Stereotypes and Violence against women in Turkey- Introduction and Conclusion of Research Project( By: Hilarina) :)

 Research Introduction

My topic for this research project is about women in Turkey. I have always wanted to go to Turkey because I always wanted to learn belly dance. I love belly dance and I think it is very interesting the way they move their body and they hips especially. I also like the country itself. But well that is not the main reason of why I chose this topic. The main reason was because I know there are a lot of stereotypes and violence against women in the Middle East, but I focused on Turkey mainly. By doing this project I was hoping I would be able to gather a lot of information so I could answer my question: What are some things done by the government to prevent violence against women’s tradition, role, education and rights in Turkey? And fortunately I did found some information, but the answers I found were not the ones I was expecting. The answers I gather, made me wonder why these women don’t have education, and why can’t the government take a little bit of their money and make more school, and give these women jobs, so they can have education and have some knowledge of their rights. These types of thoughts are the ones I was hoping to find answers to, and also I was hoping to find out more about Turkey itself.  Even though I was worried about my grade, I was more worried about finding the answers to my question, the questions that no one could ever answer.

Research Conclusion

“Women should be respected just as much as men are or maybe even more” said Evre Kaynak the author of source five. I agree completely with her, because after finishing my research, I found out that woman in Turkey do not get as much respect as men do. Even though men are the boss of the family, women are the ones who stay home and who carried these men for nine months. During my research I found all the answers for all the questions I had being asking myself and my father. But the answers I found were not very satisfactory to me, these answers were “Some women in Turkey don’t have education level therefore they know nothing about their right as humans”, and also answers such as “the government is now forbidding the use of headscarf in public places in Turkey. Places such as public school were young children have to go to everyday, and now if they wear a headscarf, they are not allowed in, because there is a line of riot police in the door, to stop whoever is wearing a headscarf. This kind of action is like breaking a tradition that has being happening on for a very long time, a tradition that will or will not be passed down to generations. So by applying such rules, they are just breaking and not respecting the women’s tradition. Because even though some women in Turkey want to have a secular country like many others were you can wear whatever, others still want to keep their headscarf and clothing and it was before. Turkey overall is a country with a lot of Muslims and people from others religions, but mostly are Muslims. So I think that these rules should not be applied anywhere in Turkey or anywhere else, because as long as the women feel comfortable, they are allowed to wear what they want. But overall I found everything I researched for and more, and also I learned more about belly dancing.

Unfair rights for women in Turkey(By: Hilary Malua) :)

For the past weeks we have been working on a research project in humanities class, where we have to each pick a topic that connects to the Middle East such as Stereotypes a very big one and after we pick the topic, you then come up with a question for your topic. All these days I have being trying to get information about my topic which is “Stereotypes about women in Turkey”. I first thought it would be a very hard work to, but after searching for some information about my topic, I discovered that it is not as hard as I thought but also not easy, and also I discovered that people have a lot of misperceptions about Turkey, and that women in Turkey have unfair rights, they are victims of violence, rapping and even trafficking.  Through all articles I read so far, the main topic was unfair rights for women in Turkey and the headscarf Ban.

I think that the government is breaking an old tradition by banding the use of headscarves in public places and even in some schools. This because even though some women want to be have secular country, other women still want to be more traditional and keep wearing headscarf and pass down the tradition to generations. The one who want to have a secular country which is more teen agers then adult, want to copy the European and the western part of Turkey’s style and they want to put the headscarves and the clothing apart. But the ones that don’t want to be like the European, where you wear anything to go anywhere, they want to be like they have always been. They want to continue wearing the headscarf and the clothing and everything. But unfortunately the government and more people are banding the use of the headscarf in some places in Turkey.  

Also as I had mentioned before, women in Turkey also have unfair rights compared to the men. Not all women finished school; some didn’t even go to school because of financial problems. Because these women are not educated, they don’t know the rights they have as humans. They are not aware of their rights so maybe that is why some women don’t report when they are rapped or victim of violence, because they think it won’t make a difference. Even though it might not make a very big difference, it will make some difference. Also o think that the people who do this brutal and mean things to women should not be out in the streets, they should be in jail, because women should be respected just the way men are, or maybe even more. And I think the best way to solve this problem is by treating all women with respect and fairness, also by educating them, so they are aware of their rights and so they can fight back, because as my daddy always tells me” Education is the key to every door”.  If you have that key, people respect you.

