Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki speaks about his award-winning film, Of Fathers of Sons, which won the prize this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

Direct download: of_fathers_of_sons_final.mp3
Category:Film -- posted at: 12:14pm EST

During the mid-1950s, an almost unknown and erased-from-history armed anti-colonial revolt – the Fellaga/Youssefite rebellion – rippled across the Tunisian countryside, sweeping across the width and depth of the country, even penetrating urban cores.

Max Ajl's dissertation, "Farmers, Fellaga, and Frenchmen: National Liberation and Post-Colonial Development in Tunisia", recovers the historical memory of that revolt, writing the armed struggle and its repression into the history of the Tunisian national liberation struggle and its effects on subsequent state-building efforts.

[Courtesy of George Mason University]

Direct download: MaxAJL_Denoise.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:00am EST

In January, an 18 year-old Saudi woman, Rahaf Mohammad Al Qunun, sparked international attention when she took on to social media, as she barricaded herself in a hotel room in Bangkok, to stop Thai Authorities from deporting her back to her home country. Rahaf had left her family to seek asylum abroad. She said her life was in danger and that her abusive family escalated her mistreatment after she declared herself an Atheist. Rahaf eventually made it to Canada where she was granted asylum.

But Rahaf’s story is not unique, in fact a growing number of Saudi women and men are leaving the country immigrating or seeking asylum elsewhere. This phenomenon can be, at least in part, explained by the Saudi State’s lack of support for abused women and the overall crackdown on freedom of expression. So how did Saudi media react to the story and how do we place the story of Rahaf in the larger Saudi- Canadian relations and the status of women inside Saudi Arabia.

To learn more, VOMENA producer and reporter Mira Nabulsi spoke with Hana Al-Khamri, a writer and analyst.

Direct download: MiraInterview_HanaKhamriMP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44pm EST

[Courtesy of Voices of the Middle East & North Africa, VOMENA]

In a recent Sanaa Review article, journalist Sahar Abdo describes how the current war in Yemen introduced space for women that was frowned upon in the past. She talks about a subtle challenging of taboos, women being much more present in public spaces, or taking on jobs they did not do in the past.

In most conflicts, women are grouped with children, they are categorized among the most vulnerable groups. This designation erases, in many cases, women who are engaged in the conflict, women who are actively relieving or caring for communities, or those who try to defy the war and go about their lives and activism regardless. This audio documentary digs deeper into life under conflict through the stories and voices of five Yemeni women, based in the cities of Sana’a and Aden. All of them are involved in women and grassroots activism. They talk about how they understand this war and how they view their role as Yemeni women politically and socially.

Research & Interviews/Narration/ Sound by Mira Nabulsi.
Voiceover: Malihe Razazan and Jeannine Etter.

This story was produced in collaboration with the "Muslim Women and the Media" training institute at the University of California, Davis.

Direct download: YemenConflictAndWomen_MiraWMusic.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST