Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Unfiltered Voices: Fahmia al-Fotih' and May de Silva

Fahmia al-Fotih’, SAVE Yemen Coordinator, Sana’a, Yemen
Coming from a tiny village and a normal family that has nothing to do with politics, I was lucky to be awarded a MBI Al Jaber Foundation scholarship to go to London to study International Relations and Politics. It was there in London where I met Dr. Edit and Elisabeth by coincidence in a conference and was introduced to Women Without Borders organization for the first time. This coincidence has turned into a commitment to work with WWB’s counterterrorism initiative, SAVE.

Earlier in my career, I joined media that was a very male-dominated field, yet was like a resort to vent all my angry and rebellious feelings against the injustice and violations of rights women were subject to. From there, I have started building my human rights knowledge and thinking how best I could contribute to my country as a woman. Later, working first with the United Nations Development Program and then with USAID has tremendously engaged me more in development and gender issues where women’s participation is considered a backbone for moving forward. I strongly believe that change can be brought by women.

May da Silva, Director, Women Into Politics, Belfast, Ireland
As feminist, I strive to work for equality for all, irrespective of a person's gender, race or religion. I feel that society should have equality for all or equality for none. This was the motto of one of Northern Ireland's late loyalist politicians, an ex-paramilitary, David Irvine. A terrorist turned politician who advocated that "We cannot choose bits and pieces of equality when it suits us."

My work is not over in Northern Ireland and internationally. I'm very inspired by what I've heard tonight, and to see SAVE now, taking shape with new contributors. I am greatly encouraged to see the potential for this campaign to become global.

I'll finish with a quote of someone who has inspired me, the late Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop. She once said, "If you think you're too small to have an impact, then try going to bed with a mosquito."

1 comment:

  1. Children, according to Islam, are entitled to various rights. The first and foremost of these rights is the right to be properly brought up, raised and educated. This means that children should be given suitable, sufficient, sound and adequate religious, ethical and moral guidance to last them for their entire lives, the Almighty stated in the Quran
    Islam that the child marriage, i.e., marrying a girl before she matures is forbidden in Islam, therefore I believe there is confusion between the Arab culture, tradition and Islam regarding the child marriage. Marriage in Islam is regulated by certain rules, namely, children must reach puberty and maturity so that they can get married," that the child marriage, i.e., marrying a girl before she matures is forbidden in Islam
    Children are not only to be well-fed, well-groomed, properly dressed for the weather and for appearance, well-taken care of in terms of housing and utilities. It is more important to offer the child comparable care in terms of educational, religious training, and spiritual guidance. Proper education and guidance is far more important to a child than this food, grooming and appearance. Islam sees that if parents fulfill their duties towards all their children in terms of providing them with necessary training, educational backing, moral, ethical and religious education, this will definitely lead to a more caring child, a better family atmosphere and a better social environment and awareness. On the other hand, any negligence in those parental duties can lead to the loss of a child or ill treatment of the parents at a later age.
    For instance, Islam, referred as a violent religion. Clearly, people are unaware of the official designation “Religion of Peace”. Its same thing, terrorism killings, and flying airliners into buildings these acts have no relevance to Islam at all and its wrong
    In conclusion, we need to understand the difference between Culture/tradition and Religion. Child marriage has no base in Islam.

    Qoran Noor.
    Independent Consultant
    Nairobi, Kenya


Flash Points: Edit Schlaffer presents SAVE on CBS