For this third assignment about a blog post, we had to choose 1 Fearless Woman from the 150 women that were featured in the Newsweek magazine’s “150 Fearless Women in the World” article.
I chose to write about Zainab Alkhawaja, well because a) we share the same first name, and b) she stood up for what was right, and c) she promoted freedom of speech.
Alkhawaja was first arrested on December 15, 2011 at an anti-government protest in Bahrain. She is one of Bahrain’s most active bloggers, and being the daughter and wife of 2 very prominent men in the country, her words have potential to reach millions. This can be a curse and a blessing as she is given the respect and trust for writing about the best for her people, yet there are many who try to manipulate and corrupt others as well. She quickly became famous when a picture of her found its way on the internet — it was a picture of her being dragged across the ground during the protests and just minutes before her arrest. This image is what really heated the citizens of Bahrain and Zainab Alkhawaja gained support.
Alkhawaja’s protest was for the arrest and detainment of her father and husband. She is married to an influential Bahrani, and her father is the former President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Her protest involved a 10-day hunger strike for the freedom of her family and her twitter posts are what really sparked the controversy in her country.
Alkhawaja is still detained in prison for speaking out against the corruptions of the Bahraini government as her second arrest took place on February 12, 2012. Although she is not fully charged for this, there is a suspicion that she will be charged with a crime relating to anti-government activism. Amnesty International is in full support of this woman and has designated her a “Prisoner of Conscience.” She was and still is protesting for peace and justice, and her arrest is something that has angered the whole nation of Bahrain, women especially. The arrest has not deterred Alkhawaja from her mission; she has sworn to continue blogging until there is active democracy in her country.
More can be found at the links below:
(Note: Photo from http://www.aljazeera.com)