"Feeling the loss of control of my life is more agonizing than panic"

Written by Helene Aecherli on Tuesday, 05 August 2014. Posted in Gaza

An account from Gaza City

Anwar and I met a couple of years ago in a Café in Cairo. I was taking some notes, he just asked me, what I was writing. First I was disturbed, thinking: “Oh, no, please leave me alone”. But he just grinned and asked me if I minded him smoking a cigarette, I said “Yes!”, and then he lit the cigarette and we talked for hours. He told me that he was from Gaza City and was finishing his Master studies in Cairo, I talked about my work. And from then on we roamed the cafés in Cairo and checked out the rooftop bars of the town, discussing politics, religion and above all love. About one year later, when I was back in Cairo for a story, he pondered about going back to Gaza City. And he did – he went back, even though he knew, life would be difficult. Facebook, of course, has been our bridge of communication since then.
During the last weeks, the weeks that have been filled with the bombing of Gaza, I have been worrying deeply. I am relieved whenever I see that he has posted something on his Facebook wall. That shows me that he is alive. Some days ago I asked him, how he is. Here is his account:

Why in English?

Written by Khadega Al-Sunaidar on Saturday, 29 March 2014. Posted in Jemen

I want to have the right to ask "why"!

I have a lot of debates, arguments or fights, sometimes, in my mind as everybody does. But the strange thing is that when I focus on the language I use I find it's English. Hmmm, I am an Arabic-native speaker, so why do I speak with myself in English?

That really drew my attention and so I put big question marks. Then I started to dig deep in myself looking for an answer. I received these theories from me: 

Viewpoints from Tanta

Written by Menna Elkhateeb on Sunday, 09 March 2014. Posted in Egypt

Why do they think, people believe all that?

I'm sorry for not being that optimistic girl anymore I once used to be. Nothing in Egypt can make me optimistic any longer - and not only me: A lot of my friends are sad as well: My Facebook wall is full of posts about leaving Egypt and searching for means and opportunities to travel abroad.

What happened? Why do I, who was so proud of her country, feel that way?

 

 

"I wanted to break the chains"

Written by Khadega Al-Sunaidar on Monday, 24 February 2014. Posted in Jemen

I am from a Sana‘ani  family. In my family, it hasn‘t been important for a female to finish her high school. Once she is 16 or 17 years old she has reached the age of marriage. To get married is her destiny and that is what she has to be prepared for. During my studies I was doing household works. That was my mother‘s priority. She thought, that my certificate wouldn‘t be useful  as sooner or later I would end up in my husband‘s house anyway. The female in my family has been considered a burden that the parents strive to get rid of by getting her married.

„Es ist Zeit, vorwärts zu gehen“

Written by Helene Aecherli on Tuesday, 07 January 2014. Posted in Jemen

Der Kampf der alten Machteliten ums politische Überleben versenkt den Jemen in Chaos und Anarchie. Schiessereien, Entführungen und Stromunterbrüche gehören zum Alltag, auf den Strassen des Landes herrscht Angst. Doch birgt Anarchie auch die Chance für neue Freiheiten. Vor allem für Frauen.

 

Viewpoints from Tanta

Written by Helene Aecherli on Sunday, 22 December 2013. Posted in Egypt

Based on conversations with Menna Elkhateeb

When the guys started to shave in Egypt

Somewhen last summer, shortly after President Morsi was gone, I noticed that men with beards started to shave. People were so vehemently against the Muslimbrotherhood and beards as what many believe to be symbols of an increasingly fundamentalist Islam, that men with more hair in the face than a nicely cut five-day-beard feared to be caught and arrested. 

THE POWER OF WORDS: COLLECTING BOOKS IN YEMEN

Written by Helene Aecherli on Tuesday, 10 December 2013. Posted in Jemen

Clashes, bombs, kidnappings, al-Qaeada: This is the usual news from Yemen. But other things happen in Yemen as well. There are guys, for example, who collect books to establish mobile libraries. Be it Arabic novels, Shakespeare or scientific literature: Reading enhances the level of education. I spoke to Abdulfattah Alghurbani about his initiative "Yemen Reading Points".

 

 

Letters from Arabia Felix

Written by Hana Al-Showafi on Sunday, 13 October 2013. Posted in Jemen

Letter One

When I happen to be on a mini bus, I keep looking at people walking in the streets of Sanaa and listening to the conversations between the driver and his passengers. I see poor innocent people, who try to make ends meet and still try to smile. And lately I observed an incident that tells a lot.

Last Night's Concert

Written by Abdo K. Ramadan on Sunday, 08 September 2013. Posted in Jemen

Hommage to my village Alnuzah

 

 Moon light,

On the roof where I spent last night

Spreading its rays in the air at my sight

Smashing the darkness gently reaching the inns and bushes, coming from height

****

More deal than partnership

Written by Hind Aleryani on Thursday, 29 August 2013. Posted in Jemen

Marriage

Throughout my life, I have heard many stories about women who were married at the age of 15 or who were forcefully married. One of my school friends even married someone she had never met and was only allowed to see one black-and-white picture of him (I still don’t know to this day why there were no colors in that picture).

These stories are by no means strange to me as a woman, but I never knew what the other party, i.e. men, thought.

Für Frauen im Jemen gilt: Jetzt oder nie

Written by Helene Aecherli on Wednesday, 08 August 2012. Posted in Jemen

Die Jemenitinnen haben sich aufgemacht, das Gesicht ihres Landes nachhaltig zu verändern.  Sie prangern gesellschaftliche Tabus an und fordern politisches Mitspracherecht. Doch ob sich ihr Engagement in politische Mitsprache ummünzen lässt, bleibt ungewiss.