I’ve worked with some fascinating and compelling clients at Proven Media Solutions. One such client is the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition, which will now be endorsing President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020.
While the endorsement is earlier than most in U.S. politics, Coalition President and Turkish best-selling author Rabia Kazan says the early endorsement is important for her organization to accomplish its goal to “reform the barbaric practices of child marriages, genital mutilations, honor killings, and dress code restrictions…”
“We are bringing women from all across the country and all over the world to raise…unified voices in support of President Trump,” Kazan said in a press release last week which announced the impending endorsement. Trump “is changing the game,” said Kazan. She says “Trump knows that systemic abuse of helpless women is real and pervasive,” and that what “Progressives” call “Islamaphobia” is simply opposition to “how…women suffer under [the] Islamic Regime.”
Neither I nor Proven Media Solutions takes a position on Trump’s re-election. In fact, I was NeverTrump in 2016, though I have been pleased with many of Trump’s policy, regulatory, and judicial accomplishments since he took office.
But we are working with these women’s rights activists in part because of their passion about an important and often under-reported issue. Furthermore, the Coalition’s religious diversity – Kazan is Catholic, and the group’s spokespersons span Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – and geographic diversity – they come from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Libya, and Kurdistan – speak volumes about the horrific prevalence of the issues they address.
Kazan told me that her group’s goals go far beyond politics, which is why their Tuesday endorsement event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. is followed by a Wednesday press conference on Capitol Hill. The second event focuses on abuses women and girls face in the Middle East. Both events will include former Iranian child bride and rape survivor Aynaz Anni Cyrus, who will share her story of abuse, survival, and escape to the U.S.
Joining Kazan and Cyrus will be the following women’s rights activists and Coalition members, as listed in the aforementioned press release:
Ola Hawatmeh: (Lebanese-American) women’s rights activist against arrange marriages and fashion designer, founder of Ola Style; Vice president of the Coalition
Adele Nazarian: (Iranian-American) Writer, filmmaker, Middle East expert, and human rights advocate
Arian Lev: (Israeli) Human rights activist and best-selling author
Nahren Anweya: (Assyrian-American) activist for persecuted Christians
Marilyn Matrisciana, (American) Ordained Christian minister who spent 35 years in Middle Eastern countries, co-founder of Servant Group International
Chiman Zebari, (Kurdish -American) author and activist against honor killings.
Uzma Hayat: (Pakistani-American) Activist/Writer/Middle Eastern expert
Magda Odendaal: (African Activist), PhD: Psychologist/Activist against genital mutilation
Mina Attaran (Iranian -American) Women’s rights activist, Middle Eastern expert
Soat Tebrizi (Persian- American) Women’s Rights Activist/PhD in psycho-therapy
Eva Hasqueal, (Iraqi-American) human rights activist and Middle East expert
Sonya Elizabeth: (Libyan – American) Women’s Rights Activist.
Kazan said that while Trump hasn’t specifically focused on child brides and genital mutilation in rhetoric or policies, it is his focus on defeating ISIS which has earned her support.
“By defeating ISIS, Trump creates freedom for millions of women across the Middle East and North Africa regions,” she told me for this piece. “And by rhetorically going after ‘radical Islam,’ he gives more opportunity for those like me who felt politically constrained in the past.”