1 Year Anniversary! Top 10 posts of last 12 months

Can you believe it has been an entire 12 months since this blog began?

It has been an exciting year of growth and development so thank you all for sharing that journey.

There have been over 4100 unique visitors over the past year, with over 12,000 page views. Thank you for taking the time to engage! That is pretty awesome! :)

Also, thank you all for reading and being part of this community! I hope that we can continue to grow together, debate and discuss, reflect and learn from one another.

To celebrate, here is a little walk down memory lane: the top 10 posts of the last 12 months! Enjoy!!


1. Women in the East, Women in the West - Finding the Middle Ground

This was written after returning from four months in Sudan, visiting family, studying formal Arabic at university and going through a very profound reflective period. Profound mostly because it opened up perspectives that I hadn't truly considered or interrogated before and provided much food for thought. That experience will continue to inform the way I understand society and place equal value in both Eastern and Western experiences.


2. Please explain why my clothing choice matters to you?

Another reflection from the East/West point of intersection, written after a strangely affecting incident at the Brisbane Airport. It was really an inconsequential incident in its own right, but brought up many questions afterward as to the symbolism of dress and the lack of nuanced understanding that sometimes rears its head in our society.


3. Shoot the Messenger

Essentially a review on an interesting film about war photographers. Asking the question - should the photographer or journalist simply put aside their moral obligation as humans to report?


4. Sudan Revolts

The page that talks the Sudanese Revolts of 2012. Reflections, thoughts, links, advice... unfortunately the attempted coup was decisively shut down but it was interestined to see the other part of the battle nonetheless.


5. Cultural Sh-Sh-Shock: Part 2

Yet another post about the cultural differences I observed on my trip to Sudan and noting a few of the aspects of cultural shock that I encountered, particularly the difference between expectations for men and women.



6. Study Secrets to Ace Your Exams (Part 1)

These are honestly the tips and tricks that got me through University and allowed me to (Alhamdulilah/thank God!) graduate with first class honours while doing all - or many - of the other things that were important, including Youth Without Borders, the UQ Racing team and much more. Part two is still on its way.


7. Book Review: Adam Parr's "The Art of War"

A review about a well presented book written during a very interesting time in Formula 1 politics and management. Well worth reading.


8. 10 Useful Brain Sharpening Websites for 2013

The title says it all. A toolbox full of links that will help you keep your brain KEEEEEN!


9. Drilling Diaries

Less and post and more a category, this ranked in 9th and is essentially links to all the crazy stories and conversations that I have while working out in the oil and gas rigs in Australia.


10. The Innocence of Who?

A post written in the aftermath of 'The Innocence of Muslims' video. A brief look at why this sort of reaction is common and perhaps what we as a society can do to change it.


I honestly really look forward to the next 12 months with you all, and can't wait!



We don't always need help being 'liberated'


It’s a law that gives a whole new meaning to curves in the road.

In Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province, an Islamist government has put women on notice that female passengers cannot straddle motorbikes because the “curves of a woman’s body” are too alluring unless they sit sidesaddle.

“Muslim women are not allowed to show their curves; it’s against Islamic teachings,” the mayor of the Aceh city of Lhokseumawe told the Associated Press on Monday.

The energy-rich northern province adopted Sharia law in 2009, after it won autonomy from the Indonesian government in a bitter separatist war. It imposed strict morality laws that regulate women’s dress, require shops to close at prayer time and other measures

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation, and some of its regions are increasingly stringent in applying religion-based laws. But it pales in comparison with Saudi Arabia, where women are lifelong dependants of men, must be covered in public from head to foot and cannot drive cars, let alone motorcycles.

…and so the article continues.

Reading the above article evokes sadness and frustration on behalf of the Indonesian women, yes.  This was most likely the aim of the article, but rather than focus on that topic alone, the article goes on to make links with the difficulty apparently all women face in Muslim countries around the world due to draconian regimes enforcing “Islamic” values.

What compounds the frustration however, is the fact that this is a trend in Western based media.  The news so regularly focuses on the 'terrible plight of women' in Islamic countries, blaming the “Islamic” regimes in power and in turn, blaming the belief system as if to say: 'Oh, these women need saving and liberating and freedom from their situations'.  This is done while completely neglecting to mention the opinions of the women themselves, the good work the women do in their own countries and fails to understand that there are different cultural expectations around the globe.  Often this is a result of culture, tradition and the patriarchal aspects of the society rather than the belief system.

Based on the article, one would think that women are desperately in need of liberating, but that is not always the case – or at least, not always Western society’s role to play.

For a more authentic view, here is an example of what Indonesian women are concerned about in terms of their welfare in their own country.

Yes, there are desperate inequality issues around the world, including in Muslim countries, there is no doubt about that at all.  However I grow weary of reading pieces that blame a belief system for the inequality and seek to “save women” (by Western standards) without any consideration of the women as people with a belief system they value rather than objects that fill a convenient role.

A fine case of orientalism indeed.