Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘women’ Category

The Revolutionary Practice of Endurance

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[Sunset in the Black Cloud, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)] 
[Sunset in the Black Cloud, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

Cairo, Winter 2015

The feelings of claustrophobia, exhaustion, and asphyxia are familiar to all of those who inhabit Cairo’s kinetic and crowded urban core.

Everyone living between Tahrir and the plateaus of Muqattam breathes the same polluted air that chokes much of the city, saturated with particulates from leaded car exhaust, factory emissions, scorched crop leftovers, and burning garbage dumps.

It is within these atmospheric conditions that people are born and live their lives, always-already arriving in the middle of and inheriting complex and overlapping global pasts with each breath.

Following Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s rise to power during the summer of 2013 in a highly dramatic military coup, a dark affect has also come to saturate the air of the Nile valley.

Many of the democratic and material gains of the Egyptian revolution seem to have dissolved with the return of military rule, and new emergency anti-protest laws have sent hundreds of revolutionaries to prison for years simply for attending demonstrations.

It is tempting at times to feel that everything that had become possible in Egypt during the eighteen revolutionary days of 2011 has now been completely curtailed by the security state, leaving little room to breathe anything other than the stale exhaust of smoldering dreams.

Blogger Sarah Carr has poignantly described these years as “that time we jumped off a cliff reaching for the moon” while asking

“whether it was worth it, whether those lives shattered and destroyed have laid the groundwork for something or are just gone.”

 


[Sunset in the Black Cloud, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

And yet those living within the black cloud of Cairo overflow with collective forms of activity that seemingly shake off many of the harsh realities of the city, thoroughly entangled with one another in thousands of tiny gestures of solidarity that largely escape notice.

In downtown’s outdoor cafes where groups gather in the mornings and evenings to drink coffee and tea or smoke shisha, reading the daily newspapers or watching football matches, people relax together and sustain informal spaces of sociality.

In the vast networks of baking and delivering inexpensive bread, recycling every form of trash, and building cheap brick housing complexes in Cairo’s ashwa’iyyat, the city’s poor find a way of sheltering and sustaining one another’s lives, however precarious. And occasionally, in the streets surrounding Tahrir Square, in the chaotic accumulation of demonstrations, occupations, and riots of the past years, people have found ways of building fragile yet tangible imaginations and futures with one another.

Each of these tiny acts are part of much more prolonged and expansive forms of solidarity and care that people lend each other over spans of years or even entire lives, an aggregate that not only preserves life but also preserves the conditions that make life possible.

These gestures of solidarity are framed by the histories that they arise from, as well as by the futures they call into being.

Each act is figured by, as well as prefigurative of, complex economic relations, urban transformations, social controls, and transnational as well as local migrations and settlements, all unfolding in the context of Egyptian neoliberalism.

As Salwa Ismail notes in her book Political Life in Cairo’s New Quarters: “Part and parcel of the political economy transformations is a remapping of the city whereby new lines of division and fragmentation of the urban fabric have emerged.”

Therefore “we should direct our attention to the actual living conditions in the quarters, to the efforts undertaken by the residents to change these conditions and fashion modes of living in the face of grinding political and economic constraints.”

It is here, in the manifold practices that “fashion modes of living”, that we can glimpse how heterogeneous and unresolved economic, social, and political pasts are enmeshed with the plural futures of the city’s diverse inhabitants, each vibrantly modulating the conditions oh possibility and impossibility for various forms of life.

I now think that many of us have too often thought of revolution only as a kind of rupture, an intense and radical departure away from the old and towards the new.

Even the given name of the “Arab Spring” has framed the revolt in Egypt as a passing season, already historically contained. From this perspective every revolution is an already-failed revolution, always stopping short of completely undoing past injustice.

Instead, I wonder what it would mean to think of revolution in terms of its continuity rather than its potential to break away, pushing our attention towards the importance of duration and patience with the same gravity that has otherwise been given to dramatic street battles and demonstrations.

How can we come to think of revolt as an exercise of perseverance and stamina, a collective technique of producing futures through durational practices in the present? What could we say constitutes the revolutionary practice of endurance?

