Posts Tagged ‘داليا زيادة’

Basma Mousa: “You are all fruits of one tree & leaves of one branch”

02-11-2010

فى موقع محاربون من اجل حرية العقيدة تم نشر هذا المقال فى 31 اكتوبر2010

Interviewed by: Daniel Bennet
Don’t be fooled by her petite stature and soft spoken manner, Basma Moussa, is anything but timid. She is widely known as the prolific blogger, prominent media figure, victim of persecution, women’s and Baha’i rights activist, and last year’s “most influential woman” in Egypt. Despite her growing stardom she continues to devote the majority of her time to her chosen profession – professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Between exams and activism, she found time to sit down and answer a few questions for the 5F. Basma Mousa is the laureate of 5F annual prize for the Freedom Fighter of the Year
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Q: What are you fighting against?
I’m Fighting against the ignorance in Egyptian society and the media which allows false stereotypes and stigmatization to spread against Baha’i and women. For example, this idea that Baha’is are Zionists, it’s not true.
6 years ago 90% of the media falsely portrayed Baha’is and wouldn’t take the time or effort to communicate with us, reporters were afraid to get the truth from us. The Baha’is are a quiet minority, they don’t protest or cause problems, however they also don’t participate in dialogue.
Nowadays its mostly the religious programming in the media that’s intolerant while discrimination remains present in the eduction system and workforce, especially for women: opportunities are severly limited from birth, through primary education, and finally in the workforce It’s important to remember for Baha’is the problem is one of citizenship, not of faith and is with individuals, not Egyptian society on the whole
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Q: What experiences growing up shaped your activism?
I Grew up in a war zone, Port Saed during the Egypt-Israel war was like Gaza today. The best day of my life was when Gurion, Carter, and Sadat brought peace to my home city. Raised as a Baha’i I was taught that men and women were equal and all humans ought to be united, regardless of religion. However, upon entering college in Cairo, and then the workforce I was subjected to stigmatization because I am a woman.
While working to achieve my masters in medicine and become a lecturer, and then a professor, I was religiously discriminated against multiple times. It began with false accusations being made by those in university, then professors would flunk me, a university committee declared my scientific expertise invalid, pamphlets were issued identifying me as a “non-believer”, a fatwa was issued against me, news papers singled me out as a “non-believer” putting my personal safety in danger, and finally government security forces had to accompany me for protection. Throughout this process I appealed first to professors, then deans, then the head of the administration of education. Now I am an assistant professor.
I’m still without ID. Once my driver’s license expires I will be unable to drive legally. This is just the beginning, many Baha’is are without birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates which greatly complicates their financial matters. An Egyptian can get a birth certificate in 5 minutes, a Baha’i will wait 6 months at the least.
Working as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon has given me plenty or opportunities to witness violence against women – one time I operated for 8 hours on a woman who’s entire face had been smashed in by an iron rod. After the surgery was complete the women refused to press charges or file for a divorce because she knew she was completely dependent on her husband. I have also had other surgeons refuse to participate in surgery with me because I am a Baha’i
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Q: Do you see any hope for change?
The problem is with individuals and the religious establishment. Within Egyptian society there is little prejudice, people who know me do not think me any worse because I’m a Baha’i, and I always consider myself an Egyptian from the heart. Today the Clergy is afraid that if Baha’is or women teach then they will spread un-Islamic ideas and this contributes to the misinformation we’re trying to prevent. Life was much better for Baha’is under the monarchy.
Today the mentality of the Egyptian is also a problem: many of us don’t research for the truth, we believe whatever people say. In order to solve this we need to filter out the misinformation in the books and media people do read. Education: religious texts and texts in religious schools need to be filtered for bias content. It’s going to be a long project but we’ve started with texts in primary schools and eventually we will remove bias from universities and the workplace. Also women must be educated. Only through education can women become empowered and only this way can we become truly independent. Additionally Baha’is need to make their case known in the media, we need to clear up the misconceptions being spread by biased individuals.
Most importantly we must continue to contribute constructively to society. By working hard we will continue to gain respect and will always have hope. As long as we remain between the two radical sides, we don’t protest, and we remain non-aggressive there is always hope.
Q: Quickly, who are your three biggest role models:
Ghandi, MLK, and Nelson Mandella. Ghandi spoke extensively about Baha’ism and all three supported the same non-aggressive peaceful resistance strategy
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Want to know more? – Who is Basma Mousa?
Assistant Professor Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Cairo University.
Blogger, Public Speaker, Activist and advocate of Baha’ism, religious tolerance, AIDs patients’ rights, and women’s rights.

المهرجان الثانى لسينما حقوق الانسان 23:20ديسمبر

10-12-2009

  للعام الثانى على التوالى،ينظم المؤتمر الاسلامى الامريكى مهرجان القاهرة لأفلام حقوق الإنسان فى الفترة من 20 ـ ٢٣ ديسمبر الجارى، تزامناً مع الإعلان العالمى لحقوق الإنسان، ويهتم المهرجان بعرض الأفلام المتعلقة بقضايا حقوق الإنسان التى أنتجها أو صنعها مخرجون من جميع أنحاء العالم لإرساء قيم تناهض العنف ضد المرأة، وتدعو إلى التسامح الدينى.ويمول المهرجان منظمة المؤتمر الإسلامى وهى منظمة غير حكومية مقرها الرئيسى أمريكا، وتهتم بنشر قيم التسامح والحريات المدنية فى منطقة الشرق الأوسط، وينصب عملها بشكل رئيسى على المرأة والشباب.ويعرض المهرجان أكثر من ٣٠ فيلماً، بينها ٨ أفلام مصرية، وسيتم توزيع شهادات تقدير على صناع الأفلام المشاركة فى المهرجان.مكان العرض: 31 شارع محمد محمود امام المقر القديم للجامعة الامريكية. التحرير, وسط البلد وتبدا العروض الساعة 6ونصف مساء الى التاسعة. 
جدول الافلام:http://freepdfhosting.com/86095f581b.pdf
للمزيد:http://www.cairofilm.org/