“Life Is Very Hard. The Only People Who Really Live Are Those Who Are Harder Than Life Itself.”

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There are hundreds of definitions about ‘Life,’ but none gives me its true meaning, than this quote by author Nawal El Salaawi, “Life is very hard. The only people who really live are those who are harder than life itself.”  But who is this woman?

Nawal El Saadiaw has been pilloried, censored, imprisoned and exiled for her refusal to accept the oppression imposed on women by gender and class.

In her life and in her writings, this struggle against sexual discrimination has always been linked to a struggle against all forms of oppression: religious, racial, colonial and neo-colonial.

In 1969, she published her first work of non-fiction, Women and Sex ; in 1972, her writings and her struggles led to her dismissal from her job.

From then on there was no respite; imprisonment under Sadat in 1981 was the culmination of the long war she had fought for Egyptian women’s social and intellectual freedom. A Daughter of Isis is the autobiography of this extraordinary woman.

Author Nawal El Salaawi

Zero 5Nawal El Saadawi, also spelled Nawāl al-Saʿdāwī   (born Oct. 27, 1931, Kafr Ṭaḥlah, Egypt), Egyptian public health physician, psychiatrist, author, and advocate of women’s rights. Sometimes described as “the Simone de Beauvoir of the Arab world,” El Saadawi was a feminist whose writings and professional career were dedicated to political and sexual rights for women.El Saadawi was educated at Cairo University (M.D., 1955), Columbia University in New York (M.P.H., 1966), and ʿAyn Shams University in Cairo (where she performed psychiatric research in 1972–74). In 1955–65 she worked as a physician at Cairo University and in the Egyptian ministry of health, and in 1966 she became the director-general of the health education department within the ministry.

In 1968 she founded Health magazine, which was shut down by Egyptian authorities several years later, and in 1972 she was expelled from her professional position in the ministry of health because of her book Al-marʾah wa al-jins (1969; Women and Sex), which was condemned by religious and political authorities.

El Saadawi was jailed in September 1981, and during the two months of her imprisonment she wrote Mudhakkirāt fī sijn al-nisāʾ (1984; Memoirs from the Women’s Prison) on a roll of toilet paper using a smuggled cosmetic pencil.

In 1982 El Saadawi founded the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association (AWSA) and later served as editor of the organization’s publication, Al-nūn. In 1991 the government closed down Al-nūn and then, several months later, AWSA itself. Due to her outspoken views, El Saadawi continued to face frequent legal challenges from political and religious opponents, including accusations of apostasy.

In 2002 a legal attempt was made by an Islamist lawyer to forcibly divorce her from her husband, and in May 2008 she won a case that had been brought against her by al-Azhar University, the major centre of Islamic learning, that included charges of apostasy and heresy.

El Saadawi’s novels, short stories, and nonfiction deal chiefly with the status of Arab women, as inMudhakkirāt tabībah (1960; Memoirs of a Woman Doctor), Al-khayt wa al-jidār (1972; The Thread and the Wall), Al-wajh al-ʿarī lī al-marʾah al-arabiyyah (1977; The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World), Al-ḥubb fī zaman al-nafṭ (1993; Love in the Kingdom of Oil), and Al-riwāyah (2004; The Novel).

The oppression of women by men through religion is the underlying theme of El Saadawi’s novel set in a mental institution, Jannāt wa Iblīs (1992; Jannāt and Iblīs). The female protagonists are Jannāt, whose name is the plural of the Arabic word for paradise, and Iblīs, whose name refers to the devil.

http://goo.gl/HrS2nD

Culture Or Religion Should Not Be Used By Man To Impose Duties

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Domination is not part of any true religion: It’s only a cruel and heartless man will be happy to see his wife dressed like that in the scorching sun.

Many writers are inspired by other writers. I get my inspiration by reading the Bible and comments by my readers. The reason many times I make reference to the Gospel. In the beginning, God created everything and gave man dominion over all things, but the greed of man hasn’t only brought hardships, sin, and rebellion in this word but also domination and crime.

In many parts of the world, women can’t have education, they can’t wear trousers, they can’t work, they can’t drive and they have to cover themselves from head to toe. Why, because religion says so? If women are to stay at home without education, who are going to be the doctors, engineers, and pilots after all the men have been killed in war?

“A woman is a flower in the middle of the garden and the man is the fence around it.” This is one of the African proverbs indicating how precious a woman is. Unfortunately, it is now the opposite. Women now sit outside the fence without any protection, suffering all kinds of tragedies, including rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and domination.

The greed of man is so enormous that it has no boundary, shifting to religion. Many Muslim men marry girls underage and they think it’s okay. How can a forty-five-year-old man marry a thirteen or fourteen-year-old girl? This is a crime. Such person should be thrown into jail for the rest of his life because he has slept with a girl who can be his daughter. They force to marry and when the woman says no, they throw acid on her face.

When Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, especially in Helmand Province, women have to cover their entire body. They are caned and stoned in public as if the executioners have never committed any sin from childbirth. On October 29, 2015, I wrote an article discouraging ‘Female Circumcision’ because it’s barbarism and cruelty against women. I received only two comments on this article but one of them touched me to share this article.

I quote “Any culture or religion should not be used by man to impose duties, discriminating, disparities and unfounded, but to protect the creatures, to give them serenity and comfort in suffering, indicate paths of joy, respecting the nature of corporeal living, always in agreement with this nature,” says erospea.wordpress.com , a lady hosting an Italian blog.

We have been told and heard many times that Islam is a religion of peace, but some people have shown us the cruelty and oppressive nature of Islam against women and beheading of Christians. Imagine in an Islamic country, which women are not allowed to mingle with men or work, so the shops have been taken over by men that sell women underwear and bra. The male shop assistant stares at the woman finding the right size of bra. What a world of hypocrisy?

Religion doesn’t mean oppression. If the Bible or Koran demands women to be submissive to their husbands doesn’t mean that women are deemed to be inferior to men or should be oppressed. The Koran says “There is no salvation for a man or a nation who allows women to rule over them.” I don’t think so. Men have dominated man to his injury, they should, therefore, give women the chance to heal the world.

FEMALE CIRCUMCISION: Barbarism And Cruelty Against Young Girls

 

Female circumcision should be abolished

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation involves the cutting of the clitoris of young girls before getting married. This savage and barbarous acts are dominant in Islamic countries.

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation involves the cutting of the clitoris of young girls before getting married. This savage and barbarous acts are dominant in Islamic countries.

The Bible speaks about circumcision, but only for a male child. “And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.” Genesis 21:4 indicates that. To this day, many Christians around the world circumcised male children, but there is nowhere written in the Bible that female should be circumcised.

The question is ‘Where does female circumcision come from and what’s the significance behind this practice which has caused a health hazard to thousands of girls in countries mostly practiced? Every religion has its dos and doesn’t or built on certain principles but at times some principles or traditions followed by ancestors are meaningless. Female circumcision is one of them.

The idea behind this barbarous act is to “help” the woman to be faithful and stay with only her husband. It’s forbidden for a woman to marry two men or sleep with another man if married. That is the case, but nothing wrong for a man to marry ten women? This is greed than law or principle governing a religion.

Oppression and discrimination against women continue in many parts of the world, including Africa and Asia. Many women have become subject to all kinds of horrible situations, ranging from rape, sexual harassment, physical battering, acid attacks to psychological abuse. Unfortunately, female circumcision is now a threat. Non-sterilized dangerous implements are used daily to mutilate the genitals of women without ceasing, despite all the efforts by some organizations to stop this cruelty.

Scientifically and biologically, the isn’t any medical record indicating that male circumcision poses a health hazard, but hundreds medical reports confirming that female circumcision is a health hazard. This act has no significant health benefits for girls or women, instead, causes severe bleeding and injury to female genital organs. Many women, who have had severe complications after circumcision, end up in wheelchairs, crippled or barren. This cruelty also steals away their feeling and orgasm.

It is estimated that about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with disastrous effects of female circumcision. Horrific procedures have severely traumatized and psychologically affected thousands of women. Female circumcision is practiced in 26 countries across Africa. In the Republic of Sierra Leone, an ethnic group called “The Bondo Society” still carries this outdated tradition. Gambia launched a three-year program aimed to abolish Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The project captioned “Eradication harmful traditional practices through rights education” started from to 2010 to 2012. It will be very wise on health grounds when other countries practicing this inhuman act follow. FMG is a crime. The World Health Organization is against it. The world should, therefore, fight against this wicked act. It’s totally inhuman. Cases of female circumcision should be considered as a crime against women.

 

Female circumcision is a crime

A victim of the female circumcision who wants to prevent others from suffering

Street Children: Is Bringing Up A Child Tougher Than Child Delivery?

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It is only a woman that can tell the pain she goes through during child delivery. Some women take rings off from finger to throw at husbands, because of the pain they go through during childbirth. After delivery, they take back the ring and put on the finger again. Giving birth to a child isn’t easy, yet there are so many motherless and fatherless children roaming the streets, especially in Third World Countries, including Africa.

If one does not really need a child, why should parents bring them into the world to suffer? Training and caring for children, in terms of feeding, clothing, education and health care, have never been a simple task. It is better for parents to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than to give birth to a child to become a menace to society. How can a child learn how to read when he or she is far from the classroom?

An Eastern University in America conducted a study on the impact made on children by various forces in the society. The study revealed that 31 percent of the influence on a child was attributed to his years, 16 percent came from his school and other organizations. While 53 percent of the impact on his life came from his home.

The duty of bringing up a child is surely the toughest task in the world and quite frankly, it takes knowledge and wisdom to raise up a child. The inability of parents to take proper care of their children has caused many children roaming the streets. The neglected children sometimes grow up to be juvenile criminals and delinquents.

