A group of women in education will help the Women's Fund of Central New York award its 2009 grants benefiting programs serving women and girls.
The grant winners will be announced during a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bellevue Country Club, 1901 Glenwood Ave., Syracuse.
Money raised will benefit two programs run by Unique Connections, a local nonprofit that helps Central New York cancer patients.
Monday, April 27, 2009
A spray, initially sold as a cure for men’s erectile problems, can improve sex lives of millions of women, who regularly have to fake orgasms, say its promoters.
Jack Vaisman, the chief executive of Advanced Medical Institute, has said that the "nasal spray technology" can boost ladies’ flagging sex-drive.
Costing 4000 pounds for men, the treatments would now be marketed to women using the slogan: "Stop faking, get real."
Vaisman, however, said that the spray stimulated the production of dopamine.
Beatrice Arthur, the deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit show “The Golden Girls", died yesterday. She was 86.From the New York Times:
Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side, family spokesman Dan Watt said. She had been suffering from cancer.
“She was a brilliant and witty woman,” said Watt, who was Arthur’s personal assistant for six years. “Bea will always have a special place in my heart.”
Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series “All in the Family" as Edith Bunker’s outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear created a spin-off series for Arthur’s character.
"Golden Girls" (1985-1992) was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience.
Bea Arthur, who used her husky voice, commanding stature and flair for the comic jab to create two of the most endearing battle-axes in television history, Maude Findlay in the groundbreaking situation comedy “Maude” and Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls,” died Saturday at her home in Los Angeles. She was coy about her age, and sources give various dates for her birth, but a family spokesman, Dan Watt, said in an e-mail message she was 86.
Saudi Arabia is considering allowing women to vote in municipal elections this year but they would still be barred from running for office, a senior government official was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil exporter and a key ally of the United States. The absolute monarchy applies an austere form of Sunni Islam which bans unrelated men and women from mixing.
The meeting in the Eastern Province, the first indication that the municipal vote will take place this year, recommended that the government continues to name half the members of the council, al-Watan said.
History is spiced with the lifetime achievements of many women in different areas of interests.
The amazing fusion of strength of character, kindness of heart and compassion of these women continue to inspire generations of other women all over the world. Here and now, Women’s Journal is privileged to present an all-women shortlist of the world’s iconic figures.
View the List here.
Syrian President Bashar Assad reshuffled the government on Thursday, appointing six new ministers and creating a new Environment Ministry headed by a woman, the official SANA news agency reported.
A woman, Kawkab al-Sabah Dayeh, was appointed minister of state for the environment.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Tulane University history professor Judith Kelleher Schafer loves uncovering the truth, whether it be pleasant or not.
"I need history to tell me what to write," she said. "I couldn't make up this stuff. The truth is so wonderful."
Schafer's third book came about by happy accident. While researching archives of the First District Court of New Orleans and the Daily Picayune from 1846-1862 for her award-winning book, "Becoming Free, Remaining Free: Manumission and Enslavement in New Orleans, 1846-1862," she kept noticing all these charges for "keeping a brothel."
"And 99 percent of them were dropped before they went to trial," she said.
Some of these women are larger than life -- and they have the fabulous street names to show for it -- names like "Gallows Liz," "English Kate" and, hilariously, "Judy Come Home with the Soap." Redhead Delia Swift, also known as Bridget Fury, joined forces with Mary "Bricktop" Jackson in what Schafer calls "one of the first female street gangs in the United States."
These "fast females" lived violent, public lives.
Thirty-six passionate letters discovered on the Italian island of Lipari have revealed an illicit love affair between the daughter of former Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and a prominent Communist partisan.
Written in French, English and Italian, the secret correspondence has inspired a new book: "Edda Ciano and the Communist. The unspeakable passion of the Duce's Daughter."
The letters, dated from September 1945 to April 1947, chart the affair between Mussolini's eldest child and Leonida Bongiorno, a regional Communist leader and son of an influential anti-Fascist.
Edda had previously been married to Galeazzo Ciano, a loyal Fascist who rose to become foreign minister but executed by his father-in-law after dissenting in July 1943. Despite Edda's appeals, Mussolini had Ciano tied to a chair and shot.
After the Fascist regime fell toward the end of World War Two, Edda was held in detention on Lipari, off Sicily.
From Al Jazeera:
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has called for the "speedy release" of a US journalist convicted of spying in Iran.From Politico:
Roxana Saberi was sentenced on Saturday to eight years in prison after a trial conducted behind closed doors in a court in Tehran, the Iranian capital.
