Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On Child Marriage

I am interested in the issue of Child marriage in Egypt for many reasons, first because of the huge scandal of Senator Ahmed Yerima, Nigerian Senator who " married" a 13 years old Egyptian girl and the very poor response of the Egyptian government and even the Egyptian civil society and add to that I am conducting a research with my fellow coworkers about the Child marriage in Egypt. And the last reason I dream of a day when I do not see the news of a death of 13 years old bride after the first sexual intercourse or while giving birth.

What strikes me in this issue that the rules are very clear, that according to the national laws: under age marriage is illegal and the ratified international treaties -especially the Convention of Child Rights stipulated the same principle. It is note worthy saying that according to the new child legislation the legal age of marriage is 18 years old, and that was amended in 2008 by rising the age from 16 to 18, and that happened after harsh criticism from the conservative forces in the Egyptian society.

Although the laws are clear, they are always violated, and they are violated by religious and societal claims.

Child marriage is justified that it is part of the Islamic traditions, that Prophet Mohamed Peace Be upon Him married Aisha who was 9 years old and that traditions lasted in the Egyptian society till now and the societal pretexts are either to elevate the economic burden of the high populated families by transferring the responsibility to support the young female members to their husbands and to maintain their chastity and to avoid any unwanted sexual or emotional activity and the latter societal pretext is supported by Hadith saying that whoever able to be married, should get married . And the ability here is explained as the sexual ability to be in union and this ability is earned by puberty age.

Thinking of all what is stated before and remembering my discussion on my post on the rising the legal age of marriage on my Arabic blog Taboohat, I still remember all the Hadith that were miss used and interpreted in favor of the so called early marriage and I remember how I was attacked to dare to say that this Human Rights violations does not belong to Islam, on contrary it negates the Islamic principles of protecting the person and the offspring Hifaz el Nafs w Hifaz el Nasl.

According to my humble experience I should expect to called agent of the west and I want to corapte the pure Islamic society, however I believe that my arguments are based on Islamic principles that child marriage is illegal because of its well known and proven harmful to the girls and to the whole community and even it opposes the correct interpretation of the meaning of ability Ba'ah, which is not only the sexual ability but also the financial independence. And even if the Prophet did it and that is even questioned, there are many arguments saying that Aisha was 17 when the Prophet married her. The Prophet stated that No harm principle is core principle in the Islamic jurisprudence la Darar wala Derar and child marriage is clearly a very harmful practice .

One would argue for years in this topic, that was a humble thoughts in the issue and it would be followed by further clarifications later on

Friday, August 6, 2010

Work Diaries

I have been thinking about my career lately, as a major change is taking place: Nazra for feminist studies is finally in action and is implementing several projects, although I have been waiting for this for long time and Nazra team went through long hard time to reach this point, but my happiness is not complete, not only because of the obstacles we are facing like the governmental bureaucratic and security constraints or the possibility of the societal backlash to any feminist activism but the reason of my incomplete happiness is very personal

I feel bad because I am losing passion; I am working with no motivation. All the things that used to inspire me seem ineffective and sometimes even do not have the same meaning it used to have. This feeling was my great fear, that I will be working not for a cause but I will be a practitioner who seeks secure employment and revenue. I do not like anything I am doing, I hate being busy with logistics and administrative or publicity tasks, in addition to that I do not have any motive to do the tasks that I love liking doing research and writing.
I know that when your endeavor is a long trip you might loss direction or loss passion, however this experience is really tiring and it raises many questions, and that is what I am feeling, and that is not only depressing but weird as well, I am not mid level career woman or well established to feeling bored or and to lack motivation, in addition to that I function in the module that I chose and participated in its creation and it is my safe zone, also there are many goals I want to achieve and ideas I want to tackle.
Currently I am just seeing the empty part of the glass, I magnified the problems and I can not see anything else. I do not need talks about the feminist cause and the difficulties we should anticipate or talks about thinking positively. I need to feel the same feeling I was feeling when we started.
I know that the fundamental difference between an activist and practitioner is the passion of the activist, and that is what I am losing
I do not have any solutions and I do not know when these feelings will end, what I know that I really want to wake up in the morning with fresh mind and cheerful spirit, ready to make a difference