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Qasim Amin an Egyptian lawyer and judge who is considered the "father of Arab feminism" wrote "The evidence of history confirms and demonstrates that is the status of women is inseparably are to the status of the nation."(1). The Middle East is not the only place in the world where women are relegated to the status of second class citizens in politics, business, domestic violence, education, marriage, and divorce.
A woman is the Middle East are suffering more than in other parts of the world there is great injustice towards women in the Middle East. The Koran respective holy text considers women to be inferior to men, physically, morally and intellectually. Islamizations programs in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, and Afghanistan. Some others have led to serious violations of the human rights of women. They have refused to recognize women as full, equal human beings who deserve the same rights and freedoms of men.
Women in a lot of Islamic societies are expected to marry, bring up children, stay at the home, obey their husbands, and avoid participation in the public. They are denied the right to free choice and some of the rights of automany, forbidden to receive an education or getting a job, basically from being a full member of society. When the Islamic republic brought many negative changes to women rights and personal freedoms.
Compulsory Veiling, sex segregation and discrimination in penal and civil codes such as Penal code 630 that is practiced in the Islamic Republic Article, allows a man to murder his wife and her lover if he catches then having consensual sex. If the wife is being raped he may only kill the man. A married man is legally allowed to engage in affairs under the guise or sighen (temporary marriage) as much as he wishes where a married can be stoned to death or murdered in an "honor killing" for being in a relationship in the same fashion. Such double standards show that women are considered as nothing.
Women must cover their heads and body it is mandatory under Article 638, the law does not say in detail what should not show. Women have been punished for showing parts of their hair, wearing makeup, wearing a tight or short gown, showing skin above the wrist or ankle, showing the neckline or wearing sunglasses. Women have been stopped, verbally abused, physically attacked and arrested for not following those simple but unjust laws. Men control so much in the Middle East they control women's/girls education options and their right to work. A husband can go to court and legally prevent his wife from working outside the house if he can prove that the court that her occupation is incompatible with the reputation and well being of the family. There was an incident in 2002, where fifteen girls were forbidden from leaving a burning school house because their heads were not properly veiled which resulted in their deaths. Such rules need to have alternatives so some human lives can be saved.
There are more cases of "honor killing" than can be documented. Girls/women are viciously attacked and killed for the sole purpose of upholding a reputation of the family. In Esaifah, Jordan a sixteen year old boy, killed his sister for disgracing his family by cheating on her husband and marrying the man she cheated with. After she was killed her eighteen year old sister said "now we can walk with our heads held high". A Cairo tile maker named Marzouk Abdel Rahim stabbed and killed his twenty-five year old daughter in her boyfriend's house and chopped her head off. After spending two months in jail he was asked about what he had did he said "honor is more precious than my own flesh and bone."
It has come to the point now where this type of killing are accepted and now the method has changed. So many different forms have come in to play, any way to torture women and inflict pain and suffering is key. The new weapon of choice is Acid Mutilation, Sulfic Acid to be exact. Women have had this thrown on them for very simple things such as saying no to a marriage proposal, fighting over property, domestic fights, and dowry disputes.
The killing of women and girls by family members for honor has been fought against in the Arab world, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Egypt. Groups of activist are popping up and are fighting against such tragedies.
It is not an age thing for this struggle woman old and young as well as girls are all subject to the same rules. It is "religious" decree that if a woman is in prison and she is a virgin. She must as a rule be raped before she is to be executed so one of the guards the night before she is to die would rape her. Than after she is than murdered a religious judge will send a marriage certificate to the family with sweets, sometimes it is delivered by the guard that raped her.
The stoning of women has become one of the most hannes ways for women to be subject to a slow and painful death. Article 104 of the law of Hodoud says that a stone should not be so large that a person dies after one or two hits, nor shall they be so small that they are defined as a pebble. They must cause great injury. It does not matter the age child, teenager, adult or the old even pregnant women are subject to stoning.
There have been a lot of incidents of women being stoned to death. Ex: October 4, 1986 a 25 year old woman was stoned in the city of Qom she died after an hour of continuous stoning. In the same month, same city a women who was being stoned managed to pull herself out the hole (she was buried up to her neck) was forced back in and killed, despite the fact that the law states that if person man or woman is able to free themselves from the hole they are in they are free to go.
Girls are suffering a lot more in the Middle East. A girl child can be bought or sold with the consent of her male guardian.(2) Civil Code Article 1041 provides that "Marriage before puberty is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed." It has become normal to sell or force very young girls to marry much older husbands, giving rise to all sorts of social ills. Summer 1991: "An eleven-year-old girl was married off to a twenty seven-year-old man. The father received $300 for his consent. The day after the wedding, the girl was taken to hospital suffering from severe lacerations to her genitals." On December 15, 1991, due to extreme poverty and the absence of the most basic facilities, the deprived people of northern Khorassan sell their young girls for up to 100,000 rials ($33). The men, who are mostly from Gonabad, northeast Iran, take the girls away and put them to work on farms and in workshops. In the province of Sistan/Balouchestan, girls eight to ten years old are sold by their addicted parents for 12,000 rials ($4). September 2, 1992, on a sudden surge in suicide among women states that girls as young as ten, instead of spending their days playing with other children, were being forced to marry men three to four times their age.(3) They are killing themselves at rapid rates, It is a religious reason on why they marry the young, but it also explains why the consider women are nothing but pawns to be controlled.
The Middle East culture is not all bad, t have been making changes to make it more friendly towards women. It may not be moving as fast as we would hope but it is moving. I also want to take about their culture it is very rich, from the level of respect that is giving to there family to the food, clothing as well as the relgion. I have always been the type to see the good and bad in almost everthing so I feel like it may be time to see the good.
Middle Eastern cusine is rich in flavor and aroma, what is mostly used is Lamb, Chicken, and Beef, Pork and alchol are forbidden. Middle easgtern food has found its way into the states I think it may be safe to assume almost everyone has heard of or has eaten a Kabob, seen pita bread in the store. The newst fad has become Hummus( Chickepeas or Garbazo bean made into a paste). My personal favorites are Labneh(strained yogurt) with pita bread or meat, and Tabouleh which is a salad made from fresh cucumbers, oinion, tomatos, olive oil and spices. It has become a part of American culture to eat other cultures food.
The most beautiful thing I can think of is a Middle Eastern Marriage ceremony (between consenting adults that know each other) . it is done with so much much respect and tradition. When it comes to the bride and groom signing the marriage certificate it is done sepeartate the wife signs it and than the husband signs it in the persense of the brides father. The bride than has a Henna party which is when she gets her feet and hands painted with henna to avoid evil spirits. Traditional she will wear a green dress when this is done. As far as an actually ceremony where they exchange vows, that is not done. What happens is the women is dressed in elaborate jewelry, and dress and veiled until her new huisband comes to un viel her. After that they have a wedding reception in which both family attend and each member(guest) is giving five pieces of Almond , this is the newly married couples gift to them to represent Longievty, fertility, health, happiness and wealth. .
Through all my research I have a new found respect for the Middle Eastern culture, eventhough I may not understand some of there rules and punshiments. I understand more of the reasoning behind it, right or wrong it is not my place to judge. Some people may not see the way I live my life as being correct. I just hope that one day the women in the Middle East will have more rights and respect to make everyone happy and make it seem like they are The creators of new life and should be treated as such.
http:// meria.idc.ac:il/journal/2006/issue 2/jv1ro2a2.html