Thursday, December 31, 2009

East, West, North or South, Home is Best: The danger of Malawi’s gay and lesbian discourse spinning on the human rights axis

The discourse on homosexuality in Malawi is polarized between two arguments. On one hand, there is the side that essentializes the Malawian identity, dwelling almost exclusively on the sexual part of homosexuality, flashing the moral sanitization card, often waving the Christian and Islam card that decries homosexuality on grounds of it being a ‘SIN’. On the other, there is the human rights camp that portrays Malawi as a regressive nation, one that by illegalizing homosexuality, is refusing to march with modern, ‘developed’ and global times. The arguments of this side are often steeped in the human rights discourse. I have problems with stands both camps. In this excerpt of the paper I presented at ACLA (2008), I construct a literary argument for legalizing homosexuality in Malawi. Given the historiography of organized religion especially Christianity and/or Islam to Africa and Africans; Malawi and Malawians, I am very skeptical of arguments that are located in those discourses. I also am very weary of stands located in the human rights discourse because of the same postcolonial memory. I believe neither should propel and shape the Malawi’s stand on this issue.
Malawi needs to search within itself, listen to Malawians speak in our various spaces of sex, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity and language - in order to construct authentic, transparent and durable views that will help make the decision whether to legalize or keep homosexuality illegal. Homegrown arguments should take precedents over external, cut and paste arguments. In Gifts (1990), Farah unravels the dangers of discourses that are portrayed as a gift, a coming of age of Africa, those that homogenize the definition of human, without unearthing the inequalities. Many a time, Malawi has been lured to follow developed nations only to find the language and pace of development spoken in a language alien and objectifying to Malawi.
Against such a background, I think we need to engage our herstory and history, read what is in between the two using testimonies of those who are Malawian and say and want to be homosexual- lesbian and/or gay. What should dictate this discussion in Malawi is various forms of research, a listening approach to research what sex is for Malawi, how this is linked to marriage, how much of that do we want to prescribe, how mush should one’s preference of sex decide who is citizen or not? We need to search within ourselves, how much one’s way of having sex decides who draws water from a well, who gets buried and buries, who is a person from what ever it is we define as being a Malawian. I would like to believe I am a Malawian not because I am heterosexual. We need to remember that the identity Malawi is a colonial construction, one that we are participating in constructing and reconstructing, one that we seem bent on making a policed performance, one that we are frequently withdrawing from and rewarding others with. Such acts have class, gender and ethnic implications. Is that the path we want to go?
My question is how foreign is same sex to Africa and Malawi really? There is research that historicises same sex in Africa and Malawi (see my publication in Feminist Africa Issue 6, 2006) I am a literary person and I am sure many of you know that literature mirrors a lot of what is going on in our societies. As Commonwealth Prize Judge for 2006, I had the privilege to read novels from all over the continent. I argue that the plot and characterization of Kwakye’s 2006 The Sun By Night (Ghana) complicates the usual ‘subversive- sex-is-alien’ trope by squarely locating the narrative of cross-dressing and prostitution on African soil. Kwakye’s narrative exposes that sometimes women become prostitutes just for the sex, not the money. Kwakye centers his story on educated, urban woman who becomes a prostitute because of her love for sex. In other words, she was not getting enough at home and she decided to get into an industry where she would get it in abundance. This discouse of women craving sex in abundance is a discourse often linked with men. Some of you might argue, that cannot be woman and an African one at that. In this narrative, there is a African, Ghanain man who has never been abroad but loves wearing dresses and looking like a woman. One could argue, he cannot Africa and/or Ghanain but he is: born and bread My question is are we saying being Malawian is doing what the majority does? Doing what is deemed normal? I am sure many of us have sometimes done what is abnormal, out of the ordinary, did that warrant us being disqualified from our nation? I am sensitive to this issue because as a feminist, I have been told I am foreign, I have often been disqualified from my nation too. During the Moto saga, my nationality was question publicly and I was investigated to see if I am really a Malawian. It so happens that I am Malawian, both parents and born there too.
My problem with arguments that illegalize homosexuality is that they do not convince me on what we lose as Malawians if we officially recognize that people have sex in a different ways. In fact, I think we stand to gain given the hiv and aids scourge we are facing. I will hasten to add that the main argument for legalizing homosexuality is not the medical one, even though I have cited hiv and aids, it is because I think no one has to right to tell another how to have sex. How I enjoy sex, should not be determined by government and the majority of citizens. Sex is a human need and as a heterosexual, I would hate it if someone outlawed they way I enjoy sex and said I should do it like they do. No one teaches you how to have an orgasm, why do we think we can teach others how to do something that is as a basic human need and practice as walking, eating etc, because we the majority do it in a certain way? I think it is wrong to do so. If the difference had more negative effects than gains, I am willing to discuss this issue but as it is, I think we are losing more. So yes, I end up on rights argument but I am hoping I have defined and located my right argument in and around ‘Malawi’, not the west or European constructs. If someone is a Malawian and they have never been attracted to a man and they are a woman, why should I tell them to be attracted to a man? I believe such binarized ways of thinking or Euro-colonial binaries that were used to police us as colonial subjects. Unless someone can convince me that sex and sexuality have always been crucial organizing principles in our Malawian communities, I believe we are just cutting and pasting Eastern (Islam), Euro-Western ideals (Christianity) ideals and calling them Malawian. What is the use of saying the government and majority will define how sex is had in Malawi? It is a very colonial, pedagogical mentality that says ‘I know what is best for you. I will teach you English so that you can be developed, learn to read and write’ yet all of that is in order for you to buy western commodities and be a subject of the Euro-west.
In the discourse on homosexuality, I think we need to take a subject centered approach, let those who are saying they are homosexuals and are Malawians explain their condition and we investigate what we are dealing with, interrogate what they are asking for instead of calling them names, most importantly, see what Malawi loses and gains by legalizing or keeping it illegal. Those calling for legalizing homosexuality should also not come to me waving the you are not developing flag, you should be like the west flag as that gets my postcolonial guard up and I reject to keep the Euro-west out because it has never meant well for me and my country and my continent. We should not be dictated by the west or Europe because they have gotten it wrong and are still fighting about this issue till now. Let us define our own parameters and make Malawi a home for Malawians. I am sure we are able to work out a system of logic and reason on our terms outside those of Christianity, Islam and development of globalization. The question is what is Malawi and how does that intersect with what sex means? How much should one’s sexual acts, preference, decide your citizenship?

