A Strange Email Exchange With a Woman From My My Alma Mater; Women’s Rights in the Islamic Religion; Women’s Rights in Abu Dhabi, the Mecca for Women; Maybe Not Wearing a Hijab When I Met the Sultan is What Went Wrong; Wearing a Veil in Indonesia, a Peaceful Women’s Movement

Faithful readers will know that I graduated from the University of Alberta – the ceremony was on my birthday, May 29, 19641. Also in attendance was my “wished for father, Frank Meunier whose picture is by my bed and will be attached to this blog. The U of A has a publication which features the interesting things that alumni are doing. So I reached out to them but receiving no answer for ages sent them the following email.
Excuse me!!!! I wrote to you about my blog and you never responded. Read my statistics. Alexismcbride.com. Graduate 1964 – Bachelor of Arts. Then Alexis Dryburgh. You have offended me. Alexis Dryburgh McBide. Whatever, worked for the Gateway when in school – an amazing story but too rich for you perhaps.
She: Thanks for your reply to our latest New Trail. We’ve checked back and can’t find a previous email from you, so our apologies. I’m not sure what happened to your original message, but we’re always happy to hear from our alumni.
We don’t have a vehicle for sharing alumni blogs, unfortunately, but we appreciate you sharing your work.
Me; Karen you guys should get with the times and read the statistics on my blog. More people read me then ever would a book! You let me down and your University. I would have praised them but now I shall not and shall share it.. You will see how many people read me in Canada. Karen, this was a silly answer. Look at my statistics on alexismcbride.com and reconsider, if you have the bravery to say you are wrong. I quite do not care.

I do not care but it is a story of women’s empowerment – at an old age, after retirement going back to school and taking on a new ‘career’. But then I say:” Alexis, this is not your problem!”. More people, from around the world read the blog then read New Trail and I might just write better than the people that write for New Trail I usually am most polite and respectful of others but when I encounter rudeness, I fight back. I must remember the words of my dead mentor, Uncle Dave Dryburgh. “Alexis, stop fighting, go to the sidelines, they will do themselves in.” Ok Uncle Dave, I shall.. Oh by the way, alma mater was correct usage: “Your alma mater is the undergraduate school that you attended. … Yes, that’s true regardless of which university you attend. Your alma mater is the undergraduate school that you attended..”

But back to women’s rights under the Islamic religion.

Westerners view the rules of dress and behaviour to be restrictive. But these rules of dressing and behaviour serve a social function. “In societies which by tradition provide few protections outside the family, they insure a woman’s integrity and dignity. For that reason, too, men are enjoined to lower their eyes before women and to be appropriately covered from above the chest to the knees.” When one looks at it wearing a head scarf means that you do not have to worry about your hair. Then this: “The rule of dress for women is modesty; the word hijab (حجاب) means “cover,” “screen,” or “curtain,”and refers to both a specific form of veil worn by some Muslim women and the modest Islamic style of dress in general. Muslim women are required to observe the hijab in front of any man they could theoretically marry.”I laughingly say to myself:
Me: I guess that is what went wrong. I was not observing the hijab when I met the Sultan.

It is possible to order a hijab on line. But I am not planning to go back to Dubai , Although Abu Dhabi looks tempting. Abu Dhabi has an extensive women’s rights program and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is recognized for his strong support of women.

This, from Wikipedia: “A champion of female empowerment, Mohamed bin Zayed has supported their increased presence in a number of traditionally male-dominated fields. In April 2019, he welcomed a delegation of female officers from the Military and Peacekeeping Programme for Arab Women, who were undergoing training in Abu Dhabi to prepare for United Nations global peacekeeping operations. He emphasized the importance of the role female officers play in peacekeeping and security operations.
He has encouraged the presence of women in the public service sector as well. In 2019, he hosted the first certified Emirati women firefighters, emphasizing the role of women as “true partners and contributors to national development” and said they “drive strategic plans for the nation’s present and future.”
Furthermore, he has made it a point to regularly meet with the female representatives of many UAE institutions to express his confidence in their ability to help the nation realize its aspirations.
He arranged specialized medical care and a transfer to the UK via a UAE air ambulance for Malala Yousafzai after she was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban in October 2012. She received long-term care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK.
Under Mohamed bin Zayed’s direction, UAE officials worked closely with Pakistani authorities to arrange for Malala’s specialized care and transfer. In May 2013, on her way to perform Umrah rituals, Malala stopped over in Abu Dhabi to thank the UAE and Mohamed bin Zayed for their assistance and support, noting that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s role highlighted the humanitarian aspects of Islamic teachings.”

The March 24,2020 New York Times contains an interesting article:”More Indonesians Are Wearing a Veil, But for their Own Reasons. The featured woman, Ms. Idheur, “Is a part of a growing peaceful movement of Muslim women who believe they can receive rewards from God though Islamic activities like wearing a nigah and practising sports the Prophet Muhammed is thought to have enjoyed.” Another young woman interviewed for the article wears black gloves and a black mesh over her eyes so that every inch is covered. “I feel more freedom in this,” she said. Fascinating! If I I convert to the faith I could consider wearing a nigah. Stupid people might think I am a terrorist (which I am in a way) but it would be freeing not to have unwanted mail attention. I did experience a sense of freedom and protection wearing a head scarf on the last evening in Dubai at the Marriott Marquis. I previously spoke about this on the blog.

The photograph is the framed photo of “my wished fo”r Dad which hangs by my bed.

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