Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

November 30, 2011

BREAKING: Greece to Allow Armed Guards on Ships

Greece To Allow Armed Guards On Cargo Ships Against Piracy
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August 24, 2011

Aishah Schwartz Responds to muslimerican rant against 30Mosques visit to Little Rock

Muslim women offended by the fact that the 30Mosques team was allowed to intrusively enter their 'prayer sanctuary' should realize that the responsibility for any alleged harm falls squarely on the heads the masjid's administration.

Aug. 24, 2011

By Aishah Schwartz

As I finished reading the enraged "30Mosques Crashes a Female Prayer Space", bashing the presence of the 30Mosques team, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, at a masjid in Little Rock, Arkansas for a segment of their Ramadan program -- wherein they *gasp* presumed to enter the women's section of the masjid -- I began a comment unloading the build-up of counter-rage that had been racing through my brain. Realizing that the comment was swiftly morphing into an essay, I pasted it into an email to myself and opened my laptop.

Revisiting Muslimah Media Watch, where I originally found the item, "30Mosques Crashes a Female Prayer Space", posted Aug. 24 by a 'Guest Contributor, I realized that it had completely escape me that the item was written by a man – throwing me for a loop as I had totally imagined it being written by a woman – but there it was at the top of the article, "This was written by Peter Gray and originally appeared on his [linked] blog. Click.

Surprised again! As the page of Peter Gray's 'muslmerican' blog opened, I found that the author was another Muslim – and there it was - the original post, complete with its original title, "How to 'Piss Off' Muslim Women: 30Mosques Crashes a Female Prayer Space". Hmm…"Piss Off"…nice.

Scrolling down the page, Al-hamdulillah, I also found an *UPDATE – "This post has been slightly revised in some places where the tone was especially harsh." Al-hamdulillah, again, for that – although I can't say for certain if that translated over to the scathing post as it appeared on Muslimah Media Watch.

"Bassam Tariq wrote a blog entry about the [Little Rock] experience, which had good intentions but went horribly wrong," stated Gray, 30Mosques' attacker.

"Wrong, indeed," I thought to myself.

Where does the disservice begin?

With certainty, any Muslim woman at the Little Rock masjid who was offended by the fact that the 30Mosques team was allowed to intrusively enter their 'prayer sanctuary' on August 22, more than appreciated Gray's rant, however, the burden of responsibility for any alleged harm falls squarely on the heads of those within the masjid's administration who granted permission for Ali and Tariq's request to enter the women's prayer area in the first place.

Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says: "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…" [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 34] Does this or does it not, make it a moral obligation and duty incumbent upon men to take responsibility in situations such as what happened in Little Rock?

Rather than attacking the 30Mosques team, who also happen to be Muslim, for a lapse in better judgment in the quest for a 'story', women of the Muslim community would be better served by an article guiding male Muslim leaders who do a disservice to themselves and their female counterparts for failure to adhere to a simple and forthright principle and commandment in the practice of their faith.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbor. And I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women." Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.114 Narrated by Abu Huraira (r.a.)

What Gray and Tariq have unwittingly done in their blogging is expose a lapse in judgment, respect and principle within the Little Rock, Arkansas masjid (although not limited to said masjid). Had the Muslim men in leadership positions at the masjid been doing their jobs in taking care of the women, the enraged blog post of Gray would not have been written.

That said, Gray's misdirected anger serves merely to fuel the oft-expressed and equally offensive Muslim male sentiment that a woman's 'place' is exclusively in the home; which could also serve as a subliminal message behind the alleged 'permission' granted by whoever 'allowed' the 30Mosques team to allegedly enter the women's prayer area unannounced and unescorted to begin with – "if you had been at home your privacy would not have been invaded".

"The sad reality is that most of the misguided behaviors stem from cultural practices vs. that of the religion's teachings itself," stated Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) member coordinator Queen Sheba Cisse.

What is the purpose of a women's prayer space?

Finding ourselves on the subject of women's prayer spaces in masjids, let us reflect on the true sanctity of prayer and examine the behavior of the very women who seek shelter in these restrictive and oft-unaccommodating dungeon-like 'prayer' spaces.

May we begin with the fact that a prayer space is for prayer? Or is it? As the photos taken by the 30Mosques team in the Little Rock masjid clearly depict, the 'prayer space' was being used to serve iftar (meal commemorating the breaking of one's fast in Ramadan). Considering that some masjids are not able to accommodate their female community members with separate facilities for eating and praying, we'll overlook what Tariq's photos reveal and move on to how women actually conduct themselves in their designated 'prayer' spaces.

Chatter, chatter, and more chatter, or 'idle talk' (lahw al hadith), which misleads people vs. the best talk (Ahsan Al hadith), the Quran.

Unfortunately, idle talk is an affliction that, women are hard-pressed to shy away from, regardless of whether or not they are in the masjid or its designated prayer space(s).

According to hadith (sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him), Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anh) reported: The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.'' [Muslim]

In another hadith Sahl bin Sa`d (radiallahu anh) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whosoever gives me a guarantee to safeguard what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I shall guarantee him Jannah.'' [Al-Bukhari]

What greater incentive for steering clear of idle chatter than Jannah? Oh were it that the women in the prayer spaces of their masjids remained silent, or in the very least carried their conversations outside of the prayer area. What a novel idea!

There is also the age old issue of women allowing their children to run amuck in the women's prayer spaces, and worse, their own behavior when it comes to entering and exiting the prayer area. Too bad the 30Mosques team didn't get a video of the cattle call to serve as a wake-up call to Muslim women.

If you ever witnessed the rush to fit an entire room full of women and children through a single doorway at one time you know what I'm talking about.

Must Muslim women behave in such an uncivilized way? Is it unfathomable to simply form a line in which one patiently waits behind another without causing undue harm or offense? After all, isn't the end result the same; everyone eventually gets outside, right?

Personally I got over the need to find any sanctity whatsoever in seeking to pray in these 'women's prayer dungeon/hide-outs' a long time ago.