Dr Jessie Kabwila Kapasula
Department of Comparative Literature.
Binghamton State University of New York

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Obama Addresses U.N. - MADRE Responds

September 23, 2009 - An Open Letter

Dear President Obama:

As you bring to a close your first address to the United Nations General Assembly, we know that the time for women's human rights advocates to amplify our voices is now. Your active participation in this key international discussion has set the stage for future US engagement with the world. If the Administration's efforts to have a positive impact are to be fruitful, the United States must recognize and promote women's human rights in every policy that it pursues.

On the "preservation of our planet":
You correctly identified climate change as a key issue of our time. Yet, missing from your comments were concrete solutions and the recognition that rural women hold key solutions to climate change. Women are the traditional managers of rural communities' food, water and other environmental resources. Women farmers in Nicaragua who have led the way in sustainable, organic agriculture; women in Kenya who have brought wells for clean water to their communities; women in Panama who have preserved biodiversity by protecting seed banks-these are the on-the-ground experts to whom we should be turning for models of sustainable resource management.

On the creation of a "global economy that advances opportunity for all people":
The global economic recession has been accompanied by a marked retreat from the development and poverty-reduction commitments of wealthy countries. Yet, it is in precisely such times that women's health, education and empowerment must be a central priority in all US policies.

A healthy global economy will not result from the same US-led policies that have produced mass poverty, environmental ruin, and most recently, a worldwide recession. We call on you to promote policies that uphold women's economic and social rights. Women constitute 70 percent of the world's poor. They are also the economic backbone of the world's most vulnerable communities: women are the majority of small-holder farmers and the main providers of healthcare, childcare and primary education. As such, women are central to eradicating poverty and pursuing a sustainable global economy.

On "the pursuit of peace":
In Afghanistan, abuses of women's human rights are rampant, but they cannot be eliminated at gunpoint. In fact, the US military presence undermines prospects for Afghan women to secure rights for themselves. As US troops levels have increased, so too has the power of the Taliban as more Afghans turn to them for protection from the US and its corrupt and predatory allies in the Karzai government. We call on you to shift US resources from making war to supporting Afghan-led development and human rights initiatives.

