Thursday, October 18, 2007

My own mistrust of rich people aside, I wasn't quite sure what to make of Sheikha Mozah and her recent award of the Chatham House prize for international relations. A quick google of her name brought up her very slick and elegant website with a number of her quotes and statements about her vision for Qatar. She is the second of three wives (not that I have a problem with polygamy) but it's interesting her repeated calls for shattering the orientalist framework within which women are viewed in the region. I still need to read more about her to make my mind up, but if anything would redeem her to me is her attempt to address the real issues facing women in the region rather than parroting tired orientalist cliches.

"Our women in the Gulf have been active for a long time - we hear that from our mothers and grandmothers. Foreigners tend to misunderstand that." I think many arab women tend to misunderstand that too.


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