Al-hamdulillah, Islam teaches moderation in everything, and although it is highly recommended for women to pray in the sanctity and security of their bedrooms at home, Islam also allows for them to pray in whatever other accommodation can be found when it is time to heed the call to prayer. I'm happy to settle for any space that allows even a semblance of security and privacy and have found through experience that, generally speaking, most people and even businesses are willing to accommodate a humbly made request.

My motto has always been – you don't get what you don't ask for.

30Mosques: Mind the Space
How To Piss Off Muslim Women: 30Mosques Crashes A Female Prayer Space
30Mosques Crashes a Female Prayer Space

# # #

Aishah Schwartz, a Muslim American, serves as Founder and Director of the 2006 established Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA). She is also an internationally renowned human rights activist, writer and photo journalist focusing on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza. Biography: - On Facebook: - Al-Jazeera Documentary on YouTube 

MWA Member Coordinator Queen Sheba Cisse, is President and Founder of Queen Sheba Village and is an aspiring writer, humanitarian and mother to many globally. She manages homes and families on two continents, America and Africa, and runs an online fashion boutique of African textiles and clothing, as well as Arabian essences for the body and senses, and crafted accessories from our African Motherland—home of our ancestors. Website: - On Facebook:

July 30, 2011

Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) Celebrates Ramadan!

Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) members share their Ramadan experiences, journals, recipes, pictures, poetry and more! May the peace and blessings of Ramadan be upon you and your family, insha'Allah.

Join the MWA Ramadan celebration!

Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

May 16, 2011

U.S. Activist Aishah Schwartz Joins Egyptians for May 15 Nakba Commemoration at Rafah Border

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U.S. Activist Joins Egyptians for Nakba Commemoration


[SUBHAN'ALLAH...and this was happening on the other side of the border... For the first time in 63 years of being outcast from their home land, some 50,000 Palestinians have flooded the border of Lebanon and Palestine.]

[AND in Palestine: Palestinian protesters mark Nakba Day -]

RAFAH, EGYPT (15 May 2011) - Joining a group of fellow activists traveling from Cairo to the Rafah border crossing, American activist, Aishah Schwartz, marked the 63rd Nakba commemoration among demonstrators waving Palestinian and Egyptian flags calling for the right of Palestinians to return to their homelands.

The Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza, led by organizer and public affairs director, Ahmed Elassy, originally set out for the Rafah border in anticipation of fulfillment of the April 17 commitment made by Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El-Araby to facilitate delivery of goods and building supplies officially requested by Elassy for delivery to Gaza.

The main objective of the Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza is to peacefully demand the permanent end of the Egyptian blockade of goods, services and building materials to the Gaza Strip.

In an unforeseen twist of fate it was announced on Sunday that Al-Araby had been named as the new Secretary General of the Arab League, effectively side-lining what would have been a siege breaking event.

Elassy's group was determined to remain hopeful of completing its mission but returned to Cairo on Tuesday, after an all-night sit-down demonstration staged Monday by a separate group of activists arriving through the desert, resulted in officials placing a ban on all non-traveling visitors attempting to reach the border.

Thousands from across Egypt had attempted to reach the Rafah crossing to commemorate the 63rd Nakba, but an alert issued in the Sinai Peninsula and along the borders, resulted in an intensified military presence marked by travelers not identifiable as Sinai residents being turned back.

The May 15 Nakba (translated as 'Catastrophe') Memorial Day commemoration marks the occasion during which more than 700,000 Palestinians - estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants - were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in 1948. Additionally, Israeli forces destroyed more than 400 villages in their wake.

On Wednesday Hamas officials announced it's decision to close the crossing from the Palestinian side from Thursday for an indefinite period. (


اعتصام 50 ناشطا مصريا وأمريكيا أمام معبر رفح
رفح- عبد الحليم سالم
Rafah - Abdel-Halim Salem

يعتصم قرابة 50 ناشطا مصريا وناشطة أمريكية أمام بوابة معبر رفح تضامنا مع غزة، ومن أجل الدخول إلى القطاع للمشاركة بيوم الزحف لفك الحصار عن غزة.

وقال أحمد العاصى، منسق التحالف الدولى لكسر الحصار عن غزة، إن النشطاء مازالوا أمام المعبر بمشاركة الناشطة الأمريكية عائشه شووركس.

وأضاف أن قوات الأمن احتجزت الناشطين عند الحوجز الأمنية، ومنعت وصولهم إلى القطاع.

وتشهد سيناء والمناطق الحدودية حالة من الاستنفار الأمنى والتواجد الكثيف للقوات المسلحة.


Only a few protesters make it to Rafah on Nakba Day -

Activists spend night at border after being denied access to Gaza -

Thousands rallied in Cairo for "Nakba" -

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May 13, 2011

American Activist, Aishah Schwartz Joins Pre-Nakba Celebrations in Cairo and Rafah

Before heading to the Rafah border, American Activist, Aishah Schwartz attended Friday morning prayers at Cairo's Masjid Al-Noor, where worshipers waved Palestinian flags in setting the tone for May 15 Nakba Day celebrations.
Photo Album of Friday Prayers at Masjid Al-Noor, Cairo

CAIRO, EGYPT (May 13, 2011) - Gearing up for Palestinian Nakba Day celebrations set to begin Sunday, this Friday morning's fajr prayer attendance at Cairo's Masjid Al-Noor soared to thousands. The overflowing crowd spilled down the steps of the masjid's entrance and filled the Egyptian military secured street-front.

At the conclusion of their prayers worshipers massed outside Masjid Al-Noor waving Palestinian flags and chanting boisterously in support of their Palestinian counterparts.

The May 15 commemoration events for the Nakba (translated as 'Catastrophe') Memorial Day mark the occasion during which more than 700,000 Palestinians - estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants - were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in 1948. Additionally, Israeli forces destroyed more than 400 villages in their wake.

Refugees in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria were also to mark the anniversary from Friday onwards.

Also in advance of May 15 Nakba celebrations, American Activist, Aishah Schwartz joined team members of the Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza, led by Organizer and Public Affairs Director Ahmed Elassy, of Cairo.

The group, in follow-up of a commitment announced on April 17 by Egyptian Foreign Ministry officials to facilitate delivery of goods and supplies Elassy requested be delivered to the Palestinians in Gaza, has arrived to the Rafah border in anticipation of fulfilling its mission.

