Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sad News Tempered by Small Victories for Women

Good News: Zainab Fornah (originally refused asylum in 2003, based on her fear of being subjected to female genital mutilation if she were to return to Sierra Leone, a country where women have few rights) was finally granted asylum in Britain.

Sad: The Information Minister of Sierra Leone, Septimus Kaikai, expressed his disapproval, claiming what Fornah was doing was an example of a "deliberate and conscious and premeditated attempt by individuals to malign and besmear the reputation, integrity and character of a government and its people."

I guess having your clitoris brutally and painfully cut off is nothing compared to maybe, possibly being subjected to real or imagined, potential, or implied criticism.

Sad: Lebanon would like Israel to comply with the terms of the ceasefire and, please and thank you, to withdraw completely. In other news from the Middle East, mysterious and deadly wounds in people from Gaza might have been caused an experimental weapon, Dime (Dense Inert Metal Explosive), a charge which Israel denies.

A possible victory: it appears there is hope for Sawsan Salameh. Sawsan Salameh is the Palestinian woman who was barred from going to University in Israel for her doctorate in theoretical chemistry, despite receiving a scholarship to the Hebrew University. She is a brave woman from a traditional Arab Muslim society, who hopes to be a role model to other women and young girst. She who took her fight to the supreme court, and was also supported by University officials: "How can we send Israeli students to universities abroad while we act this way when Israeli academics have been boycotted in countries like England and Canada? How can we appeal to those countries if we are doing the exact same thing?"

Also good news: I'm going to this conference this weekend.

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