Clinton on Monday dismissed the charges against the 31-year-old journalist as "baseless" and said her trial was "non-transparent, unpredictable and arbitrary".
Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised Iran for arresting journalists and suppressing freedom of speech.
Tehran has arrested several Iranian-Americans in the past few years, accusing them of trying to overthrow the government through what it calls a "soft revolution".
Except for Saberi, they were never put on trial and were eventually released.
Saberi, a 31-year-old freelancer who has worked for several news organizations, including National Public Radio and the BBC, was convicted of espionage on Saturday and sentenced to eight years in prison during a one-day, closed-door trial. She was initially detained about three months ago for working as a journalist without proper credentials.
Her case is the latest public clash between Iran and the United States, which have been wrangling for years over Tehran’s nuclear program. The Obama administration has sought to engage Iran, but Tehran’s response often has been ambiguous; the Saberi case is no exception.
On Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to Tehran’s prosecutor asking that Saberi and another detained journalist — Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan — receive fair appeals, according to Iran’s official government news agency, IRNA. The letter “called on Tehran’s prosecutor to precisely handle the case, observe administration of justice, and ensure that the accused persons can freely and legally defend themselves,” IRNA reported.
From the Tehran Times:
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi has ordered a “fair appeal” for U.S.-Iranian national Roxana Saberi who was sentenced to 8 years on espionage charges, Judiciary spokesman announced on Monday.
Shahroudi’s order came after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday said she must have the legal right to defend herself.
Alireza Jamshidi said Shahroudi has ordered “careful, quick and fair” consideration of Saberi’s appeal against the 8-year sentence.
Saberi, 31, moved to Iran six years ago and worked as a freelance journalist for National Public Radio and the BBC. She was arrested for working illegally since her press credential was revoked in 2006.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also advised foreign officials and individuals to avoid making hasty judgments over the Saberi case.
Saudi Arabia plans to set a minimum age for marriage, a local newspaper reported on Sunday citing a senior justice ministry official after a court upheld the marriage of an 8-year-old to a man 50 years her senior.
Al-Madina newspaper also quoted prominent cleric Sheikh Mohsen al-Obaikan as saying that girls below the age of 18 must not be allowed to marry.
Obaikan, who is also an adviser to King Abdullah, is the most senior cleric to have spoken so far against marriage of underage girls since the court's decision last week which has drawn international criticism and embarrassed Saudi authorities.
Many young girls in Arab countries that observe tribal traditions are married to older husbands but not before puberty. Such marriages are also driven by poverty in countries like Yemen, one of the poorest countries outside Africa.
About 20 Iraqi women, all dressed in traditional black abayas, were gathered in Baghdad repeating a sentence from a primary schoolbook.
"They are illiterate but had the courage to come here and learn," Alaa al-Mayali, the project director, explained proudly.
The educational project, partly financed by the United States, has 20 such centres in Iraq's capital.
"They learn to read, write and count," Mayali said.
An unusual feature of the six-month-old programme is that the women are paid four dollars each lesson they attend.
For 50 years, Penny Mirigian kept the secret about what she really did in the Navy WAVES during World War II. When people asked, she simply said: "I was a radio operator."
"Spy" would have been closer to the truth. From 1943 to 1945, Mirigian was part of an elite group of "intercept operators" who typed up Japanese radio broadcasts to be decoded. The work was top secret.
Levi Montalcini, who also serves as a senator for life in Italy, celebrates her 100th birthday on Wednesday, and she spoke at a ceremony held in her honor by the European Brain Research Institute.
She shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine with American Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate the growth of cells and organs.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Dominican archaeological mission has discovered new leads that could help in detecting the burial place of legendary Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and her Roman lover Mark Antony.
The mission has uncovered an alabaster head of the last Queen of Egypt in addition to 22 bronze coins bearing her face and a headless statue of the queen and another mask that could probably be that of Mark Antony, said Zahi Hawwas, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The most important find made by the expedition was the discovery of a large graveyard outside a temple called Tabusiris Magna, which lies 30 kilometers from the port city of Alexandria in northern Egypt, he said.
So far 27 tombs have been unearthed in the area, besides burial chambers and 10 mummies, he added.
The place seems to have been a cemetery for nobility and senior employees during the Ptolemaic era in the history of ancient Egypt, he said.