On April 29 Foreign Minister Al-Araby announcement Egypt's intention to permanently open the Rafah border, stating that Egypt would take, "important steps to help ease the blockade on Gaza in the few days to come."

"It is my earnest hope and prayer that on Sunday, May 15, Mr. Elassy, his organization and team members, lead their siege breaking cargo of building supplies and goods through the border at Rafah and onward into Gaza," stated Schwartz.

She added, "On a personal level, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a witness to history, God willing, and among the few allowed to pass into Rafah during a time when the Egyptian military has turned away thousands attempting to reach the border."

Further signaling Egypt's intention to move forward with pro-Palestinian changes in foreign policy, The Unity Agreement, signaling the conclusion of intra-Palestinian political hostilities between Fatah and Hamas, was signed in Cairo on May 4.

Serving as a catalyst for The Unity Agreement was the Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) March 15 revolution. Palestinian youth, reportedly more than 65% of the territory's population, called for unity demonstrations that were widely publicized and supported by global solidarity movements. Among GYBO's demands was a call for immediate unity and reconciliation among Palestinian political factions, as well as free and fair elections.

According to The Unity Agreement signed in Cairo on May 4, the Legislative, Presidential, and Palestinian National Council elections will be conducted within one year from the date of signing.

Photo Album of Friday Prayers at Masjid Al-Noor, Cairo
Egypt gets ready for Palestinian Nakba Day - Army steps up security around Sinai peninsula as Egyptian activists plan march towards Gaza border on Nakba Day
Pre-Nakba Day protests in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel - These protests have the potential to reveal an unexpected Palestinian strength, and could help build linkages between Palestinians and the citizens in neighboring countries. 
Marking The Nakba Day On May 15, Egyptians Plan To March To Gaza 

French lawyer reveals himself as 'Palestine papers' source - Ziyad Clot, a lawyer of Palestinian descent involved in 2008 Annapolis negotiations between Israel and PA, says in Guardian op-ed that 'Israel's attack on Gaza and the disastrous 'peace talks' compelled me to leak what I knew.'

April 11, 2011

AISHAH SCHWARTZ: Support the Facebook Campaign for a No-Fly Zone Over Palestine!

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Help Free All Palestinian Women Political Prisoners
New friends! Please join me on the 2nd page; this profile has reached the FB mandated 5,000 friend limit.
"Like" here: See you there, insha'Allah! ♥

Copyright © 2011 Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

April 08, 2011

MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz Joins Friends of Free Libya in Solidarity Demonstration at Libyan Embassy, Cairo

On Thursday, April 7, 2011, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) Director, Aishah Schwartz, stood in solidarity with the Friends of Free Libya (FOFL), founded by a group of Egyptian intellectuals and activists, for a demonstration in front of the Libyan Embassy in Cairo.

CAIRO, EGYPT (Apr. 8, 2011) MWA-NET  Egypt's Friends of Free Libya (FOLF) gathered in solidarity with Libyan nationals Thursday afternoon at the Embassy of Libya in Cairo to urge the Egyptian government to recognize the National Transitional Council in Benghazi as the sole legitimate government of Libya.

"In my ongoing support of both the Egyptain and Libyan revolutions, standing in solidarity with FOLF members, Egyptians and Libyan nationals concerned for their family members stranded and in danger as Ghadaffi continues his murderous rampage throughout the the nation, was the very least I could do; the very least any one of us could do in this time of crisis," stated Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) Director, Aishah Schwartz.

Among the various members of FOFL attending Thursday's event were Sarwat Nafi'a, an international cyber security and privacy expert, lecturer at York University and human rights advocate; Zahra' Langhi, FOFL treasurer, independent researcher in the field of Middle East Studies, and humanitarian activist with interests in human rights, social work, and the internet; Omar Haddad, member of the Libyan National Congress, and Nujoud Langhi, a member of the Libyan opposition and human rights activist.

In a media statement FOLF also included a request for Libyan and Egyptian NGOs to coordinate their efforts on behalf of the struggle of the Libyan people for freedom, in addition to announcing its support for coordination of efforts in Egypt to provide humanitarian relief (medical and food supplies) to the citizens of Libya.

News agencies reported Friday that a UN World Food Programme cargo ship carrying medical supplies, doctors and other aid was reported to have docked Thursday in Misurata, under siege for more than 40-days. The vessel delivered more than 500 metric tons of food - enough to feed more than 40,000 people for a month.

The FOLF agenda also called for Nilesat to carry the transmission of the satellite channels Libya Hurra and Libya Al-Ahrar, in light of the Gadaffi regime's interference with the Nilesat signal of the Arab satellite channels, forcing Hurra off Nilesat. A demand was also made for Nilesat to cease the transmission of Libyan state television.

Protesters at Thursday's demonstration also denounced the unprecedented oppression of peaceful demonstrations. A spokesman of the rebels' Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC) stated Friday that an estimated 10,000 people have been killed in Libya since the Revolution began on February 17.

Demonstrators also commemorated the memory of martyred Libyan Army Officer, Hamed Yusuf Al-Gandooz, 27, of Benghazi, who was killed on April 2, 1977 for his role in an attempted military coup organized to topple the Ghadaffi regime. The execution of Al-Gandoos took place at an army camp in Subrata City; to this day the family has never received his body.

Also denounced at the April 7 demonstration was the Gadaffi regime's detainment, torture and murder of journalists working in Libya.

FOFL called on all persons of conscience to continue aid efforts and to provide all necessary support to the civilians of Libya, and to stand in solidarity with the Libyan people to fulfill their revolution's goals against tyranny, oppression and the exit of Gadaffi and his regime.

Schwartz added, "As the poster of a young demonstrator stated, 'We Are All One'."