Exclusive Interview with Someone who has been on the Hajj (by: Amy)

I was lucky enough to be able to interview a person (i.e. via email) who has been to the Hajj for her first time about three months ago. Mrs. Hasan (who is Sara’s mom), left to go to Mecca and complete the journey of the Hajj with her husband about 3 months ago. Here is her captivating memoir of how the Hajj has influenced her and – to an extent, changed her life.


Have you ever been to the Hajj before?

No, this was the first time. I had been to Mecca a couple of times earlier to perform what is called ‘Umra’, which is a lesser Hajj.


Who accompanied you during the trip?

My husband accompanied me on the trip. A woman cannot perform Hajj alone. She must be accompanied by a male member and that person has to be either the husband/father/brother/son. It is said that Islam is not so strict about this rule but rather that this law is one that was imposed by Saudi Arabia. It is said that the Prophet initially suggested this for reasons such as it would be better for a woman to have a companion to avoid facing the inconveniences of traveling alone as well as to protect her reputation.


How did you prepare for your spiritual voyage?

You have to prepare yourself mentally because you are now going to be one of the 3 million people there. A question I frequently asked myself before the trip was – will I be able to cope with that huge of a crowd? You also have to prepare yourself physically – I started doing a 4-5 km walk every day a month or so before departure. The Hajj is a test of your mental and physical endurance.


Did you ever have any worries of disasters (e.g. bombings, stampedes) while you were in Mecca?

None, whatsoever. In your heart you know all will be fine. If death came, what better place to die than in Mecca. A lot of people actually perform Hajj when they are very old in the hope that they die there; as that is said to be a direct ticket to heaven!


What emotions did you have when you first entered Mecca? And when you first saw the Kaaba?

Unbelievable, unexplainable! It is said that when you first see the Kaaba, whatever wishes you can make in one breath come true!


Describe the different parts of the voyage and your experiences with each of them.

I am assuming here that you are referring to my travel. We had taken the shortest Hajj package – about 15 days. People usually go for at least 40 days. I think we were among the last pilgrims to arrive. Two days after our arrival, the Hajj airport was shut down as they do not allow any more pilgrims to land after a certain date. Our journey was meant to be trying unfortunately. If you recall, Suvarnabhumi airport had been shut down. We couldn’t take the flight from Bangkok. Hence we had to drive all night to get to Phuket because our flight had been diverted there. So the journey started off a little difficult. The flight was from Phuket to Luxor, Egypt, and then to Jeddah. The flight was uneventful. Due to the fact that we were among the last pilgrims to arrive, we were lucky in that it took us only a couple of hours to clear immigration. Others who arrived few days or weeks before us had spent hours at immigration because of the influx of pilgrims/flights. As I mentioned, immigration was quick but then we waited nearly 8 hours at the airport for other formalities: your passports are collected and handed over to an Arab in charge + waiting for your bus to come along. Also, when we reached Mecca, the bus could not take us all the way to the hotel as it was prayer time and the roads had been closed. Some of us literally got off the bus with our carry-ons and walked a few blocks to the hotel. We had arrived at the airport around 5 a.m. and it was 4 p.m. when we entered Mecca. I guess we had had enough – so decided to walk. It was great to reach the hotel. The nicest part about this hotel (Hilton Hotel) was that it was located overlooking the Holy mosque. It was that close. I loved it!


While in Mecca, did you meet anyone you knew? Did you make any friends?

We did not meet anyone we knew. In fact, we found out later that one of our closest friends from Canada were there too – staying in the hotel right next door; but unfortunately, we never met.

I roomed with a few other women from Thailand; I ended up making very good friends with one who spoke fluent English. She had studied in New York. She and I would just walk down to the mosque together for the five prayers of the day. My husband would go with other men. Since my husband and I carried mobiles, it was easy to keep in touch. I was happy to have her company because I wanted to say every prayer at the mosque and not at the hotel – my husband often prayed in one of the hotel rooms set up for this purpose.


