Hijabi Ninja are the best joke ever, because they’re not a joke.

I came across these two snippets of Middle Eastern culture today. At first, they sound like a joke; but the tiniest shift in perspective yields a fascinating phenomenon. It sounds like Akbar Faraji’s school has succeeded where Asgarda failed.

Check out these two links:

The Lady Ninjas of Iran:  “Of the approximately 24,000 people taking part in official ninjutsu classes in Iran, at least 3,000 are women. It is these minorities who have attracted the most attention in the international media.

Martial arts in general are popular in Iran, and Iranian athletes, including women, regularly compete at an international level. For example, Iranian women competed in Taekwondo in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.”

Qahera, the Hijabi Superhero:



The “nin” (忍) in ninja means to endure. It’s also part of the words for patience, perseverance and stealth. Fitting, in these cases.

My knowledge of Middle Eastern politics, culture and associated feminist movements are extremely limited. Are there more stories like this? How well do the principles of guerilla warfare apply to the way women interact in the region?

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