AUD Women’s Day Event Recap By Rebal Abdul Rahim

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Right as the first half of the semester approached its conclusion, and students of the American University in Dubai were preparing for their Spring Break, Professors Pamela Chrabieh and Nadia Wardeh gave the university’s students something to contemplate and to cherish as they hosted a Women’s Day event.

The constant strive for a progressive future encourages us all to battle for equality. One of the daily battles we must involve ourselves in is of course, to fight for women’s right and equality. The never ending dispute is personal to us all, and on Women’s Day we all had a chance for us to reflect and empathize with each other.

From a live play where the traditional gender norms were reversed in order to put certain issues in perspective, to poetry recitals where students addressed and shared their personal struggles, the university event successfully made its students witnesses on the daily issues that women go through.

Besides the live performances, students from Professor Chrabieh and Wardeh’s classes brought in home made dishes and shared their own stories about how those foods had feminist connotations, be it on a societal or personal level. The food included; Vine Leaves, Kunafa, Cupcakes, hummus among other things.

While the food could have been the main attraction that motivated the students to partake in the event, the Arabic music playing in the background accompanied by several relevant activities and the artwork on display created a vibe that encouraged the students to stick around for the entire hour. Other than students, professors and faculty members also joined in on the annual event.

While the event was meant to be enjoyable to those in attendance, Professor Pamela Chrabieh also wanted there to be an educational factor. “As I see it, the engagement of governments in Southwestern Asia and North Africa is important for gender inclusiveness and equality progress, but certainly not enough; any top down change initiative needs to be communicated appropriately through official and non-official channels such as education (in schools and universities), knowledge production and dissemination (research centers, independent scholars), media campaigns and continuous awareness programs (traditional media, social media), along within the private sphere” she said.

Equality, or lack thereof has created an ubiquitous problem in this particular region, and while there are a plethora of men who refuse to even address this issue, it was uplifting to see so many men from the younger generation show interest in having a progressive future where equality is expected and common.

The success of this year’s event leaves us all hopeful to what the Professors and their students have in stored for next year.

SOURCE: http://www.mbrsc.aud.edu/MBRSCPost/aud-womens-day-event-recap/

 

Reeds from Red Lips – Dr. Pamela Chrabieh (American University in Dubai News)

AUD School of Arts and Sciences Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Dr. Pamela Chrabieh has recently edited and published a book entitled Reeds from Red Lips on Arts and Gender in Southwestern Asia.

The book includes diverse stories told through poetry and prose in English, French, Modern Standard Arabic and Lebanese, and encompasses a selection of conceptual photography artworks, digital visuals, cartoons and paintings. It features established scholars, poets and authors, journalists, artists and students, from Southwestern Asia or living in the region: Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Norah Al Nimer, Katia Aoun Hage, Malak El Gohary, Amal Chehayeb, Lana AlBeik, Dr. Frank Darwiche, Noor Husain, Joelle Sfeir, Maram El Hendy, Dr. Omar Sabbagh, Karma Bou Saab, Farah Nasser, Haeley Ahn, Masooma Rana, Sandra Malki, Maya Khadra and Nour Zahi Al-Hassanieh.

In her book foreword, Dr. Chrabieh explains that the diversity of Southwestern Asian voices is “so vast that it is unlikely to work on an exhaustive review, and this is definitely not the goal of the book; neither is it to obtain a fixed view of the gender and art relation (…).  The book gathers the visions, journeys, statements, biographies and artworks of some authors and artists who either self-define or reject the gender binary by emphasizing the fluidity of gender and subverting gender conformity. It also displays a mosaic of languages and local dialects, visual techniques and writing styles; reeds that vibrate and produce different sounds and pitch ranges out of empowered lips”.

According to Dr. Chrabieh, “most of those who contributed to this collective work are part of the Red Lips High Heels’ movement (http://www.redlipshighheels.com/), an online gathering project of writers and artists I launched in 2012 in Lebanon. This movement advocates peacebuilding, human rights and women’s rights in Southwestern Asia. (…) Southwestern Asia has unfortunately been too often stereotyped, viewed as homogeneous and demonized, but the authors and artists featured in this book deconstruct prejudices. They tell stories of the rich pasts and current diversities of this part of the world. They prove somehow that the local belongings, realities, memories and histories are quite complex, a mélange of grey zones and multiple shades”.

Dr. Chrabieh adds: “I would like to express my gratitude to the many peoples who have been providing support to the Red Lips High Heels’ movement since 2012 and to this book’s project. I would like to thank in particular the authors and artists who allowed me to publish their works and my assistant researcher Haeley Ahn for her dedication and valuable input in the editing, proofreading and design of the book. To my students and former students at the American University in Dubai: thank you for inspiring me with your life stories, talents, skills and knowledge”.