Endurance of Different Kinds

Ever since the military formally returned to power in July 2013, Egyptian police, soldiers, and state-organized thugs have attacked demonstrations incessantly.

Those who are lucky have managed to slip away from these attacks with only the sharp burning of tear gas in their lungs, either escaping into an open restaurant, quickly catching one of Cairo’s many taxis, or disappearing into the bustle of a nearby metro station, all while evading the plethora of plainclothes police that roam the area before, during, and after demonstrations.

Others are beaten in the streets or in the back of police trucks, detained and sentenced to years in jail, tortured at police stations, or killed. The protests that have repeatedly filled the streets in this context have done so under threat of extinction, as the military regime has not only consistently dispersed protests when they appear but has also attempted to strangle the very conditions and relations from within which resistance is possible.

One of the means the military regime has used to forcefully establish its power in Egypt is the assault on communities that have practiced informal forms of refuge and care.

The state’s systematic attacks on homosexuals, political dissidents, students, artists, and women are each meant to suffocate instances of being-together that have the potential to reorganize the forms and practices of endurance that do not rely upon the state.

In place of these precarious refuges, the regime has implemented spaces of security that are solely meant to be defended by the military against a diversity of persistent existential threats, either described as “terrorism,” “foreign influence,” or “indecency.”

This has led to policies such as the de facto ban of nongovernmental organizations that receive any kind of funding from outside the country, the proliferation of security checkpoints in universities and on roads, as well as the destruction of entire neighborhoods in the Gaza border region. The military regime organizes to ensure that the possibility of everyone’s survival wholly relies upon a military-imposed security, and in turn extinguishes the conditions of possibility for varied forms of survival and endurance that differentially manifest.


[Youth Burning Garbage, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

This “differential endurance,” the survival and duration of a different kind of life in Egypt, is something that has persisted despite the deep intensities of state repression.

Organizing to produce different environments and relationships within which to endure has manifested as a form of resistance against a military that means to totalize its control over the practice of survival itself.

Endurance is revolutionary in this context not only in the ways that individuals come to survive the violence of the state, but importantly in the encounters, exchanges and proximities that necessarily arise from the practices of endurance that produce new conditions of possibility for living, surviving, and revolting.

This configuration of endurance-as-resistance both precedes the power of the state and exceeds the state’s organization, moving us to consider not only the way new practices of living become possible within the fleeting revolutionary periods of turbulent riots and street battles, but also within the prolonged revolutionary forms of survival that erode the logic of security.

Asef Bayat has described these practices of endurance as “the quiet encroachment of the ordinary”, illustrating how vast informal economies and decentralized forms of autonomous organization among the poor manifest as potent political and historical forces in relation to more widely recognized forms of power.

What this description does not emphasize, however, is the way in which all of politics hinge on various forms of duration; just as the informal communities in Cairo’s slums struggle to endure, so too does the state engage in “quiet” and “ordinary” practices that produce its duration.

The important distinction is in locating how these encroachments aggregate and disaggregate sets of relations that allow for or disallow assorted practices, differentially supporting the duration of some bodies, things, and environments over others.

The repeated military closure of Tahrir Square has perhaps been the most obvious manifestation of the military regime’s attempt to impose totalizing spaces of security in Egypt in the interest of its own survival. In the past weeks, any sign of possible unrest has led to widespread military mobilizations that have included the complete closure of Tahrir on all sides, attempting to dissolve any potential for a revival of the intensity of the eighteen days of revolt in 2011.

The closures of Tahrir take place in a downtown that has also been shaped by a pervasive military presence, with armored personnel carriers regularly stationed around government buildings, accompanied by young conscripts with automatic rifles that are often too big for their small frames.

These military strategies have, over time and through their repetition, taken on their own “ordinariness” and have set into motion the duration of a militarized Cairo.


[The Ashwa’iyyat (the “randoms”), Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

Following the Muslim Brotherhood’s weeks-long occupation of Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in defiance of al-Sisi’s coup, and its end in a massacre of more than one thousand protesters in August of 2013, many groups have refused to share the streets of Cairo together in any meaningful way. Mutual perceptions of betrayals and failures persist, despite a shared opposition to the military’s seizure of state power.

