Ayesha Saldanha · August, 2008

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Latest posts by Ayesha Saldanha from August, 2008

Saudi Arabia: Independent women

While there are no doubt restrictions for women living in Saudi Arabia, they do not necessarily match the oppressive image that many foreigners have of the country. In this post we have advice for women wanting to visit Jeddah alone, a review of a women-only hotel in Riyadh, and a plea to those foreigners who feel they want to speak on behalf of oppressed Saudi women.

Saudi Arabia: Criticism for the sake of it

At a social gathering, Saudi blogger Broken Wing meets an annoying woman who is full of criticism of Saudi Arabia: ‘I am not a fan of what Saudi offers to its citizens, but I don’t find sitting around in a place full of people from other countries and start criticizing...

Saudi Arabia: Off the road

Desert Flower, an American Muslim living in Saudi Arabia, is tired of not being permitted to drive: ‘…it gets down right stupid when you have to schedule an appointment to go grocery shopping or to get to the pharmacy or the doctor for that matter.’

Palestine: Saving water

Alajnabiya, an American Muslim living in Palestine, describes how she copes with constant water shortages in the West Bank. She says: “Much as I love flowers, flushing the toilets is a higher priority.”

Palestine: Boats break siege of Gaza

The latest news on the two boats attempting to sail to the Gaza Strip as an act of solidarity is that they have reached Gaza, despite earlier warnings that they might not be permitted to do so. Bloggers have reacted to the action with both excitement and concern.

Bahrain: Celebrating the Imam Al-Mahdi’s birth

In the middle of the Islamic month of Sha’aban, the month before Ramadan, festivities take place all over Bahrain celebrating the date of Imam Al Mahdi’s birth. The occasion is called Nasfa [Ar], and it is not just a Shiite religious feast, but an event celebrated by Bahrainis of all communities.

MENA: Refused Gaza Fulbright students speak

A few weeks a group of students from the Gaza Strip who were due to go to the United States on Fulbright scholarships had their visas revoked at the last moment. Two of the students who were denied the chance to pursue their studies have since written heartfelt letters pleading their case.

Saudi Arabia: Unhappy in Riyadh

After three years in the USA, Saudi blogger Aysha Alkusayer is having trouble readjusting to life in Riyadh, especially when she is not busy with work. She says: “To console myself tonight I am promising the following: I will not age in this city nor will I die in it.”

Saudi Arabia: It's all in the name

It is common practice for converts to Islam to adopt Muslim names. But is it necessary - and what kind of name is appropriate? One Saudi blogger ponders the question, while some others are thinking about the use of aliases in the blogosphere - and yet another encourages the government to 'name names'.

Palestine: Is literature in Gaza dead?

With the death of Mahmoud Darwish, the Arab world has mourned the loss of one of its greatest poets. However some Palestinians have been critical of Darwish. One Gazan blogger can't understand this, and he asks what has happened to literature and creativity in Gaza today.

Saudi Arabia: Whither Saudi blogging?

Saudi Arabia has a large and active blogosphere, in which all kinds of voices and opinions can be heard, including opinions that cannot be expressed in the country's media. But can blogging play a bigger role in changing Saudi society? One blogger poses the question.

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