And this from Yahoo News:
Archaeologists looking for the tombs of the celebrated queen of Egypt and the Roman general will begin excavating three sites at a temple where tombs may be located, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement Wednesday.
Cleopatra and Mark Antony, whose relationship was later immortalized by William Shakespeare and then in a movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, could have been buried in a deep shaft in a temple near the Mediterranean Sea, the council said.
The 800-year-old Tibetan Drukpa lineage of Buddhism - based in Nepal and practised in Bhutan and India - is empowering women, reviving the ancient tradition of women masters and monks that the Buddha encouraged.
Its head, the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, has set a precedent by giving the order to its first ever woman master.
‘In Tibetan Buddhism, we have no tradition of ‘bikshunis’ or women monks who practise the rigours of the faith and become masters on a par with men. But Buddhism is a very modern religion,’ the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, who was born in Himachal Pradesh, told IANS in the Nepal capital.
‘Buddha Sakyamuni (Gautam Buddha) treated his disciples equally, irrespective of gender.
Early this year, the new Bolivian Constitution entered into force, after a process that lasted more than two years. At a referendum held on January 25th, 61% of Bolivans approved the new Constitution, which for the first time dedicates a chapter to women's rights. The new Constitution contains several clauses that upTold the health and rights of women including:
- a clear separation between State and Church
- the entitlement to sexual and reproductive rights for men and women
- the right to life not limited by the expression "starting at conception," which was proposed by conservative groups and would outlaw abortion in the country
- the right to physical, psychological and sexual integrity
- the right of women to live free from discrimination, violence, sexual coercion and emotional abuse
- a provision that guarantees pay equality for women and women
- the economic value of women's work in the home as a source of wealth
- the right of women, married or unmarried, to land ownership.
Government and Congress will now start issuing norms regulating the implementation of the Constitution. Catholics for the Right to Decide Bolivia will continue working in collaboration with other women's organizations to ensure that these norms respond to the interests of women and girls.
A Taliban firing squad killed a young couple in southwestern Afghanistan for trying to elope, shooting them with AK-47s in front of a crowd in a lawless, militant-controlled region, officials said Tuesday.The woman, 19-year-old Gul Pecha, and the man, 21-year-old Abdul Aziz, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed, officials said.
The two had hoped to travel to Iran, which borders their home province of Nimroz, but their parents sent villagers to bring them home, said Sadiq Chakhansori, the chief of the provincial council. Once back home, the pair was either turned over to the Taliban by their parents or the militants took them by force, the officials said, providing slightly varying accounts. Riflemen in the remote district of Khash Rod shot them Monday, said Chakhansori.
From The Independent:
"Afghanistan has been called the most dangerous country in the world in which to be a woman. The violence meted out to female demonstrators in Kabul yesterday and the weekend murder of Sitara Achakzai, an elected politician and women's human rights advocate, merely serve to secure the country's claim to this unwanted title.
Those prepared to speak out against the Shia Family Law are being intimidated and threatened. Like those who have spoken out before, they are labelled as "infidels" and "un-Islamic" by those claiming to protect their nation and its honour, who see controlling women's thoughts, movements and lives as part of that effort. It is this corruption of honourable intention that makes Afghanistan so dangerous.
Dozens of young women braved crowds of bearded men screaming "dogs!" to protest an Afghan law that lets husbands demand sex from their wives. Some of the men picked up small stones and pelted the women.
"Slaves of the Christians!" chanted the 800 or so counter-demonstrators, a mix of men and women. A line of female police officers locked hands to keep the groups apart.
The warring protests Wednesday highlighted the explosive nature of the women's rights debate in Afghanistan. Both sides are girding for battle over the legislation, which has sparked an international uproar since being quietly signed into law last month.
From The Guardian:
Hundreds of angry Afghan women gathered outside the Kabul mosque run by a hardline Shia cleric today to protest against a law that human rights organisations claim legalises marital rape.
About 200 women chanted slogans and carried banners outside the imposing Khatam Al Nabi mosque and seminary run by Mohammad Asif Mohseni, the cleric who has strongly promoted a law that also bans women from leaving their homes without the permission of their husbands.
Meanwhile, a roughly equal number of largely male counter-protesters shouted "Allahu Akbar" and furiously protested against what they see as largely foreign pressure to impose western cultural norms on Afghanistan. According to Associated Press, some of the women were pelted with stones by opponents.