Aishah Schwartz Joins Friends of Free Libya Solidarity Demonstration Embassy of Libya, Cairo (7 Apr. 11) Friends of Free Libya Demonstration DEMOTIX Album by Aishah Schwartz
Aishah Schwartz Joins Libyan/Egyptian Protest Outside Arab League Headquarters in Cairo Demanding Replacement of National Flag (5 Apr. 11)
Libya Demonstration at Arab League Headquarters, Cairo DEMOTIX Album by Aishah Schwartz
Aishah Schwartz Joins Thousands Protest to 'Save the Revolution' in Cairo (1 Apr. 11)
'Save the Revolution' in Tahrir DEMOTIX Album by Aishah Schwartz
Aishah Schwartz Supports House Resolution 188 to Assist in Ending Qadahaffi Regime in Libya (4 Apr. 11) 
Aishah Schwartz Supports Call for No-Fly Zone Over Libya (18 Mar. 11)
Aishah Schwartz Joins 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day from Tahrir Square, Cairo (8 Mar. 11)

Copyright © 2011 Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

April 04, 2011

Join Aishah Schwartz in Support of House Resolution 188 'End Qadaffi Regime in Libya'

Copyright © Aishah Schwartz 2010 - Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

March 10, 2011

March is Women's History Month - Help Free All Palestinian Women Political Prisoners

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Since 1967 more than 12,000 Palestinian women were detained by the Zionist entity. During the First Intifada 3000 women were detained and during Al-Aqsa Intifada more than 900 women were locked up behind Israeli bars.

Currently, there are 35 Palestinian women detainees in the Israeli prisons Damon and HaSharon: among them 3 administrative detainees, 8 await trial, 23 sentenced of whom 5 are serving life sentences. Palestinian female detainees, like their brothers in detention, suffer from the brutality of the Israeli Prison Authority.

They are punished for the slightest thing with isolation, are beaten, harassed, tied up for hours under hot sun or under rain, deprived of sleep, their rooms raided at night, continuously denied family visits and calls back home, and letters are sent and brought only once every 3 months.

Water is very dirty and food is inedible, thus the detainees are forced to buy their food and water from the prison canteen for very high prices. Some political prisoners are also locked up with Israeli criminals who abuse them. Their cells are over-crowded, damp, lack hygiene and are infested with insects.

The detainees are also denied appropriate and much needed medical treatment and most medications are expired; 13 detainees are in need of medical treatment.

Amal Faiz Jum’a from Askar refugee camp suffers from womb cancer while Raja’ Al-Ghoul from Jenin refugee camp suffers from heart and blood pressure diseases and both don’t get the need treatment.

Female detainees are only allowed to see a general doctor and no specialists, and some were forced to give birth while hand and leg cuffed such as Mirvat Taha and Manal Ghanim.

Currently, there are at least 6 Palestinian mothers in detention. Others have their husbands or their brothers in Israeli detention as well, but are not allowed to visit them. Abir Odeh for example has 3 brothers in Israeli detention and Fatin Al-Shafi’ Al-Sa’di has a brother in jail.

Palestinian female prisoners currently in Israeli detention:

1 Amna Jawad Ali Muna, detained since 19.01.2001 (life sentence)
2 Abeer Isa Atef Amro, detained since 22.02.2001
3 Iman Mohammad Hasan Ghazzawi, detained since 03.08.2001, mother of 2 (13 yrs)
4 Ahlam Aref Shihadeh At-Tamimi, detained since 14.09.2001 (13 life sentence and 20 yrs)
5 Ibtisam Abdel-Hafith Faiz Issawi, detained since 04.11.2001, mother of 6 (15 yrs)
6 Lina Ahmad Saleh Jarbuni, detained since 18.04.2002
7 Sana’ Mohammad Husein Shehadeh, detained since 24.05.2002 (3 times life sentences)
8 Qahira Said As-Sa’di, detained since 30.05.2002, mother of 4 (3 times life sentence and 30 yrs)
9 Ireena Buli Shuk Sarhan, detained since 22.05.2002, mother of 2 (life sentence)
10 Du’a’ Ziad Jamil Al-Jayyousi, detained since 07.06.2002 (3 times life sentence and 30 years)
11 Warda Abbas Abdel-Fattah Baqrawi, 16.10.2002
12 Latifa Mohammad Mahmoud Abu Dira’, detained since 08.12.2003, mother of 7 (25 yrs)
13 Amal Fayez Jum’a, detained since 09.05.2004
14 Reema Riyad Hasan Abu Arrazaq Daraghmeh, detained since 28.07.2004
15 Mariam Salem Suleiman Tarabeen, detained since 24.01.2005
16 Wafa’ Samir Al-Bis, detained since 20.06.2005 (12 yrs, is in isolation)
17 Futna Mustafa Khalil Abu Al-Aish, detained since 21.07.2006
18 Wurud Maher Qasim, detained since 04.10.2006
19 Rawda Ibrahim Younis Habib, detained since 20.05.2007
20 Nada Ata Saleh Derbas, detained since 05.05.2007
21 Fatin Bassam Shafi’ Al-Saadi, detained since 20.05.2008
22 Sanabil Nabigh Yousif Brik, detained since 22.09.2008
23 Khadija Habash, detained since 22.01.2009
24 Raja’ Al-Ghoul, detained since 30.03.2009 (administrative detention)
25 Randa Shehateet, detained since 06.01.2009
26 Aisha Mohammad Abayat, detained since 13.08.2009
27Abir Mohammad Hasan Odeh, detained since 09.07.2009
28 Nisreen Abu Zeinah, detained since 18.08.2009
29 Ghufran Zamil, detained since 29.08.2009
30 Suad Ahmad Abdel-Ra’ouf Nazzal, detained since 22.08.2009
31 Hana Yahya Saber Shalabi, detained since 14.09.2009 (administrative detention)
32 Sumoud Yaser Hasan Karajeh, detained since 15.10.2009
33 Nili Zahi As’ad Sa’id, detained since 11.11.2009
34 Muntaha Khlaid Rashid Al-Tawil, detained since 08.02.1010, mother of 4 (administrative detention)
35 Alia Abdel Majid Al-Natsheh

In addition to Palestinian female detainees in Israeli jails, the Zionist entity imprisons the bodies of 7 Palestinian female martyrs:

1 Dalal Said Mohammad Al-Mughrabi, killed on 11.3.1978
2 Darin Abu Eisheh, from Jenin, killed on 17.02.2002
3 Zeinab Isa Abu Aalim, from Askar refugee camp, Nablus, killed on 22.04.2004
4 Hanadi Tayseer Abdel Malik, from Jenin, killed on 04.10.2003
5 Wafa' Ali Khalil Idris, from Al-'Am’ari refugee camp, Ramallah, killed 21.1.2002
6 Ayat Mohammad Lutif Al-Akhras, from Dheisheh refugee camp, Bethlehem, killed on 29.03.2002
7 Hiba Azim Daraghmeh, from Toubas, killed on 19.05.2003


March 09, 2011

MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz, Attends 100th International Women's Day Event in Cairo, Egypt

Egypt showed the world on Jan. 25 that change is possible when people are organized and exercise their voices, rather than simply doing nothing at all to contribute toward societal and governmental change.

