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Bedouin Women Struggling through Trad...
Arish, Egypt
By zeer news
21 May 2013


The place of women within the tribal system of the Bedouins of North Sinai is very restricted and anchored to very specific traditions. The situation of Bedouin women, in fact, is connected to the tribal structure. In the Bedouin culture, the status of families is determined by their size. Women are thus both venerated and marginalized to the role of "birth givers". 
Therefore, Bedouin women are obliged to marry as soon as possible and they are subject not only to a strict cultural code, but also to a strict sexual code of conduct. Each individual, through his action, represents his family as a whole in the society. Each shameful or not acceptable conduct will damage the honor of the entire family. 
Being subject to these strict codes and rules, only a very small minority of Bedouin women have access to the public sphere and to social life outside the domestic walls.
In this reportage it will be shown the voices of both Bedouin and Egyptian women and men, that are fighting for a social change for Bedouin women, and that explain the situation for women in Sinai.

Selwa el Hirsh, an active woman of the Billi tribe of Rabaa (near Bir el Abd) shows her struggle in trying to enable Bedouin women to integrate in the economical sphere of their families through handicraft. She explains the importance of women in participating in the economy of the family.
Mona Barhoum, is an activist in Rafah, engaged on women and development issues. She gave more then 5000 ID to Bedouin women and she run as a candidate in the last parliamentary elections.
Sheikh Arafat, a sufi sheikh of the tribe of the Sawarka, is the director of the Al Gora Society (in al Gora, in the nearby of Sheikh Zwaid), an NGO working on human rights and development in Sinai.
Said Hytaiek is a Bedouin activist of Sheikh Zwaid, explaining how the policies of the last 30 years on Sinai didn't bring any progress on the women issues in the region.
Sheikh Goma el Tarrabin, a member of the most facultous families of the Tarrabin, and very famous smuggler, explains ( only audio) the traditions and marriage in the tribal system.
Sheikh Abd el Hendy, an Orfi judge (the traditional Bedouin legislation) of Chabaana, in the nearby of Sheikh Zwaid explains the legislative status of women in the Bedouin traditions.


00:00 - 01:00 Selwa El Hirsh: “In the name of Allah my name is Selwa el Hirsh, a leader for the women of North Sinai. I am a Bedouin, the tribe of Baradeya, family el-Hirsh.
We have here six places: Bir el Abd, Sinai is Bir el Abd, el Arish, this is the capital, Sheikh Zwaid, Rafah, el-Hassala, Nekhel. We have six areas in North Sinai. Women in the past were very weak, she tried to cultivate to help her husband to grow her boys, girls in the house. There is no learning, no culture, nothing, only she was growing some sheep in the house.”

Images: man on the beach of el-Arish, el Arish University, militaries walking on the beach of el Arish, Chabaana (Sheikh Zwaid )peach trees, palm trees of the beach of El Arish, rooftops and building of el Arish, Orfi tribunal in Chabaana, fruit trees in Bir el Abd, woman with child in her balcony, children playing in Rabaa village, sheep in cage in Chaabana.

01:00- 02:04 Sheikh Arafat (director of Al-Gora Society): “Despite all the services we do for women, there is still a lot of challenges in Sinai community because of the uneducated ones and because the women they cannot finish their education in so many places in this region. And the other places the girls leaving school in the primary school because there are no preparatory or high schools for them. At some other places they stop at high schools because there are no universities and sometimes the university is too far and not easy to reach.”

Images: Bedouin men in peach trees in Chabaana, Flyer of Al-Gora Society activities on women, two Bedouin women in traditional clothes and baby, particular of the mother holding the baby, Bedouin women and the baby, village of Sheikh Zwaid with girls and donkey chariot.

02:04- 02:34 Said Hytaiek (activist):
“The women in Sinai suffer a lot because she lives in a men community that does not believe in the woman goal nor the woman rights. And she lives in a community that puts her role only inside the house.”

Images: Women with Niqab and baby walking in the street, main street of El Arish.

02:34- 03:11 Goma Tarrabin (Tarrabin rich man and smuggler):
“My name is Goma Abu Sahba Tarabin tribe, Sinai, Egyptian citizen like any other Egyptian citizen, Muslim, Arab and we have our custom and tradition in our community that we cannot change. The women’s state in Sinai is not like anywhere else. And because of our customs and traditions that we have for long time, from our grand-grandparents, we can’t change the women state in 10 or 20 years.”

Images: Bedouin men and children in a Bedouin hut on the beach of el Arish, children in the hut, beach of el Arish, Bedouin man preparing Shisha.

