Kuwaiti women’s right to vote

No to womenI have been following the issue of Kuwaiti women voting rights for a while now and I was shocked to see these pictures (click to enlarge) today on the Kuwait Junior blog (in Arabic). The first one is a bumper sticker with a ballot box and written above is the message "no to women" in Arabic. The second picture (on the right) shows two people looking at an ‘X’ painted over a banner that says "According to Islamic Sharia, women do not have any political rights."

Sharia says no to women
I went to Kuwait two years ago and talked with a Kuwaiti PM who was opposed to the idea of women voting in the elections. He said he felt women did not have a mind of their own, that they would be influenced by the politics of their husbands and in some cases even ordered by their husbands to vote for whomever their spouse endorsed. Outrageous, no?

But what kept me hopeful was speaking with the women activists there. They are really something else. I was very impressed by how well-educated, articulate and passionate these women are. They are
determined to keep fighting for their democratic rights and will not be intimidated by extremists and their hardcore agendas.

So while the hardliners are doing this:

Kuwait’s hardline Islamists, citing foreign interference, have embarked on a counteroffensive in the face of a determined government-led drive to grant disenfranchised women their suffrage. The anti-women rights campaign kicked off late on Tuesday with a public rally hosted by tribal-Islamist lawmaker Daifallah Buramya under the slogan that "based on Islamic Sharia law, women have no political rights."

Buramya vowed to oppose a government-sponsored draft law that would grant women the right to vote and run for public office, citing fatwas, or religious edicts, that prohibit participation of Muslim women in politics.

"Ninety percent of Kuwaiti women reject political rights because they know it is against religion," said the lawmaker who warned MPs of a "big shame" if they approved the bill.

Source: [Middle East Times]

the Kuwaiti women are doing this. Someday their efforts will pay off, someday they will be able to vote. Let’s keep hoping.

Where are the Lebanese blogs?

In light of the political revolution currently taking place in Lebanon, I’m really surprised to discover that the Lebanese blogging scene is extremely mediocre. I have been looking for impressive Lebanese bloggers for some time now but I haven’t found anything worthwhile.

Am I really such a bad researcher or is it possible that the Lebanese blogosphere is practically non-existent? That would be surprising considering that the Lebanese are among the most educated, articulate and techno-savvy in the Arab world (of course, that’s if they consider themselves Arabs).

I would be really happy to be proven wrong. I would love to find a vibrant Lebanese blogging community. Can anyone out there recommend any high-quality Lebanese blogs? You would make my day.

UPDATE: I stand corrected. Many readers drew my attention to a number of good Lebanese blogs. Here are some worth highlighting:

The real heroes

The vote

This is a quick post to
salute the real heroes of Iraq;
the ones who dodged the bullets and bombs to cast their ballots. Hurray for
you! This is real patriotism: to be willing to die to make your country a
better place by participating in its first real elections!

Kudos to you for your courage!

Caption: [An Iraqi woman cries tears of joy after casting her vote outside a polling station in the holy city of Najaf, Jan. 30, 2005. (Faleh Kheiber/Reuters)]