However, recent protests against Hosni Mubarak’s acquittal on charges related to the killing of protesters have been composed of more diverse aggregates of groups that have gone against these sectarian trends. In the largest of the demonstrations against Mubarak’s acquittal, the chants from the revolution found new voice in the crowds, and a mixture of students, ultras, revolutionaries, journalists, and Islamists appeared together in the streets for the first time in many months.

The appearance and accumulation of crowds such as these is felt as a threat to the military order. It suggests the possibility that strangers might find one another across fields of political and social difference, united by a shared precarity and vulnerability to violence.

The Transversality of Alliance

The act of appearing in alliance together in the streets threatens to make porous the boundaries that both separate and tie together, reorganizing the limits of the social and potentially engendering new practices and relations of survival and endurance.

As much as the political divides in Egypt seem to foreclose the potential for new coalitions and alliances, what must be stressed is that one’s positionality is never entirely resolved nor fixed, but rather is incessantly reproduced in the encounters that occur when people appear together and to one another in shared spaces.

As Judith Butler has argued: “The body is constituted through perspectives it cannot inhabit; someone else sees our face in a way that none of us can. We are in this way, even as located, always elsewhere, constituted in a sociality that exceeds us.”

To congregate in this way is to be with, think with, act with, appear with, and endure with people that are ineradicably different from one another, and to engage in collective forms of transformation and endurance that cannot be fully anticipated in advance.

When people protest together, as they have against Mubarak’s acquittal, or when they mourn together, as they recently have on the third anniversary of the Maspero massacre, they enter into situations that have unpredictable outcomes by virtue of the diverse individuals involved, introducing noise into an otherwise calm present and creating turbulence where unpredicted futures filled with novel relations can take hold; this noise is what makes resistance possible.

The scattered and transversal movements that occur in the noisy aggregation and disaggregation of alliances produce plural futures that dislocate otherwise regulated social and political arrangements.

A necessary component of any revolutionary project is a radical re-evaluation not only of the order and hierarchy of individual parts of a society, but also of what fundamental ethical responsibilities exist or could exist between those parts.

To understand endurance as a practice of resistance is to grasp how survival is always framed by an uncompromising fragility, vulnerability, and interdependency that shapes all of life in disproportionate ways.

These fragilities, vulnerabilities and interdependencies become the foundation for ethical and political projects only when it is acknowledged that people come to survive differently, and that established formations of power differentially privilege the survival of some over others.

The diversity of revolts and occupations that have taken place in Egypt since 2011 manifest as the resistance of the endurant precisely when they are translated and persist beyond the moments of intensity themselves into more prolonged, nuanced, and complex forms of caring relation that threaten to reorganize these formations of power.

[Summer’s Shade, Cairo, 2014 (Photo: Ian Paul)]

The practice of endurance is revolutionary in this sense not only in the care for oneself or for those who are already proximate under the duress of state violence, but also in the production and preservation of conditions within which new forms of proximity and care can take shape, and within which the survival of lives of variously distant and different others can be sustained more generally.

Along these lines, the protests that have taken place across Egypt since the revolution are situated in much more diffuse currents of collective activities, everyday practices, and infinitely subtle forms of support.

These act against the contingency not only of the participants but of the larger contexts within which all of life is lived. In the process of appearing and circulating together, a transversal play between proximity and distance takes place that provides new opportunities for alliance and care that do not conform to the present formations of power.

After several hours, only a few hundred meters away from a blocked-off Tahrir Square, the diverse groups that had congregated in Abdel Moneim Riad Square in response to Mubarak’s acquittal were rapidly attacked and dispersed by the military and police.

People fled onto various side streets in the hopes of escaping arrest; only some of them were successful. Police vehicles chased running protesters around downtown for hours, ambushes were set up and people were dragged out of cars with guns pointed at their heads.

Plainclothes police hunted for those trying to escape unnoticed, desperately concealing any appearance of injury or trauma that they had just experienced that would link them to the gathering. In the end, two protesters were killed, nine were injured, and eighty-four were arrested.

