Bil3afya: Starting a Conversation Between the Maghreb and the Gulf

Bil3afyaOne of the most amazing things about having brilliant friends is the brainstorming never ends. New ideas are always popping up, and the energy to turn those ideas into real projects is even more present. A few months ago, I was sitting at a restaurant outside of DC with my dear friend Mona Kareem. We started discussing the issues surrounding the misperceptions and stereotypes among/between women from the Maghreb and the Gulf. The general stereotype is that Moroccan women are prostitutes desperate for money, and Saudi women are jealous submissive wives who can’t keep their husbands–the stereotypes branch from there. I’ve briefly delved into the matter of human trafficking and sex tourism that largely impacts the interaction between the Maghreb and Gulf, effectively contributing to the proliferation of these misunderstandings.

Well after our conversation, we decided to start Bil3afya. It’s been up and running for a few months now. We’ve produced original material, republished some of our previous work, as well as hosted some original work from other voices in these two regions. We’ll both be wrapping up hectic semesters in a few days, so expect Bil3afya to be on fire.

For more information, check out our “About Me.” It also includes our contact info for those interested in submitting posts or with any ideas/comments. Also, a special thank you the brilliant Mehreen Kasana for doodling us in the most flattering way possible. Mehreen is a great source for critical material on South Asian affairs for those interested.

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