What was the most memorable experience that you had during the Hajj (good or bad)?

I am not sure if there was any memorable experience. The whole Hajj was a memorable experience. One slight problem we had as a group (there were about 8 to 10 of us) was that on our way back to Mina from Mecca, the bus dropped us off on the outskirts of Mina. We had to make our way back to our tent – and that was the hardest thing we ever did. All the tents looked the same and we had the most difficult time communicating and figuring out where to go.


What was your favorite part of the Hajj?

The circling of the Kaaba – you look at it and you are in awe. And then you look at the people around you and you realize you all are looking at the Kaaba the same. There is no status. Rich or poor, you were rubbing shoulders with one another.


What was your least favorite part of the Hajj? Is there anything that you wish you didn’t have to do?

One thing I wish I didn’t have to do was the fact that we had to stay in tents in Mina for an extra night when we could have been in Mecca. I could have been saying my prayers at the mosque – it is said that one prayer inside the Kaaba is the equivalent of a 100,000 some place else. I did not mind the tents one bit – it was the toilets that left something to be desired.


Did you feel any different after you left Mecca?

I did. I felt as if I had been born again – all cleansed of sins and that I was starting afresh. That everything would work well and end well.


Are you planning to return to Mecca later in your life? Would you take Sara with you; if not when do you expect that Sara will go on the voyage, if at all?

You bet I am. Yes, I would take Sara with me. The first time I wanted to go without her because I did not know what to expect and because I did not want to have to be worried about her all the time – her with food, her in a crowd and so on. I wanted this time just to be for me – so that I could concentrate on the Hajj and the rituals involved and not be constantly worried about her.

Sara will definitely go on this journey. I would like to take her if that is possible; unfortunately, with school, it would be hard for her to get away – I wouldn’t want to take her out of school. If, for some reason, she is unable to go with me, I am sure she will end up going with her husband. Hajj is usually undertaken when you are a lot older and understand the intricacies of religion.


Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I will go again, inshallah (which means God willing). I did not get to go to Medina. That was one of my biggest regrets. Mind you, it is not compulsory, but it is recommended. This time when I go, I will know exactly what is involved, what to expect and will include Medina in my trip!


From reading about Mrs. Hasan’s experiences while in performing the Hajj, I feel I have a deeper understanding for the voyage and the experiences that the pilgrims go through. It made me realize the magnitude of the power of the spiritual and theological depth of this journey and how it affects the individual pilgrims. The part of this interview which I thought was the most meaningful was when Mrs. Hasan said that there was no status between pilgrims and they all were just focusing on worshipping the one God and loving Him as much as they can within the time that it takes them to circle the Kaaba seven times.



This is the Kaaba and around it are Muslims praying during prayer time in Mecca. Mrs. Hasan refers to this when she says that everybody is circling the Kaaba and there is no status between each individual.



While people are circling the Kaaba 7 times, they try to touch it. This is the door of the Kaaba and these hands are of pilgrims who were lucky enough to touch the door. The different colours of the hands represent the variety of races in the Islamic religion.


This pilgrim is picking up pebbles in preparation for the next step of the Hajj. In Medina, pilgrims throw pebbles at three different pebbles, which re-lives the struggle for a woman to cast the devil away centuries ago.

These are the tents in Mina. As you can see, there are hundreds of tents that all look identical, so Mrs. Hasan’s problems of finding her designated tent are more than understandable.

What Others Know about the Middle East (by: Amy)

At the beginning of this Middle East Unit, I had an idea about how I could find out what other people know about the Middle East. I sent out a 10-question questionnaire via email and Facebook to people who are not ISB 8th graders.

This was the email/message that I sent out.

