Monday, February 13, 2012

Kawthar Al Bashrawi

When choosing a women to be designated "Woman of the Day", I look for someone who has made a contribution to further the cause of women in general, and society as a whole.

For those who know me, I have a strong sense of social justice and that is where my orientation leads me ... finding outstanding individuals who have made an impact on the lives of others, and changed the course of history, if only in a small albeit measurable way. In many other nations, most notably the Arab ones, women have literally placed their lives on the line for an ideal. They have been vocal political advocates and outspoken protesters who have chosen to risk their safety for the rights and freedoms denied to their nation(s). Women in power is still in it's embryonic state despite the Womens Movements of the 1970's. Perhaps we as Women in the so called enlightened western world should look to our sisters in the middle east for the courage and conviction to walk the talk ... and continue on the path set out for us by the great women of the past.

To be a women in an Islamic nation is difficult enough. To be visible and outspoken against oppression and tyranny is both dangerous and comendable. It is truly empowering and inspiring to all women .... everywhere.

Quoting from a facebook post in the group Hot Liberals:

It's not for nothing that the Time Magazine Person of the Year is the Protester. Tunisia's democracy has bloomed as model for Arab Spring. Its smooth elections, a coalition between moderate Islamists and secularists, and an explosion of civic life are propelling Tunisia forward as a model for the Arab Spring. Essential to these civic and democratic advances is Kawthar Al Bashrawi: a Tunisian journalist, activist and TV personality. 

Kawthar Al Bashrawi (or Kawthar el Beshrawi) started as a radio anchor in 1984. She later started appearing in talk shows on Arab Television, where she would often defend Arab nationalism. She gradually became a TV icon after clearly supporting the Palestinian cause and the Lebanese resistance movement. 

Kawthar Al Bashrawi is said to now have her own TV show on Al Jazeera Satellite Channel. She is mostly based in Lebanon, and is a regular guest on Al Manar TV.
Commenting on the Tunisian revolution, Kawthar Al-Bashrawi describes it as a miracle; a revolution of a nation, not a revolution of political parties. It had no leader, unlike other historical revolutions, including the French and Iranian etc. Despite attempts of some of the former Zine El Abidine Ben Ali dictatorship’s symbols to return to political life, still she is reassured because the revolutionists are still cautious and alert. 

Like most Tunisians, Kawthar Al-Bashrawi wants a secular regime that separates between religion and state, and guarantees the freedom of expression and opinion for everyone. She clarifies that secular does not mean atheism as some would think, it does not contradict with religion or belief.