Monthly Archives: April 2012

Issue of Identity in The Bastard of Istanbul

What is personal identity?  It is what makes the individual unique.  It is an individual’s perception of “self”, which can include gender roles, sexuality, and racial identity.  The struggle to discover identity and family heritage is a major theme in … Continue reading

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Symbolism of Tea Glasses in Elif Shafak’s, The Bastard of Istanbul

In The Bastard of Istanbul, Elif Shafak uses tea glasses as a strong symbol of Zeliha’s ability to endure. In spite of her refined beauty, Zeliha’s “towering high heels”, bold wardrobe choices, offensive language, public smoking habits, and nose ring … Continue reading

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Calling for an End to Female Circumcision

Caroline Lindberg Female circumcision, female genital cutting (FGC), or female genital mutilation (FGM), is the partial or total removal or cutting away of a woman’s external genitalia is still practiced widely today. It is performed ritually in 28 countries all … Continue reading

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Mona el-Tahawy and Leila Ahmed discuss FP “Why do they hate us” piece

Posted in Activism, civil liberties, Dictatorships, Female genital cutting, Freedom of women, Gender Equality, Gender in the Middle East, Gender-based violence, Human rights, Patriarchy, Political participation, Religion, Women | 20 Comments

Global Participation in Preventing Maternal Mortality

 Jenna King  Every year 600,000 maternal deaths occur in developing countries such as Cambodia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Resources are limited and it is often is a struggle for a pregnant mother to provide proper nutrition for herself and for … Continue reading

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Desensitizing Oneself as a Defense Mechanism against the Cruel Realities of War

Humans deal with traumatic events in their lives in all sorts of ways. The ways people use to “deal” with these events are called defense mechanisms. In The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing, the main character, Darina, uses a defense … Continue reading

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A Comparison between Political and Baha’i Prisoners during the Iranian Revolution

During the Iranian revolution, people were imprisoned for a number of reasons such as communism, treason, supporting the old regime and even for religion. Dalia Sofer’s, Septembers of Shiraz, focuses on a Jewish man, Isaac, who is imprisoned during the … Continue reading

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The Janissary’s Paradox: A Common Theme

When the Ottomans took over control of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, they captured Christian children and converted them to Islam with the opportunity to climb the social ladder. If, however, the Christians refused to give up their past … Continue reading

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Food and The Bastard of Istanbul by Kellie Baker

Although the struggle between the families and within the families of The Bastard of Istanbul is the main theme of the book, food plays a large role in the novel.  The food mentioned in the book serves as a connection … Continue reading

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Naquibs Daughter

Connections from Egypt to Iraq and Beyond in Samia Serageldin’s The Naqib’s Daughter             As I read Samia Serageldin’s The Naqib’s Daughter, the question arose of why she chose to write about the French invasion of Egypt.  As I read … Continue reading

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