EGYPT (March 8, 2011) - Riding a bus through the night to arrive in Cairo for the 100th Anniversary celebration of International Women's Day and in support of a call for an end to violence against women in conflict zones, like Palestine, Libya, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, etc. -- in addition to calling for equal seats at negotiating tables in support of peace initiatives -- by mid-afternoon of March 8, I found myself once again, as I had on February 8, in Tahrir Square.

Playing no small role in the recent and ongoing Egyptian Revolution, Egyptian women's rights advocates gathered to reiterate that the challenge they face now is to make sure women maintain their involvement as the nation purges itself of the Mubarak regime, by seeking political gains and true equality.

Initially I encountered difficulty finding comrades from among the hundreds of people who now find congregating at Tahrir Square virtually habitual as the Jan. 25 revolution continues to evolve post-Mubarak regime; the surrounding area filled with street vendors selling snacks and a wide variety and souvenirs.

Determined to persevere in my quest to participate in International Women's Day events, I continued to look for signs of anyone connected to the called-for gathering of women. A short time later, I spotted a group who appeared to be from among the larger pool of demonstrators, one of whom aided me in procuring a white vinyl, Arabic language demonstration sign indicating something to the effect that women's rights (or voices) could not be bargained away in the formation of a post-revolution democratic government.

Sign in hand, primarily for effect, I took a position of elevation on a short concrete wall encircling a land-fill, being that I was wearing a hand-made cover over my abaya; the front of which was an Egyptian flag, the back being a flag representing Palestine (which a few mistook as being the flag of Libya; yes, I did search for one!).

Having arrived as one, I eventually found myself inched down the wall toward a smaller group of vibrant young women, likewise sharing their signs and enthusiastically chanting slogans into the lenses and microphones of reporters and the growing audience in front of us. This would be where I would spend the majority of the afternoon; in great company! Al-hamdulillah, the time from 3 to 7 passed relatively quickly under comfortable temperatures and sunny skies.

Early on, an anti-demonstration group of men, chanting rather loudly from center of the street in front of us, also did little to deter either myself or any of the other women from what I could see, although it was quite disturbing to find such opposition to the collective initiative. Clearly we were being confronted by an element standing steadfastly in the belief that it is neither a duty or requirement, let alone right! of women to exercise their brains.

From among the anti-demonstration crowd, there arose a single, hotly bothered adversary who seemed to imagine himself a force to be reckoned with, however, Al-hamdulillah, there were supportive male figures managing his antagonism. In fact, at one point the man snatched and tore up one of the signs a woman in front of me (street level) was holding. I could just imagine from where I stood on the ledge behind the poor woman, the dismayed look on her face. Al-hamdulillah, peacemakers intervened and after a few minutes, the antagonist returned with a duplicate of the torn up sign and gave it to the woman he had originally snatched it from. Subhan'Allah, I would not have imagined that from him, and although he continued for the duration of the demonstration to relentlessly spew his antagonistic remarks (you don't have to understand Arabic to get the gist), aside from the sign-snatching incident he didn't, Al-hamdulillah, become physical again in any way. We were, after all, mindful that the day's events, worldwide, were to also bring attention to the issue of violence perpetrated by men against women!
Another interesting thing happened during the course of the afternoon. It happened a man stepped into the line beside me to the left, and spotting a fallen demonstration sign laying on the ground, I pointed it out to him, motioning for him to retrieve it for me. Naturally, he stepped off the ledge and bent to pick it up. Climbing the ledge again he presented me with the sign and I motioned for him to keep it - after all, if he was going to stand beside me, I reasoned, he might as well make himself busy. Subhan'Allah, he was content to do as I had asked until a short time later, when another man appeared below us to shout at the man standing beside me! I stood listening, again, not knowing exactly what he was saying, however, the body language was loud and clear...snatch! Suddenly the sign was out of my comrade's hands, similarly torn up as in the incident with the woman just a short time before! Sadly it became abundantly clear that the man was completely taken aback with his counter-part's support of the demonstration!
American Activist, Aishah Schwartz and Dr. Sherehan Khalil, of Cairo.
Al-hamdulillah, as the dejected male demonstrator tore himself away from our group, I became acquainted with a young doctor doing her residency in ICU at a local Cairo hospital. Sherehan, like myself, had also arrived to the Women's Day demonstration alone after reading about it on Facebook just the night before. She and I became fast comrades, and as the crowd began to thin out, she enthusiastically strove to continue through the last of the daylight minutes countering questioning adversaries. I stood by her side, gently guiding her away to fresh locations when it appeared that the conversations would not reach a meaningful conclusion within the limitation of the remainder of our time in the Square. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bless her; as we made our final break out of the demonstration Sherehan volunteered to escort me back to my hotel. Al-hamdulillah.

Despite the afternoon's adversarial atmosphere, I was offered a few opportunities to be interviewed, as were numerous other women attending the Women's Day demonstration. Being able to answer questions for various television and print media was a welcome reprieve affording us the opportunity to state our positions - above the voices of the objection-filled male counter-demonstrators facing us in the street. Hopefully, insha'Allah, some of our words will reach those with open ears, minds and hearts willing and able to do their part in making a difference in support of women unable to help themselves, particularly in times of crisis.

For sure there weren't a million women standing in solidarity with us at the March 8 International Women's Day event in Cairo, however, although I am only a non-Egyptian resident of Egypt, I didn't walk away from the event with any sense that the efforts of those who participated were in vain; as neither were the lost lives of the Martyrs of the Jan. 25 Revolution.