Your promise to pursue "a just and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine and the Arab world" included a welcome recognition that families pay the steepest price for armed conflict. That is why peace negotiations must uphold the full range of human rights for all people in the region. The success of any future settlement hinges on its compliance with human rights standards and international laws that guarantee peace and security for all people in the region, call for the creation of an economically viable Palestinian state, and protect of the rights of Palestinian refugees.


You concluded your address by reminding the world that "democracy and human rights are essential" to achieving the goals that you outlined before the General Assembly. We join with our sister organizations from across the world to give you this message: women's human rights are central to any sustainable solutions to the crises that we confront today. The success of your policies rests on your commitment to upholding and advancing the full range of women's human rights.


Vivian Stromberg
MADRE Executive Director

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chafukira's death

This is a very sad development. Sad not only for his family but the democratic process of the country. This is was young politician and god knows we need many people of his age. I disagreed with the way he opposed Tembo but I am sad to see him dead. I know that somewhere out there, there is a woman who has lost a loved one, children who have lost a dad, parents without a son today. May his soul rest in peace.

The way the key players in the nation state project in Malawi handle this, will help the country go forward or not. Statements like Mwakasungula's are very regrettable as no one has proof that it is Tembo who has killed him, much as Chafukira's death is mysterious. Not handling this issue well can actually jeopardize us knowing exactly who did killed this young politician, assuming he was killed in the first place.

Monday, September 14, 2009

TEMBO SHOULD GO? Not so fast - Call for an MCP Convention Please!

I am wondering why those calling for Tembo to step down, do not call for a convention where the membership can have its say. We are the bosses of politicians. What makes Chafukura and his comrades think they are speaking for MCP members. As for me, it is plain and simple, Tembo must go but so must Chafukira and a good bunch of those speaking, if they do not know what channels to follow when solving party problems. If his going is going to be premised on someone's words, them what are the party structures for? I thought people lead parties based on the mandate they get from the membership. The way Chafukira is speaking, the timing and tone - makes me think at best, wagulidwa at the least, he is just a selfish politician who wants to carve a political career out of the just ended elections. These guys say they are a legion, why can’t that legion speak at the convention, in a democratic and open process where the party analyses what happened at the elections and maps a way forward? What they are doing can even end up garnering support for Tembo who ends up looking like a victim (which he is not) and that can buy him political millage and currency. Izi sizobvuta anyamata, instead of speaking for the membersip, bwelani nonse ku Convention, anthu akakuuzani yemwe akufuna. Mukufuna muwasankhile ngati ndi ana bwanji? Muchi Shona mulimwambi wabwino umakamba zimene Chafukura and company are doing - Dzako itsitsi dzeyi kupukuta madzihwa mwana wehure. This saying is advice given to wives that when they see their husband wiping the west nose of a ‘prostitute’, it is not out of out of kindness, it is often it is because that child is his. What we are seeing here is a group of people in MCP try to carve mipando yonona by pointing at the ineffectivity of Tembo. If you ask me, all of you have a lot of stepping down and out to do. How I wish our politicians stopped infantilizing and insulting our intelligence. Respect membership voices please. Musamawatengele kokawayesa. They are the ones who live the results of your political squabbles.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Way to Go NyaHarawa - Lose the Loser

About time Wendy. You do not need people like the Fenduze nightmare in your life. I refuse to call such a person a man. He is an excuse of the male species. NyaHarawa, you are a musician in your own right, do not be brought down by wanna be's like Petersen. Glad you have found the strength to say No! to abuse and dehumanisation. This is not your fault, many of us women go through this crap, no one can live him for you, you have do it and you have done it. Good for you. That is good role modeling and female self determination. There is more fish in the sea if you are still looking. I am living proof of that. there are men who do not need to oppress women in order to feel powerful, they are not insecure like Petersen. Continue to move on and do not look back. Zabwino zilimtsogolo.

I am a big fan of fendela fenduze, well I was until I read this story. I have been promotiing this song in dance places in New York Binghamton, since it was talk of town during my latest visit home this month and of course I really liked it.

Looking at Wendy’s picture really brings pain to my heart as there are few things that make as mad as violence against women, what some usually like to call gender based violence, for me, unless both people fight each other, it is VAW, violence against women and starting from now, I will decampaign this song (Fendela Fenduze) as much as I can. I was going to present a paper on popular culture and I had written something on it but now, that is all history, Petersen can be sure he has lost this fan. I will not support men who beat women, period.