KIA Canada today announced that Maria Soklis has been named Chief Operating Officer and Vice - President. Theannouncement was made by Mr. Jay Chung, President and C.E.O. of KIA Canada. Ms. Soklis is the first female to ascend to the position of COO and Vice-President within the KIA Motors' International Organization. "Maria Soklisbrings outstanding leadership skills, sound business judgement and integrityto the COO position which will enable her to lead KIA Canada to new heights,"said Jay Chung.
"Through her leadership and guidance KIA Canada hasexperienced record sales growth and she has been instrumental to the ongoingoverall improvement in dealer satisfaction which was reflected in KCIreceiving the 2007 CADA Award for Most Improved Franchise. During her tenureat KIA Canada, Ms. Soklis has led KCI to a 26.9 per cent increase in salesthrough to 2008 and a 6.2 percent increase in sales for the first quarter of2009. This was a significant achievement in a market that posted an overallindustry decline of 21.8 per cent last quarter. Maria accepted the Global Subsidiary of the Year Award on behalf of KIA Canada in 2008. This award isgiven in recognition of the highest professionalism and best overall businessperformance among KIA Motors' entire sales subsidiaries world wide."
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Salacious details of how Anne Boleyn was said to have cheated on Henry VIII with her own brother are contained in documents which have been put on the internet for the first time.
An official account of her trial in 1536, including graphic claims of incest, features in an online exhibition to mark the 500th anniversary of the Tudor monarch's accession to the throne.
Anne's relationship with Henry set the course of British history, triggering England's split with Rome amid his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.
The collection also includes a court document relating to that divorce and a letter dealing with his later plans to cut ties with his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, because of disappointment in the bedroom.
There is also a section of Valor Ecclesiasticus, the valuation of church lands before the dissolution of the monasteries, which has been described as Henry VIII's equivalent to the Domesday Book.
They have been digitised as part of an online exhibition showcasing parchments from Henry's reign which are held by National Archives to mark the anniversary of his accession in 1509.
Eileen Driscoll, 90, was part of a team of Women's Royal Air Force who treated injured servicemen while they were being flown home from the front line.
The group - dubbed The Flying Nightingales - risked their own lives to help evacuate more than 100,000 wounded soldiers from the battlefields of Europe.
Despite their bravery, the nurses were paid the equivalent of less than 3p per day and were not eligible for medals because they held no official rank.
Last year seven of the surviving The Flying Nightingales were presented with achievement awards by the Duchess of Cornwall at a ceremony in London.
But Eileen, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, was overlooked by officials - so her daughter Diane Owen stepped in and arranged for her to be honoured.
Now Eileen has finally received her Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ministry of Defence.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The pyramid in which the queen, Sesheshet, was buried, was discovered in November 2008 - it is the 118th found in Egypt. Its discovery in Teti's burial compound surprised the researchers to some extent, since the site had been thoroughly combed through over the past 150 years. In addition to the pyramid where the king himself was buried, two "satellite pyramids" were found, the tombs of his two principal wives: The one belonging to Iput I was discovered about 100 years ago; the second, of Khuit, was discovered in 1994.
In a papyrus document that includes medical prescriptions, her name is mentioned alongside a request for a preparation that was supposed to strengthen thin hair. Nevertheless, it is possible that the "pharmacists" used her name to lend a bit of prestige to the prescription, and did not necessarily prepare it for her. Another inscription mentions her as being the mother of the king, and in several reliefs of the same area the name "Sesheshet" appears. However, these do not contribute substantial information about the king's mother. Scholars believe she played a very important role in her son's ascent to the throne, thanks, among other things, to her success in mediating between two rival factions within the royal family.
Dr. Deborah Sweeney, an expert on ancient Egypt from the archaeology department of Tel Aviv University, says researchers assume that Sesheshet belonged to the close circle of the last king of the Fifth Dynasty, Unas. He had no sons to inherit the throne and Teti may have been his grandson. Since it is not known when she died, researchers can only guess that the pharaoh's mother was alive during almost 20 years of his reign, which extended from 2323 to 2291 B.C.E.
Scientists have conducted a DNA analysis on bones believed to have been relics of Georgian queen Ketevan preserved in St Augustine's complex at Old Goa, but the mystery continues as a matching analysis of her other relics in Georgia needs to be done to confirm the findings.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Goa, received the DNA report recently from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. "We were able to isolate the ancient DNA but the amplification and sequencing needs to be done following a different protocol, which is still not commercially available in the laboratory, and we require an advanced kit to carry out a phase 2 analysis," N Taher, deputy superintending archaeologist, Goa said.