While not forgetting the violent reality of the state’s repression, it is also important to insist here that even though the military was able to disperse the gathering, the relations that drew people together and that people carried away with them are not so easily suffocated. These relations suggest a continuity of the revolution that will continue to transform Egypt in the various forms they adopt, producing new conditions and situations that the military cannot wholly smother.

One of the most striking and visible changes following Mohamed Morsi’s ouster and al-Sisi’s ascent was a repainting of many of downtown Cairo’s facades, as well as the planting of a manicured lawn and installation of a military memorial in Tahrir Square.

Large sections of Mohamed Mahmoud Street, the site of some of the largest clashes between police and demonstrators in 2011, and famous for its elaborate murals memorializing the revolution’s martyrs, have been repeatedly painted over as well.

In the end, such cosmetic projects do little to bury pasts that are not yet passed, but still thickly infuse the air of the city; activist artists have consistently covered Mohamed Mahmoud Street with new murals every time it has been painted over, and the military has just recently removed its own memorial from Tahrir in anticipation of the protests that will accompany the fourth anniversary of the revolution.

After the street battles, in the brief pauses between the gasps of air from those who have just escaped the police’s clubs, tear gas, and bullets, dynamic forms of care allow for new durations to emerge that remake the world itself.

These diverse forms of endurance are ultimately incongruent with the military’s secure present and suggest the potential for differential practices of living to emerge. The revolution persists on the streets of Egypt in the lives of the endurant who, with each breath, carry the unfinished relations of the revolution forward.

Postscript

On 24 January, the eve of the fourth anniversary of the revolution, the socialist activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was shot and killed by police in downtown Cairo. She was part of a small demonstration that was headed to Tahrir Square to lay a wreath of flowers in honor of the martyrs of the revolution when security forces fired the birdshot that took her life.

This short reflection was meant to help us think about the endurant, but I hope that it also speaks more broadly to the struggle to cultivate the fragile and shared conditions within which we all are born and will eventually die.

Those that have collapsed in the fight for not only the possibility of survival, but also for qualitatively better lives, do not so simply disintegrate and vanish when their breath stops. Rather, their actions and gestures will continue reverberate through the futures that they helped call into being.

This text is dedicated to her life, and to all of the ways her life will continue to find expression in futures and lives that are still in the process of becoming.

“How did you realize that you had become a man…”?

This question was asked by Lars to his elder brother in the movie “Lars and the Real Girl“.

Lars began by a short introduction stating that his human size doll Gloria has followed rites of passage in her homeland Brazil.

Lars said: “Was it sex that made you feel that you had reached manhood?”

His brother replied with hesitation: “Yes, it was sex. But there are other things that I don’t know. This is a very interesting question and I have to think about it…”

Then the brother said: “It is when you get aware of your responsibilities toward the other people. Like never to cheat on your wife and care for your family…”

Women, always and naturally, go to an unmistakable rite of passage when they get their first menstruation period.  A rite in her own blood and for a few days too, and every month thereon.

A moment of reckoning that the little girl has become a woman, and the family start readying her for marriage.

It is overdoing the rite of passage by mutilating the sex part of a girl, as done in certain traditions, with excuses that are worse than the practice.

Males kids have No natural rite of passage: The rites are mostly faked and never strike the kids as serious.

When wives frequently say: “My husband is a big kid“, they mean that he is still battling with the notion of manhood.

The training at an advanced age to manhood is hard and not effective most of the time.

In many tribes, the rites of passage are violent and the kid has to demonstrate that he can kill a big animal and many other feats of physical abilities.  Mainly, proving that he is strong and willing to obey the community customs and traditions.

Maybe circumcising a male kid when he is over 13 is a better rite of passage than when he is born: Blood is an excellent shock for rite passage. However, harsher mutilation methods could leave worse results than expected.

The female kid has learned many survival skills and more talents are patiently relayed to her to become a wife and a mother: Like seducing, cooking, sewing… and mostly, how to endure loneliness and isolation.

Woman arrested in France for T-shirt critical of Israel

Undeterred by arrest of an activist at march days earlier, members of BDS France wear “illegal” t-shirts calling for the boycott of Israel, during a protest outside Airbnb’s office in Paris on 10 March. (Courtesy of BDS France)

France has ratcheted up its draconian repression of free speech about Palestine with the arrest of a woman for wearing a T-shirt supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The activist was taking part in a march for International Women’s Day in Paris last Sunday when undercover police swooped in and detained her for wearing a piece of clothing with the words “Boycott Apartheid Israel” printed on it.

