Friday, April 12, 2013

Wajda by Haifa Al Mansour

For this active blog post I went to the Museum of Islamic art to attend the movie wajda, which was directed by Haifa Al Mansour, the first Saudi women to direct a movie. The movie discuses the issue of women’s right in Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia specifically. It portrays the life of wajda, a young girl who always dreamt of riding a bike, but the fact that it is not accepted by her society made it difficult to make her dream come true. It was surprising for me to know that women in Saudi Arabia before two weeks ago they where not allowed to ride a bike! And they only allowed them to rid bikes two weeks ago but with restrictions such as they can only ride bikes in parks and recreational areas, and they have to be accompanied by a male relative!

The movie is an example of neo-feminism because it talks about personal choice, and how wajda is fighting so hard to make her dream come true. This movie though it talks about an issue that is only in Saudi Arabia (bike and cars) but it discusses the issue of women’s right in middle east, yet not a lot of women were interested to come and watch. Before going there I expected to see more Qatari specially women attending such movie! However, there was about 12 Qatari attended this movie. The way she discusses the problem of women driving and girls riding bikes is by show the society’s attitude toward the problem.

When looking at the problem it is not only men to be blamed but also women!
I was wondering why women were not present in this movie! Most women in Middle East don’t appreciate women who fight for their rights! Is it the society that restricts them not to fight for their rights or is it that they are really happy with their lives and what they have? Why they are so reluctant to fight for their rights?

Women in Middle East care a lot about their reputation and their families’ reputation. Thus, they do what’s allowed and appreciated by the society. The pressures they face from the society around them force them to obey and conform. So, it is not usual to see women present in such places. It is not that they are not interested but they do what is expected from them.

After the movie there was a discussion with Haifa Al Mansour, the director, she talked about what inspired her to write it, and the difficulties she faced directing it. One of them was that she could not be on the street when they were shooting out doors, she had to stay in a van and talk to them through the phone. There is no rule that restricted Haifa not to be on the street when they were shooting but the fact that the society will not appreciate it she stayed at the van. from my opinion, women's right in Middle East countries need women's voice, determination.

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