Hey! Would you mind helping me with an activity that I have to do at school?
This is a questionnaire of 10 questions about The Middle East. 
Can you please answer these 10 questions and send it back to me via email/facebook as soon as possible? 
Your answers will be used to compare perceptions and knowledge of the Middle East. 
Your name will be kept confidential and answers will only be identified by age, gender, nationality and places you have lived.
I’d be grateful if you just fill it out on this email and then send it back to me 🙂
Important: please do not research or look up the answers to these questions! Please just answer the questions from your own personal knowledge of the Middle East. Also, this questionnaire is not meant to take more than 5 minutes – if it does, you are thinking too hard!
Thank you so much for your help!
also, there is not a time limit on this assignment, so even if you are extremely late in replying, I would still appreciate your answers!


Click on each of the following images to enlarge and clarify. 

These are the 10 questions and their answers:


These are the responses that I received back from the people I sent it to. The right column contains the 10 questions, the middle column cotains their answers that are not edited from what they sent me and the far right column has the results of their answers – if they are correct or not.

These responses are from a 14 year old girl who lives in Texas. She is Asian, Europian, Mexican, and American. She has lived in many places and some of these include Scotland, Norway, Mexico, Indonesia, Balikpapan, Bangkok and Texas.



These responses are from a 14 year old girl who also lives in Texas. She is part English and part American. She has lived in only Texas and has only been out-of-country once.


These responses are from a 15 year old girl who lives in Scotland. She is American and has lived in the USA, Thailand and Scotland.


These responses are from a 14 year old girl who lives in Texas. She is American and has lived in only Texas, but has visited many places around the world.



These responses are from a 16 year old girl who lives in Australia. She is American and has lived in Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Virginia and Texas.

These responses are from a 14 year old boy who lives in Prague, Czech Republic. He is Taiwanese and has lived in Taiwan, Texas and the Czech Republic.

These responses are from one of my Aunts. She is British and 50 years old. She has lived in the United Kingdom all her life and is currently a very successful architect.


These responses are from one of my Grandpas. He is British and 80 years old. He has lived in the United Kingdom all of his life and is retiered.


These responses are from of of my Grandmas. She is British and 54 years old. She is retiered and has lived in the UK all of her life.


By looking at these different responses, it can be concluded that generaly, the older generation are more knowledgable about the Middle East. Also, a conclusion that can be made when looking at the data is that the teenagers from the younger generation that have moved a lot are more knowledgable about the Middle East than the people from the younger generation that have not moved much.

What You Don’t Know About Me :) (By:Hilary)

As Amy said on her post, this post will be merely about me and my background and not about the Middle East. Well as you all know, I’m Hilarina but everyone calls me Hilary.  I’m 14 years old and I’m in 8th grader at International School Bangkok.  I’m not very international unlike Amy, I have lived merely in my country Angola and this is the first time I live outside my country. I have four siblings with me makes five. I have a older sister who is in 10th grade (Mirian), a younger brother in 6th grade (Ladislau-Lau), a younger brother in 3rd grade (Ari) and another younger brother in pre-school (Guto). Unlike many people, my entire family is from one place including my mom and dad. We are all from Angola. Angola is a country in southern Africa. It is located next to South Africa and some other countries.  Well I was born in Angola and I lived there my whole life. I have an immense family with about 140 cousins and about twenty or more aunts and uncles. I have a big family because my great grandma and great grandfather said that big family is happy family and they were right when they said that because my family is happy the way it is. We are all together all the time no matter is if a sad or happy moment, we never leave each other alone, and I guess that Is why I like being around many people all the time.

Well now I will talk a little bit about myself. Well I’m a very funny, happy, energetic person. Even though I’m very strong outside, I’m the kind of person that is hard to tell when I’m sad or happy because I’m very mysterious. I’m also very sensitive and emotional inside. Only the ones who really know me can tell when I’m happy or sad or upset.  I’m the kind that can be really happy outside but Inside I can be thinking of problems I have.

I’m always up to anything, I love hanging out with my friends and with my family. I’m the kind of person that likes to be moving all the time, I don’t really like to stay in one place and do nothing for long time because it gets boring and I get frustrated. Well I will tell you guys what are some of things I’m not very patient with, and some of the thing I dislike. Some of the bullets that will be written below are not the things I want to be done to me or to anyone else, these are the things I want people to avoid and not to do to others.

·         I “CANNOT” wait for the same thing or person for a long time.

·         I don’t like repeating the same thing more than three times.

