Where is COVID?

What did I do with this thing? Well here it is again, the page with the current COVID information, provided by the Washington Post:


I have no idea if this is paywalled for anyone else, but it is not paywalled for me because I subscribed to their free COVID news items delivered by email.

You can track new cases and deaths nationally or state by state, and look at their nifty little graphs comparing this week with last week, etc. to your heart’s content.

I spent a bit of time going over this before I decided if and when to mask, and I will probably spend even more time with it now that the CDC says everyone who is vaccinated can now unmask.  (Except on public transportation.) Because, like, what if I am in the 5% that it does not work for.  And what about the children. And all the fake vaccination cards.

If you are not in the U.S., the international information is here: [link].

Arabic women in translation (continued)

Amal Amireh

[Continued from Arabic women in translation]

Before Ramadan ends, shall we finish our Wikipedia survey of the list of Arabic women writers in translation from the Ajam Media Collective. The magazine article is here: https://newlinesmag.com/review/who-youre-reading-when-youre-reading-arab-women/

First, here are the men mentioned in the article.  They need no extra help from us, in any case, they are mostly already in Wikipedia.

Naguib Mahfouz – male 1988 Nobel Prize in literature from Egypt

Tayeb Salih – male writer from Sudan

Yousef Al-Mohaimeed – “Where Pigeons Don’t Fly” censored for Qatari censorship board

Khaled Khalifa – “In Praise of Hatred” translated by Leri Price

Adam Talib – male translator, “Translating for bigots”: PDF

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are the women:

Nawal El Saadawi – Egyptian doctor, researcher, and author “still widely taught in English-language universities”, 1977 work of nonfiction “the breakthrough publication” The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World , 1977; translated by Sherif Hetata, 1980.

Amal Amireh (red link) – known for classic essay “Framing Nawal El Saadawi” JSTOR (paywall), faculty profile, including publications; profile on The Conversation; The Factory Girl and the Seamstress: Imagining Gender and Class in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction (Garland, 2000) preview; WorldCat; LOC; VIAF.

Bhakti Shringarpure who (polled professors of African literature about what they taught) https://english.uconn.edu/person/bhakti-shringarpure/

Lily Saint (who polled professors of African literature about what they taught) https://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/lsaint/profile.html

Laila Lalami  – “21st century star”

Leila Slimani – “21st century star”

Hanan al-Shaykh – “‘Hikayat Zahra‘ was chosen by the Arab Writers Union as one of the best novels of the 20th century. In Peter Ford’s translation, which appeared in the mid-1990s, ‘The Story of Zahra’ gained wide acclaim, going on to become a staple of U.S. and U.K. university courses.”  But the translator here is criticized for translating a word for sex,  udhajiyuha (as something done to someone, as, for instance to screw her) in a marital rape scene, as “to make love.”

Layla AlAmmar – Kuwaiti writer, bio, Silence is a Sense (review), LOC, VIAF.

Ghenwa Hayek – faculty profile, Google Scholar, Beirut, Imagining the City: Space and Place in Lebanese Literature, LOCVIAF.  “Whitewashing Arabic for global consumption: translating race in The Story of Zahra,” Free download:https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:17913/

Leri Price – translator, 2019 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for  Khaled Khalifa’s Death is Hard Work.

Lila Abu-Lughod – anthropologist “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?” publisher’s note.

Jokha Alharthi – “Celestial bodies” 2019 Man Booker International Prize (Marilyn Booth’s translation).

Adania Shibli – “Minor Detail,” 2020, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette

Elisabeth Jaquette – translator

Sheikh Jarrah protests

Sheikh Jarrah section of Jerusalem in yellow above Old City


Headlines (you can google the protests if you want more) :

  • Reuters: “East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah becomes emblem of Palestinian struggle”
  • Washington Post: “Sheikh Jarrah highlights the violent brazenness of Israel’s colonialist project”
  • CNN: “Palestinians fight eviction from homes in East Jerusalem”
  • Jerusalem Post: “Sensing victory, Jerusalem ‘shabab’ turn Sheikh Jarrah into major crisis”

Actions are tomorrow, Tuesday, in multiple cities.

Thread of upcoming Palestine protests/actions in different cities:

These protests have been mostly ignored by MSM but have gotten a huge reach on social media. They are sponsored by American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Jewish Voice for Peace, and twelve others.