A matching DNA report of the queen's remains in Georgia will also help carry the research to its logical conclusion. "We are not very sure if the bone relics belong to the queen and we will request a Georgian delegation coming to Goa later this month to do a sequencing of their specimen for verification," Taher added.
Augustinian Friars, who also had their mission in Iran, came in contact with the Georgian Queen (1565-1624) in Shiraz, Iran, and held her in high esteem. She was put to death by Shah Abbas I of Iran in 1624 after several years of imprisonment for her refusal to give up Christianity.
The Augustinian Friars exhumed her body after four months and took the relics to Georgia and interred them at the Alaverdi Cathedral, and also brought a hand and palm to Goa.
After the ASI started excavations to conserve the site at St Augustine's complex two decades back, in 2004-05, archaeologists found three bones in the chapter chapel in the convent of St Augustine.
Bone relics of other dignitaries were also being preseved in six chamber boxes in the chapel. "The remains of five chamber boxes can be seen at the site, except for the one with Queen Ketevan's remains," Abhijit Ambekar, an archaeologist said.
A long bone was found below the second window within the chapel and two more fragments behind the second window close to the coping stone of the chamber box. Research will continue to find out whether the remains were also taken anywhere out of the complex, sources said. St Augustine's complex crumbled after materials were sourced for construction elsewhere. It was also neglected after the Portuguese asked the Augustinian Friars to leave in 1835.
The search for the queen's remains may take longer as relics in other tombstones may have to be examined, Taher said. "As scientific analysis is available, we may have to take up other specimens of bone relics for analysis."
The Georgian team comprises Fr R Georgi, dean of St Kethevan church in Tibilisi, capital of Georgia, and a team of archaeologists and media persons.
Concluded Taher, "The Georgians are coming to Goa as they have an emotional tie with the events related to their patron saint and St Augustine's complex is significant to them."
"Tel Aviv University archaeologists Prof. Shlomo Bunimovitz and Dr. Zvi Lederman of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations have uncovered an unusual ceramic plaque of a goddess in female dress, suggesting that a mighty female "king" may have ruled the city. If true, they say, the plaque would depict the only known female ruler of the region.
The plaque itself depicts a figure dressed as royal male figures and deities once appeared in Egyptian and Canaanite art. The figure's hairstyle, though, is womanly and its bent arms are holding lotus flowers - attributes given to women. This plaque, art historians suggest, may be an artistic representation of the "Mistress of the Lionesses," a female Canaanite ruler who was known to have sent distress letters to the Pharaoh in Egypt reporting unrest and destruction in her kingdom.
Around 1350 BCE, there was unrest in the region. Canaanite kings conveyed their fears via clay tablet letters to the Pharaoh in Egypt, requesting military help. But among all the correspondence by kings were two rare letters that stuck out among the 382 el Amarna tablets uncovered a few decades ago by Egyptian farmers. The two letters came from a "Mistress of the Lionesses" in Canaan. She wrote that bands of rough people and rebels had entered the region, and that her city might not be safe. Because the el-Amarna tablets were found in Egypt rather than Canaan, historians have tried to trace the origin of the tablets."
In 2007, 236 schools teaching girls were burned down. In 2008, there were attacks on 256 schools that left 58 dead. Teachers have been killed in front of students and schoolgirls attacked with acid. Honor killings are up, burqas are back in many places. A 75-year-old woman was nailed to a tree and killed, and an Afghan member of parliament had her daughter legally taken away by a husband after he married a second wife.
''Human rights are not a Western concept,'' says Sima Samar, chair of the Afghan human rights commission, ''but universal, and necessary for all human beings.'' Somewhere in southern Afghanistan another little girl is being ''protected'' from school, another woman shrouded in the anonymity of a burqa is begging permission to walk out her front door.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
"She collected a hit off of the legendary Satchel Paige. She's traveled to Japan with Joe DiMaggio and dined with Penny Marshall. Ohio State University calls her one of the finest and most versatile athletes to ever play for the Buckeyes.
At $800 a season, she was the highest paid rookie to ever come through the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, memorialized in the 1992 film "A League of Their Own."
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League emerged in the spring of 1943 after World War II had forced most minor league teams into obscurity and taken many quality players away from the major league clubs.
The league was three seasons into its existence before Hohlmayer even heard of it. While at Ohio State, she played nearly every club sport the Buckeyes offered - soccer, field hockey, badminton, archery, volleyball, basketball and softball.