According to the newspaper L’Humanité, officers from the Renseignements Généraux, the intelligence service of the French police, were involved in monitoring the demonstration in which numerous social justice and leftist groups took part.

France remains under the state of emergency severely limiting public freedoms that was declared after last November’s atrocities by suspected Islamic State extremists who killed 130 people in Paris.

The young woman was taken to Paris’ 3rd district police station for questioning.

Hundreds of marchers halted their procession and demonstrated loudly outside the police station for an hour until she was released, as a video posted on Facebook and this clip tweeted by a march participant show:

Political repression

The woman has been summoned back to the police station for questioning at 2pm on Monday on suspicion of “inciting hatred by reason of [national] origin, through writing,” according to L’Humanité.

Supporters are planning to demonstrate outside the police station at that time.

The feminist collective 8 Mars Pour TouTEs denounced the arrest and pledged support for the activist and for the BDS movement.

The arrest was evidence of the “criminalization of political struggles,” the group said, vowing to mount strong solidarity in response to “the police state and political and racist repression.”

The left-wing grouping Ensemble has condemned the arrest, describing it as a consequence of the “security climate” in France.

The Palestine solidarity group BDS France noted that the day after the arrest, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told a dinner hosted by the Israel lobby group CRIF that “anti-Zionism is nothing more than a synonym for anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel.”

“Today, politicians who support the Israeli apartheid regime are out of arguments,” BDS France said in a statement.

“They conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and terrorism, and take all the Jews of the world hostage, stubbornly insisting that they become accomplices of the war crimes and apartheid of a state which is foreign to them,” BDS France added.

The campaign group said that with the growing global success of BDS, “a nonviolent, anti-racist citizen movement for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people,” Israel and its allies in the French government had no recourse but to try to smear it as anti-Semitic.

Court rulings and government decrees have outlawed calls to boycott Israeli goods, prompting defiance from French civil society.

Undeterred

BDS France is also vowing not to fold under government repression.

On Thursday, dozens of activists handed in an international petition at the Paris offices of Airbnb to protest the company’s profiting from the renting out of vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

As the photos published by BDS France show, the activists were proudly wearing their “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” T-shirts.

On Saturday, activists will hold rallies all over France against the state of emergency. An action alert from BDS France urges supporters to wear their T-shirts at those marches too.

The woman is made to, made for, made from…? And the young girls

La femme est faite pour un homme, l’homme est fait pour la vie, et notamment pour toutes les femmes.
La femme est faite pour être arrivée, et rivée ; l’homme est fait pour entreprendre, et se détacher :

elle commence à aimer, quand, lui, il a fini ; on parle d’allumeuse, que ne parle-t-on plus souvent d’allumeurs !

L’homme prend et rejette ; la femme se donne, et on ne reprend pas, ou reprend mal, ce qu’on a une fois donné.

La femme croit que l’amour peut tout, non seulement le sien, mais celui que l’homme lui porte, qu’elle s’exagère toujours ; elle prétend avec éloquence que l’amour n’a pas de limites ;

l’homme voit les limites de l’amour, de celui que la femme a pour lui, et de celui qu’il a pour elle, dont il connait toute la pauvreté.

Henry de Montherlant / Les jeunes filles

On a beau s’ingénier, l’amour n’est pas varié ; il se présente toujours de la même façon : on en peut suivre aisément chaque période et chaque manifestation successive, depuis le début toujours pareil jusqu’au dénouement toujours le même.

Les sensuels s’efforcent de le travailler, de le raffiner, de le compliquer, de le parfaire, ils ne trouvent rien de nouveau ;

et, dans la pratique, un collégien préparant son bachot en sait autant qu’un vieux sénateur goutteux ou qu’un académicien galant blanchi dans les aventures.

Maupassant dans ses Chroniques

Note: It is Women Day. And the rhetoric is for equal pay for equal skilled work. And be equally politically represented in all political and administrative organizations and institutions.

