[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 May 15, 2014]
Driving licenses, university diplomas, and votes: everything’s for sale, even your rights. Such is the motto of Dekkenet al-Balad, which translates to “Country Store,” the newly opened storefront on Beirut’s Gemmayze Street. Neatly stacked throughout the small shop are buckets full of forged Lebanese ID cards, binders labeled “List of government positions for Maronites only,” and stacks of counterfeit Lebanese government paperwork. A young employee hurriedly sifts through a cardboard box to find a customer precisely the document she needs – for a fee, of course.
[Published here on August 19, 2013]
In a tiny town snuggled about halfway between Nabatiyeh and Bint Jbeil, politics, tradition, and finances take their toll on a local NGO. The Association for a Better Society (ABS), based in the largely pro-Amal town of Souaneh, has plans to renovate a park, host inter-sectarian dialogue sessions, and increase the size of their multilingual library.