Wednesday evening is the end of Ramadan, inshallah, and all Arab activity will undoubtedly grind to a halt for several days thereafter.

The map at the top is from https://www.ir-amim.org.il/en/node/2278 although it’s kind of curious the Armenian quarter isn’t marked.


Hugz from Reddit

Reddit has given a “Hugz Award” to my “RIP SlimVirgin” post.

I am passing it along to my devoted readers.  Some of you may have worked with her or come across her work, and need some Hugz of your own right about now..

So now I get to display the icon for 30 days.

RIP SlimVirgin


In the next few days, you will probably be hearing about all the stuff that SlimVirgin did.  She was a very prolific writer, with a consistently exceptional quality of writing.  I will just point out the essay in the side bar WP:Writing about women.  She also wrote the article on Female Genital Mutilation and probably a good percentage of the Manual of Style, since it was frequently locked down to everyone but admins for months at a time, and she was the only one everyone trusted to edit it.

I do remember that in one offline conversation, she pointed to the keynote given by Sumana Harihareswara, “Hospitality, Jerks, and What I Learned“, and mentioned an exchange that took place at the beginning of the presentation.  The camera operator said​: “Don’t worry, I’ll make you look beautiful.” Sumana replied with (something like): “Make me look smart, that’s more important.” To a loud cheer.

One of SlimVirgin’s last edits on her talk page was to explain how to thank someone. It is a message we can all take to heart.

Andreas is back

Andreas Kolbe was one of the best writers that Wikipediocray – or the Signpost – ever had. He wrote at Wikipedia under the name User:Jayen466 and at W-crazy as HRIP7, where his wife Tippy was also a member.  See for example, “Why women have no time for Wikipedia“, from Aug. 8, 2014.

After a seven-year hiatus, Andreas has now turned up on the mailing list, with a query about the endowment fund. https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2021-April/096490.html 

Kolbe posted to the mailing list after receiving no response to a query on metaPlus ça change.

There is also an unrelated question on the mailing list about the response of the WMF for funds for vaccines and COVID protection kits for Wikimedia volunteers in India, after a fund-raising drive there that was termed “awkward”. Will it turn out that being a Wikipedia volunteer might save your life, by catapulting you to the front of the line for vaccines?


For anyone following the Maya Forstater appeal, (or wondering why the Gregor Murray piece is trending here), the hearing started yesterday and is continuing today. It is being live-tweeted at hashtag #MayaAppeal, where you can see the “skeleton argument” and  “skeleton plus” with all the evidence (do not try to download this one to your phone, it is large).

This might be an interesting one to follow for anyone who is following the proposed WMF Universal Code of Conduct enforcement, to see how “gender identity” will be treated in British law.

Some links to documents

Continue reading “#MayaAppeal”

Islamic warrior women

As Ramadan continues, we also continue to monitor Wikipedia for its coverage of women in Islam.

From a Twitter thread about Islamic warrior women, we can derive the following list.