I am sure Wendy saw the experience of Rihana at the hands of Brown. My advice to you is to get out of this relationship whilst you still can. Once a beater, always one and one day you might not escape with your life. When one looks at the last line, your self esteem has already taken a beating. I know that most people will say telling someone to leave their man is prescriptive and easier said than done. Yes, whilst that is true, what always surprises me is the fact that mothers in the village did not put up with such nonsense. I have interviewed my grandmother (ANangondo) so many times and she makes it clear that whenever a husband become an unbearable pest, amamuyatsila muni. Why is it harder for us 21st century women kuyatsila anthu muni? Is it the capitalism, religion or what? Well, whatever it is, I am also a fun of you Wendy and I wish you could respect yourself as a star in your own right. That picture of you with a blue eye objectifies and makes you a helpless person. You come from a continent of strong women who have agency. Please do not act helpless and say things like you do not know what to do. Of course you know what to do, you just do not have the courage to do it. Asakulemele fenduze yo, he is not worth your life, profession and reputation. Wipe your tears, stand up and be counted like your female ancestors whose strength shook the roots of colonialism and is fighting the AIDS pandemic – who is Petersen, the Fenduze boy as compared to the battles your female ancestors hav shown you how to battle.

Jessie Kabwila Kapasula
ex Fendela Fenduze fan
Wendy’s Fan

Monday, September 7, 2009


September 7, 2009
For me this bill has exposed the following issues:

1 The myth of civil society representing the people. I remember sitting in a UNICEF meeting over this issue in 2006 but the way people reacted when this bill went through parliament exposed a disconnect between ‘people’ and those who are said to represent. There was so much furori, it made me question myself as a civil society member the validity of my role in our democracy (assuming that we have one). I think now that President has sent this law back for review, the question is how do we know that it will not just be discussed by men and women in some offices and fail to trickle down to the average Malawian, the very person whom all of us occupying spaces of power in post-neo-colonial Malawi purport to represent. Is there such a thing in the first place? Isnt such a notion a sham, an insult to people’s agency and more a way to amass power for ourselves, the educated elite rather than a way to govern? I do hope that now that we have a second chance to listen to public voice, we will take every effort to let people speak in langauges and spaces accessible to them. When this bill was passed, the fact that the age had been at 15 seemed to be news to many and the handling of this law left a lot to be desired. I hope that this time around, it will be handled better.
2 Another thing this bill exposed was the dictatorship we are now living in. One wonders why the ministry of gender would be the first one to cry fowl when all thse ministries have representitives in parliarment. Where was this opposition in parliarment, whey did it come belatedly? How many other bills are passing when people have reservations and why are those reservations come later. I am one of those people who does not see why I am paying people to sit in parliarment only to agree on everything to a point one fills they are ordered to agree with everything. What we have seen with this bill, we are in the danger of seeing it on other bills too, where people querry things outside parliarment. People who sit in parliarment need to remember that they sit there at tax payers expense and I for one do not want to pay people who go there just to be ‘yes’ bwanas whom when asked to jump just say how high. Our country seems to be quickly sliding into a way traffic in which all you here is how much ‘masomphenya’ the Ngwazi has. The past years, we had a vibrant opposition and the successes that we have registered in the year past are evidence of that. Now that we have oppositon members who can even ask the government to help choose their leader in government, one wonders what kind of year we are going to have?

3 I for one would like to see the language of this bill because the is being talked about as an issue of the girl child and last time I checked, girls do not marry themselves. I think Malawi needs to have a converstation about what marriage is and what it means to us as a people. We need to have a conversation on the link between marriage and child bearing. How does marriage impact the so called makanda and who eats these makanda. At what age parents should be allowed by the law of the land to consent to marriage, why is it that consent is directed to girl children as the media is showing it to be, is that the way the law is constructed – are issues I for one as a scholar of women issues is very interested in. I am not one who usually agrees with the President but I applaud his decision to push this law back to the people. It is clear that Malawians need to interrogate this issue firther. I only wish we could use methods that transcend western constructions, more homegrown methods to facilitate conversation amongst ourselves. Eveidently, the route of civil society representng people has been exposed to be faulty.
4 I hope the bill is written and communicated in a way that potrays marriage to be an institution of two consenting adults and not a power relation loaded institution where women are prayed on by men. Otherwise, women will continue to be infantilised in discourses of this institution and bill.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


June 15, 2009


Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika

Vice President

Joyce Banda (Mrs)

Agriculture and Food Security

Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika

Agriculture and Food Security (Deputy)

Magret Roka-Mauwa(Ms.)