·         I’m not very patient with slow people

·         I do not like when people make fun of others or insult them because of what they are

·         I lose my temperate really fast sometimes.

·         I do not like staying home and having nothing to

·         I do not like when people gossip about others or when they assume things about other people.

·         Well I also don’t like some fruits such as: papaya, Pineapple and some more.

·         I do not like swimming unless it is for fun with my friends.

Well those are the things I dislike doing, now the things I love to do are:

·         I love hanging out with many people.

·         I love playing sports such as football(soccer), basketball, volleyball,

·         Making new friends, meeting new people

·         I like money like we all do :p

·         I love everyone that I consider my friends and everyone that considers themselves as my friends.

·         I love going to school, not to study but just being at school with everyone during lunch time.

·         I like to eat fruits.

·         I like dogs better than cats

·         I love dancing and singing especially when I’m very hyper.

·         I like being around people, especially my friends.

·         I like being alone somewhere and listen to music when I have problems, or talk to a friend, but I prefer to be alone and think alone.

Although I can be really nice to everyone and always talking and the typical Hilary, I can also be really mean to some people when they mess with my friends or when they do something mean to me. But that only happens if it is something serious, because if not, then I’m not mean to my friends and if I’m, I’m joking or teasing them or just trying t make them laugh of course.  As everyone knows me, I’m always smiling to everyone, I talk to everyone, I’m friends with everyone that wants to be friends with me and I have an image and I guess it is good right now and I don’t want it to change. If anyone does not like me it is not reasonable because I have not done anything to anyone, but as long as I like everyone so I’m good.

How to… Create a Chart on EduBlogs (by Amy)

Thanks to: Mr Bates and for helping me use a chart on edublogs.

For my KAWC post I used a chart to organize my ideas. Dispite this, using a chart isn’t the easiest thing in the world and so I asked Mr. Bates to help me. He showed me how to save the chart as a photo by doing a series of steps.

I have decided to post the instructions for inserting a chart into your edublog. 

1 ) It is important that what you want to upload can be seen without scrolling to see the rest. (in other words, you must make the chart smaller so that it fits your screen without scrolling)

2 ) After this is done, go to your chart that you want to insert into your post. Make sure that you can see ALL of what you want to capture as an image. Press the print screen button that is located on your laptop. (Mine is labeled as prnt scrn and is next to the number lock button, though it is different depending on your computer make)

3 ) Open an image editing program (i.e. Paint, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, etc.)

4 ) Go to Edit and select Paste (or ‘Control V’ on your keyboard), if a box comes up asking if you would like to enlarge, choose yes. The image that you captured should appear in the image editing program.

5 ) Optional: Crop your image so that you only see what you would like to insert into your post.

6 ) Go to File and select Save As. Save your image.

7 ) Go to edublogs and go to the Write tab.

8 ) Once there, follow the procedures to upload an image. Select your image that you just captured.

🙂 Enjoy!

Here is a website address that goes to a video that gives the same instructions except visually.–8z.htm

It’s Time to Write About Me! (by Amy)

So, you’ve seen my writing, but what do you really know about me?

This post will be a little different – it’s going to be completely about me, what I like, dislike and my background.

To start off, I am a 14 year old 8th grader who lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

In my family, I have a 15 year old 10th grade sister and my parents.

I am an international person, and I have lived in many places and therefore, I am not really sure where I am from.

I was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and lived there for four years. I honestly don’t remember anything about it there, but from the looks of old videos and photographs, we had a lot of fun in the snow and playing in our small garden.

After Scotland I moved to Houston, Texas. I lived there for seven years (from pre-k to 5th grade). I adapted well to Texas life, with huge shopping malls and five grocery stores all within a ten minute walking distance. I had many great friends there and I still keep in contact with most of them through Facebook or email. I went to two schools and lived in three houses. We moved houses so much because we originally thought we would only be there for three years, so we continued renting houses for only a couple of years each. I pretty much grew up in Texas and even developed the ‘Texas Twang’. I loved it there and considered myself a true Texan.

