It was a travel-oriented week in news, with headlines taking us from the heights of a female-piloted Boeing 787, to the grimy depths of the New York subway system. Let’s take a look back, shall we?
An all-women flight crew for Royal Brunei Airlines recently landed a plane in Saudi Arabia—where, incidentally, women are not allowed to drive. The flight’s captain, Sharifah Czarena Surainy, became Brunei’s first woman airline captain in 2012. At the time, she said that “[i]t’s really showing the younger generation, or the girls especially, that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it.” Her words surely hold particular heft for Saudi activists who have been relentlessly pushing for their right to operate motor vehicles. Now let’s just stew in the fact that although Surainy successfully commanded a Boeing 787 into Jeddah, she was unable to go for a cheeky drive during her visit.
Iranian women who are injured in car accidents will now be offered the same compensation as male victims, thanks to a new measure passed by conservative Islamic lawmakers. The law will mandate that insurance companies compensate victims of traffic accidents the same way, regardless of gender. Under Iranian law, vehicle insurance is governed by the Koranic concept of “blood money,” in which the victim of injury can claim compensation from the perpetrator. And now that women have been established as equal claimants in this regard, experts believe they may be granted further rights in the future. We never thought that anything pertaining to “blood money” would fill us with optimism, but here we are.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s follically-gifted Prime Minister, took a momentous trip to the United States, visiting Washington for a State Dinner and then travelling to New York to speak about gender equality before the United Nations. Over the weekend, a (frankly adorable) picture of Sasha and Malia Obama taken during the aforementioned State Dinner went viral. The photograph shows Malia giving her younger sister the thumbs up as she chatted with Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, who was a guest at the event. Malia Obama is all of us.
A series of comedic ads mocking anti-Muslim stereotypes have gone up in subways around New York City. The campaign was created by comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah to promote their upcoming documentary, The Muslims Are Coming. Farsad told Reuters that she hopes to “build a bridge with mainstream Americans” with the ads, which contain messages like: “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes.” Though the ads can now be seen in 144 stations, the campaign was very nearly barred by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Welcome to the New York Subway system, where political comedy is held in contention, and strains of the bubonic plague are patiently tolerated.