A blog about nothing and about everything

Archive for May, 2010

Female Saudi Lawyers are coming to a court house near you…


This photo appeared in today’s Alwatan newspaper, a Saudi Arabic language newspaper with a headline that translates into: Women defend in courts and Judges think they have stronger argument..Saudi female Lawyers recover their client’s right and outperform men. (http://www.alwatan.com.sa/Local/News_Detail.aspx?ArticleID=1841&CategoryID=5).

On a side note : in the article, a female  lawyer, Bayan Zahran, shared that her first case was in a demotic violence case where the husband was sent to prison ( impressive!!!)

Until this day, female lawyers unofficially practice their profession. however, they are permitted to study law. (hard to believe in view of the photo).

But there is hope! The Saudi Ministry of Justice is promising a new law that would allowed female lawyers to practice their profession… but only within the realm of family law related cases (no criminal or commercial cases… but its a start).   

To learn  more about Saudi female Lawyers,  check out Tala Al-Hejailan’s article  on 08 march 2010 in Arab News: Judicial reforms give hope to lawyers  (http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article27225.ece)


Things to learn from Lisa Simpson’s Love life.


She is a vegetarian, a Buddhist, and an activist, i.e. Human Rights, Tibet, animal cruelty, environment… etc.      

That’s right folks: she is not your regular 8 year old girl and the Simpsons is not really a cartoon for kids.      

 She probably knows what it feels like to be trapped in a body that is not her’s…      

 At times, many I should add, she becomes whiny and self-righteous but her rebellion against social norms is admirable…      

She is a misfit …      

 She knows what it means to have a farfetched dream… She dreams of becoming President of the United States (She does not physically age, so she’s got all the time in the world)      

She is Lisa Simpson….      

Throughout the last 22 years, Lisa has had 7 love interests… A  lot can be learned from her experience….      

1- A girl’s gotta know what’s right for her       

Lisa knows what it’s like to go gaga over a bad boy. (You know it’s wrong but you can’t help yourself.   You believe you see and touch his gentler side but at the end of the day he remains the bad boy.)      

Lisa’s had a thing with Nelson. He is a troubled rebel and a bully, who lives with his alcoholic mother, and his trademark laugh is “Ha ha”. He likes and respects Lisa, but they both know that by doing so he is being untrue to himself… so they separate.      

Lesson learned: 1. sure bad boys add some spice to life but is it really worth it?.… 2. Just because we are attracted to someone, doesn’t mean they are good for us…. 3. Do not try to change anyone.. ITS NOT YOUR JOB…. (note: it could happen even if you don’t intend to.. both falling for the bad boy and trying to change people)      

2- Just because a guy is into you …doesn’t mean you should go for him:      

Millhouse, Bart’s best friend is in love with Lisa, but she doesn’t care much for him… Once he tried to impress her and claimed to care about the environment. As a result, Nelson threatens him and demands he “Say global warming is a myth!” Millhouse does so, and Nelson punches him telling him “That’s for selling out your beliefs.” Lisa almost falls for Millhouse, who is fluent in Italian and is related to Mussolini; only to find out he had a girl on the side.      

Lesson learned: You love who you love… desperation does not work… and a one way love is not enough…       

3- Intense feelings can make you do bad thing.      

Lisa met Luke at the Lazy Ranch where he works. Lisa thought he was in love with another girl and basically good Lisa tried to get rid of her competitor only to find out she was Luke’s sister. Luckily, good Lisa came back and saved the sister.  Luke dumped Lisa when he found out she wanted to drive them apart.      

Lesson learned: 1. Love makes us do stupid, bad and unwanted things…2. being in control is a myth…  3. Never come between a man and his family or friends…/ 3. We ALL do stupid things… GET OVER IT       

4- Sometimes Strangers have the biggest influence on us. Doesn’t mean its destiny      

Colin is an 8 year old Irish boy and the son of a musician and activist. He has denied ties with Bono but it was never confirmed.  They finish each other’s sentences… he fights pollution and Lisa thinks he is her Mcdreamy… He wrote her a “Lisa song”… she had to leave him behind when citizens of Springfield was going after her family. Later they reunite and eat Ice cream… and then he disappeared.      

Lesson learned: there is nothing like a man who dedicates art to you…/ see lesson # 5/ some people enter our lives just to remind us to keep the hope(He was actually pretty charming)       

5- Strangers in the night exchanging glances wandering in the night…  doesn’t quite end like Sinatra predicted.       

Lisa fined herself in the wrong school. There she meets Thelonius. They share a dance and she leaves… she never hears from him again. Personally, I haven’t seen the episode…      

Lessons learned: 1. sometimes the best encounter is between strangers…. Short and sweet… and all we are left with are the memories….2. Life is not as  in the movies or song…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Little did we know… Love was just a glance away… A warm embracing dance away.. it turned out so right for strangers in the night…      

6- Sympathy does not substitute love      

Lisa feels sympathy for Ralph, who did not receive a V day card, so she gives him one. Ralph shows interest in her, but she just finds him annoying… Ralph suffers from severe learning and social disabilities…Being the son of Springfield police Chief, he uses his father’s connection to get what he wants to impress Lisa. He is able to get tickets to the hard to get krusty Show. On live air, Ralph announce his love for Lisa, only she admits that the only reason she is with him is out of pity…the story ends with Lisa giving him a new card suggesting they should be friends. He agrees.      

