International Women’s Day: Where is Egypt now?

Egyptian Streets

Egyptian women mark International Women's Day in 2013 by taking to the streets. Credit: AFP Egyptian women mark International Women’s Day in 2013 by taking to the streets. Credit: AFP

By Farida Ezzat, Contributor, EgyptianStreets.com (editing by Mohamed Khairat)

Since its start in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has been a day where female activists all over the world come together under the certainty that women’s equality is not only a sign of societal development, but a human right that cannot be overlooked.

It is a day where thousands of women defy society’s restrictive and discriminating views of women and march for hours chanting their rights of equal pay, voting rights and overall equality.

A day to celebrate women’s freedom and courage, International Women’s Day stands as a reminder of how far we have come and how long we have to go.

With political instabilities and economical downfalls, women have continued to brave discrimination and sexual abuse in order to fight for…

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International pop superstar Shakira opens charity school in Colombia shanty

Repeating Islands

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Lomas de Peye residents used to fear that a strong gust of wind from the Caribbean would be enough to knock down their school. Then Shakira came to their aid, Agence France Presse reports.

The pop superstar recently traveled to this shanty town in Cartagena, on Colombia’s northern coastline, to inaugurate a new 8,000 square meter brick school paid for through her charity foundation.

The $10 million school, built with funds from local and international donors Shakira’s own money, includes a football field and enough classrooms for 1,700 students.

“Besides being a school, it is a center for community development, where we dream that at least 5,000 people can come for informal programs, sports, art, or just a gathering space,” said Patricia Sierra, director of Shakira’s charity the Shoeless Foundation.

— ‘Education is not a luxury’ —

Shakira, born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll in 1977 in the Caribbean city of…

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My Skin Horse

Nighttime Rendezvous - Painting by Jennifer Morrison Nighttime Rendezvous – Painting by Jennifer Morrison

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I didn’t blog last week because I was traveling. Without down time and solitude, I can’t write. The hurly-burly of the world is just too much to allow me the sort of silence I need to ruminate and sort myself into language. However, I dreamed of words — I sorted and culled and braided language — as I dawdled in airport lounges and coffee shops and diners. I thought about the clear beauty of the city skyline in Seattle, about all the ways…

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Ranbaxy calls back cholesterol drug in US – The Times of India

Ranbaxy Laboratories, facing a host of regulatory issues, has recalled over 64,000 bottles of the generic version of a cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor, in the US after a dosage mix-up was detected. It recalled the tablets of atorvastatin calcium after a pharmacist found a 20mg tablet in a sealed bottle marked for 10mg tablets, the US Food and Drug Administration said on its website.

Ranbaxy, India’s biggest drugmaker by revenue and majority owned by Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo, confirmed the recall of select batches of the drug. But it said the company had not received any product complaints. The recall is being conducted at the retail level. A company spokesperson said Ranbaxy is proactively recalling the lots out of an abundance of caution, keeping the safety of its patients in mind and with the full knowledge of the US FDA.

The recall is the latest in a series of problems to hit Ranbaxy, which has had all its domestic units banned from sending drugs and ingredients to the US, its biggest market.

via Ranbaxy calls back cholesterol drug in US – The Times of India.

Hunger strike by 750 immigrants at Washington state detention centre | World news | theguardian.com

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has confirmed that 750 detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Washington state have refused to eat and say they are on a hunger strike.

via Hunger strike by 750 immigrants at Washington state detention centre | World news | theguardian.com.

Rebel filmmaker & music producer Deeyah shares life on International Women’s Day | WNN – Women News Network

My family was different; our parents own struggles for freedom had given us a measure of liberty, but still, in extended family and community gatherings, there was a palpable sense of us and them, West and East: two worlds in collision, and I was crushed between them.

In those days, there were few ethnic minorities in Norway. I was called Paki and Black Bitch in the streets of Oslo, and in school the friendships I found were with other outcasts. Although a quiet student, if one of my friends were threatened, I defended them with all my strength. One of the closest and most precious friendships was, and remains, and will always be, the one I share with my brother Adil, who is now a well-known actor. Even today, we share our frustrations and hopes in the same way as we used to, back in that small room in Oslo.

via Rebel filmmaker & music producer Deeyah shares life on International Women’s Day | WNN – Women News Network.

Activists march in Beirut against domestic violence | News , Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR

activists marking International Women’s Day held a march in Beirut Saturday and called for the adoption of a draft law to protect women from domestic violence.

More than 2,000 men and women took part in the demonstration organized by the anti-gender-based violence group KAFA, marching from Beirut’s Mathaf area to the Justice Palace.

via Activists march in Beirut against domestic violence | News , Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR.

Middle east – Video: Egypt expels female activists on way to Gaza Strip – France 24

Egypt on Friday deported dozens of female pro-Palestinian activists who had hoped to travel across the border to the Gaza Strip to celebrate International Women’s Day there.

The women, numbering around 100 in total and mostly from the Europe and the US, had flown to Cairo with the intention of entering the Gaza Strip through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing.

However, they were unable to make it any further than Cairo International Airport after Egypt denied them entry to the county. After staging a sit-in at the airport, the activists were sent back to their home countries by the Egyptian authoritities

via Middle east – Video: Egypt expels female activists on way to Gaza Strip – France 24.