If one woman or 1 million women arrived at the Tahrir Square gathering point on March 8, the bottom line is - they arrived. Egypt showed the world on Jan. 25 that change is possible when people are organized and exercise their voices, rather than simply doing nothing at all to contribute toward societal and governmental change.

Kudos to those who stood today in solidarity to support the human and civil rights of women from Cairo, Egypt and worldwide, whether it was on a bridge, in a street, or in a Square, on this, the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day.

MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz, Attends 100th International Women's Day Event in Cairo, Egypt
Facebook Women's Day Event Photo Album
Muslimah Writers Alliance Joins 'Women on the Bridge' Celebrating 100th International Women's Day
Muslimah Writers Alliance Mini-Documentary for Al-Jazeera (Arabic Voice-Over)

Egyptian Women March for Women's Rights - Cairo
International Women's Day in Tahrir Square - Egypt
Women in Cairo demonstrate for International Women's Day

March 07, 2011

Muslimah Writers Alliance Joins 'Women on the Bridge' Celebrating 100th International Women's Day

Egypt's 'Women4Democracy' Collective Initiative Calls for Million Women March from Tahrir Square to 6 October Bridge Tuesday, March 8


PRLog (MWA-NET) – Mar 07, 2011 – (EGYPT) - On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in conjunction with the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) urges global citizens of conscience to join the "Women on the Bridge" campaign in support of a call for an end to violence against women in conflict zones, like Palestine, Libya, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, etc., in addition to calling for equal seats at negotiating tables in support of peace initiatives.

"Because of a lack of education and access to information, many women are unaware of their human rights. Those who are aware and actively opposing injustices, live in genuine fear for their lives," stated MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz.

Schwartz added, "These women need our support to gain the skills and confidence they need to play a full part in rebuilding their communities; so they can raise their voices, knowing they will be heard."

It is anticipated that on March 8 more than 200 bridge events worldwide will take place from the Millennium Bridge in London, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Grand Barriere Bridge joining Rwanda and Congo -- and from Cairo, Egypt's 6 October Bridge.

Also Joining this year's 'Women on the Bridge' campaign from Cairo, Egypt is the collective initiative known as "Women4Democracy", calling for a Million Women March from the now world-famous Tahrir Square to the 6 October Bridge.

Playing no small role in the recent and ongoing Egyptian Revolution, Egyptian womens rights advocates reiterated in a recent New York Times article that the challenge they face now is to make sure women maintain their involvement as the nation purges itself of the Mubarak regime, by seeking political gains and true equality.

The World Economic Forum recently published a report that ranked Egypt 125th out of 134 countries when judging the equality between men and women. Additionally it was reported that 42 percent of women cannot read or write and almost no women are political leaders. (In 2010, only 8 of the 454 seats in Parliament were held by women.)

Genital cutting of women is also still widely practiced in Egypt, especially in rural areas. Women in Egypt also suffer a level of sexual harassment that would not be tolerated in many countries. They are often verbally harassed on the streets of Cairo and sometimes groped in crowded spaces whether they are veiled or not.

Show your support for women's causes and celebrate women's achievements! To find a bridge event near you visit:

Can't attend a Women on the Bridge event? Sign the Petition calling for women in Afghanistan to have a greater involvement in the peace process at

Women4Democracy in Egypt - Details in EnglishDetails in Arabic
Women Fight to Maintain Their Role in the Building of a New Egypt
Muslimah Writers Alliance Mini-Documentary for Al-Jazeera (Arabic Voice-Over)

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Established in 2006, MWA is an internationally-based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working together to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions regarding members of the Muslim community and the Islamic faith.

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March 01, 2011

The Palestinian Protest Organized and Supported for Palestinians by Palestinians - March 15

Gaza Youth Breaks Out! calls for demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank; encourages solidarity events world-wide in front of Palestinian embassies in coordination with Palestinian communities abroad.

Feb 24, 2011 (EGYPT) – The U.K.'s Guardian published an article in February demonstrative of the true voice of Gaza youth, calling for a 'United for Palestinian Freedom' March on 15 March, 2011 (English)-(Arabic). "Gaza Youth Breaks Out!" (GYBO), led by a core group of individuals who remain anonymous for security purposes, is a grassroots non-aligned movement, in regular contact with students in the West Bank and with connections to Palestinians and pro-Palestinian groups in Europe and South America as well as the Middle East.

GYBO first made headlines last year when they published an impassioned manifesto, endorsed by over 20,000 Gaza youth, expressing frustration with life and politics born of Hamas's violent crackdowns on 'western decadence', the destruction wreaked by Israel's attacks and the political games played by Fatah and the UN.

Manifesto 2.0, now available at, attempts to clear the air regarding objections to what some deemed as 'harsh' language in the original.

As stated in the updated manifesto, "We were harsh, true. We were angry, and still are. The order in which the 'parties' were cited was not intended and we are conscious that it brought much confusion in people's minds. However, to those reproaching us – because we denounced the corruption of our political leaders – of insulting the thousands who voted for Hamas in 2006 [including youth], of insulting the memories of the martyrs of the Resistance groups affiliated to the different Palestinian factions who shed their blood for us in many occasions, starting with Operation Cast Lead, we want to reply, 'don’t insult the Palestinian people's right to criticize its politicians.'

"Cast Lead wasn't a war; Cast Lead was a massacre, a slaughter, anything but a war. And during that massacre, we, the people of Gaza, paid from our blood too. Every single Palestinian sacrificed something, someone; it affected us all, from the youngest to the oldest, not only the Resistance. Bombs didn't make much difference. We never intended to reject the Resistance, and we're going to repeat it again; we will NEVER reject those who fight for us, for our Palestine, and it was NOT the case in our previous manifesto.

Manifesto 2.0 goes on to state, "Yes we voted for Hamas government. We all did. We were tired of Fatah's government corruption, [we] wanted a change and hoped Hamas would be that change. That [is] PRECISELY [what] gives us the right to shout our anger at them, because they are responsible [for] us, responsible of our well-being, our security. Fatah in the West Bank arrests Hamas affiliates, Hamas in Gaza arrests Fatah affiliates, while everywhere in Palestine you can find family members from different factions living united. Yes we denounce our politicians – [note those] words; POLITICIANS – because their mutual hatred divided them, even during the commemoration of the first anniversary of [the] Cast Lead massacre, while a crowd of Palestinians from all factions stood united by martyrdom, grief, and love for Palestine."