  • “The Medinan Nusaybah bint Ka’ab was one of the first women converts of the city. She would famously fight alongside Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Uhud. She fought fiercely against the enemy and when they surrounded Muhammad, she cast herself before him taking arrow after arrow wound until she collapsed. She was praised for her courage by Muhammad. She survived her wounds and lived well into the reign of the Caliph Umar
  • “Another contemporary of Muhammad, Khawlah bint al-Azwar was a legendary warrior. When her brother was taken captive, she donned on armor and a green shawl and charged into the Byzantine troops, the Muslims rallied to her and defeated the Byzantines freeing the prisoners.  At another battle she was captured by the Byzantines who intended at assault her. She roused the other captives and with tentpoles fended off the Byzantines. Swinging her tentpole as a lance, Khawlah is said to have killed the enemy commander who intended to take her.”
  • Umm Hakim was another tentpole wielding badass. At the Battle of Marj al Saffar in 634 CE she grabbed a tentpole and fought off the Byzantine forces, killing seven of them.”
  • “The 7th century Ghazala al-Haruriyya was the fearsome leader of the Kharijites. She commanded armies against the Umayyad Caliphate leading them in battle and prayer.She forced the Umayyad general, Hajjaj ibn Yusuf into flight which she commemorated with a poem, ‘You are a lion against me but were made into an ostrich which spreads its wings and flees on hearing the chirping of a sparrow.’”
  • In the 11th C the Almoravid princess, Fannu fought in the defense of her city, Marrakesh. When the forces of Abd-al Mumin marched on her beloved city, Fannu donned on the armor and clothes of a man and fought alongside the defenders, falling while protecting her beloved home.
  • Sharifa Fatima of Yemen was a powerful ruler who bucked the social constraints placed on her. In the power struggles between imams, she was expected to marry her cousin who was taken captive. Escaping the clutches of the enemy she would conquer San’a and rule in her own right.
  • In the 16th century, Chand Bibi was a legendary warrior and ruler. When the Mughals invaded Ahmednagar in 1595, Chand Bibi led her warriors in battle and successfully protected her fortress. She survived the siege only to be betrayed by the politicking of her ministers and rivals who roused the mob against her.
  • Malahayati of the Sultanate of Aceh was a legendary admiral who commanded a fleet of war widows. The daughter of an admiral, she received an Islamic education and would go on to become a symbol of anti-colonial resistance against the Dutch. She defeated Cornelis de Houtman in battle and when the Dutch robbed Aceh merchant ships she successfully fought them until they agreed to pay recompense. So fearsome was her reputation that the British decided it was better to negotiate a treaty than directly colonize. She would go on to earn a reputation as the guardian of the Sultanate of Aceh.
  • “Roughly contemporaneous was the Hausa warrior, Amina. As queen of the city-state of Zazzau she led her people in wars of expansion for over 30 years. Much of her story is shrouded in legend and disputed, but it is reputed she took a lover in each new city she conquered. She would have them killed after to protect her secrets. Whether such legends were meant to malign her or demonstrate her fearsome reputation is unclear.”
  • “The 18th century Afghan warrior poet Nazo Tokhi was the mother of the founder of the Hotak dynasty. When her father was killed, Nazo fought to protect her fortress from the enemy and successfully defeated them.
  • “Another famous Afghan warrior woman, Malalai of Maiwand is attested to in legend but would go on to become a national heroic figure. In 1880 on her wedding night she participated in the Battle of Maiwand against the British. When the tide was turning against the Afghans she rushed into battle with folksong on her lips rousing the flagging morale of her compatriots.”
  • “Finally there was the great Sufi warrior of Algeria, Lalla Zaynab. Hers was a battle of wills and maneuvers against the French colonists and rivals. Upon her father’s death, a battle of succession began between her and her cousin. The French favored her cousin but she successfully defeated them and rallied the people to her One of her most savvy tactics was using French law against the French colonists even going so far as hiring a lawyer to fight in court for her She would become a symbol of resistance.”
  • Lalla N’Soumer

    Lalla N’Soumer, referred to by the French as the “Joan of Arc of Djurdjura”.In 1854, at barely 24, she rallied indigenous Kabyle people, leading an insurrection against the French troops”

  • One more from the Iberian corner: Jamila bint abd al-Jabbar (red link)(c. 800). Amazing woman, she fought alongside her brother against Abd al-Raḥmān II. Captured by the Christians, had a son that became bishop of Compostela.  http://dbe.rah.es/biografias/134172/yamila-bint-abd-al-yabbar
  • Cut Nyak Dhien, a muslim female warrior from the Nusantara.
  • Noor Inayat Khan grand daughter of Tipu Sultan who fought against the Germans in World War II by spying against them in France helping the French Resistance. She gave her life for freedom.
  • Razia Sultan of Delhi
  • Tjut Nyak Meutia of Indonesia


As we enter the second third of Ramadan, how about a female preacher, or khateebah. Here are a few from the Women’s Mosque of America in Los Angeles.

This is not the first mosque for women, or the first to have women preachers. In 1982, just before a war broke out in Syria, conservative preacher Houda al-Habash started a Quran study school for girls in Damascus.  It is documented in the movie documentary “The light in her eyes” by  filmmakers Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix (red link) (bio, IMDB).  While the film was acknowledged by the New York Times, among others, Wikipedia has yet to learn of its existence. The film and the preacher remain red links.

And while Wikipedia acknowledges murshid as Islamic religious leaders, it is silent on the topic of murshidat, the female “religious guides” appointed by the Morrocan government in 2007. You can find plenty about the murshidat on al-Jazeera, Reuters, JSTOR, BBC News, etc.

So here is a short talk by Dr. Maria Khani, who is also a senior chaplain for the Los Angeles sheriff’s department. If you like this one, she has a lot more podcasts you can google.

Bonus images, women praying in a pandemic.