Monday, September 22, 2014

Women Abuse and Being Emotional About It


Two articles about:
Women Abuse and Being Emotional About It




Have you ever noticed how almost every debate or conversation between groups of men and women, especially those concerning the topics of rape and/or domestic violence, almost inevitably involve a man in the conversation telling one or all of the women to ‘stop being emotional’, or accusing women of arguing emotionally while asserting that he is merely arguing facts?
First, let me say – tone policing is boring. If somebody is delivering points in a way you don’t like, it doesn’t make their points invalid. It just means you do not like the delivery. Big deal. Get over it and deal with it.
Second — why the shit should women not be emotional when talking about rape/domestic violence? Let’s recap some stats:
The overwhelming majority of these crimes, nearly 100%, will be performed by men. Even if the victim is a man, the perpetrator is usually also a man.
So I guess I just wanna know why some brilliant minds think it’s inappropriate for women to speak emotionally about a topic that so devastatingly affects so many of us?
And here is what I want to say to the women reading this:
It’s okay to get emotional. Cry. Scream. Be loud. Be aggressive. Talk how you feel. Feel your feelings and let it out. You do not have to be calm and cool and precise when discussing crimes against you, your demographic, your friends and family members. Men who insist upon this insist upon it for THEIR comfort. They want you to adapt your speech and tone to accommodate THEM. It is only and solely and entirely for THEM to feel comfortable in the conversation. To feel welcome. To exist in a discourse which caters to them.
WE DO NOT HAVE TO ALLOW MEN TO SET THE TONE FOR THESE CONVERSATIONS AND WE DO NOT HAVE TO NEGOTIATE TERMS! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT HAVING YOUR TONE POLICED BY A MAN WHO WOULD PREFER A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION BE MORE SUITED TO HIS OWN CONVERSATION STYLE!
Men commit the majority of these crimes. Women experience most of the aftermath. And then when discussing it we are also supposed to adapt our speech to make men more comfortable? Please. No. Go ahead. Subvert the existing white male dominated acceptable speech paradigm and get emotional. Get loud! Get angry! Flip the script. Why shouldn’t you? That is a lot of violence toward women. That is a lot of hurt. A lot of pain. Why on Earth would we not get emotional? You do not have to be cold, distant, calculating or use School English to discuss your pain or the pain of other women, the abuse, the violence.
Do not let men control these conversations. Stay loud. Stay angry. Stay crying. Yell if you want to. And if a dude comes around and tells you to tone it down because he can’t hear you if you don’t, kick his ass OUT of the conversation. Do not adapt to him. Have him adapt to you. Women have been adapting to the will and desire of men for far too long, and it is disgusting that even in conversations involving women and pertaining to topics that mostly affect women and include women that have been harmed in these ways, that any bro wants to just saunter in and set up the terms of what is and is not allowable in that conversation. If he cannot hear you unless you speak in a way that is agreeable to him, do not give him the power to change the tone of a conversation. Take the entitlement away. We can set the terms. We should set the terms. Let’s set the terms.
Written by Sara Luckey


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Why They Stay: Battered and Immigrant