03:11– 03:38 Selwa el Hirsh:
“We have here rules, in Sinai, between the tribes. We have rules. No one from the other tribes can touch me. Ok? We have rules here, but now no one care about the rules, women not safe, families not safe, the adults not safe.”

03:38- 04:11 Goma Tarrabin:
“one of the problems women faces in Sinai is education, marriage, even in growing up their children and sometimes the husband gets married more than two or three times. The average of getting married in the Bedouin community starts from 16.”

Images: Bedouin women with children, two Bedouin women (one working) with children, Bedouin teenager girls preparing tea on the seaside.

04:11- 05:39 Judge Abd el Hady (Orfi judge):
“I am el haj abdel hady atteia hassan, from Ashira el Mansoureya, I am an Orfi judge. And one of the most important people in Sinai. The Orfi law is when the people have some problems and they have to sit with Orfi to solve the disputes. The society gives to women a lot of options, a lot of freedom, for ex is she can go to all the houses, so now she is a strange person there, so the father of the house deals with her like if he was her owner. If she wants to divorce she can. If she wants rights, give her the rights. She goes to Massaid and Massaid take a lot of care of her.”

Images: particular of hands taking a cigarette, inside the Bedouin Tribunal, men listening to the judge, three Bedouin men in the tribunal listening to the judge, portrait of one man listening to the judge, portrait of another Bedouin smoking a cigarette and listening to the judge, outside of the Tribunal judge talking with a man, zoom on judge talking with the man.

05:39- 06:59 Selwa el Hirsh:
“Some of us(women) are educated, and we have a job. But the others women here don't have a job, and she wants to help her husband, she wants to make something in the family, for her family. These productions help the family to have many money, so she is trying her husband to bring money to her, she want to increase the income of the family. Our grandmothers give us this: When I was a child my mother gave me one piece and she asked me to look at her and to teach me how to do it. Since the childhood until she becomes an hold woman. All her life. If she increases the income, the Governorate increases its income, the country, all Egypt, increases its income. Our economy is low now, we want to raise our economy, by cultivating Sinai, by these productions, by make factories.”

Images: particular of hands of woman working on handicraft, Bedouin women working, other Bedouin woman sitting beside her husband while she works, handicraft clothes in the trade show in Arish University, Bedouin women laughing with her husband, Bedouin family sitting all together under the shadow of a tree while women are working, old Bedouin woman, market in Arish, manequins of women clothes.

06:59- 07:25 Said Hytaiek:
“ we want to have a civil country to give the woman all her rights, even Mubarak did not commit on the rights of the women and the state organizations they have never given any solutions to solve all the women’s problem in Sinai, or even all over Egypt.”

Images: Arish downtown, woman in Niqab with two daughters crossing the street, Arish downtown, two women (one veiled one in Niqab) with their children.

07:25- 07:48 Selwa el Hirsh:
“Hosni Mubarak government and Morsi government, all of them don't care about Sinai. They (the women) are trying, in politics, to have places in politics in Sinai, on the TV, they want to appear to speak about problems in Sinai.”

Images: Selwa presenting handicraft products made by Bedouin women, Selwa talking with a man.

07:48- 08:56 Mona Barhoum (political activist):
“The situation of women in Sinai, is the same like all the Egyptian women. They got backward in everything that they gained before the revolution, like their membership in the local committees and making the decisions.
The main issue is that there is no faith in woman role in the political life by the political parties. And she is very welcome when she is voting, but she is not when she is a member. As Sinai people now we ask the actual government to invest and develop Sinai.”

Images: Mona walking in the entrance of the court, Mona with her cat, portrait of Bedouin woman in traditional clothes, two Bedouin women with kids in the garden of the house, Bedouin woman eating fruits from a tree, Mona going outside of her house.

08:56- 09:10 Selwa el Hirsh:
“Everything is related to the woman, Woman is member of this society. If the society is good the woman will be good, if the society is bad, the woman will be bad. Everything is back to us.”

Images : Bedouin girls playing a game on the sand.

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Al Qusair Under Siege
Qusair, Syria
By Ghatfan Ghannoum
01 Jan 2013

"The Portrait of a Revolutionary City" –(Portrait madinah thaerah)- was filmed in the city of Al-Qusair before its fall based on interviews done with some prominent figures in the Syrian uprising. The film reflects the situation of the city back then. The characters are: the mosque Imam Abed Al-Sattar- the fighter Mohamad Raad from the Alwadi battalion that participated in most of the military operations- an anonymous sniper from Al-Qusair who is the character present in Alsinaa School in Al-Qusair.

The film was shot when Al-Qusair was being bombed under siege. During that period, a number of the regimes military checkpoints were taken by rebels like Hamed Amer and Al-Ghaisah checkpoints .The film tries to document a true, undistorted revolutionary vision of the people of Al-Qusair who protested for their dignity against the regimes brutality. The film as well tackles different perspectives of different kinds of people: conservative citizens, soldiers, and people crying over their martyrs in graveyards.

