While it is good to see Arab women protesting alongside male demonstrators in the Arab uprisings, it is appalling to learn how at the first opportunity, many men turn to rape.

The shocking attack on the CBS journalist in Cairo, and now this terrible video of the poor Libyan woman crying out for help to the international media, is a violent and graphic reminder that women face specific and harrowing abuse in times of war and conflict.

Someone has left a post on Twitter re Eman al-Obeidi, the woman beaten and raped by Gaddafi lackeys in Libya —- what can we do, we must do something, she tweets. The terrible thing is we can’t. And as I write this blog, she is incarcerated, somewhere unknown, certainly being tortured, even being raped again, for boldly, desperately, speaking out.

On the outside, looking in, we can only pass on the message and support by whatever means, the brave women who dare to speak up. Women like Marvi Sirmed in Lahore, ‘Zeinobia’ in Cairo and Emma Al Nafjan in Riyadh, to name just three of many courageous female bloggers putting their freedom at risk for daring to write of unacceptable situations in their respective countries. .

And neither let us forget the thousands of African women in Rwanda, Congo and Darfur who have been gang-raped by soldiers. Pray for women at risk everywhere in this violent world and wish the bastards who commit such atrocities may rot in hell.


About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: www.worldreligions.co.uk. Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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  1. Mimi Forsyth says:

    A horrific situation, not unlike "curing" lesbians by raping them. Dimwitted men have so little imagination to match their physical force.

  2. Nancy says:

    Christine, thank you for writing about this poor woman. Please check out the Facebook page that calls for her release as well. I'm grateful to the journalists who tried to defend her! We all need to do what is possible to demand her immediate release. I can't imagine how alone and afraid she is…http://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Iman-Al-Obeidi/204101406285342

  3. cobweb says:

    Once many years ago I witnessed men 'rescuing' a young Turkish woman who had drunk too much during the ferry crossing from Malagia to Ceuta! I was much less aware and knowledgeable in those days about the atrocities raged against women in the Arab world, yet still felt something very wrong was going to happen so helpless to assist, partly due to cultural and language skills, on landing was ushered and encouraged very uncermoniously to disembark. To this day I feel I failed that woman and dread to think what became of her.Seeing the plight of this woman tonight on the evening news I felt the bite of that defeat once more and could strongly identify with those journalists who like me were powerless to help this woman. May she survive and live to bring those who so wronged her to justice.Men who rape should suffer a similar fate as punishment. Each and everyone no exception.

  4. Jules says:

    Shocking video. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I'm sure it was a woman who put the bag over her head and she was surrounded by women at that point. Not the sisterhood… yes, pity the women and girls who are raped in Dafur and similarly elsewhere, when walking distances to collect water for their family. There is the story that when a man was asked why he let the woman go, and not himself, he replied that he would be killed, whereas she would be raped and released. A universal story.

  5. I wrote this song and made a video for Eman because I want her to know that she's not forgotten. One of the biggest reasons she's still alive is because of all the attention that she's gotten from around the globe. Being forgotten is her biggest fear, so PLEASE send, share, repost this song where ever you can in support of our sister Eman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl4L3ZxriOM

  6. There is the story that when a man was asked why he let the woman go, and not himself, he replied that he would be killed, getit search app , getit mobile app , mobile search app

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