Friday October 18, 2019

Hamas says, a Woman must have a protector while Driving with a Male Instructor

The Palestinian territory has been under the rule of an Islamist organization, Hamas, since June 2007

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  • The presence of a chaperone for a female student taking driving lessons from a male instructor in Gaza is essential
  • While this move is largely rejected by most driving schools, a few see this as an opportunity to increase revenue
  • The matter is taken by religious judges, some of whom believe the policy is not necessary

The Gaza Strip that is lodged between the borders of Israel and Egypt, saw the rise of a new debate that revolved around new regulations for driving lessons taken by women. The Palestinian territory has been under the rule of an Islamist organization, Hamas, since June 2007, whose internal intelligence police want to enforce stricter laws regarding women.

According to Hamas police, women must be accompanied by someone while taking driving lessons if their driving instructor happens to be a man. Gaza is nowhere near as strict on Islamic morality issues regarding women as Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is why many driving schools in the strip are appalled by this new development. Driving instructor Mohammed al-Hattab was perplexed when the cops stopped him in the middle of his lessons because he was alone in the car with a woman.

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Experts believe this new development is totally unnecessary because all reputed driving schools in Gaza exercise a compulsory ‘morality test’ before hiring instructors. Moreover, no school will entertain sexual offences from employees since it will largely mar their reputations. Even against this backdrop, Hamas authorities remain stubborn.

A poster "End Hamas Terror". Image: Wikipedia
A poster “End Hamas Terror”. Image: Wikipedia

This new intention for Hamas authorities to follow the tenets of Islam which dictate that every woman in public must be accompanied by her husband or a male family member is surprisingly welcomed by a few driving schools, who have seized this opportunity for improving business. In Gaza, anyone can suffice as a chaperone for driving lessons, and fathers are more willing to send their daughters to learn driving if their safety is ensured. A few women that were interviewed admit they feel more at ease with the presence of an escort if a male instructor is conducting the lessons.

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Religious judges like Hassan al-Juju against the use of the term mahram for something so inconsequential is a ‘driving school’ chaperone, which the Hamas police loosely employ to enforce the policy. They believe it dilutes the holy sentiment that the word represents. Mahram is any man who serves as a guardian for a woman when she embarks on the religious journey to Hajj, and his job is to protect the woman from any predicament.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter:@saurabhbodas96

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Human Ageing Processes May Hinder Cancer Development, Study Suggests

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that the human ageing processes may hinder cancer development

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The researchers found that in most of the tissues examined, ageing and cancer gene expression 'surprisingly' changed in the opposite direction. Pixabay

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that the human ageing processes may hinder cancer development.

Ageing is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer. However, the biological mechanisms behind this link are still unclear, the study said in a paper published in the journal Aging Cell.

In an effort to better understand the biological mechanisms researchers compared how genes differentially expressed with age and genes differentially expressed in cancer among nine human tissues.

Normally, a healthy cell can divide in a controlled manner. In contrast, senescent or ‘sleeping’ cells have lost their ability to divide.

As we age, the number of senescent cells in our bodies increase, which then drive many age-related processes and diseases.

“Our results highlight the complex relationship between ageing, cancer and cellular senescence and suggest that in most human tissues ageing processes and senescence act in tandem while being detrimental to cancer,” said study researcher Joao Pedro De Magalhaes from the University.

Genetic mutations triggered by things such as UV exposure can sometimes cause cells to replicate uncontrollably — and uncontrolled cell growth is cancer.

Cells are often able to detect these mutations and in response go to sleep to stop them dividing.

The researchers found that in most of the tissues examined, ageing and cancer gene expression ‘surprisingly’ changed in the opposite direction.

These overlapping gene sets were related to several processes, mainly cell cycle and the immune system.

human, ageing, development, cancer, study
As we age, the number of senescent cells in our bodies increase, which then drive many age-related processes and diseases. Pixabay

Moreover, cellular senescence changed in the same direction as ageing and in the opposite direction of cancer signatures.

The researchers believe the changes in ageing and cellular senescence might relate to a decrease in cell proliferation, while cancer changes shift towards an increase in cell division.

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“One of the reasons our bodies have evolved to have senescent cells is to suppress cancers. But then it seems that senescent cells accumulate in aged human tissues and may contribute to ageing and degeneration,” De Magalhaes said.

“Our work challenges the traditional view concerning the relationship between cancer and ageing and suggest that ageing processes may hinder cancer development,” De Magalhaes added. (IANS)