What do you mean by Most Powerful Women?

The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015

Welcome to CEO Middle East’s fifth annual list of the world’s most powerful Arab women

Our yearly look at the most important female influencers across the Arab world.

Skip these wealthy male “Arab” persons and families to the recognized women in all facet of life.

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1

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud

Saudi Arabia

$28.1bn ($31.2bn)

2

The Olayan family

Saudi Arabia

$12bn ($12.5bn)

3

Joseph Safra

Brazil (Lebanon)

$11.9bn ($7.5bn)

4

The Sawiris family

Egypt

$11.3bn ($10bn)

5

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

UK (Saudi Arabia)

$9.2bn ($12.66bn)

6

Mohammed Al Amoudi

Saudi Arabia

$9bn ($12bn)

7

The Kharafi family

Kuwait

$8.3bn ($8.5bn)

8

The Al Ghurair family

UAE

$7bn ($6.3bn)

9

The Bukhamseen family

Kuwait

$6.4bn ($6.8bn)

10

The Kanoo family

Bahrain

$6bn ($6.1bn)

11

The Mansour family

Egypt

$5.4bn ($5.1bn)

12

The Al Rajhi family

Saudi Arabia

$5bn ($4.3bn)

13

Hussain Sajwani

UAE

$4bn (New entry)

14

The Gargash family

UAE

$3.5bn ($3.7bn)

15

Adel Aujan

Saudi Arabia

$3.3bn ($3.56bn)

16

Najib Mikati

Lebanon

$3.2bn ($3.4bn)

17

Abdulatif Al Fozan

Saudi Arabia

$3.05bn ($3.25bn)

18

Issad Rebrab

Algeria

$3bn (New entry)

19

The Hayek family

Switzerland (Lebanon)

$2.9bn ($3.2bn)

20

Bahaa Hariri

Switzerland (Saudi Arabia)

$2.8bn ($3.1bn)

21

Saad Hariri

Lebanon

$2.7bn ($3.3bn)

22

Ziad Manasir

Russia (Jordan)

$2.6bn ($2.58bn)

23

Mansour Ojjeh

France (Saudi Arabia)

$2.45bn ($2.8bn)

24

Othman Benjelloun

Morocco

$2.4bn (New entry)

25

Ayman Asfari

UK (Syria)

$2.35bn ($2.7bn)

26

Mohammed Ibrahim

UK (North Sudan)

$2.2bn ($2.15bn)

27

Nadhmi Auchi

UK (Iraq)

$1.9bn ($2.2bn)

28

Saleh Kamel

Saudi Arabia

$1.85bn ($2bn)

29

Hasan Abdullah Ismaik

UAE (Jordan)

$1.8bn (New entry)

30

Mohammed Al Fayed

UK (Egypt)

$1.7bn (new entry)

–>

1

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

UAE (UAE)

Government

2

Amal Clooney

Lebanon (UK)

Law

3

Loujain Al Hathloul

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

4

Lubna Olayan

Saudi Arabia

Banking and finance

5

Reem Al Hashimy

UAE

Government

6

Mariam Al Mansouri

UAE

Armed forces

7

Mona Al Munajjed

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

8

Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch

Morocco

Retail

9

Amina Al Rustamani

UAE

Media

10

Zainab Mohammed

UAE

Real estate

11

Nayla Hayek

UAE (Lebanon)

Retail

12

Dr Rana Dajani

Jordan

Science

13

Haifaa Al Mansour

Saudi Arabia

Arts and entertainment

14

Bayan Mahmoud Al Zahran

Saudi Arabia

Law

15

Manahel Thabet

UAE (Yemen)

Science

16

Hayat Sindi

Saudi Arabia

Science

17

Leila El Solh

Lebanon

Culture and society

18

Iqbal Al Asaad

Lebanon (Palestine)

Healthcare

19

Huda Al Ghoson

Saudi Arabia

Energy

20

Hanan Al Kuwari

Qatar

Healthcare

21

Zaha Hadid

Iraq (UK)

Construction

22

Mariam Abultewi

Palestine

Technology

23

Fatima Al Jaber

UAE

Construction

24

Majida Ali Rashid

UAE

Real estate

25

Maali Alasousi

Yemen (Kuwait)

