The wind in my hair: one woman’s struggle against the hijab


Masih Alinejad has paid a high price for letting her hair down. She’s been sentenced to prison, fled her native Iran and is unable to see her family. Here, she reveals why all she wants is to give women the choice to wear the hijab or not

Masih Alinejad unties her hair, and a sea of corkscrew curls cascades down her shoulders. It looks amazing, but the significance of Masih’s hair isn’t looks – it’s politics. Masih is an Iranian activist who has spent her life fighting for women’s rights in her country through one simple battle: a campaign against the law that says they have to wear a veil, or hijab, over their hair when they’re in public.

Since adolescence, Masih has been a thorn in the side of the ayatollahs who rule Iran. She’s complained and protested, spoken out and challenged, vociferously, all those who support the compulsory wearing of the hijab. When she was 19 she was arrested by the morality police, held in prison without charge and, eventually, told by a judge that he had enough evidence to have her executed. That judge let her go, but you can’t help feeling that if he’d had a crystal ball, he might have taken a different course of action. Because Masih is a living nightmare for the Iranian authorities.

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A Woman Dedicated to Saving Lives Loses Hers in Gaza Violence – The New York Times

Israeli soldiers fired two or three bullets from across the fence, according to a witness, hitting Ms. Najjar in the upper body. She was pronounced dead soon after. Ms. Najjar was the 119th Palestinian killed since the protests began in March, according to Gaza health officials. Hers was the only fatality registered on Friday. The Israeli military said Saturday that the case would be examined. The military said it “has repeatedly warned civilians against approaching the fence and taking part in violent incidents and terrorist attacks and will continue to act professionally and determinedly to protect Israeli civilians and Israeli security infrastructure.”

CDC FluView: 171 Pediatric Flu Related Deaths In 2017-2018 Season


While influenza activity has dropped back to inter-seasonal levels in the Northern Hemisphere – the yearly flu season runs from October 1st to September 30th – and low level activity and delayed reporting means that the numbers in today’s FluView report may continue to rise in the weeks and months ahead. 

Nevertheless, the 2017-18 flu season has been one for the record books, with an overall hospitalization rate in excess of 106.6 per 100,000 population. Comparisons with years prior 2010 are difficult because the method for collecting data has changed, but this is a modern record.

This flu season has also taken a heavy toll among pediatric patients, with a record matching (for a non-pandemic season) 171 flu-related fatalities, equaling the 2012-2013 season, which had set the record for the highest number of pediatric flu related deaths since record keeping began in 2004.

Since reporting became mandatory in 2004 yearly pediatric influenza deaths have ranged from a low of 35 during the 2011-2012 flu season to a high of 282 during the 2009—2010 H1N1 pandemic.

As tragic as the 2009 pandemic tally was, the CDC estimated that the number of pediatric deaths in the United States probably ranged from 910 to 1880, or anywhere from 3 to 6 times higher than reported.


Even during non-pandemic seasons, the CDC believes the officially reported numbers likely understate the true number of pediatric deaths due to influenza by half.  

In 2013, in Pediatrics: Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths, we looked at a study by Karen K. Wong et al. called Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths in the United States, 2004–2012 that analyzed the first 8 years of data on pediatric flu-related deaths. 

They reported the median age was 7 years, that 35% of children died before hospital admission, and of 794 children with a known medical history, 43% had no high-risk medical conditions.

A few months ago we looked at a new study (see Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths in the United States, 2010–2016), published in the journal Pediatrics, that looked at pediatric flu-related deaths during the next 6 post-pandemic flu seasons (2010–2016) and found the median age has dropped to 6 years, and the percentage of kids with no high-risk medical conditions had jumped to 50%.

While the flu shot isn’t always as effective as we’d like – particularly in recent years against  H3N2 – it often works better in children, and the (quadrivalent) vaccine is usually far more effective against both H1N1 and Influenza B.

Less than a year ago, in Pediatrics: Study Shows Flu Shot Reduces Flu Related Pediatric Deaths By Half, we looked at another CDC study which found:

`. . . . flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half (51 percent) among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds (65 percent) among healthy children.’

Yesterday the CDC released the following statement on the record-matching pediatric flu-related death toll, which warns that due to delays in reporting, this year’s number could climb higher.