Mr. Ken Kandodo

Finance (Deputy)

Mr. Fraser Nkhoma Nihora

Foreign Affairs

Dr. Eta Elizabeth Banda

Foreign Affairs (Deputy)

Augustine Mtendere


Dr George Chaponda

Higher education, Science and Technology (Deputy)

Otilia Moyo-Jere (Ms)

Primary Education (Deputy)

Victor Sajeni

Development Planning and Cooperation

Abi Marambika Shawa

Development Planning and Cooperation (Deputy)

Daniel Siwimbi

Transport and Works

Khumbo Kachali

Transport and Works (Deputy)

Lazaro Kasaila


Dr. Peter Mutharika


Ritchie Bizwick Muyewa

Irrigation (Deputy)

Gringer Musolira Banda

Local Government

Goodall Gondwe

Local Government (Deputy)

MacJones Mandala Shawa

Industry and Trade

Eunice Kazembe (Ms)

Industry and Trade (Deputy)

Steven Stanford Kamwendo

Lands and Housing and Urban development

Dr. Peter Mwanza

Lands and Housing (Deputy)

Tarsiziu Tony Gowelo

Gender, Children and Community Development

Patricia Kaliati (Ms)

Gender, Children and Community Development (Deputy)

Catherine Gotani Hara (Ms)

Tourism, Wildife

Anna Kachikho (Ms)

Tourism (Deputy)

Shadreck Jonasi


Yunus Mussa

Labour (Deputy)

John Bande

Youth and Sports

Dr Lucius Kanyumba

Youth (Deputy)

Billy Kaunda


Prof. Moses Chirambo

Health (Deputy)

Teresa Gloria Mwale (Ms)

Home Affairs

Aaron Sangala

Home Affairs (Deputy)

Annie Lemani (Ms)

National Defence

Sidik Mia

Information and Civil Education

Lenford Mwanza

Information and Civil Education (Deputy)

Kingsley Namakwa

Natural Resources and Energy

Grey Malunga

Natural Resources and Energy (Deputy)

Ephraim Chiume

Disabilities and Aged

Bessie Reen Kachere (Ms)

Disabilities and Aged (Deputy)

Felton Mulli

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Obama speech in Cairo 4 June 2009 :


By Nawal El Saadawi


Obama is different as a person from G W Bush . Obama looks more human , but politics and economic interests have nothing to do with humanity .

We live in one world ruled by the capitalist patriarchal religious system . Power dominates our whole world ( not justice or freedom or peace or ethics or human values ) . Politics under such a system is a game based on how to use beautiful words to cover ugly actions , how to use the power of God to dominate your listeners , how to select verses from holy books to hide double standards and contradictions , how to kill people and rob their land and resources and then apologize to them with tears in your eyes . We call them in our Egyptian - Arabic language : “ Crocodile Tears “

In Cairo ( on Thursday June 4 , 2009 ) Barak Obama spoke to 2500 Egyptian men and women invited by the Egyptian and US governments and allowed to enter the big hall at Cairo University surrounded by 13000 Egyptian and American police men .

We are 80 millions in Egypt , so those 2500 men and women who applauded passionately 30 times during Obama`s 50 minutes speech are not the whole of Egypt . They are only : The Chosen People .

They applauded strongly when he said that Muslim women should wear the veil if they choose to wear it . As if veiling ( or nakedness ) is something to be chosen ! As lf oppression is something to be chosen by the oppressed .

Like saying girls or boys should be circumcised if they choose to be circumcised ( because they do not want to be different from others ) , or like saying the poor people should be poor if they choose to be poor ( because of their laziness or ignorance ) ,

I read during the Gaza Massacre that the Palestinians choose to be killed ( or they kill their children ) so that they appear as victims and gain sympathy of the world .

I was looking at the TV screen , observing how Obama talks with his hands , eyes and lips . His lips and hands look less cruel than GW `s . His color more attractive , not black not white not yellow , a mixture of human blood and multiple races developed into a more sophisticated human being .