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” Quran 30:21

The video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching Janay Palmer, his then girlfriend and now wife, has practically been on loop for the past few days. It is a horrifying clip, one that I accidentally saw on some sports network my husband was watching.  The image of her limp body won’t leave me and is a reminder that no amount of money, fame, status, publicity can protect a victim from an abuser. The conversation on domestic violence and violence against women has taken center stage temporarily, and for me has brought back memories of my many female immigration clients who lived with much fear, and little hope, on a daily basis.
In the course of my legal practice, I’ve represented dozens of abused immigrant women, but one stood out in particular. She was in her late 30’s but looked a decade older. Her hair was thinning, her glasses smudged, her face tired. Very very tired. Her six year old daugher clutched her hand the entire time and the lady who drove her to my office sat in a corner, checking her watch every few minutes.
Her story was like many I’ve heard. She was married in Pakistan a decade earlier to a Pakistani-American who flew in for the wedding their families had arranged, and promptly returned to the U.S. He sponsored her immigration and almost a year later, when she received her visa, she flew to America by herself to be with her husband. She arrived in the country without a single blood relation here, not knowing the language, and entirely at her husband’s mercy.
They had a daughter a few years later, and shortly thereafter he disappeared. He abandoned her and the baby without a word, not leaving behind a number, a car, or any money. She managed to stay in their apartment until evicted and ended up being taken in by a woman in the local Muslim community.  She had no social security card, no drivers license, no passport. Her husband had taken it all, and in the years they were together had kept the papers from her.
After close to a year of working odd jobs on cash without any proof of her status, without the means to hire an attorney, without the knowledge that free legal assistance could be retained, she knew she was stuck. Her family told her not to come back, she couldn’t afford to get her own place, and she couldn’t stay indefinitely at a strangers.  She had been approached by an older divorced Pakistani man who was willing to marry her, care for her daughter, help her get a legal divorce, and adjust her immigration status.  He was well-settled, had a good job, and owned a house. His grown kids no longer lived with him. It was an offer she could not refuse because it was the only offer she had. 
In the years that followed her young daughter witnessed her mother being abused in every way possible. It became routine for her new husband, when angered, to pull her down the stairs of the basement by her ankles. She described how her head would hit every step on the way down. Sometimes he would drag up her up the same way. Sometimes he kept her locked down there for days. Sometimes she lost consciousness, and she often suffered headaches and eye problems. He never touched the child, but he made her watch as her mother bled, bruised, and begged. She still did not have a drivers license, was not allowed to work, and did not know her immigration status.
She was allowed to go to the mosque and there some women took notice of her condition. On the evening she came to me, she was supposed to be at a women’s Quran study group but had been smuggled out for the hour to come speak to me. In this way, over the course of months, we met a number of times and I gathered enough information to file a FOIA and eventually adjust her immigration status.  But during these months I urged her again and again to leave him or to report him to the police. To put away money from the grocery spending, to have an emergency plan in place, to get out before he killed her, to call the police the next time he knocked her off her feet and dragged her into the basement.  She simply could not. She wanted her greencard so she could be sure that she was not deported and separated from her daughter, as he often threatened her, but otherwise she was not going to leave him. I remember being incredibly frustrated, angry that she wouldn’t listen to me, I remember thinking I should report him, I remember looking at her daughter and wondering how it was destroying her, and then I remembered how I also, years earlier, did not leave my abuser.
For the past two days the hashtag #WhyIStayed has been trending as women take to Twitter to explain how difficult it was for them to leave an abusive relationship. For immigrant women there are additional barriers.  These are some of the reasons abused immigrant women stay:
  • No way to learn about available resources because of poor English language skills and no access or proficiency with computers
  • Fear of being deported and separated from children, a common threat abusers use, and one that prevents reporting of violence to police
  • No financial resources
  • No transportation
  • No relatives in the U.S.
  • Cultural stigmas of being a divorcee
  • Family rejection and unable to return to home country
  • Religious leaders telling them to be patient, pray, be better wives
  • Internalizing the idea that mothers sacrifice for the sake of their children
  • Believing that it’s a man’s right to discipline his wife, or that it’s just how men act
  • Manipulation and threats of retribution if she leaves
I am certainly missing many other reasons women stay with their abusers, but these are just a few I’ve heard from women over the years. In the same time, and at fairly progressive masaajid, I’ve requested khutbahs on the topic, requested DV workshops, requested resources be made available in the women’s restrooms or women’s worship areas, but was usually rebuffed.  I’ve been told more than once it’s not a topic relevant to the community, or that the Imam did not want to embarrass the brothers at Jummah.
It’s obvious that women’s needs are low on the priority lists of many masaajid, but it doesn’t mean that women cannot become resources quietly for each other. This client was identified and assisted with the help of women who were self-organizing to study Quran, who knew going to the Imam was useless, and who took matters into their own hands despite having no expertise on the issue.
All these years later I don’t know what became of her. She was fearful to keep in touch, and I respected her wishes. She did get her greencard, which she made copies of and gave the original for safekeeping to a community member. But whether her personal situation changed, whether she left, whether she is still being abused today, or whether she is even alive, I don’t know.  What I do know is this: even as advocacy on the issue continues, we cannot wait for society and men in charge of our communities to believe this issue is important and hold abusers accountable. We have to be our sister’s keepers.
*AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Many times I toyed with the idea of reporting my client’s abusers myself. But without their permission, I simply couldn’t. Because I knew that I could not guarantee that if the police investigated, and found the victim or the abuser to be undocumented, that they would not be reported to ICE – which could lead to arrest and removal proceedings. Is it a problem that victims are not protected from immigration consequences? Yes it is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What Do Women Want?

