2009 Spring Muslim Women: Contemporary Realities

April 29, 2009

Afsāneh Najmābādi

Afsaneh Najmabadi teaches History and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. Her last book, Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), received the 2005 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize from the American Historical Association. She is an associate editor of […]

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April 23, 2009

Farzaneh Milani

Born and raised in Teheran, Iran, Farzaneh Milani attended French primary and secondary schools. She earned her BA in French Literature in 1970 from California State University at Hayward. Transferring to the University of California in Los Angeles, she completed her graduate studies in Comparative Literature in 1979. Her dissertation, Forugh Farrokhzad: A Feminist Perspective, […]

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April 22, 2009

“Jihad for Love”

“A Jihad for Love” is Mr. Sharma’s debut and is the world’s first feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. Parvez enters the many worlds of Islam by illuminating multiple stories as diverse as Islam itself. The film travels a wide geographic arc presenting us lives from India, Pakistan, Iran, […]

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“Inside Out”

Maria is a middle-aged single woman with three children. Saman is a newly married young man. Arash is an eighteen-year-old high-school dropout. They have one thing in common: They are transgender and living in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Inside Out features intimate conversations with Maria (a male-to-female transsexual), Saman (female-to-male), and Arash (female-to-male), allowing […]

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April 16, 2009

“7 Zan Filmsaz-e Nabina” (7 Blind Female Filmmakers)

This extraordinary omnibus film presents seven shorts made by a group of blind women who each participated in a yearlong filmmaking workshop initiated by director Mohammad Shirvani. Each short opens an intensely intimate window on the everyday experience of the blind while the collection as a whole raises fascinating questions about the nature of cinema […]

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April 15, 2009

“Salt of This Sea”

SYNOPSIS: Soraya, born in Brooklyn in a working class community of Palestinian refugees, arrives in Israel and faces the usual cold humiliation at passport control once they learn her family came from Jaffa before 1948. She has come to reclaim her heritage, both on a spiritual and financial level since her grandfather left a bank […]

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April 8, 2009

Rhoda Kanaaneh

Rhoda Ann Kanaaneh is currently a visiting scholar in the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies at New York University. She is the author of the award-winning book Birthing the Nation: Strategies of Palestinian Women in Israel (2002) and Surrounded: Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military (2008) and is co-editor of an anthology titled […]

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April 2, 2009


Marjane Satrapi grew up wearing sneakers and beating up boys. She wanted to grow up to be a saint. When she was ten years old, her world changed overnight. Girls and boys had to use different doors to enter the school. She had to cover herself with a long dark robe. Grownups around her began […]

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March 26, 2009

“Shahiha – Brides of Allah”

A women’s prison in Israel. Palestinian women who had planned or taken part in a suicide bombing are held here. The Israeli filmmaker questions the women about the circumstances and reasons for their acts. She gets surprisingly close to them, speaks calmly with them, questions them at their level, without reproach. It is like suddenly […]

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March 25, 2009

Amina Wadud

“Amina Wadud is currently visiting Scholar at the Starr King School of the Ministry, Berkeley, CA. In 2008 she retired as Professor of Islamic Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia after joining the Religious Studies Program there in 1992. She also taught at the International Islamic University in Malaysia. Dr. Wadud, who […]

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March 5, 2009

“Football Under Cover”

The members of the Iranian women’s international football (soccer) team possess a dedication to the sport rivaling that of any other group of players in the world. What they lack, however, is a team to play against. When Marlene, the left back of a German soccer club, learns of their situation, she becomes determined to […]

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March 4, 2009

Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zayid was the first comedian to perform standup live in Palestine, performing in Nazareth, Haifa, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. She has performed on Comedy Central’s The Watch List and has had numerous dramatic television roles and made appearances on news and public affairs programs. In the fall of 2006, she debuted her one woman […]

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March 3, 2009

Roya Hakakian

Roya Hakakian has collaborated on over a dozen hours of programming for leading journalism units on network television, including 60 Minutes and on A& E’s “Travels With Harry”, and ABC Documentary Specials with the late Peter Jennings, Discovery and The Learning Channel. Commissioned by UNICEF, Roya’s most recent film, Armed and Innocent on the subject […]

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Lara Deeb

This event is sponsored by the Malott Commons Tuesday Noon Academy series.

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February 26, 2009

Pardis Mahdavi

Pardis Mahdavi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College and a consultant for the International Women’s Health Coalition. She received her Masters in International Affairs (MIA), Master of Arts and PhD from Columbia University in New York City. She is a trained medical anthropologist with a special interest in socio-cultural aspects of health and […]

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February 18, 2009

“Dah be alaveh chahar” (10+4)

In this sequel to Abbas Kiarostami’s “Ten”, Mania Akbari, the leading actress of the film, again drives a car and talks to her son, her sister and other people. Her situation in this sequel differs because Mania is suffering from cancer. As the disease progresses she’s unable to drive. So she sits in the back […]

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February 12, 2009

“3 Zan” (3 Women)

“Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Manijeh Hekmat unfurls a beautifully paced, visually rich and emotionally insightful story about a family of three women. On a day that should be ordinary, Minoo, a museum rug conservator, sets out with her aging, senile mother to visit the doctor. Already distracted and fretting over her daughter Pegah, who’s simply dropped […]

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January 29, 2009

“Dinner with the President: A Nation’s Journey”

What are the implications for democracy in Pakistan when secular political parties have succumbed to the Islamic agenda? What does it mean when the army appears to be the only force able to contain the opponents of democracy, the armed Islamists? President Musharraf agrees to explore this apparent contradiction over dinner at his official residence, […]

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January 28, 2009

Khaled Abou El Fadl

Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of the leading authorities in Islamic law in the United States and Europe. He was named as a 2005 Carnegie Scholar in Islamic studies. His personal library contains over 6500 Islamic books and manuscripts, some dating from the thirteenth century. He teaches Islamic law, Middle Eastern Investment Law, Immigration […]

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