Obama is a creative actor on stage , learned his text by heart to sound as if there is no text at all . He is well trained in being spontaneous .

Egyptians , Americans or others , especially those chosen by governments , are not creative enough to understand this type of creativity : how some political leaders acquire what is called Charisma . The Germans passionately applauded Hitler , the Russians loved Stalin , the Americans elected GW more than once . Sadat in Egypt won all elections by not less than 95 % of votes .

The most dangerous political leaders are the most charismatic , they make you sing : Kill Me Softly . You sacrifice your blood for them .

One of the chosen Egyptian men screamed in the hall while Obama was giving his speech : I LOVE YOU ! Obama replied : Thank you .

Obama praised the king of Saudi Arabia in his speech , portraying him as a hero of the dialogue between religions ! The theocratic kingdom breeding extremism is democratic ?

A dictator ally of US can be transformed to a democratic hero . Sadam Hussein and Ben Laden were freedom fighters at one time .

Obama praised Netanyahu saying he is intelligent . He did not describe any Arab ruler as intelligent , including Mubarak sitting next to him .

He did not mention the name of Mubarak in his whole speech . Did he want to distance himself as a person from himself as the American President ?

Did he want to expose or hide his double personality ? . But he is sophisticated and understand s what is called in psychology “ The philosophy of the present moment “How to leave yourself to the moment but not leave the moment to itself .

Obama`s body language looks natural , he jumps the plane stairs with his hands near his chest jumping with his body , like a happy school boy going to meet his girl friend . This is not the American President but Barak Hussein Obama .

I heard his speech through the TV and read it 2 more times to grasp or detect some improvement in the US policy . General human beautiful words selected from the 3 holy books . He sounded like the Pope giving his speech in Jordan some months ago , praising the 3 religions .

He used very well his middle name “ Hussein “ to speak to Muslims but he knows also when to hide it as a deformed organ .

Muslims listening to him applauded passionately when he read verses from the Kuran . They did not notice his mistake in understanding Surat Al Israa . It did not say that the 3 prophets Moses , Christ and Mohammad prayed together Lilat Al Israa . Egyptian Copts applauded when he spoke about minority rights in Egypt . Israel applauded when he confirmed that US A and Israel are tied eternally by culture ( not mutual interests ) and when tears appeared in his voice when he spoke about the Holocaust , 6 millions jews burned in Germany , their eternal sufferings , their right to have a homeland .

He did not say that this homeland should have been in Germany , the country that burned them or in Europe or in the USA or in some other place where there is no people to be killed and robbed of their homes and land by military force . He did not ask Israel to stop its military violence against the Palestinian children . He only asked the Palestinians to stop their violence against Israeli children . He did not mention the number of Palestinians killed and tortured by Israel in the last 60 years till today .

He did not ask Israel to respect previous UN resolutions , he just asked Israel to stop building new settlements . What about old settlements that expelled thousands of Palestinians of their homes ? What about settlements to be build under the so called “ Natural Growth “ ?

He asked Palestinians to forget the past and look forward . Some days ago in his country he asked people to forget the crimes of torture , to forget the past and look forward .

But what is the function of the Law ? if it is not used to investigate and punish criminals who killed or tortured ?

Obama shifted smoothly from ethics to politics and interests as if no contradiction .

He said the USA has no interest in Iraq resources ? He ignored or forgot the Law of Oil forced on Iraqi government ( which submits the oil of Iraq to the monopoly of American companies for 30 years )

He mentioned the danger of Iran owning nuclear power , he did not mention the danger of the nuclear military power of Israel .

The real goal of Obama speech was to mobilize the Muslim countries against Islamic extremists , to open the markets of Islamic countries to American goods under the so called development and partnership , to guarantee Saudi and Gulf oil and other American interests in the so called Middle East .

Egyptian people suffered because of the Obama ` s visit to Cairo . Thousands of students did not go to their schools or universities and delayed their exams . Those sc hools and universities were closed by the government for security reasons during the Obama visit . Mrs Obama stayed in US A and did not accompany her husband to Egypt to be with their 2 daughters during school exams .

Many streets in Cairo were closed by the police and many people could not go to work losing $ 20 million .