It's sad to still ask such question in such time ..but that's the reality.

The sad reality is that we -women in Arab countries- live the same life with just a bit of a different range of freedom. But we are all still bound to society, the concept of shame and honor, the men of the family and the sad idea that we are all just "women" in the eyes of everyone around us which basically means we can't be anything or go any further than what's been drawn to us.

The whole concept of what a woman wants need to be change in this area,and probably a wider area, because you can't limit a woman to want, be, have, desire and dream of only being a wife and then everything else -from a few selection men has drawn for her-.

A woman may not dream big, but she should be allowed to have such small dreams.
A women may wish to be just a wife, but she shouldn't bound the rest of us to dream only like her.

The saddest part is that no one can understand or even try to understand that a woman has the right to be, to live, to enjoy her life, to dream big or small without necessarily being a wife and a mother, or anything else than just a human being.
A woman can and is being able to be great without the restrictions of being a Mrs. and a mom.

A woman's worth can not and shall not be judged by her ability to be the wife of someone and the mother of another. 

I have simple dreams, but will I ever achieve them without being a wife and a mom !!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Loans


Dear friend,
I started a Kiva campaign to help people around the world grow businesses and support their families. Will you help me reach my goal of $1050.00? A Kiva campaign is unique because I'm raising funds for loans, not donations. If you generously contribute, when the loan is repaid that money is yours to keep or relend again. How cool!

I hope you'll join me – your $25 loan can help change a life: http://www.kiva.org/l/wafa7578/My-Birthday-Campaign-

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Attention Seeking

I am torn between seeking attention and wanting to be alone..completely alone.

A beautiful article so we can understand one human need in the simplest way

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This column will change your life: we mustn't ignore attention-seekers

By: 

According to a new Canadian study, it's more emotionally damaging to be ignored in the workplace than bullied. This finding raised some eyebrows: after all, bullying's an overtly hostile act, whereas we're taught from childhood that turning a blind eye to those we can't stand is the civilised thing to do. For a simple explanation of this seemingly odd result, I refer you to the path-breaking psychologist Oscar Wilde: "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Workplace bullying can be awful, but it does have one rather cheerless payoff: at least you can be certain that people think you're worth bullying. The ignored person (ignoree?) lacks even that chilly solace. I've often wondered why would-be standup comedians subject themselves to hecklers at open-mic nights, but perhaps that's the reason. Nobody would choose an audience of drunken hecklers; on the other hand: an audience!
One person that study wouldn't have surprised is Idries Shah, the Indian-born philosopher who died in 1996. Beneath almost everything humans do, he argued, lay an unacknowledged motive: the "attention-factor". The theory is, we need attention almost as desperately as food and warmth, but don't realise it, so we fail to understand that many everyday encounters "are in fact disguised attention-situations". In a business negotiation, you might think your only motive is to win; in an argument with a spouse, you might believe your primary goal is to get the other person to change. Yet in both cases you might really be motivated by trying to satisfy your unmet need for attention.
Crucially, "attention may be 'hostile' or 'friendly' and still fulfil the appetite for attention". A bad-tempered fight between friends is still a form of engagement: in the very act of fighting, each is acknowledging that the other matters. Since Shah's death, research has backed him up: neuroscience suggests that social isolation affects the brain similarly to physical pain, while ostracism has been identified as a key factor in some of the bloodiest US school shootings. Are mass murders sometimes a horrifyingly destructive attempt to remind the world the murderer exists?
Our failure to understand our need for attention routinely lands us in trouble, Shah believed, because it leaves us at the mercy of anyone, however unpleasant, who's willing to bestow some. When people feel ignored, a political leader who makes them feel acknowledged will acquire their support, even if he's an egomaniacal tyrant with no plans to improve their lives. A controlling or otherwise abusive partner will doubtless pay you plenty of attention, even as he or she destroys you. Worse, you'll be predisposed to believe it when you're told it's for your own good: when people lack the attention they require, Shah wrote, "they are vulnerable to the message which too often accompanies the exercise of attention towards them".
We think of "attention-seeking" as a character flaw. Start to see it instead as a universal need – met in healthy or unhealthy ways – and all sorts of things fall into place: celebrity meltdowns and internet trolling, but also many of your partner's or your colleagues' otherwise inexplicable quirks. (Or your own.) Life is an open-mic night, and we're all just trying to get noticed.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Good Read ( July 7, 2014 )

