By Amal Al Harithi, Co-founder & Editor-in-Chief of Arab Woman Mag
Why did you come up with this magazine? A question my colleague and I are frequently asked. Some may assume that we are two wealthy women whom got bored of shopping and gossiping, and so we decided to try something new and fun. Others might think that we are seeking fame.
However the truth behind our magazine and initiative is this: We decided to establish this platform after getting fed up of reading numerous studies about the ignorance that seeped through many parts of the Arab world, the latest of which tells a very dangerous analysis that places the average Arab person on the lowest rank of readers in the world. And this explains everything, the self-destruction of some Arab countries, the intolerance to differences, the acceptance of adopting new, bizarre, and savage thoughts. And possibly the worst of all, the refusal of abandoning uncivilized customs that proved to have a negative influence on our societies, especially those customs that lower the value of women, such as child marriages, female genital mutilation, and taking away girls’ rights to education.
As we are two drops of water in a large ocean; too small to make a huge difference, yet we couldn’t allow ourselves to sit aside and do nothing, so we decided to focus on women, whom in our opinion are powerful drivers of influence, as they are half of society that raise the other half; and from here our needed magazine was born. No one denies the devastating situation of the Arab woman in the last century, and we felt miserable to see many Arab women going either to extremism or to shallowness, we had to shed light on positive role models and the possibilities of what could be…leading to a brighter tomorrow.
So my colleague and I decided to encourage women to read and write. A woman who reads can distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad, and can make better choices in her life. A woman who reads would nurture her children with knowledge. A woman who reads would have a sense of perspective, and definitely would help in creating a better society where all can live in peace and acceptance, and ultimately this is our mission and goal.