CDC Reported Flu Deaths in Children Matches Seasonal High

June 1, 2018 – In CDC’s FluView report for the week ending June 1, 2018, two additional flu-related deaths in children were reported, bringing the total number this season to 171. This number matches the 2012-2013 season, which previously set the record for the highest number of flu-related deaths in children reported during a single flu season (excluding pandemics). Approximately 80% of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. These deaths are a somber reminder of the importance of flu vaccination and the potential seriousness of flu. CDC experts have described the 2017-2018 season as a high severity season, with influenza-like-illness (ILI) remaining at or above baseline for 19 consecutive weeks, record-breaking flu hospitalization rates, and elevated pneumonia and influenza mortality for 16 weeks.

Since flu-related deaths in people younger than 18 years became nationally reportable in 2004, the number of deaths reported to CDC has ranged from 37 during the 2011-2012 season to 171 deaths during the 2012-2013 season. This excludes the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, when 358 pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during April 15, 2009, through October 2, 2010. The 2012-2013 season was similar to the current one in that influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominated overall. The severity of that season was characterized as moderate severity overall among children and adults, but high severity was reported among older adults. H3N2-predominant flu seasons are typically associated with more severe outcomes for both children and older adults.

While flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, certain people are known to be more vulnerable to serious flu-related complications, including children younger than 5 years (and especially those younger than 2 years) and children of any age with certain long-term health problems, such as asthma or other lung disorders, heart disease, or a neurologic or neurodevelopmental disorder.

Reported flu deaths in children this season are evenly split between boys and girls, and about half of these children are reported to have had a medical condition that placed them at high risk of developing serious flu complications. About 60% of these children died after admission to the hospital, while about 40% of children died at home or the emergency department. Most children died within 7 days of symptom onset. More information about reported flu deaths in children this season, and previous seasons, is available on FluView Interactive.

Data this season is similar to what has been previously reported, including in a recent CDC study published in the journal Pediatrics showing that half of flu-related deaths in children from 2010 to 2016 occurred in otherwise healthy children, only 22% of whom were fully vaccinated. The same study also showed antiviral treatment was only given in about half of all pediatric flu deaths. Nearly two-thirds of children died within seven days of developing symptoms. Over one-third died at home or in the emergency department prior to hospital admission.

While flu vaccine can vary in how well it works each season, a CDC study published in Pediatrics in 2017 showed that flu vaccination can be life-saving for children. The study, which looked at data from four flu seasons between 2010 and 2014, found that flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half (51 percent) among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds (65 percent) among otherwise healthy children.

As reporting of deaths in children can be delayed, it’s possible that additional flu-related deaths in children during the 2017-2018 season will be reported to CDC.

وعادت رزان مستشهدة





بينما أكتب عن رزان ،أخشى أن أنضم لقوافل الرياء في ابتذال الشهداء واستخدامهم لمآربهم الخاصة. ولكن رزان كانت حالة تشبه ما يريده الغزيون من العالم رؤيته من غزة.

ايمان بالحرية حتى الموت.

ايمان بحق القضية حتى الموت.

ايمان بأن الانسان يعيش حرا أو يموت ليصير ملاكا محلقا في سماء حرة.

سماء لا تكبلها حواجز، ولا تخترقها رصاصات ولا قصف مدافع.

رزان النجار ….مثال جديد في درب البطولات الباقية.

شابة دخلت العقد الثاني من عمرها بقرار واضح ومدوي :

“” راجع ومش متراجع …وارشقني برصاصك ومش خايف…وإذا كل يوم هكون بأرضي سلمي وبأهلي حاشد ..مستمرون..”.

هذه الكلمات كانت آخر ما كتبته الشهيدة الملاك رزان النجار على صفحتها بالفيسبوك.

منذ بدء مسيرات العودة ، حددت رزان وجهتها في اختراق المنطقة صفر من المواجهة لإسعاف المصابين والشهداء….ولم يمنحها القدر وقت أكثر لتنضم الى قافلة الشهداء.

صور رزان بزي التمريض الأبيض ووجهها المشرق الجميل تجتاح مخيلتي. هل نالت هذه الشابة مبتغاها؟ أموتها بالفعل شرف واستحقاق ووسام بطولة سترفع عائلتها به رأسها بشموخ؟

هل كانت رزان في حياة سابقة فلورنس نايتنجيل او نسيبة المازنية ؟ وها هي تلحق بمثيلاتها في ركب الجنان البعيدة عن هذه الأرض البغيضة؟

قبل لحظات فقط من ارتقائها، كانت رزان تقاوم من أجل هدف قررته لنفسها . أن تبقى في خط المواجهة لتسعف الجرحى حتى الرمق الأخير … وكان لها ذلك.