Culture and society

26

Samia Halaby

US (Palestine)

Arts and entertainment

27

Maha Laziri

Morocco

Education

28

Somayya Jabarti

Saudi Arabia

Media

29

Raja Al Gurg

UAE

Construction

30

Hamdiyah Al Jaff

Iraq

Banking and finance

31

Shaikha Al Bahar

Kuwait

Banking and finance

32

Wafa Sayadi

Tunisia

Environmental services

33

Futaim Al Falasi

UAE

Media

34

Lamis Elhadidy

Egypt

Media

35

Joelle Mardinian

UAE

Arts and entertainment

36

Noura Al Kaabi

UAE

Media

37

Samia Al Amoudi

Saudi Arabia

Healthcare

38

Lina Attalah

Egypt

Media

39

Grace Najjar

Lebanon

Consulting and coaching

40

Samira Islam

Saudi Arabia

Science

41

Khawla Al Kuraya

Saudi Arabia

Science

42

Zainab Salbi

Iraq (US)

Culture and society

43

Mira Al Attiyah

Qatar

Finance

44

Muna Abu Sulayman

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

45

Abeer Abu Ghaith

Palestine

IT

46

Rasha Al Roumi

Kuwait

Transport

47

Summer Nasief

Saudi Arabia

Healthcare

48

Maryam Matar

UAE

Science

49

Hend El Sherbini

Egypt

Science

50

Raha Moharrak

UAE (Saudi Arabia)

Sport

51

Maha Al Ghunaim

Kuwait

Banking and finance

52

Habiba Al Safar

UAE

Science

53

Salma Hareb

UAE

Industry

54

Joumana Haddad

Lebanon

Culture and society

55

Dalia Mogahed

US (Egypt)

Culture and society

56

Thoraya Obaid

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

57

Randa Ayoubi

Jordan

Media

58

Mona Al Marri

UAE

Media

59

Sarah Shuhail

UAE

Culture and society

60

Soraya Salti

Jordan

Culture and society

61

Nawal Al Saadawi

Egypt

Culture and society

62

Amira Yahyaoui

Tunisia

Culture and society

63

Nashwa Al Ruwaini

UAE

Media

64

Ayah Bdeir

Canada (Lebanon)

Science

65

Tawakul Karman

Yemen

Culture and society

66

Nadine Labaki

Lebanon

Arts and entertainment

67

Maha Al Farhan

UAE

Science

68

Nahed Taher

Saudi Arabia

Banking and finance

69

Mona Eltahawy

US (Egypt)

Media

70

Hala Gorani

US (Syria)

Media

71

Dima Ikhwan

Saudi Arabia

Finance and entertainment

72

Nancy Ajram

Lebanon

Arts and entertainment

73

Nermin Saad

Saudi Arabia (Jordan)

IT

74

Amal Al Qubaisi

UAE

Culture and society

75

Ingie Chalhoub

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Mistinguett of The Moulin Rouge:  Biggest star insured legs for 500,000 francs in 1919

Mistinguett  was a French actress and singer, whose birth name was Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois. She was at one time the highest-paid female entertainer in the world.

Once during a tour of the United States, Mistinguett was asked by Time magazine to explain her popularity. Her answer was, “It is a kind of magnetism. I say  ‘Come closer’ and draw them to me.

Mistinguett, born in poverty, was not particularly beautiful but had an undeniably quick wit. She wanted to build her own life and said “the poor suburbs, it’s not enough just to want to get out.

I had a talent: life. All the rest remains to be done, to be thought about. I couldn’t allow myself just to be a beautiful animal, I had to think of everything”. A peerless businesswoman, she first listened carefully then captivated.

Source
Source

 

 Maurice Chevalier and Mistinguett, Source
Maurice Chevalier and Mistinguett, Source

 

Source
Source

 

 Mistinguett and Josephine Baker in 1927. Source
Mistinguett and Josephine Baker in 1927. Source

At an early age Mistinguett.aspired to be an entertainer. She began as a flower seller in a restaurant in her hometown, singing popular ballads as she sold blossoms.

