Isha Mehmood (Nepal)

Isha Mehmood

Isha Mehmood (South-Asia Partnership in Nepal): Isha graduated in 2007 magna cum laude with a BA in communication and a BS in sociology from Virginia Tech. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Cambodia where she met children who lost limbs in landmine explosions. This inspired an interest in conflict studies and human rights law. Isha interned at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. At the time of her fellowship, Isha was studying at American University’s School of Public Affairs, pursuing a Master’s degree in justice, law and society.

02 Aug

Uma’s Courage: One Woman’s Story

Uma K.C., 26, has seen the worst of Nepal’s patriarchal system. Originally from a small

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Posted Aug 02, 2009

23 Jul

U.S. Policy Allows Domestic Violence as a Basis for Asylum

Survivors of severe domestic violence and sexual abuse abroad now have a greater chance of

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Posted Jul 23, 2009

22 Jul

Law and Order: Domestic Violence, Part II

My last blog talks a little about the domestic violence law that recently passed in

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Posted Jul 22, 2009

20 Jul

Law and Order: Domestic Violence in Nepal, Part I

Creating and enforcing laws in a newly formed democracy is a seemingly impossible task. A

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Posted Jul 20, 2009

10 Jul

“Women In Nepal Face Discrimination From the Womb”

Last Monday, I had the opportunity to meet with Uma Bhandari, the president of Ruwon

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Posted Jul 10, 2009

02 Jul

Introducing the Campaign to Disarm Domestic Violence

It has been a while since my last update and I’ll be filling in the

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Posted Jul 02, 2009

24 Jun

Gun Laws and Domestic Violence: What’s the Connection?

It should come as no surprise that women are disproportionately affected by domestic violence. Even

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Posted Jun 24, 2009

17 Jun

Broken Windows and Burning Tires: Just Another Bandh

In Nepal, a typical work week is six days to make up for time that may be lost due to an unexpected bandh. A common form of political protest in South Asia, bandhs are becoming somewhat ordinary in Nepal, often causing major cities like Kathmandu to reach a complete standstill.

During a bandh, no one is expected to open shop, including schools, or drive on main roads. Attempt to break the bandh, and you risk having rocks thrown at your windows, tires burned, and your car set on fire. As a result, streets are nearly deserted except for demonstrations and a small number of people on foot. Main roads, normally filled with the sounds of beeping motorbikes, are almost silent.

I know this, of course, because the Maoists declared one Monday.

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Posted Jun 17, 2009

14 Jun

First Encounters


This word, derived from Sanskrit and used to express the greatest form of respect, is the most common greeting in Nepal. It translates to something similar to, “I bow to the divine in you.”

It is the only Nepali phrase that, as of now, I know by heart.

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Posted Jun 14, 2009

13 Jun

Time Travel Through the Middle East

In the last 31 hours, I have managed to step foot in three very different countries and time travel through the past three days: I left Washington, D.C. on June 11th. Sitting in a guesthouse in Kathmandu, it is now June 13th.

I spent last night in Doha, Qatar. Flying with Qatar Airways proved to be not only the least expensive choice, but also the most luxurious. Since my layover was so long between flights-15 hours overnight-they generously provided me with, for no additional cost, a room at The Grand Regency in Doha, dinner and breakfast, and transportation to and from the airport. I welcomed the long layover prior to departure, hoping that I would get to see a bit of Doha. Before leaving I read about beautiful white sandy beaches, the easiness for English speakers, and a city that had virtually no crime at all. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived at the hotel it was already dark. Though I had hoped to get a glimpse of more of the city than a 15 minute bus ride would afford me, I knew it was unwise to venture out at night in a foreign city, even if it was supposed to be safe. The final destination was not Qatar, but Nepal, and it would be wise to arrive in one piece.

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Posted Jun 13, 2009

29 May

Tikkun Olam

I was recently introduced to a Hebrew phrase that explains, in the most concise way,

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Posted May 29, 2009