IWD – International Women’s Day

According to UN definition ..

International Women’s Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. … (link)

So I will post on a film about an astonishing girl, who is the world champion in karate. Shadya is a film about a palestinian girl, who against the odds of an environment, which limits here possibilities in many ways tries to keep up and hold on to her passion and talent.

Like many 17-year-old girls, Shadya Zoabi enjoys listening to music and hanging out with her friends. But unlike most other girls, Shadya is also a world champion in karate, a feminist in a male-dominated culture and a Muslim Arab living in Israel. SHADYA tells her story over the course of two years, as she journeys from teenage girl to woman, from daughter to wife and from one family to another.
link
Shadya is lucky to have grown up with a father who wanted his daughter to be free to practice karate and develop her talent in the sport to the fullest. But in spite of her father’s support, the social pressure from her brothers and the surrounding community is difficult to overcome. In her brothers’ view, a Muslim woman has a specific path in life and is forbidden to stray from this destiny. At the same time, Shadya is grappling with the challenges that Muslims face as citizens of Israel. Her internal conflicts intensify when she meets the Palestinian team at an athletic competition, and when she prepares for marriage at the height of her career.

At the start of the film, Shadya, the 2003 World Shotokan Karate Champion, is full of optimism and self-confidence. “I’m different,” she says, “This is the way I am.” But will she succeed in balancing her aspirations after her marriage? Will she stay true to her promises to never give in and continue competing in karate? Depicting a universal conflict between tradition and modernity, SHADYA is the coming-of-age story of a young Muslim woman who desires to succeed on her own terms while staying committed to life within her community. … (read on)

I am looking for this film, but so far have only heard and read about it .. thus I let the critics speak here ….

Shadya is an intriguing yet undeniably frustrating documentary revolving around Shadya Zoabi, a fiercely independent teenager whose passion for karate has been primarily met with intolerance (particularly among her bigoted, sexist brothers). Complicating matters is her status as a Muslim living in Israel, a dichotomy that seems to manifest itself in controversial ways (ie after winning a pivotal bout, she draps herself in the Palestinian flag – much to the horror of her teammates). Filmmaker Roy Westler, having followed Shadya’s exploits for over two years, does a nice job of portraying both her youthful enthusiasm and the pragmatism that starts to emerge as she gets older. Though Shadya initially insists that she’ll never give in to the rigid demands of her society, we watch as she’s left with no choice but to marry the man to whom she’s been betrothed – forced to become precisely the sort of placid housewife she’s spent her youth decrying (think The Stepford Wives, except without the robots). On that level, as an eye-opening look at an astoundingly backwards culture, Shadya undoubtedly succeeds – though one can’t help but wish things had turned out differently for Shadya (the film’s final shot, whether it was intended to be or not, is heartbreaking). (link)

more about muslim feminism
and another source on the subject might also be progressive muslima

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