[Published here March 16, 2015]
These are but a few of the names that, according to a daring animated film based on real interviews, Syrian women give to their vaginas. This is the work of Estayqazat, a self-described online Syrian feminist movement focusing on the body, sex and sexuality of Syrian women. With a name that translates to “She has awoken” in Arabic, the group’s goal is ambitious: to inspire a feminist movement in war-ravaged Syria through online videos and testimonies.
[Published here February 18, 2014]
ARSAL, Lebanon — The once sleepy little town of Arsal lies in the far east of the arid Bekaa Valley, along the Lebanese-Syrian border. With its unpaved roads and half-finished stone buildings, Arsal had been a typical dusty and isolated border town, but since the beginning of the uprising in neighboring Syria, it has taken on a much larger role: It is now host to a Syrian refugee population that is more than double the size of the town’s Lebanese residents. Arsal is cracking under the pressure.