If We Don't Tie Her, She Runs Away

In Pictures: India's missing children

Meet the Man Who Rescues Child Soldiers

Hamid, the One Who Captured His Heart

African migrants in Qatar, victims of recruitment fraud and racial prejudice 

Majority of Nepal migrant deaths 'should be treated as murder'

No ‘Right to be Forgotten’ For Kuwait’s Maids

To Be Raped or to Become a Prostitute

Pakistan's Transgender Community Is Hiding Out in a Hostile City

Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave

Egypt’s secret prison: ‘disappeared’ face torture in Azouli military jail

Amid the Atrocities: William Daniels Returns to Central African Republic

India's farmer suicides: are deaths linked to GM cotton? – in pictures

10 Facts About The Arab Enslavement Of Black People Not Taught In Schools

10 things we didn’t know before Snowden

25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre

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72 Incredible Elephant Facts That Will Make You Want To Save Them

30 Shocking Animal Ad Campaigns That Will Make You Rethink Your Lifestyle

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10 WAYS WE BODY SHAME WITHOUT REALIZING IT:

20 Things to Stop Letting People Do to You

40 Little Ways to Find Happiness in What You Already Have

20 Tiny Thoughts Crushing Your Biggest Dreams

20 Questions that Will Free Your Mind from Negativity

10 Forgotten Truths to Help You Get Through Hard Times

16 Things Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do

20 Hard Things You Need to Do to Be Happy

15 Toxic Thoughts You Need to Drop For a Better Life

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يوميات التعذيب يونيو 2013 - مايو 2014.pdf

 حساب كويتي على الانستغرام يلاحق العمالة الهاربة

حميد الذي التقط قلبه

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an old -2010-but important video
Akhdam women tell their stories of violence, injustice & poverty in Yemen

Saturday, July 5, 2014

In Another Four Years

On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, I wrote this post (In Four Years)  when the previous World Cup was over.

and these were my goals to achieve in four years, and I achieved none.

 1-  To finish paying my debts to the bank.

2- To have -or close to- have a house. 

3- To have a better sense of accomplishment in my job. Or maybe find a better job or do something that I love. 

4-To control my diabetes. 

5- To love myself more. 

6- To learn a language or two -mostly French and Spanish- by then. 

7-To attend the world cup in Brazil. i have always wanted to go to Brazil and to attend the world cup, so two birds in one stone !!!

8- Be in a better place -financially , physically, emotionally and place wise-. 
 
 
The world cup isn't over yet, and I am not watching for human rights issues. The funny thing is that I will be finishing #1&2 closer to the next world cup, unless a miracle happens. And number 7 isn't a dream at all whether it's in Brazil or any other country. 
 
 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

World Refugges

Refugees are YOU minus the house, food, security and comfort.

There are 16.7 million refugees, 1.2 million asylum seekers and 33.3 million “internally displaced persons” – people who had to flee their homes, but remain within a country-  according to figures released by UNHCR (Source)

 "Half the world’s refugees are children, many travelling alone or in groups in a desperate quest for sanctuary, and often falling into the clutches of human traffickers" (Source)

An Afghan internally displaced boy hides behind his mother as he looks on in a poor neighbourhood in Kabul on Feb. 23, 2014. (Massoud Hossaini/AP)
 A woman leans against a tree in the world’s biggest refugee complex on August 23, 2009 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


 
Photographed by Nariman El-Mofty/AP

 An Iraqi child who fled the violence in their home towns eats at a refugee camp near the city of Irbil, northern Iraq, on June 16, 2014. (EPA)






Sources:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Done With Teaching


After seventeen years and a half, since 1997, I am done with teaching. So that's one weight off my shoulder :)

Today I became a vice principal.

I know it's not an easy job but teaching and I aren't friends. It's not students whom I can't deal with, they are actually very sad to see me leaving, it's just being  a teacher is getting worse every year. And I am not sad to be done with it at all.

The best part is that I am going to be a vice principal at the same school I am teaching in now. I won't be the only one, usually we have more than one vice principal, so it will be interesting seeing who am I going to work with.
I already know the principal , who is glad that I will be working there and I feel the same, and that's another weight off my shoulder :)