The Egyptian government spent $ 500 millions for the security of Obama . 10 000

Police men and hundreds of police cars . Egyptian people were ordered to stay at home and not to open their windows in all areas visited by Obama , including the Pyramid region , Giza , Ain Shams , Helwan , Cairo University , some ministries , Al Kalaa , Sultan Mosque , Kasr Al Kobbaa , and all streets leading to these areas and more .

The normal life in Cairo stopped . Streets were empty , people were prisoners in their homes , no body was allowed to be near Cairo University while Obama was delivering his speech except 13 American men and women were allowed to make a show of demonstration at the university gate , shouting some slogans asking Obama to visit Gaza ,

Those 13 Americans were allowed by the police to demonstrate . They are the opposition or the dissidents in democratic Egypt , while the real Egyptian dissidents are in prison or outside Egypt .

But politics is a game to be played by all parties .

Only 30 minutes after Obama`s plane took off the poor Egyptian workers were in the streets removing the artificial flowers and trees implanted everywhere to welcome the semi god of the world .

Nawal El Saadawi

5 June 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

From: Yanar Mohammed
Subject: Thank you Hillary...for submitting to our patriarchs
To: "OWFI gmail" <>
Date: Saturday, June 6, 2009, 3:58 PM

Thank you Hillary

for submitting to our patriarchs

In a visit to Egypt which was meant to be a landmark in US-Arab relations, Hillary Clinton chose to have her head covered with a veil, thus forwarding a clear message to more than a hundred million Arab women: "if an American Secretary of State can wear it, it should be okay for you too."

Women of the Arab world and the Middle East suffered and struggled from patriarchal Islamist oppression which escalated in the last two decades. One simple example of the oppression is the excluding of females from all decision making positions as they are thought of as "emotional" and "irrational". Therefore, a woman cannot be a judge in court; neither can she be a full witness, as two women's testimony will be equal to one man. Other examples of the oppression travel around the world dressed in full black, with no openings, even for breathing.

In a total control of governmental and non-governmental mass media, Islamist ideologists brainwashed generations into the idea that females are deficient human beings with an evil urge to disgrace and dishonour. Therefore, they should be restricted into a narrow zone lest they bring shame and filth upon the innocent unsuspecting patriarchs at home. The same ideologists who hold the binding veil in one hand, hold another unreserved banner in the other hand which assures the males' biological need for more than one sexual partner and tries to polish legalized polygamy with baloney testimonies of "'…being fair among wives when it is too difficult".

None of these misogynist ideologists mention the human catastrophe which befalls the female and children population in an Islamist city. In the religious city of Najaf , south of Baghdad 20% of the adult female population are abandoned wives with no income. They are second, third and fourth wives of men who had taken off for other women. Their husbands do not care to divorce them or to spend on their wives and their children. In the "holy" city of Najaf , masses of destitute women and children roam in the streets and may manage to live off the charity of religious institutions which had justified their abandonment and poverty in the first place.

The Islamist ideologists do not feel compelled to justify the tragedy of tens of thousands of women and children of a polygamist culture. They continue to pump a woman serves man ideology to the young generations to perpetuate the males' misogynist practices and the females' submission to misogyny as part of faithfulness and godliness.

There was a time of progressive leftist change in the Arab and Middle Eastern societies. It coincided with a world-wide movement for liberation from colonialism. Our mothers' generation benefited from that age as they reached to the university seats and became doctors and engineers.

Still, it took many years of political and feminist struggle to get rid of the veil and the control of patriarchs who imposed the veil on them. As you may know Hillary, these women were not born with the veil. It always takes a misogynist patriarch to tie it around your head and neck. But these women gracefully succeeded and got rid of the veil, the symbol of their oppression. From thereon came the female Ministers, judges, scientists, doctors, and engineers.

Hillary …

We are proud of our bodies and do not need to cover them to please your allies, the Islamist patriarchs. We also know that our fight for women's rights needs to parallel with a fight to end the US occupation in Iraq , as we have only witnessed deterioration in our lives and social status since day one of the occupation. Thanks to you and others like you, the Islamist patriarchs are ruling as government and militias in Iraq now. We know that women of Iraq cannot dream of a day of freedom as long as the US troops are in here.

If you need to flirt with your Islamist patriarch allies, go ahead. But never dare speak in the name of women and women's rights. Stick with the patriarchs in the boy's club as it serves you better.

Yanar Mohammed

Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq , president June 6, 2009