The Arab Revolution still continues which began in the late 2010 and it is commonly called as Arab Spring by the people of Arabian Peninsula. It challenged the dictators and the political system by playing with the emotions, faith and habit of the people and preconceived notions everywhere around the world. This resulted in fire among the genders of different classes across the globe. In the earlier stages of 2011, women decided to go on streets to protest for Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Once again it was proved that if women want to achieve something, she’ l do it anyhow, by hook or by crook.
These women in the Arab Revolution convincingly introduced and reinvented the idea of an Arab world, took the centre stage and decided to be decision makers and revolutionaries.
I came across a lady through a censored source (sorry but I cannot reveal the name) who shared her story with me. I was glad, I was excited and finally decided to pen down about the one and a half hour conversation in my blog. She requested me not to mention her name anywhere and only for her I have changed the name to Maqbilla.
Maqbilla is half Libyan and half American Muslim woman who fled the violence in Libya at the beginning of March. First it was Malta and then United Arab Emirates or U.A.E. where she attended the women leadership conference called “Insight Arab” which was organised and hosted by Dubai Women’s Association. There she gave a speech on her experience as a Libyan woman, various kinds of discrimination and different types of pride and confusion related with that.
She confessed that whenever in America she went to attend any function or seminar, people often associated her with Gaddafi and sometimes they associated her with Gaddafi’s perverse procession of female security guards. She was surprised that how can these people in America know so much about the Libyan people. But it was not their fault. The fact is, it is because of Gaddafi’s regime that made impossible for any Libyan women to have their own identity outside Libya.
I was just excited because I felt refreshing to interact with a woman from such a place who full on criticised the male oriented system in her society. She is one kind of woman who can express her expectations in future with decision making in various companies, governments and think tank. I also discussed with her about women’s issues and problems in Islam. She agreed that balancing religion and politics in the Arab world is one of the most difficult task for any women.
She added that, the revolutions in the Arab world including parts of Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia forces women to become a part of public spheres. “Let me be very honest with you that, as a Muslim and Libyan woman, my voice is often drowned out by the exaggeration of Islam for the Christian rights. Not only this it is often covered by the fanatical fatwas of the Islamic religion and the continued mass-murdering agenda of Gaddafi’s regime.“
She is only thankful to God that she is still alive. With so many complications around, she has finally learned to overcome the terms of her identity. She is a Muslim woman raised in the Christian society and she can never forget the principles that she has learned from America’s founding fathers. She consider herself as a Zumba-dancing, Libyan American Muslim woman from the revolutionary regions of Libya. “I love to break loads of popular belief about specific social groups which often led people to question, What kind of Muslim Woman she is,” she added
She has decided to write a book for herself, for the people of Libya, for the Muslims in America about her Journey of being an American Libyan Muslim woman. I found her very bold when she told me that she often meets Libyan refugees across the Tunisian border. She meets them to know more about the Gaddafi’s forces who are often responsible for destroying homes in Libya for no good reason. “The best thing which I liked about these refugees is that, they never treated me as a victim of war, but as a true fighter with great resilience and power despite of all the problems they went through.”
She has been always in awe of the Libyan women because they are equally powerful as men of Libya. Her mother who was a Libyan immigrant is the best example of great resilience who raised seven children all alone without any fear or defeat.
When she was talking to me, I was also busy searching more facts and figures about the people in Libya on youtube, facebook and was shocked to witness the bravery of Libyan women during Gaddafi’s regime. She told me that she was never afraid of rocket falling on the roof of her home because that is what cowards do, attacking people unarmed. “Trust me, not a single Libyan men and women will hesitate to tell you the stories of Libya because there both of them fight together for justice and peace. In Libya the women always encourages their men to go and fight instead sitting at home and witnessing gun shots outside, “she added.
It was so refreshing to have words with her. I am really thankful to my friend who made this possible. As a Journalist, I always feel proud to interview these type of people who are the best example of bravery and courage. Libya’s revolution has become a story of every men, women and even children who do not tolerate the operations conducted by Gaddafi and his forces. It is a story of Muslim women opposing and taking charge of the future of their country which is right now in wrong hands.