docteur en sciences des religions, habite dans les environs de Beyrouth.
Mira MINKARA, guide touristique à Tripoli, fondatrice de « Mira’s guided tour » qui propose des visites guidées culturelles et historique de la ville”.

Source: Liban: que demande la jeunesse? Émission 7 milliards de voisins, RFI, 19 novembre 2019.

Standing Together in a World Divided Consultation – Bangkok

Dr. PAMELA CHRABIEH’S video conference has been screened a few days ago in Bangkok – Thailand.

STANDING TOGETHER IN A WORLD DIVIDED – Consultation developed by the Presbyterian World Mission and the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), (PCUSA).
Bangkok – Thailand, November 1-6, 2019.
The paper will be available in due time (“Christian Responses in Western Asia: Case Studies”).

Full video here.

Towards Inclusive Societies in the Middle East International Conference

“Towards Inclusive Societies in the Middle East”
Ayia Napa, Cyprus, October 31 – November 2, 2019) full report by Karis Ailabouni:


“Inclusive societies based on equal rights remain at a distance as the Middle East continues to face radicalized religious and political movements. In light of this, Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture and the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) organized its fifth international conference entitled, “Towards Inclusive Societies in the Middle East”, held in Cyprus from October 31 to November 2, 2019. The conference gathered 47 scholars, activists, and experts from around the world with the aim of stimulating critical dialogue on the factors that hinder equitable societies in the region. In an effort to practice inclusion, 29 (61%) of the conference participants were women, while 9 (19%) were youth under the age of 35. In addition, participants came from diverse national backgrounds. The majority hailed from the region, namely Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and UAE. However, participants also joined from the USA, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, and the UK. The conference provided also a forum for Arab scholars from the diaspora to connect to their peers from the region. The forum’s diversity of participation inspired an unparalleled interdisciplinary, ecumenical, and interreligious discussion, through which participants could explore issues from multiple perspectives.

Following a welcome dinner on October 31, the event consisted of eight sessions and 22 paper presentations over two days. Sessions I and II provided a theoretical framing of inclusivity in political and theological terms. This led into sessions III and IV, which tackled gender justice as a critical form of inclusivity. On day 2, the morning consisted of two sets of parallel sessions. The first contextualized inclusivity through specific insights from Lebanon and Egypt, while the second brought unique interdisciplinary approaches to the theme- from philosophy, to germ theory, to natural resource management.

The conference also made space to include a flash panel on the revolution currently unfolding in Lebanon. As a scholarly forum rooted in everyday realities, it was necessary to include this session given its relevance to the themes of the conference and to the sociopolitical context of the region at large. Lebanese participants shared their diverse perspectives from the ground, reflecting on the opportunities and challenges of the revolution as a platform for people to affect social and political change.

Several important themes emerged from the discussions surrounding these sessions. Firstly, the bondage of minoritization and sectorization in the Middle East poses a challenge to inclusive societies. Through histories of colonialism and authoritarianism, Christians have been constructed to think of themselves as minorities and, therefore, inherently disempowered. This phenomenon calls for a radically inclusive, popular theology that rejects sectarianism.

Inclusivity, then, requires societies in the Middle East to learn from local history so that they might deconstruct oppressive power systems inherited from colonialist and authoritarian regimes. Rather than reproducing exclusivist modes of authority, there is an urgent need to build new social contracts that empower the participation of all people in public life. This necessitates not only the building of new political systems, but also a sociocultural shift in which people begin to understand political participation not as a privilege, but as an essential dimension of their being.

Therefore, there is a need to pursue a collective journey towards inclusive societies. This was brought to light in discussions tackling gender justice, as many women’s movements are already carving a place for themselves as equal citizens. For example, women are at the front lines of the revolution in Lebanon. Meanwhile, women Islamic activists in Palestine are challenging the dominant culture by studying Islam and building their religious practice. In addition, women in the Evangelical Church in Egypt are struggling to become ordained leaders in their church through subversive ministry. Youth in the Middle East are also actively excluded from participation in public life. Research presented in the conference showed youth’s growing disillusionment with their future. Although they are eager to better their own community, many feel they must ultimately go abroad to realize their dreams. The problematic of Arab youth and women’s exclusion calls for participatory processes that allow the marginalized in society to make their voices heard.

Finally, the conference concluded with a discussion of pressing topics that might be addressed in future conferences. The recommendations emphasized by participants included the following:

Public theology of the religious other
Liberation from exploitation and authoritarianism
Technology, Religion and virtual realities
The role of education in social change, peace, and reconciliation

CAFCAW executive committee decided to choose the theme of Education for the next year with a working title “The Future of Education in West Asia and North Africa: Education for the Future.”

The conference was utilized as a platform to launch Telos magazine (www.telosmagazine.org), a new online magazine with a focus on public theology.