Reeds from Red Lips is available on amazon.com:
Kindle Edition ASIN: B0711D71C1
(https://www.amazon.com/Reeds-Red-Lips-Pamela-Chrabieh-ebook/dp/B0711D71C1/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8)

Pamela Chrabieh Author Interview on PRETTY-HOT.COM

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Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a Lebanese and Canadian scholar, university professor, artist-painter, peace and feminist activist, and author of several academic and non-fiction publications in English, French and Modern Standard Arabic. I currently live in the United Arab Emirates.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is entitled ‘Reeds from Red Lips’. I founded an online movement for women’s rights in Southwestern Asia (i.e. Middle East) in 2012 that includes the works of more than 150 authors and artists from diverse identities and belongings, living in the region or in diaspora. My first inspiration was this movement per se and its valuable contributions to the advancement of women’s rights and peacebuilding and to highlighting unheard voices. My second inspiration came from questions I had to deal with in the last few years related to issues of gender and arts: What influence does gender have on art production in nowadays Southwestern Asia? Does gender embody everyday life experiences, including the artistic experience? Are gendered spaces of the region Orientalized, demystified, or both? Are bodies, especially women bodies, described asexualized, passive and silent? Do local authors and artists living in diaspora reproduce totalizing or essentialist tendencies? Are power relations between the former colonizers and colonized uncovered? Has the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring given women a greater voice and are more individuals willing to talk about gender openly? Is the view that assumes that women in Southwestern Asia are oppressed and left out of cultural debates a misconception?

Southwestern Asia has unfortunately been too often stereotyped, viewed as homogeneous and demonized, but the authors and artists featured in this book deconstruct prejudices. They tell stories of the rich pasts and current diversities of this part of the world. They prove somehow that the local belongings, realities, memories and histories are not to be analyzed through a binary perspective – they are far too complex, a mélange of grey zones and multiple shades.

I would like to thank them all: Norah Al Nimer | Katia Aoun Hage | Malak El Gohary | Amal Chehayeb | Lana AlBeik | Dr. Frank Darwiche | Noor Husain | Joelle Sfeir | Maram El Hendy | Dr. Omar Sabbagh | Karma Bou Saab | Farah Nasser | Haeley Ahn | Masooma Rana | Sandra Malki | Maya Khadra | Nour Zahi Al-Hassanieh

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
None that I could think of. I usually write when I am inspired, and with a cup of coffee 🙂

What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have read many authors’ works, especially authors from Southwestern Asia: Amin Maalouf, Gebran Khalil Gebran, Etel Adnan, Rumi, etc.

What are you working on now?
Promoting this book, teaching, and preparing for my next art exhibition.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use social media platforms and websites such as this one. Colleagues and friends help too.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Passion, inspiration, creativity, courage, patience, humbleness, and an open mind.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls” (Gebran Khalil Gebran)

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” (Rumi)

What are you reading now?
I am re-reading some of the best women authors’ books in Southwestern Asia and North Africa such as Nawal El Saadawi, Assia Djebar and Fatema Mernissi but also poetry, prose and articles by new authors and students.

What’s next for you as a writer?
Learning from my mistakes, continuing on telling and sharing stories and building bridges.

What is your favorite book of all time?
Not one, but many… Every book I read threw lights on me.

http://pretty-hot.com/pamela-chrabieh/

Reeds from Red Lips: A Book on Gender and Arts in Southwestern Asia, edited by Dr. Pamela Chrabieh

Reeds from Red Lips CoverWhat influence does gender have on art production in nowadays Southwestern Asia? Does gender embody everyday life experiences, including the artistic experience? Are gendered spaces of the region Orientalized, demystified, or both? Are bodies, especially women bodies, described asexualized, passive and silent? Do local authors and artists living in diaspora reproduce totalizing or essentialist tendencies? Are power relations between the former colonizers and colonized uncovered? Has the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring given women a greater voice and are more individuals willing to talk about gender openly? Is the view that assumes that women in Southwestern Asia are oppressed and left out of cultural debates a misconception?

In her anthology Reeds from Red Lips, Pamela Chrabieh explores these questions through stories told from a wide spectrum of voices, all from authors and artists who dream of peacebuilding, human rights, and women’s rights in Southwestern Asia.

This book includes diverse stories from Southwestern Asia (Middle East) on arts and women and gender issues; stories told through poetry and prose in English, French, Modern Standard Arabic and Lebanese, and through a selection of conceptual photography artworks, digital visuals, cartoons and paintings.
—————————————————————————————————————————————-
Featured Authors and Artists: Dr. Pamela Chrabieh | Norah Al Nimer | Katia Aoun Hage | Malak El Gohary | Amal Chehayeb | Lana AlBeik | Dr. Frank Darwiche | Noor Husain | Joelle Sfeir | Maram El Hendy | Dr. Omar Sabbagh | Karma Bou Saab | Farah Nasser | Haeley Ahn | Masooma Rana | Sandra Malki | Maya Khadra | Nour Zahi Al-Hassanieh

Product details

  • File Size: 19160 KB
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Publication Date: May 3, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0711D71C1 (KINDLE EDITION)
Amazon provides Kindle services in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and India.
For more information:

https://www.amazon.com/Reeds-Red-Lips-Pamela-Chrabieh-ebook/dp/B0711D71C1/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

نظرات وعبارات… واقع الإنسان وتمرد الألوان – باميلا شرابيه


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Interview by Dalia Bassyouni in Al Bayan (United Arab Emirates), May 5, 2017.

(دبي – داليا بسيوني) نظرات وعبارات… واقع الإنسان وتمرد الألوان