Lessons learned: 1. Being sympathetic is a good thing…but pity is not/ 2. Don’t toy with people’s emotions for personal gain / 3. Go to the source of power and not his son…      

7- Examine your feelings if you think you like someone you look up to;  such as your teacher.       

Lisa developed a thing for her teacher Mr. Bergstrom. He supports her and encourages But soon enough, she learned the difference between seeing a person as father figure and liking that person…      

Lessons learned: sometimes you need to examine your strong emotions for someone….       


Quotes by L. Simpson      

“Romance is dead – it was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece.”      

“On Nelson: He’s not like anybody I’ve ever met. He’s like a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vest.”.      

“It’s naive to think you can change a person–except maybe that boy who works in the library.”       

“Solitude never hurt anyone. Emily Dickinson lived alone, and she wrote some of the most beautiful poetry the world has ever known… then went crazy as a loon.”.       

and finallly…      

“I am the Lizard Queen!”

Women and the Wait Period. Is it still Applicable today?

Death is  inevitable and divorce happens…

According to Islamic law, when either one happens, the divorced female or widow must observe a wait period, known as Iddah, before she can remarry again.  Reasons for the iddah are to a) ensure there is no pregnancy and thus confusion of lineage, b) Reconciliation period for the couple before the divorce becomes final. Some might add c) to give a woman the proper space to mourn her husband.

The period of the iddah is:

  • A widowed woman has a wait period of 4 months and 10 days.
  • A divorced woman has a wait period of 3 menstrual cycles.
  • The wait period of a pregnant woman, whether widow or divorced, ends with the delivery of the baby.
  • A female who was separated from her husband for a while before the divorce was final does not need to follow the Iddah law yet it is recommended as a cautionary measure.
  • A divorced woman where the marriage was not consummated does not require observing the Iddah.
  • Post menopause women:  have to comply with Iddah. Their wait period is three months.

Iddah Etiquettes:

  1. No makeup or jewelry.
  2. Be very sad and grievy looking. (the color black is the cultural color for mourning)
  3. Do not leave the house unless you absolutely must (some claim work is not necessary enough)  …
  4. Going out for a walk to smell some fresh air is not an excuse to leave the house.
  5. If you must leave the house, be back by night-time. Always spend the night at your house…(3-5 in particular are not supported with religious texts: Quran and Hadeeths.)
  6.  Not looking at the moon or at the mirror are old wives’ tales but most likely practiced by a few. It has been added to the list  for entrainment purposes.

What will the neighbors Say? 

It is worrisome when Muslims use social factors to explain Iddah. Sadly, many religious scholars have added that Iddah is a social formality to ensure the female’s safety from being judged for not looking or feeling sad enough. God forbid a woman fails to show sufficient mourning over her dead husband or greave over a husband who has abused and mistreated her. Why is a man not required to show sufficient greave over his deceased wife  

What others see is more important than how you feel!

Questions? Doubts?

Financial Support: How can a female breadwinner observe iddah when she cannot afford to miss work for 4 months or even during an entire pregnancy? This is no longer relevant to only non-Muslim societies but a reality that is inflected in Arab/ Islamic countries due to today’s modern day demands.

 Iddah and Modern Science: How does Iddah comply with modern science when the latter can confirm, through simple lab tests, the state of pregnancy and thus, invalidating reasons behind the iddah?

Female grieving: Some believe that the widower should feel   “broken and feel sad because of cruel separation…”– as one website described – doesn’t this enforce a certain way of mourning and grieving as well stereotype of gender roles?

Male grieving: When a man shows grieve he becomes a saint!                                                                                                                                                                              While women are forced to show a certain way of mourning, men are exempt from it. Some claim that this is not necessary because men need to be taken care of and their needs fulfilled. Their social responsibility demands from them to go to work and earn end’s meat. Once again, women’s needs have become nonexistent in order to satisfy the social outlook towards a man’s death. Also, this reinforces the claim to reexamine the need for the Iddah in light of financial support.  

Pregnancy! A Miracle? : In view of the reasons behind Iddah it becomes questionable why a post menopause widow should adherent to the wait period.   Chances of a pregnancy would be deemed a miracle and there is no reconciliation to consider. So, perhaps the only valid reason for a wait period would be to give her the time and space to mourn and grieve her husband before she may move on. However, is the griever given the proper tools to move on?  It should be put into consideration that people do not show grieve the same way (see the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross five stages of grieve) and forcing a person to grieve in a specific way will only prolong the grieving time. In addition, the wait period, also becomes a period of isolation. This could be deemed very harmful, both physically and mentally, especially if she lives in an apartment building, where there lacks adequate space for a woman to move around for 4 months .  And again, what is the the  role of  modern science?

It almost seems as though a woman is punished for the death of her husband … or entirely blamed for the divorce…

Suggestion: the purpose of Iddah, and the religious texts covering issues of Iddah need to be examined, along with input from science and feminine views

 Is there a Computer in you?                                                                        While researching the topic, I came across a website that a claim a woman’s uterus is like a computer that stores the code of men she mates with. Each sperm or man carries a unique code. When the computer is infested with many codes, they become virus like and infect the whole computer. This is why all prostitutes will eventually suffer from cervical cancer. (Disturbing thought!!! This analogy is not new and has been used many times against women to prove that women, as oppose to men, cannot be promiscuous by nature.  It also reinforces the idea that cancer as a divine punishment rather than an illness.)