Identity, Gender, and Activism in the Middle East-North Africa


WLP launches our inaugural online Forum!

11:00AM-1:00PM / 16:00-18:00 GMT Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WLP invites you to particpate in our Forum

Identity, Gender, and Activism in MENA:
An Interactive Online Discussion with Activists and Artists from the Region

Click here to register to participate in the event. 

The premiere of WLP’s online Forum series explores the intersection of gender, identity, and activism, as experienced by five young activists and artists in the Middle East-North Africa region. Hailing from Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, and Yemen, the forum participants are driving forces for change in their societies – through art, public protests, journalism, and by bolstering the political skills, democratic values, and gender awareness of local citizens. Though the current political environment in each of the speakers’ countries is varied, all include large populations of youth seeking new freedoms and social and political structures. As with many countries across the globe, these societies are also marked by pervasive gender inequality that impacts the speakers’ lives and how they seek to shape society.

Streaming from the online event site Shindig, Forum panelists will share how political systems and gender norms have influenced their identity, and how each is striving to transform their society and their place within it. Following the speakers’ comments, Forum attendees are invited to participate in a live Q&A, via video or audio chat, or instant message.  Shindig is a highly interactive tool, so we will welcome the active participation of the audience using your preferred interface (video, audio, or IM).  

Event Speakers Include:

Atiaf Zaid Alwazir (Yemen) is a freelance researcher and writer focusing on social movements, in particular as they relate to women and youth, and the role of regional and international policy in Yemen.  Her work has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Arab Reform Initiative, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Jaddaliya, Al-Akhbar, Huffington Post, the Guardian, and other outlets. She is the co-founder of the media advocacy group SupportYemen. She chronicled the Yemeni revolution on her blog, Woman from Yemen, with commentaries, videos, and photographs. She has an M.A. in International Relations, and her thesis focused on women prisoners in Yemen.

Jihane Hannane (Morocco) is a feminist activist with Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM), WLP’s partner in Morocco, and is currently completing her studies in Political Science, with honors. Jihanne also works for the International Labour Office in Rabat. Previously, she was selected to participate in the country’s parallel youth government, in which she held the position of Youth Minister for Solidarity, Women, Family, and Social Development. She has also worked on issues pertaining to social entrepreneurship with the organization Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and was responsible for communication  for the African Youth Initiative for Climate Change (AYICC).

Hayat Mirshad (Lebanon) is a feminist and human rights activist, researcher, trainer and journalist. She is a co-founder of FE-MALE, a non-profit organization, founded in 2012 by a group of young Lebanese women and human rights activists, and editor at Sawt Al Shaab, where she volunteers to produce and present the first feminist radio program in Lebanon and the Middle East, "Sharika wa Laken." She is also a media officer and project coordinator for the "Women’s Response to the Arab Spring" project at the Lebanese Democratic Women Gathering and is active with many civil society organizations and campaign such as the Lebanese Women Right to Nationality Campaign. She previously worked at the Collective for Research and Training on Development-Action CRTD.A, WLP's partner in Lebanon. She is a freelance reporter at Lel Nasher, a weekly talk show hosted by Tony Khalife at Al Jadeed TV Production. 

Noora Flinkman (Sweden/Egypt) is the Communications Manager for Harassmap, an NGO dedicated to combating sexual harassment in Egypt. Her interest in gender studies and rights activism brought her from Sweden to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and finally to Egypt where she finished her M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and joined HarassMap. Noora also has a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Development Studies. 

Nikoo Tarkhani (Iran) was born in Tehran, Iran. She graduated from medical school but her enthusiasm and passion was always Art. Since 2001 she has participated in numerous exhibitions in Iran, Sweden, Mexico, the UK, Brazil, the UAE, Germany, and elsewhere. Nikoo's work was recently featured in the International Museum of Women exhibit, Muslima.