In conclusion, the updated manifesto adds, "We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask? We are a peace movement of young people in Gaza and supporters elsewhere that will not rest until the truth about Gaza and Palestine is known by everybody in this whole world and in such a degree that no more silent consent or loud indifference will be accepted. And if we fail, other groups will take our place, until our voice can't be ignored anymore."

Details of the March 15 event, published and coordinated in English and Arabic language Facebook pages titled, "End the Division" or "Palestinians United", indicate that it is already supported by nearly 10,000; another coordinating page, primarily in Arabic, titled, "Palestinian", supported by 66,694, is also promoting the event. GYBO is further striving to unify nine other groups or Facebook pages in Gaza calling for action in the coming weeks.

Demonstrations have been organized to begin at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, March 15 and are stated to 'continue until the achievement of all goals'.

Gathering places, to date, include: Gaza - the Unknown Soldier Square; Ramallah -  Manara Square; Tulkarm - Roundabout Gamal Abdel Nasser; Jenin - complex of garages near the old Cinema Jenin; Hebron - in front of the governor's office; Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity Square Nablus: Martyrs Square; Jordan and Lebanon: to be announced.

GYBO March 15 demonstration organizers are also calling for solidarity events world-wide in front of Palestinian embassies in coordination with the Palestinian communities abroad.

As stated on GYBO's 'End the Division' Facebook page, "On behalf of the Palestinian Arab people, on the blood of the martyrs, widows and bereaved, orphans and thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails and all our people in the Palestinian Diaspora, we call on all the Palestinian factions to unite under the banner of Palestine, in order to reform the political system in Palestine, based on the interests and aspirations of the Palestinian people in the homeland and the Diaspora."

With the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, it has been described as the hope of Egyptian youth that, Gaza will feel the effects of their new-found freedom because the siege of Gaza will end and the kinship between the people of Egypt and Palestine will be restored.

Although a complete overhaul of Rafah border restrictions remains to be achieved, an easement was seen in the period from June 2007 until 25 January when the border closed again for three weeks during the Egyptian Revolution. This past week the Egyptian Armed Forces began what many envision as the beginning of a series in border crossing improvements when Palestinians stranded in Egypt during the revolution were allowed to return. Subsequently, on 22 February, the border opened for two-way traffic and fees waived for those unable to pay.

Currently the Egyptian Armed Forces is receiving thousands of expatriates and refugees of the Libyan revolution. Al-Jazeera reports that there are an estimated one million Egyptians currently residing and working in Libya. Virtually every tourism bus in Egypt is lined up waiting to receive evacuees at the Salum border who have traveled through days of horror as the volatile crisis in Libya continues to escalate.

Additionally, news agencies reported earlier on Thursday, that smugglers shot and killed an Egyptian policeman at the Rafah border and Israeli Defense Forces struck against a number of alleged terrorists driving a vehicle in the city of Rafah. According to Palestinian sources area residents reported hearing four separate explosions leaving one dead and three injured; four residents - two adults and two children - were treated for shock.

Suffice it to say, patience and continued support of the efforts of the Egyptian Armed Forces to establish stability and the security of not only Egyptians, but Palestinians and Libyans as well, is crucial in this time.

American Activist, Aishah Schwartz "Now is not the Time for an International March on Rafah" - Also published at The American Muslim (TAM)
Young Palestinians Call for Protests on 15 March
Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO)
GYBO Campaign 'End the Division' - (English) - (Arabic)
Gazan Youth Issue Manifesto to Vent Anger with All Sides in the Conflict
Aishah Schwartz: The Gaza Chronicles

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Aishah Schwartz serves as Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), founded in 2006. She is also a published freelance non-fiction writer/citizen-journalist and internationally renowned human rights activist. Full biography here.

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MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz Added in Reprint of Donna Gehrke-White's 'The Face Behind the Veil'.

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February 16, 2011

Sout Al Horeya صوت الحريه Amir Eid - Hany Adel - Hawary on Guitar & Sherif on Keyboards

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Aishah Schwartz on the Egyptian Revolution, Tunisia, Gaza, Saudi Arabia and more!

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      February 15, 2011

      Biography: Aishah Schwartz (2010-11)

      Updated to cover 2002-2017 here.


      Aishah Schwartz (bibliography), an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006 established Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) and a retired career litigation legal secretary. She is also a published freelance non-fiction writer/journalist and internationally renowned human rights activist with a focus on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza.

      Ms. Schwartz's writing, primarily autobiographical, generally focuses on countering misconceptions about Islam and her own life as a Muslim. Relating her experiences as an American Muslim woman traveling in the Middle East, her stories gained world-wide notoriety via the internet.

      She eventually also became a featured writer for Naseeb Vibes, one of the world's largest online Muslim e-zines and social communities. Ms. Schwartz's articles are also regularly published at The American Muslim (TAM) and various other outlets.

      Shortly after becoming Muslim, while volunteering at the 2003 ISNA Convention she was interviewed for Nile TV and later that year participated in a voter registration campaign at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, which led to her first "quote" in a CBS News story.

      As a writing activist Ms. Schwartz focuses on civil and human rights issues within the Muslim community at-large, particularly those adversely affecting Muslim women.

      She addressed President Jacques Chirac, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, in front of the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. as hundreds gathered on January 17, 2004 in protest of an impending law prohibiting Muslim women from wearing hijab.

      In 2004 Ms. Schwartz also participated in the live filming of the hour-long premiere episode of the WETA-TV series "Senso Reports" - Target Washington (2004); appearing twice in cameo.

      In 2005 she lead a national campaign in association with America's Second Harvest, organized to rally the Muslim community in support of National Hunger Awareness Day and developed a Hunger Awareness guide for participants in the Muslim community that was distributed to masjids across the United States.

      Robert Forney, President and CEO of America's Second Harvest stated, "We are honored to be aided in our National Hunger Awareness Day 2005 efforts by members of so many diverse faiths, including Ms. Schwartz." In 2006 she continued the Hunger Awareness campaign as Founder and Director of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA).