But, just in time to shatter my bubble, a night came when a letter arrived at our doorstep saying that we were moving in 4 months. The three possibilities that were the most likely were going back to Scotland, living ‘Down Under’ in Australia or going to Bangkok, Thailand. About two months till the day of the move, we received news that they were 95% sure that we were going to Scotland. We all were excited because we would be able to see our relatives and family again. A month passed and we were starting to pack up, that’s when we heard that Chevron were 100% sure that we were moving to BKK, not Aberdeen like we thought. I personally was devastated because all I knew about Thailand was that it was near Cambodia, and I knew that Cambodia was a third world country. The day came that we waved our house and friends goodbye and left for Bangkok, Thailand.

Now that I have lived here for almost 3 years, I can be confident in saying that I absolutely love it here and I never want to leave. I go to an International School in Bangkok and have many international friends from countries like France, Pakistan, Canada, America, Thailand and also Angola. I have the best of friends here and I also like the school go to here.

I have many things that I like. Some of these include:

·         Playing Mario Kart and Guitar Hero J

·         Food (especially Thai and European food)

·         Hanging out with friends

·         Helping the environment

·         Being a global citizen

·         Being good at something J

·         Spending time with my family

·         Shopping

Some of my interests include:

·         Horse-back riding

·         Running (medium and long distance)

·         Track and Field

·         Touch Rugby

·         Volleyball (though I am not much good at it)

·         Photography

I have a dog – Tasha, many fish and a horse – Larenco.

Though all this is important to me, my perceived identity and personality are very important values that I have. I want to be perceived as an independent girl who has a mind of her own and does not easily get influenced by outside perceptions. My friends describe me as a person who has short term memory loss and I am always in my own little world (though they exaggerate a lot)J. I am also described as being outgoing, intelligent and I know what I want.

Now that you know more about me as a person, I hope that it helps you understand where my perceptions and thoughts are coming from when I write this blog.

How many countries does the Middle East really have?14 or 16?(By:Hilary)

 Well i always thought that the Middle East was a very small Region with no natural resources and no richness, but now i see that even though it is not very big, they have a lot of oil and some richness. In fact according to Amy’s information, the world’s biggest hotel will be built somewhere in the Middle East. Even though they have natural resources, it is still a very small region with merely 14 countries. (Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen) I and many other people always thought that Egypt and Cyprus are not part of the M.E. but they are, which makes it 16 countries. So actually the M.E. has 16 countries and not 14. Many people including my mom and brother used to think that Egypt was part of Africa, but part of the M.E. as well. Before I told my mom and brother that Egypt was also part of the M.E., both my mom and brother and some of my friends  thought that the M.E had merely 14 countries, but it turns out Egypt and Cyprus are also part of the M.E which makes 16 countries. So what did you think before reading this comment? The Middle East had 14 or 16 countries?

Who said the Middle East is Poor? (by Amy)

Whoever thinks the Middle East was poor; think again. Here are some photos of the Middle East’s wealthier side… (click on the images to enlarge)

The Middle East’s Future 10 Star Hotel…

This is a Computer Generated Image of the 10 Star Hotel to be built in Beirut, Lebanon

Courtesy of Google Images and

This is a Computer Generated Image of the 10 Star Hotel to be built in Beirut, Lebanon.

Below the second image, there is information about this future hotel such as the approximated cost, when construction will start and other interesting facts…


Bird’s Eye View of Dubai

Courtesy of: Google Images and

This is a Bird’s Eye View of Dubai. The Islands off the coast are all man-made and are for sale. The most famous group of islands are in the shape of the world and are called ‘The World Islands’. The World Islands are a collection of around 300 man-made islands that are up for sale. The Dubai in the collection of islands was bought for 27.2 million US dollars!


 Dubai’s Future Sports City:




Courtesy of: Google Images and

Courtesy of: and Google Images

Both these images are computer generated, but this will be Dubai’s Future Sports City.

The First image is a Computer Generated Image of Dubai’s whole future Sports City. The ‘city’ is currently being built and is going to cost approximately 4 billion US dollars. The finished Sports City will be 50,000,000 square feet (4,600,000 m2) and it is expected to be completed in 2011. There will be a stadium, cricket grounds, golf course, indoor arena and field hockey stadium.