Arab Women's Conference



June 9-11th, 2006-
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Jones College Prep School
606 South State Street

On June 9-11th, 2006, a historic event is going to take place:
A national gathering of Arab women and girls in the U.S. The gathering
will include Arab and Arab American women and girls, as well as those from
communities within the Arab world such as Assyrians, Copts, Kurds, Chaldeans
and Amazigh.

These past few years have been difficult ones for our communities, and
there are many Arab women and girls living throughout the U.S. who have been
working actively in different arenas to empower ourselves and each other.
It’s time we come together, talk face to face about issues that affect our
lives, honor our histories of activism and share our skills to build a
larger vision and movement of and by Arab and Arab American women and girls.

The gathering will feature performances, discussions and workshops and
opportunities for strengthening alliances with one another. Participants
will be invited to choose between several overlapping activities covering a
broad spectrum of issues and interests, such as such as family violence,
intergenerational issues ,immigration, racism, religious identity,
imperialism and war, sexuality and LGBTQ experiences, mixed race identity,
art, poetry, activism and political organizing

¨ Explore issues that impact our lives
¨ Build coalitions that strengthen our movements
¨ Engage in poetry, film and performance in our work for social
¨ Build power with one another and in our local communities
¨ Walk away with new skills

If you would like to have a registration form emailed to you please email
Suzanne at Register before April 15th 2006. Registrations
forms are available in English and Arabic. For more informatin see

Jones College Prep School is located just south of downtown Chicago and
is accessible by subway and car and Midway and O’Hare airports. Parking is
available. For more info: - Lodging opportunities
include 1) Chicago Youth Hostel ( discount available
until May 1st; 2) Chicago
Travelodg( discount available
until May 1st; and 3) Community Housing ( indicate
your interest in this option on your registration form by May 1st.

Arab Women’s Gathering Organizing Collective and Advisory Committee:
Katherine Acey (New York, NY); Rabab Abdulhadi (Dearborn, Michigan);
Suzanne Adely (Chicago, IL); Yasmin Ahmed (Chicago, IL); Janaan Attia
(Oakland, CA); Lara Deeb (Long Beach, CA); Eman Desouky (Oakland, CA); Nada
Elia (Seattle, WA); Noura Erakat (Washington D.C.); Huda Jadallah (Oakland,
CA); Amira Jarmakani (Atlanta, GA); Jumana Musa (Washington D.C.); Nadine
Naber (Ann Arbor, MI); Heba Nimr (Oakland, CA); Itedal Shalabi (Chicago, IL)

(no subject)

Jo Carrillo

Our white sisters
radical friends
love to own pictures of us
sitting at a factory machine
wielding a machete
in our bright bandannas
holding brown yellow black red children
reading books from literacy campaigns
holding machine guns bayonets bombs knives
Our white sisters
radical friends
should think

Our white sisters
radical friends
love to own pictures of us
walking to the fields in hot sun
with straw hat on head if brown
bandanna if black
in bright embroidered shirts
holding brown yellow black red children
reading books from literacy campaigns
Our white sisters radical friends
should think again.

No one smiles
at the beginning of a day spent
digging for souvenir chunks of uranium
of cleaning up after
our white sisters
radical friends

And when our white sisters
radical friends see us
in the flesh
not as a picture they own,
they are not quite as sure if
they like us as much.
We're not as happy as we look
on their wall.

crossposted ro exoticizemyfist

nasty little NZ restaurant

sassafras_siren suggested I cross post this from sex_and_race.

The restaurant chain "Monsoon Poon" (the title says it all really), has a whole menu full of objectionable "Asian woman as hooker" motifs.

Here's the post from my comrade-in-arms Tze-Ming Mok who spotted them.

If you feel like sending the "restarateurs" an email and letting them know that other people don't appreciate their "sense of humor", be my guest. Tze-Ming's blog has the email address.

This kind of maliciously ignant behavior needs to be buried forcefully by the neck in my humble opinion.

Nice backup comment from ebonbird (thanks mate)

By the way, does everyone know about bigbadchinesemamma? She's pretty hilarious on the objectification thing too. I particularly love the prank phone calls she does to massage parlors.

Those Tears

This is something i posted in my journal...

At the coffee shop yesterday, I saw a friend of mine and we had a great talk. She's been going through fits with her Women's Studies classes. She said some of her classmates (all of them are white) started crying and calling her 'racist' because she wanted to talk about how the feminist movement has been dominated by white women who historically have failed to understand or take on issues concerning women of color; 'sisterhood,' so blithely spoken of in slogans and bumper stickers, in a very real way has not historically included sisters who were sistahs. This apparently made some of them cry. Good thing I wasn't there or I would have caused more trouble by laughing at them or saying 'white girl, please...'