Shot list:

00:23 Al-Sinaa school in Al-Qusair- middle of the city

01:40 shots from the outside of the school building

02:36 inside shots of the school that was damaged

04:05 The small graveyard of Al-Qusair used for burying martyrs

04:12 The experimental field used by the free syrian army to test explosives

04:47 shots from the inside of the school

6:01 Inside the house of the fighter Mohamad Raad

07:09 Al-Rahman mosque

07:16 shots for the streets of the city

07:20 shots for "Tal Al-Nabi Mandou" checkpoint located above Kadish village which was taken over by the Free Syrian Army and then by the regime forces after long and violent clashes between them.

08:37 Omar Al-Khattab Mosque (also known as "Al-jamih Alkbir") and Abed Alsalam Harba

09:20 Shots of Al-Qusair in ruin

09:44 Shots from inside Al-Hamidiah, a village in Al-Qusair, which is located near Dabaa` militiray airport and was taken over by the regime.

10:02 shots from Al-Qusair main square on which the regime`s flag was raised after the city was taken over

10:19 shots for the citys famous street and the citys municipality building which was later destroyed during the clashes

10:29 a shot for the municipality street and the destroyed municipality building

10:49 a shot for the famous village of Kfar Mousa( in Al-Hamadiah,Al-Qusair) in ruin

10:59 Shots around the national hospital in Al-Qusair which was taken over by the rebels after a long siege and fierce battles

12:18 The site of the massive explosion carried out by the rebels after they dug a tunnel beneath the hospital and filled it with explosives

15:26 A shot for one of the regime`s checkpoints near the village of Al-Ghassaniah that is known to be loyal to Al-Assad regime.

16:55 different shots for "the death" battalion in the orchards of Al-Qusair while manufacturing explosives

21:05 Next to Al-Rahman mosque while mourning the victims of Al-Qusair bombing

23:53 the site used by the free Syrian Army to experiment the heavy explosives in the village of Al-Borak in Al-Qusair

24:22 long, detailed takes for Annabi Mandou hill and the checkpoint situated on it

25:04 military aircraft of the Syrian regime

27:12 the small graveyard of Al-Qusair and the families of the martyrs

31:56 shots for the streets and markets in Al-Qusair

32:37 A shot for the "Death" road joining Borak village and Al-Qusair city

32:45 the main street joining Al-Hamidieh and Al-Qusair that shows Tal Safinah hill on which Assad forces are currently stationed.

32:52 shots for the abandoned Al-Hamidiah village and its houses

35:47 Sowaid checkpoint that was taken over by the rebels

35:52 Around the destroyed Sowaid checkpoint

36:00 Beneath the Sowaid checkpoint

36:20 trenches around Sowaid checkpoint

36:53 Hamed Amer checkpoint which was taken over by the rebels

37:06 A shot from beneath Hamed Amer checkpoint

37:15 A shot from the outside of Al-Ghaidah checkpoint that was taken over by the rebels

37:28 A shot from the inside of the checkpoint showing the barricades

37:45 A shot from nearby Addabaa military airport showing some cars moving and a still regime tank

41:17 general shots for Al-Qusair village including orchards, Assi River, and the destroyed houses

45:13 A general shot for Assinaa school`s wall which is full of symbolic drawings about the revolution

فيلم بورتريه مدينة ثائرة... تم تصويره في مدينة القصير قبل سقوطها. من خلال لقاءات مع نماذج مهمة من الفاعلين في الحراك الثوري للمدينة بوجه النظام السوري. تم رصد الواقع الذي كانت المدينة تعانيه. شخصيات الفيلم: - خطيب الجامع: السيد عبد السلام الملقب بعرعور القصير. - المقاتل محمد رعد: من كتيبة الوادي المقاتلة و المشاركة بأغلب العمليات العسكرية. - قناص القصير الذي رفض أن ينشر اسمه، و هو الشخصية المتواجدة في مدرسة الصناعة في القصير.

الفيلم تم تصويره في ظروف الحصار و القصف الذي كانت تعانيه المدينة، و على مدى عدة أشهر تم خلالها تحرير نقاط هامة من حواجز النظام، كحاجز حامد عامر و الغيضة و غيرها و تم تصويرهم. يحاول الفيلم أن يوثق رؤية ثورية حقيقية غير محرفة لأهل القصير الذين خرجوا للمطالبة بحقهم في حياة كريمة بعيداً عن القمع، و من وجهات نظر مختلفة، من المتدين إلى العسكري وصولاً للناس التي تبكي شهداءها في المقابر، مستعرضاً حال المدينة و شوارعها.