“يا عمر ورد ضاع في مسك وطيب” كلمات رثاها بها أحد الباكين على فراقها لهذه الدنيا. ماذا كانت ستكون هذه المرأة الشابة لو بقيت على قيد الحياة؟ اذا ما كانت وبهذا العمر الصغير بهذه الجرأة والشجاعة والمقدامية. بسالة واضحة ،وتقدم نحو انقاذ حياة الاخرين بلا تردد.بهكذا أناس تحرر الاوطان .

وفي رثاء عقيم ، قد يكون أبسط ما نقدمه هو متابعة لجنازة من بعيد ، متمنين الا تختطف في جسدها الطاهر من أجل علم فصيل ،والا يتقاتل على نسب بطولتها حزب قبل نقلها لمثواها الاخير.

“أفتخر باني فلسطينية” كلمات رددتها رزان .

ربما كلمات رزان للعالم على صفحتها أبلغ ما يقال

فعندما نزلت للمسيرات كتبت ” ما كان للحسناء أن تنزل ساحة الجهاد لو كان بين حكام العرب رجال”.


وفي حرب المزاودات كتبت رزان : ” لكل الناس اللي بتزاود ع مسيرة العودة وسلاح المقاومة وع الطواقم الطبيةوالصحافة ..احنا بنروح ع السلك بدون ما حد يجبرنا ولما يصير علينا اشي احنا بنتحمل الوجع مش انتو لهيك كل واحد بحكي ع الشباب اللي بتتصاوب وبتستشهد ع السلك يسكت. ”


لا أجد كلمات تعبر عن شعور الحزن مع كل شهيد يرتقي بإذن الله الى عالم به عدل ونعيم في جنانه. رزان ورفاقها يصرون على الحرية . يصرون على ان للحياة معنى فقط اذا ما عشناها من اجل قضية.

وكانت قضية هذه الصبية واضحة . قضية نعيشها نحن الفلسطينيون ولا نزال نحلم رغم انعدام الامل وضياعا لفرص وخسارات تتكرر لابطال ستخلدهم ذاكرتنا ويبقوا …ويبقى مع ذكراهم خيط من فيض أمل لحرية حقيقية. لعدل بلا ظلم . لفك حصار وحياة كريمة لوطن لا يزال ابناؤه الصالحين على عهد بالموت والحياة في سبيله.

وطن يخرج من رحم نسائه ملائكة .

وطن تودع الامهات فيه ابنائها ….ويعودون شهداء…

وعادت رزان….شهيدة


اختم بمنشور للصديق جبرا الشوملي في رجاء أخير:

” لا تقتربوا من رزان

رزان ليست حورية لأحد منكم

رزان ممرضة الله

الله الذي أصابته رصاصة غادرة على الأسلاك في غزة..”.



Powerful woman cut down while helping give aid and comfort – the shooter will be shamed forever.


I am not sure if Florence Nightingale was killed while saving lives. I am not also sure if she was as young as Razan al Najjar when she died.

Razan Najjar, a 21 years old paramedic from Gaza was shot to her death yesterday in the Friday, facebook March of Return.  She wrote facebook page that she will Return no matter what they do … and somehow her Return was different.

I dont know if any word can sere the purpose of reflecting emotions hear. But it soring and aching …. with each word that attempts to leave my brain .real pain and feeling of loss accompanies my hands.

The photos and the videos of Razan, the beuatiful angelic face of paramedics was unable ot rescue more lives on the line of fire in the deadly shootings of the military brutal occupation.

This young woman spent the last two months in a remarkable…

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Kunst – wo die Freiheit nicht grenzenlos ist

Source: Kunst – wo die Freiheit nicht grenzenlos ist

Saarbrücken. Eine Vernissage in der Saarbrücker Justizvollzugsanstalt mit Gästen von außen: Wie Leslie Hupperts Kunstprojekt Wirkung zeigt. Von Ilka Desgranges

So wurden Vernissage-Besucher wohl noch nie empfangen: „Kein Alkohol, keine Drogen, keine Waffen“. Die Mobiltelefone müssen in ein Schließfach am Eingang, und ohne Ausweis gibt es keinen Einlass. Nachdem sie die Aufnahme-Prozedur hinter sich haben, werden die rund 30 Besucherinnen und Besucher in den älteren Teil der Justizvollzugsanstalt Saarbrücken geführt. Von den Künstlern, deren Wandmalereien besichtigt werden sollen, ist niemand in dem kahlen Raum. Die Vernissage beginnt ohne sie. Begrüßung, Lobrede auf die Kunst und die Künstler, kaltes Buffet, kalte Getränke.