As harsh as that may sound to some ears, I would've said it like that because, in my experience, the two most distasteful attributes of whiteness are 1) the overwhelming need to be the focus of EVERYTHING, ever endeavor, every discussion, every issue, every study (and conversely, being struck with an almost crippling anxiety when not at the center of all such endeavors) and 2) An overwhelming sense of entitlement such that one cannot grasp the concept of how white privilege works in such settings. I told my friend that I'd send her a copy of Chrystos' poem, "Those Tears," and that she should discreetly xerox copies and put them in everyone's mailbox. But that's just me.

I guess my disdain for 'those tears' comes (also) from the fact that typically the times when whites are excluded or marginalized because of their race in the mainstream, it's usually rare, a punctuated moment or series of moments when they don't feel like they belong or that their point of view is important. Being a woman of color, that's not a rare or isolated experience for me; that's my mode of being in the world, my daily experience, one that has been so ubiquitous, so commonplace as to be cliché. So no, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy. That is not to say I don't have any; for those intrepid enough to confront their feelings in the context of our history and our current socio-cultural condition, I am happy to discuss some of the issues at stake. However to start crying because a POC states a historic fact of white privilege/racist exclusion? Puh-leez.

In the words of Christos: Give us our inch, & we'll hand you a hanky

(no subject)

This is something I'm looking into. Hope it's ok to post here.

Funding for Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Project (SELA) cut in 2003 due to spending pressures in war in Iraq

Here's my favorite part of that article:

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

And the Bush administration is going to actually look in people's faces and say there was no way to forsee this.

Also, here's an article that was published in the Houston Chronicle in December of 2001

Collapse )

This didn't have to happen, but because we're so overextended in Iraq, it's leaving us vulnerable in so many other areas.

(no subject)

Hello all. This is something that I posted on my journal that angryasiangrrl thought would be appropriate for this comm, which I am very glad to be a new member of.

My mother is a wonderful woman. Strong, funny, crazy an wonderful. But sometimes I just wonder...
For a while now she's been telling me to get a 'look'. Specifically, a look a could pull off when I go on the market for interviews. She suggested using an 'African' theme in my fashion accessories, because I am 'an exotic beauty.'
I hate that word 'exotic'. What the hell does it actually mean, anyway? I mean, i know the dictionary definition: ex·ot·ic adj, From another part of the world; foreign: exotic tropical plants in a greenhouse. See Synonyms at foreign.
Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange: “If something can be explained simply, in a familiar way, then it is best to avoid more exotic explanations”. See Synonyms at fantastic. Of or involving striptease: an exotic dancer." Yeah yeah yeah I know all that. But I guess I'm troubled by the way exotic is used, especially the way it's used to regard feminine beauty. Every time I hear it lately, it's been in used to describe a woman of some seemingly ethnic descent who has mainstream appeal. Like with the latina woman on 'Desperate Housewives', or on VH1 (or was it E!...don't remember) when discussing the hair disasters of celebrities, described an asian supermodel as having 'exotic good looks'. WTF??? Why is it not enough to simply say she's beautiful? Why the moniker 'exotic'? And why does it only seem to get applied to women of color? Why isn't 'beautiful' enough for us?
Thinking about the term, I remember being in ATL and reading a queer women's mag at the local women's bookstore. One of the articles was by a young woman who was part of an Asian/Pacific Islander queer women's group. She was writing about how she and her friends marched in Pride with signs that said stuff like "Exotic Erotic? NOT" and "I AM NOT YOUR CHINA DOLL." During the Dyke March, she said a young white woman came over to her and said 'You are my exotic erotic! You're so hot'. Yep, ole girl got the clueless award of that year, but what struck me more was how even in a political and feminist context, that damn word gets thrown around in the same irritating racialized way.
I always go back to the question, why is 'beautiful' not enough? Why use a word that removes you from the sphere of the beautiful, to something separate, something that makes your attractiveness conditional or qualified or distinct from 'regular' beauty? That irritates me to no end, and is a major turn off for me.
I've told my mother this before. Actually I used stronger language. Told her I thought it was a neo-racist, sexist term, or something to that effect. She quickly added "I know, I know. But you know the look I'm talking about, right?"
Yeah, mom, I know. I'm gonna go order my kente cloth handbag from 'Ethnicities-R-Us Fashion Hut' right now.
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fisting for feminism


hello and welcome to the community. this is a work in progress so if you have any ideas or suggestions let me know. in the mean time, please feel free to talk about what exotification means to you, why you are here, who you are, why you care, etc.