      Through MWA her activism received international recognition in 2006 after a successful campaign to avert removal of a prayer space in view of the Kabba designated for women in the courtyard of Makkah's Grand Mosque. The impact the campaign website, online petition, poster declaring "We Have A Right to Pray in This Space!", and press release, all directed to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. was reported on by Egypt's Al-Ahram Weekly. "Aishah Schwartz, founder-director of the Muslimah Writers Alliance in Washington, set up the Grand Mosque Equal Access for Women Project that circulated a petition protesting the restrictions [on women]. Very quickly over a thousand signatures were collected."

      Women inside Saudi Arabia and around the world, meanwhile, carried on protesting in the media. "It was the most striking example to date of concerted Islamic feminist global protest and one that authorities could not ignore," stated Margot Badran, Senior Fellow, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

      On September 11, 2006, the proposal was overturned based in part on pressure from international media outlets and response to the online petition endorsed by Muslims worldwide.

      In July of 2007, in her capacity as Director of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), and in conjunction with a program titled, "Islam in America; a project for Russia", Ms. Schwartz hosted a leadership delegation from Russia at the Islalmic Center in Washington, D.C. The program was part of the Delphi International Program of World Learning International Visitor Leadership Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

      In 2008, Human Rights Watch (HRW) recognized Ms. Schwartz's work in support of equal rights for women in the Grand Mosque Equal Access campaign in its report titled, "Perpetual Minors".

      Ms. Schwartz was also recognized for her work in tackling equality within the masjid in the 2007 paperback release of Donna Gherke-White's 'Face Behind the Veil', a widely read collection of stories shedding additional light on issues facing American Muslim women.

      Launching another Saudi Arabia-based campaign in 2007, again directed to the Saudi King, Ms. Schwartz tackled the need for reforms in the Kingdom's laws regarding guardianship of women with the "Say 'No' to Forced Divorce, 'Yes' to Reforms" campaign, which combined the cause for reuniting Fatima and Mansour Al-Timani, a couple forcefully divorced due to alleged 'tribal' differences.

      Mansour Al-Timani and his wife, Fatima were finally reunited nearly 5-years from their divorce, however, the Say 'No' to Forced Divorce, 'Yes' to Reforms petition, signed by people from 40 Countries, 56 Foreign Cities, 21 U.S. States, and 45 U.S. Cities, continues in support of reform.

      Ms. Schwartz also had the opportunity discuss the issue as a guest panelist on the D.C.-based television program, "Islamic Perspectives".

      An unexpected surprise came to Ms. Schwartz in September of 2009 when her blog, "Sister Aishah's Islamic Journey" was recognized by The Daily Reviewer as one of the top 100 Muslim blogs. The Daily Reviewer selects only the world's top blogs (and RSS feeds), sifting through thousands of blogs daily to present the world's best writers. Blogs selected for inclusion are authoritative on their respective niche topics and are widely read. To be included in The Daily Reviewer is a mark of excellence.

      In 2010 Ms. Schwartz hit the ground running.

      Beginning with the December 2008 illegal Israeli massacre on Gaza, Ms. Schwartz, already actively involved in campaigning to end the embargo on Gaza through extensive writing and in marching against it in Washington, D.C., became more personally involved, petitioning members of the U.S. Congress and President Obama through various projects (see MWA Press Room); work that led to her eventual personal siege breaking journey to Gaza in December 2009. (Video) (Enter GAZA in search box mid-right of this page to learn more.)

      On returning from Gaza in January 2010, she was compelled to do more. In support of the reported 700+ students in need of exit visas for pursuit of studies abroad, Ms. Schwartz launched the 'No Gaza Student Left Behind' campaign in June 2010 with a press release, open letter to President Obama, online petition drive and posters.

      In June 2010 the woman's rights movement in Saudi Arabia resurfaced as guardianship reform, in conjunction with the rights of foreign nationals, once again came to the forefront as King Abdullah of prepared for a June 29 visit to the White House. Ms. Schwartz again lent MWA's support, to demonstrations that took place in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., and in front of the White House, in association with the Comit'e de Soutien 'a Nathalie Morin,' of Canada, Muslims for Progressive Values and Responsible for Equality, and Liberty (R.E.A.L.), based in Washington, D.C.

      "The women of Saudi Arabia continue in pursuit of much needed reform in the Kingdom's existing guardianship laws," stated Ms. Schwartz.

      "Many people confuse 'reform' with 'abolish'; the movement is not to dissolve guardianship, it is merely to improve the conditions of women suffering from uneven-handedness and to provide alternative recourse for those not benefiting from the protections that the law is intended to provide," Ms. Schwartz added.

      The new year was also marked by participation in International Hijab Awareness Day, an event organized in support of bringing awareness to physical abuse within Muslim communities - commemorated in conjunction with the one-year anniversary marking the tragic beheading of Aasyia Zubair Hassan (1972-2009).

      Taking her activism away from the keyboard in the summer of 2010, Ms. Schwartz participated in the the film production of a sequel to the Bridges Foundation project, "The Fog is Lifting", titled "Jihad Against Terrorism", also featuring Imam Suhaib Webb and others. The DVD is scheduled for January 2011 release and should be available online at the Bridges Foundation website, insha'Allah. NEW! View DVD cover here!

      To round out the year, Ms. Schwartz was given the opportunity to showcase her organization, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), through a mini-documentary titled, زمام المبادرة - عائشة شوارتز/Lead the Way - Aishah Schwartz. Produced by iFilms of Cairo, Egypt for Al-Jazeera Arabic TV, the documentary premiered December 1, 2010 (repeated on Wednesday's throughout the month) and is now available on YouTube. The short-film also features MWA member and new author, Rania Marwan, who recently published her first book in a series on Islamic manners for children, "Laila and Pesto the Fly".

      When the Egyptian Revolution broke out on 25 January 2011, Ms. Schwartz reported from her home in Egypt and visited Tahrir Square on 8 Feb. 2011 (photos). Cairo's Al-Wafd News Journal covered her visit.


      2010-11 ARABIC PRESS
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