It was at a national softball tournament in Cleveland in 1945 that Hohlmayer's athletic career took an unexpected turn."
All American Girls Baseball League - wikipedia
A League of Their Own - wikipedia
Friday, April 3, 2009
"..... Dr Starkey said he found it "bizarre" that so much historical effort was now focused on the monarch's wives.
"But it's what you expect from feminised history, the fact that so many of the writers who write about this are women and so much of their audience is a female audience. Unhappy marriages are big box office."
Dr Starkey went further, by saying that modern attempts to paint many women in history as "power players" was to falsify the facts. "
So, its okay for men to write about men but not okay for women to write about women?? And we should now not delve into history and write about women who had both power and influence because its all about the male ego and the male achievements. Nor should we womenfolk concern ourselves with the marital goings-on of our historical monarchs, much less write about such flights of fancy (ala Mills & Boon). Do I detect the rantings of a man still stuck in the pages of history himself????
Maybe Dr Starkey should direct his attention to Dr John Knox for his next book - they have so much in common!
The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women
Letter to the Queen Dowager, Regent of Scotland
From Adil Salahi, writing for the Arab News:
Zaynab: The Poor's Mother
"One of them, however, has an additional title of motherhood. She is Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, known as the mother of the poor. She earned this title because of her compassionate heart and her ready generosity. She was apparently always kind to the poor, and her kindness became greater when she married the Prophet."
A Woman of Character: Umm Salamah
"Umm Salamah, a widow, was a woman who combined beauty with character, noble birth and a wealth of experience. Her deceased husband was one of the early converts to the new faith when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) began preaching his message in secret. Being a woman of sagacious mind, she joined him in declaring her belief in Islam, realizing that idolatry is an absurdity, which defies human logic."
"Aishah was the first he married in Madinah, but others followed her into his home as and when the need arose. As she watched these developments, she wanted to keep her position. She realized that she could not do anything to stop these marriages, which were often dictated by circumstances. Hence, she worked to achieve her goal through clever manipulation. Soon there were two camps, one headed by Aishah and the other by Umm Salamah, who combined maturity with beauty and strong character."
"Happiness is the word that sums up the first marriage of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Khadijah gave him all that a man needs from a loving, caring and thoughtful wife. When we remember that Khadijah was a woman of sound mind and willing to place duty above comfort, we realize that the Prophet had nothing to worry about at home as he went about delivering his message and discharging the task assigned to him by God. He appreciated all that she gave him and her memory remained alive with him to his last day. As it is well known, the Prophet lived with Khadijah for 25 years without ever entertaining a thought of marrying another woman, although polygamy was accepted as perfectly normal in his community, if not throughout the world. After she passed away, he married several wives but she retained her supreme position in his heart."
Please read the stories of these amazing women who were so prominent at the beginning of The Prophet's ministry.
Many have criticised the introduction of these somewhat harsh laws, following the fall of the Taliban's repressive regime, as Parliament had neither the opportunity to discuss nor debate this legislation before it was hastily rushed through.
From the Khaleej Times:
"A new law for Shia Muslims in Afghanistan has provoked anger among some lawmakers and the United States and United Nations said they were concerned about its impact on women’s rights in the former Taliban state.
The law passed by parliament and signed by President Hamid Karzai, but not yet promulgated in the official gazette, is meant to legalise minority Shia family law, which is different from that of the majority Sunni population. Shia Muslims make up about 15 percent of the population."
"Safia Sidiqi, a lawmaker from Nangarhar province who condemned the legislation, said she cannot remember parliament debating or even voting on the law and she does not know how it came to be signed by Karzai. She called for the law to be recalled to parliament for debate.
Sayed Hossain Alemi Balkhi, a Shiite lawmaker involved in drafting it, defended the legislation saying it gives more rights to women than even Britain or the United States does. He said the law makes women safer and ensures the husband is obliged to provide for her."
Thursday, April 2, 2009
"Researchers in modern Germany have used a modern medical procedure to uncover a secret within one of ancient Egypt's most treasured artworks - the bust of Nefertiti has two faces.
A team led by Dr Alexander Huppertz, director of the Imaging Science Institute of Berlin's Charite medical school, discovered a detailed stone carving that differs from the external stucco face when they performed CT scans on the bust. These revealed that the stone core is a highly detailed sculpture of the queen, Dr Huppertz said."
See also: Nefertiti got extreme makeover: researchers