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Sara Mourad


A Politics of Hope: A Tribute to Brief Lives at a Time of Perpetual Death

[Beirut, 1991. Image by Gabriele Basilico]

Sara Khatib died on 5 September. The last time I saw Sara, she was lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by a worried and loving grandmother, a selfless mother camouflaging her sense of helplessness with a comforting smile, and an older sister who was silently battling a feeling of impending tragedy. Sara had undergone surgery to remove a recurrent tumor in her arm. A post-operation infection had brought her back to the hospital where doctors were unable to diagnose the cause ...

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In the Shadow of Malala: The West’s Unsaved Others

[Malala Yousafzai in the Oval Office with the First Family, October 2013]

Malala Yousafzai has made a number of headlines in the past few weeks: Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, addressing the UN on the occasion of “Malala Day” dedicated to youth education, meeting with the Obamas in the Oval Office, chatting with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, speaking at the World Bank’s “International Day of the Girl,” and receiving the honorary Canadian citizenship. In case you missed it, even The ...

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The Naked Bodies of Alia

[Grafitti of Alia al-Mahdy and Samira Ibrahim in Cairo, Egypt. Image from]

Just as we started thinking that Alia al-Mahdy’s nude portrait was a thing of the past, new images surfaced on the web. On 20 December 2012, FEMEN—a Ukrainian women’s movement known for its controversial nude protest actions—posted photos of Alia and two FEMEN members posing naked in front of the Egyptian embassy in Stockholm on their Facebook page. The Facebook group cover photo was updated on the same day, showing a nude Alia raising the Egyptian flag, photo-shopped ...

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Politics at the Tip of the Clitoris: Why, in Fact, Do They Hate Us?

[Two migrant domestic workers, not allowed a day-off on Sunday, wave to the parade from their employer’s balcony during Migrant Workers May Day Parade in Beirut on 29 April 2012. Image by Hisham Ashkar]

What baffles me most about Mona Eltahawy’s Foreign Policy article is that it does not accomplish the task it sets out for itself; it does not, in fact, answer its foundational question: Why do they hate us? Instead of focusing on the why, identifying the structural reasons behind sexism and misogyny in the Arab world, Eltahaway provides illustrative evidence of the oppressions Arab women face; the list is by now all too familiar both in the West and in the Arab world. The ...

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Sara Mourad


Sara Mourad is a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the politics of desire and sexuality in contemporary Arab public culture.