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Women in Arab Spring: revolution (between public/private divide)
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Women in Arab Spring: revolution (between public/private divide)

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My presentation about Women in Arab Spring, social media and public/private divide. CEU, 2013

My presentation about Women in Arab Spring, social media and public/private divide. CEU, 2013

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  • The Arab Spring - a revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and civil wars occurring in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010. To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen; civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan; and minor protests have occurred in Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara.
  • http://www.tahrirdiaries.org/http://harassmap.org/en/


  • 1. + Women in Arab Spring: revolution (between public/private divide) Shushan Harutyunyan Central European University March 2013
  • 2. + What’s the symbol of the Arab Spring? Long lasting protests?  Clockwise from top left:  Protesters in Tahrir Square inCairo;  Demonstrators marching through Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis;  Political dissidents in Sanaa;  Protesters gathering in Pearl  Roundabout in Manama;  Mass demonstration in Douma;  Demonstrators in Bayda.
  • 3. + What’s the symbol of the Arab Spring? Social Media? “Instead, that defining image is this: a young woman or a young man with a smartphone. Shes in the Medina in Tunis with a BlackBerry held aloft, taking a picture of a demonstration outside the prime ministers house”- Guardian “Egypt’s Jamal Ibrahim has named his newborn daughter Facebook Jamal Ibrahim, a tribute to the central role the social network played in helping organize the demonstrations leading to Hosni Mubarak resigning from the presidency he’d held for 30 years”
  • 4. + What’s the symbol of the Arab Spring? Women? Or may be women and social media?
  • 5. + What’s the symbol of the Arab Spring? May be this 2 particular woman? Both 20 year old Egyptians Participants and activists of Arab spring
  • 6. + Story N1- Egyptian blogger Aliaa Elmahdy: “Why I posed naked” The hashtag #nudePhotoRevolutionary. The tweet was viewed over a million times, while Elmahdys followers jumped from a few hundred to more than 14,000  “I took my nude photo myself in my parents’ home. The yellow rectangles on my eyes, mouth and sex organ resemble the censoring of our knowledge, expression and sexuality.
  • 7. Story N1- Salwa Hosseini, a 20-year-old hairdresser:+ She and the 16 other female prisoners were taken to a military detention center in Heikstep. A senior Egyptian general admits that "virginity checks" were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.  "The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," the general said. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs)”.  "We didnt want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they werent virgins in the first place," the general said. "None of them were (virgins).“(CNN Report)
  • 8. + Women in Egypt after the revolution Pushing women back to private space  Rhetoric about returning to Islamic law, which could result in a regression of rights for women and girls similar to what we experienced in Iran in 1979.  Massive Street Harassments of women  149 people detained after the March 9 protest were subsequently tried in military courts, and most have been sentenced to a year in prison.
  • 9. + Icons of Arab spring?! The act of liberation and emancipation: recognition of the simple act of reclaiming own body, and understanding the need for the “other” to own her body To mention - women’s bodies are a fixed symbol of possession in Arab word, where everything else is negotiable: economy, social justice, election, and constitutions
  • 10. + Sources 1  The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/25/twitter-facebook-uprisings-arab-libya  Egyptian Baby Girl Named Facebook After Revolution http://www.allfacebook.com/egyptian-baby-girl-named-facebook-after-revolution- 2011-02  So, Was Facebook Responsible for the Arab Spring After All? http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/09/so-was-facebook-responsible- for-the-arab-spring-after-all/244314/  We cannot fail the women of Arab Spring http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/03/opinion/pelosi-women-africa-democracy/index.html  A Warning for Women of the Arab Spring http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203370604577265840773370720.ht ml
  • 11. + Sources 2 Egyptian blogger Aliaa Elmahdy: Why I posed naked http://articles.cnn.com/2011-11- 19/middleeast/world_meast_nude-blogger-aliaa-magda-elmahdy_1_egyptian-blogger-nude-photo- kareem-amer?_s=PM:MIDDLEEAST Who Is Afraid of Alia’s Nudity? http://www.sawtalniswa.com/2011/11/who-is-afraid-of-alias-nudity/ Egypts naked blogger is a bomb aimed at the patriarchs in our minds http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/18/egypt-naked-blogger-aliaa-mahdy Egypt Shocked After Female Dissident Blogger Posts Nude Photos http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/11/17/egypt-shocked-after-female-dissident-blogger- posts-nude-photos.html These virginity tests will spark Egypts next revolution http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/02/egypt-next-revolution-virginity-tests Womens rights must not be forgotten in Arab revolutions http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/the- womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2011/jun/01/womens-rights-arab-revolution-virginity-tests-tahrir Egyptian general admits virginity checks conducted on protesters http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/05/30/egypt.virginity.tests/?hpt=T2
  • 12. + Thank you!