In addition to the stimulating discussions that surrounded these sessions, one of the greatest successes of the conference occurred informally. Academics and activists from around the world were able to build new connections with one another, creating a network where ideas and experiences could be exchanged. As one participant noted, the conference succeeded in developing a community of scholars and practitioners. This allowed not only for rich and critical dialogue, but also opened endless possibilities for future”.

Concluding Remarks and Recommendations
Lebanon’s Revolution Panel
CAFCAW Executive Committee
Telos Wana Magazine Editorial Committee

CAFCAW Workshop – Towards an Inclusive Society in Lebanon?

Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship (CAFCAW) 4th workshop in Beirut-Lebanon. Hotel Monroe, September 28, 2019.

Introduction: Rev. Victor Makari and Ms. Maya Khadra.
Dr. Pamela Chrabieh – presentation: “What can be done to make our society more inclusive?”.
Mr. Alexandre Paulikevitch – testimonial: “The challenges of being a male choreographer in Lebanon”.
Mr. Cyril Badaoui – testimonial and presentation: “Talking about including people with mental health disorders”.
Ms. Maya Khadra – presentation: “About Instrumentalization of Minorities Narratives”.
Mr. Elie Elias – presentation: “Inclusiveness in Great Lebanon of 1920”.

“What can be done to make our society more inclusive?”
By Dr. Pamela Chrabieh

Positive vibes, fruitful dialogue, critical thinking, and a beautiful blend of identities united in their differences around a common goal: building a better inclusive society.

Repenser la gestion de la diversité religieuse et culturelle entre le Liban et le Canada

Les cas d’étude et de comparaison entre le Canada et le Liban ne sont pas récents, et suscitent encore aujourd’hui l’engouement de plusieurs chercheurs, vu que ces deux pays sont marqués par la diversité religieuse et culturelle. Une diversité qui pourrait constituer un terreau de dissensions, ou une pratique et un horizon de convivialité et de paix.

Au Liban, des individus et des organisations non-gouvernementales revendiquent des changements dans la gestion de la diversité. Au Canada, avec les revendications particulières de communautés religieuses et culturelles, ainsi que l’intégration de l’expression du phénomène religieux dans l’espace public comme dans les secteurs académiques, médiatique et juridico-politique, les défis de non-discrimination sont multiples.

En fait, tant au Liban qu’au Canada, on cherche continuellement à repenser la place du religieux dans l’espace public et à réformer le système de gestion des composantes de ces deux pays, tellement différents mais aussi semblables à bien des égards.

(Extrait de mon introduction à la 4e table-ronde du colloque “Les communautés de l’Etat du Liban” à l’USEK, 22 mars 2019)

Pop Culture and Social Media in the Arab World

I was interviewed by Terrance Mintner about Pop Culture and Social Media in the Arab World. Here are excerpts of the interview: 

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, a Beirut-based writer and activist, told The Media Line that young people in the Arab world are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp and Snapchat at an increasingly faster rate despite government controls and restrictions.

“Several studies conducted in the last decade have shown that pop culture and social media have helped Arab youth express and promote alternative political and social discourses and practices to the ‘official, normative, and institutional’ ones,” she said.

Although social media offers opportunities for creative expression and interaction, Chrabieh explained, there are many young people who must use these mediums while constantly negotiating complex and layered pressures to maintain online identities that meet the expectations of their societies, especially in the Gulf region.

“Fageeh’s work [generating online videos, for example] is one of many initiatives in the Arab world that addresses social and political issues. In fact, there has been an explosion of artistic and cultural productions since the 2000s in the forms of music, poetry, theater, graffiti, movies, etc.,” Dr. Chrabieh noted.

“There are of course cultural icons or ‘figureheads’ but we are witnessing the rise and proliferation of cultural democratization and transnational cultures [global cultures], especially when it comes to street art, videos and digital expression.”

Popular culture in the Arab world should not be viewed as byproduct of the Arab Spring, she explained. Even before the uprisings, it played a significant role in creating social and political transformations in response to what she termed “Ottoman and European colonialization.

“Lastly, it is hard to characterize Arab pop culture as one category given the diverse political institutions, regional history and the many different discourses about identity. Nevertheless, popular culture can help make sense of this complexity.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE (February 27, 2019)

Women’s Rights in the Gulf Region – Alaraby Interview

مداخلتي منذ قليل في برنامج شبابيك (التلفزيون العربي، لندن) عن حقوق المرأة في الخليج وأسباب هروب فتيات و نساء إلى الخارج. خلاصة القول: لقد عملت هذه الدول في السنوات الأخيرة على سد الفجوة بين الجنسين (التمكين السياسي والتعليم والصحة) ولكن يجب اصلاح عدة قوانين (الأحوال الشخصية، الوصاية…) وتفكيك الذهنية الأبوية 

Alaraby TV (London – UK), Chababik program, 19-02-2019
Full Interview HERE