قائمة اللقطات:

00:23 مدرسة الصناعة في القصير- منتصف مدينة القصير
01:40 لقطات خارجية لبناء مدرسة الصناعة و محيطها
02:36 لقطات داخلية لبناء المدرسة و الخراب الذي حل بها
04:05 مقبرة القصير الأولى الصغيرة للشهداء
04:12 حقل التجارب الخاص بالجيش الحر للعبوات الناسفة
04:47 لقطات داخلية لمدرسة الصناعة
06:01 في منزل المقاتل محمد رعد التابع لكتيبة الوادي
07:09 مسجد الرحمن في القصير
07:16 لقطات عامة لشوارع مدينة القصير
07:20 لقطات عامة لحاجز " تل النبي مندو " القائم فوق تل قرية قادش و الذي وقع بأيدي الثوار بعد معارك عنيفة ثم استعادته قوات النظام بعد معارك استمرت أيام
08:37 مسجد عمر بن الخطاب "الجامع الكبير" ، عبد السلام حربا الملقب بعرعور القصير
09:20 لقطات عامة لشوارع مدينة القصير و الدمار الذي حل بها
09:44 لقطات من داخل قرية الحميدية التي تقع في ريف القصير و الواقعة تحت سيطرة النظام حالياً و المحاذية تماماً لمطار الضبعة العسكري
10:02 لقطة عامة لساحة الساعة الرئيسية في القصير و التي تم رفع علم النظام عليها بعد سقوطها
10:19 لقطة عامة لشارع البلدية الشهير، حيث يقع مبنى بلدية القصير الذي تم تدميره من قبل الثوار لتحريره من تواجد عساكر النظام
10:29 لقطة عامة لشارع البلدية و بناء البلدية المدمر
10:49 لقطة عامة لقرية كفر موسى الشهيرة بالحميدية في ريف القصير المهجورة
10:59 لقطات عامة لمحيط المشفى الوطني في القصير، و داخله، و الذي تم تحريره من قبل الثوار بعد حصار المشفى لمدة أشهر و معارك طاحنة أدت لتدميره، و يعتبر من أعنف مواقع النظام قبل الاستيلاء عليه
12:18 موقع التفجير الهائل الذي قام به الثوار تحت مبنى المشفى بعد حفر النفق للوصول إليه و زرع المتفجرات تحته
15:26 لقطة لأحد النقاط التي يتمركز بها جنود جيش النظام قرب قرية الغسانية الموالية للنظام
16:55 لقطات متعددة في مقر سرية الموت في بساتين القصير التابعة للجيش الحر أثناء تصنيع العبوات
21:05 قرب جامع الرحمن في وسط القصير، تشييع شهداء من القصير نتيجة القصف
23:53 موقع تجريب العبوات الناسفة الكبيرة، في محيط القصير قرب قرية البراك
24:22 لقطات تفصيلية بعيدة لحاجز تل النبي مندو الشهير و التل نفسه
25:04 الطيران الحربي لقوات النظام في سماء القصير
27:12 مقبرة القصير الأولى الصغيرة و أهالي الشهداء
31:56 لقطات عامة لشوارع القصير و سوق القصير
32:37 لقطة عامة للطريق الترابي الواصل بين قرية البراك و بين مدينة القصير، هذا الطريق يدعى " طريق الموت" سابقاً
32:45 الطريق العام الواصل بين قرية الحميدية و القصير و يظهر تل قرية الحميدية المسمى "تل سفينة" و الذي تتمركز عليه قوات النظام حالياً
32:52 لقطات عامة لقرية الحميدية المهجورة و بيوتها
35:47 حاجز سويد الذي تم تحريره من قبل الثوار، بعد أن كان في يد النظام
35:52 حاجز سويد أيضاً من محيط الحاجز
36:00 حاجز سويد و الدمار المحيط به، من تحت الحاجز
36:20 خنادق حاجز سويد
36:53 حاجز حامد عامر الذي تم تحريره من قبل الثوار
37:06 لقطة من تحت حاجز حامد عامر
37:15 لقطة عامة لحاجز الغيضة المحرر، من الخارج
37:28 لقطة لحاجز الغيضة من الداخل مع المتاريس
37:54 لقطة عامة لمحيط مطار الضبعة العسكري و تظهر به سيارات الزيل التابعة للنظام و هي تتحرك، مع دبابة واقفة
41:17 لقطات عامة للقصير مع البساتين و نهر العاصي و دمار البيوت
45:13 لقطة عامة لسور مدرسة الصناعة في القصير المليئ بالرسوم الثورية