After taking classes in theatre and singing, she began her career as an entertainer in 1885. One day on the train to Paris for a violin lesson, she met Saint-Marcel, who directed the revue at the Casino de Paris.

He engaged her first as a stage-hand, and here she began to pursue her goal to become an entertainer, experimenting with various stage-names, being successively Miss Helyett, Miss Tinguette, Mistinguette and, finally, Mistinguett.

 

 Mistinguett at the Moulin Rouge Source
Mistinguett at the Moulin Rouge Source

Bourgeois made her debut as Mistinguett at the Casino de Paris in 1895 and went on to appear in venues such as the Folies Bergère, Moulin Rouge and Eldorado.

She was at one time the highest-paid female entertainer in the world.

thevintagenews.com

Her risqué routines captivated Paris, and she went on to become the most popular French entertainer of her time and the highest paid female entertainer in the world, known for her flamboyance and a zest for the theatrical.In 1919 her legs were insured for 500,000 francs.

 Mistinguett in her Chrysler, Deauville, France, 1929 Source
Mistinguett in her Chrysler, Deauville, France, 1929 Source

 

 Mistinguett in the United States in 1924 Source
Mistinguett in the United States in 1924 Source

 

 Mistinguett poster, 1911 Source
Mistinguett poster, 1911 Source

 

 Mistinguett sitting on her Chrysler with a group of photographers in Deauville in 1929. Source
Mistinguett sitting on her Chrysler with a group of photographers in Deauville in 1929. Source

 

 Mistinguett Source
Mistinguett Source

 

Source
Source

 

 

Source
Source

Mistinguett died in Bougival, France, at the age of 80, attended by her son, a doctor.

She is buried in the Cimetière Enghien-les-Bains, Île-de-France, France.

Upon her death, writer Jean Cocteau observed in an obituary, “Her voice, slightly off-key, was that of the Parisian street hawkers—the husky, trailing voice of the Paris people.

She was of the animal race that owes nothing to intellectualism. She incarnated herself. She flattered a French patriotism that was not shameful. It is normal now that she should crumble, like the other caryatids of that great and marvelous epoch that was ours”.

One part of the Obama White House that will endure under Trump: Michelle’s vegetable garden

February 13, 2017

It was less than a year ago that Michelle Obama referred to it as “her baby.”

She wasn’t talking about her youngest daughter, Sasha, or the Obama’s pet dog Bo, but something undoubtedly dear to her during her time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the White House vegetable garden.

Her comments were made during her eighth and final spring planting, but “hopefully,” she added, “this will not be the last” one ever.

First lady Melania Trump confirmed that although the garden’s founder may have moved away, her beloved garden lives on. A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“As a mother and as the First Lady of this country, Mrs. Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House Gardens, specifically the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, senior adviser to the first lady, said in a statement to CNN.

The White House vegetable garden was supposedly the first of its kind since Eleanor Roosevelt’s in 1943, The Washington Post’s Dan Zak reported in April.

The garden in the past has offered a varied menu that included “Churchill” brussels sprouts and “Kentucky colonel” spearmint, as well as garlic and fennel and shallots and endive. The garden was, at last count, 1,700 square feet in size, but for the past eight years it has occupied a much larger space symbolically, as Michelle Obama used her platform to fight childhood obesity and improve America’s eating habits.

Throughout that fight, health advocates said, the garden was a physical reminder of Obama’s message.

“The vegetables wind up in dinners for the first family,” Zak noted. “Almost 500 pounds of them have been shipped to homeless shelters. In 2010, they ripened into Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, for which the first lady danced with Elmo and Jimmy Fallon in order to get kids off the couch and to the crisper. She has also nudged corporations to trim salt, sugar and fat from food products.”

The garden — located on the corner of the South Lawn — more than doubled in area during the Obama presidency. The garden also includes an apiary and a pollinator garden for bees and other insects. A spokesman for Hillary Clinton told The Post that she intended to keep the garden if she were elected president, but Trump had not signaled whether the garden would survive until last week.

CNN reported that Trump toured the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Fla., with Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The visit gave the first lady — striking a Michelle Obama-esque tone — a chance to tout the health benefits and physical beauty that can be derived from a well-kept garden.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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