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One of the roots to lack of reading in Africa is child labor

Parents that did not get the opportunity to be educated, may feel education is a waste of time, and therefore the child should be engaged in parents trade. In Africa and Asia, hundreds of children are said to be under bondage, working as slaves to defray the debts of their parents. Under some hardships, children are even forced to sell part of their body parts, such as kidney, to raise money for their parents.

In Brazil, children are sprayed by bullets, for the government to come and carry the dead youths from the street to reduce the child menace population. Is this a logical way to help a country to reduce street-child explosion? It shouldn’t be a sort of embarrassment to Africans when someone says that “The reading standard in Africa is poor.” It should rather be a challenge to us to remove that illiteracy affecting the growing children.

When children are thought how to read from the initial stages, they become interested in books. However poor a child’s reading ability is, his interest in reading would improve his knowledge. Things go wrong for children these days like people don’t know their value in this world. The world must help together with the United Nations to alleviate them from slavery, poverty, and oppression, for they are assets to national development.

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Another problem which has triggered lack of reading among children in Africa is ‘Child Soldier.’

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: A Servant Of God Or Politician?

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Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu is South Africa’s most popular religious leader, who witnessed the atrocities, massacre, oppression, and killings of South Africans, in the apartheid era, by the white minority government of South Africa. To the oppressed South Africans, Tutu was a “messiah” but to the white minority, he was a “devil,” since his aim is to fight against apartheid and bring a change in his beloved South Africa.

It was this objective which placed him in a center of a political storm. He is viewed by a section of the public to belong to the pulpit, rather than politics. Born October 7th, 1931, in Klerksdorp (Transvaal) in South Africa, to a schoolmaster called Zachariah and a poor woman called Aletha Matlehare, who washed clothes for a white family. Tutu married a lady by name Leah Nomalizo and had four children with her. In the midst of political hatred, he rose from the scum society, defied all odds and emerged as a unique man of God.

Desmond Tutu believes that as a man of God, he has a duty to perform, even if that will lead him to death. Through his lifetime, he condemned apartheid and spoke strongly against politicians, who were opposing his dream of liberating the oppressed South Africans to be a reality. As a minister of God, he is considered to and expected to stick to religion and leave the realms of politics to politicians. But this is something he wasn’t prepared to do.

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Barack Obama and Desmond Tutu

It was his condemnation against the evils of apartheid, which has led some come to the conclusion that Tutu is a political priest, a subversive rather than a man of peace. As a matter of fact, there is no way a true priest, or man of God, can sit without care, looking at the killings of innocent people and children, without any intervention. It is against this background that one has to understand that Tutu is not a politician, even though his actions and public utterances have direct political implications.

In the field of Christianity, many are those who are known to be God servants. In Europe and America, how many priests have taken the trouble of visiting war affected victims or victims of natural disasters apart from Reverend Jesse Jackson and Desmond Tutu in Africa? The 83-year-old Truth and Reconciliation Commission chairman and Nobel peace laureate have travelled extensively to any part of the world including Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

In 1984, he visited Nairobi-Kenya and gave a keynote address on human rights and apartheid. He received an emotional welcome when he visited Kigali-Rwanda, a country torn apart by mass and brutal killings between Tutsis and Hutus. He has visited Ghana, many times. But his visit again in 1994, to the Holy Trinity Cathedral Church in Accra, was another significant day in the history of Ghana. Not even a president has such admirers. As if the mighty God, has come down to earth in the likelihood of a man, Tutu’s presence was felt by everyone.

Despite his concern for suffering people and his ability to solve disputes, when he received his Noble Peace in Oslo-Norway in 1984, while Africans generally were glad for his recognition of his good works, a section of the media greeted his prize with derision and was scorned by the white administration.

God took the whole human life seriously and sent his servants to help mankind. It is this Godly work of solving conflicts, helping the poor and helpless victims, attending conferences and preaching that Tutu stands for. In this way, Tutu is seen as another Moses, not of the old testament but of the new in Africa generally.

No Easy Walk To Freedom

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” – Nelson Mandela.

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The book that inspired the major new motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.
        Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.
       LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history’s greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life–an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.

The Author

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Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on 18 July 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948 before being arrested in August 1962.

In November 1962 he was sentenced to five years in prison and started serving his sentence at Robben Island Prison in 1963 before being returned to Pretoria, where he was to later stand in the Rivonia Trial. From 1964 to 1982, he was again incarcerated at Robben Island Prison and then later moved to Pollsmoor Prison, during which his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to the anti-apartheid movement grew steadily.

Released from prison in 1990, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestsellers Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself.

© Nelson R. Mandela and the Nelson Mandela Foundation / PQ Blackwell Ltd

http://www.amazon.com/Long-Walk-Freedom-Autobiography-Mandela/dp/0316548189/