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Archive for August, 2009

Last night I was checking CNN to see what’s new out there. I stumbled upon an article written about Muslim women and the hijab. After reading it, I thought it was ironic how different people view certain things. Alright, let me start my rant!

What the Muslim high school senior wants you to understand is that she doesn’t wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women, because she is submissive.

Hmmmm, I thought the whole idea of Islam is to be submissive… Well, to Allah (God) of course!

“My mom says a girl is like a jewel,” Abdelaziz says. “When you have something precious, you usually hide it. You want to make sure you keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found.”

EXACTLY! Aren’t we all “women “precious diamonds! They’ve been trying to keep us in that “safe” for a looooong time! I have heard that explanation (and truly believed it) for a long time. Examples, “Mom, can I go to the cinema?” “No you can’t” “Why” “Because there are guys there” “But who cares” “You should take care of yourself more, you are like a diamond and we only want your safety”… uhuh!

You people hear that explanation for the first time and you say.. “I can understand that view”, well, I don’t. At least not anymore! When you have a diamond, you show it off and take care of at the same time! People here need to understand how to be moderate!

Plus, what’s up with this “keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found”. Are our men treasure hunters? I take that back, they are… especially when they find more than one map!

“You can sometimes feel like you’re in a zoo: locked in the cage of other people’s stereotypes, prejudices and judgments, on parade to be analyzed, deconstructed and reconstructed,”

I like this quote! I wonder how non-Muslim women feel when they are in a Muslim country….
hmmmmmm …. Any thoughts?

“It gave me a sense of identity,” she says. “I really liked the purpose behind the hijab — a woman covering herself so that a man should know her for her mind, not her body.”

By far this is my favorite quote ever on the idea behind the Hijab because it illustrates exactly the mentality for wearing it.  It’s all about ….. guyzzzz… I dont know! Maybe I’m just weird, but the way I look at this is that a GUY should respect a woman and “know her for her mind” whether she is wearing a Hijab or not! But you know! that’s just a crazy thought….

Okay, that’s it for now.

Here is the source: Generation Islam: Hijab

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Alright, today I just wanted to list some of the ideas that go around in this part of the world about Western people:

1- They don’t treat their parents with respect.
2- They never ask about their parents or take care of them when they are sick.
3- They see women as sexual objects. (look whose talking)
4- They are not clean.
5- They don’t have morals, which is why crime is high there.
6- Most men cheat on their wives. (which is why it is seen that it is better to have two wives than cheat on your wife)
7- They are not jealous people. (as in, they don’t care if other men stare at their wives or if their wives’ goodies are out there for the world to see)
8- All they care about is money.
9- They are disrespectful towards Islam, the Prophet…etc.
10- They hate us.

These thoughts are out there. Of course the idea here is to make us feel better than all of you!
However, not every person believes in all of these… I’ve just gathered them and lumped them into a single list.

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Abaya’s in Oman

Alright, the image everyone has about the Middle East and mainly the Gulf area is that an Abaya is very essential and women HAVE to wear it. Then, they open one of those “Before & After 1970” books for Oman and realize that women in those pictures are not wearing black. Shocked and confused, they start wondering… “Black? Why? They used to look very beautiful in those colorful clothes?

Well, let me give you the whole story.

A very long long time ago (25 yrs ago), Oman started to open up to other countries. Television came along and people started seeing all the good civilization stuff. People started seeing that Women in Saudi Arabia and Iran wear black, “not sure which started it first”. As anything else that seemed new and “cool”, women started importing Abayas. I remember when I was 16, my first Abaya was from Bahrain. It was cool and hip. Now, of course people would tell you that the main reason in wearing black is because it does not attract attention from guys – as usual, its about guys. Of course that is not the case anymore. Now, black attracts more attention than any other color since it symbolizes a human being with female parts…

So, what is an Abaya in the 21st century?

Well, there are two types of Abayas. Some that are for conservative women that truly believe in it, and others (majority) that view it as fashion. Every season we have a new design, the main purpose is to look elegant and “very” attractive.

Many women hate it, but wear it because it is so very convenient. As far as people are concerned, you can look very elegant no matter what you are wearing inside. Even if it was your pajamas or just your underwear!

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Omani Women and the Queue

During your stay at Oman, there would be some unusual scenes that raise many questions. One of those scenes is Omani women pushing to the front of a queue. Many foreigners who are used to “first come first serve” are astonished and sometimes offended (depends on how many times it happens to them). Since I am a woman, I must say… I don’t complain. It is convenient after all… However, you will find these days that women started thinking that this is their birth right. Sometimes they even start pushing in front of other girls “never happy with it”.
 
I’m not sure when this phenomenon began, but you mainly see it in groceries and banks. These places are usually crowded and mixed. The act of women standing in a queue between men hovering behind their backs and sometimes hearing them inhaling and exhaling, and being pushed slowly to almost touching the one in front of you is very uncomfortable. Because many Omanis respect their women – holds some truth to it – they started offering women to go in front. Of course there are the few men that do this on purpose to check women out…Others would hope other men do the same to their sisters and mothers.

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Today, at work, a co-worker approached my desk and started asking some inappropriate questions.

He wanted to know, he went:

You have two options, which one will you choose?

1- a guy with a high-school education, a good guy, small salary, and a good family, or
2-a guy with a masters or a PhD, a good guy too, larger salary, and a good family, but they are either Baluchi or Zedgali.

I replied immediatly and without hesitation: “the second option”… thinking, its just natural selection. We all want to select the best for our off-springs based on our own standards.

So, of course the guy was offended.. “he was option one :-p”. After I blurted out my response, it was obvious to me that I just opened an unwelcomed door for debate. “What about your family? you should think of them,” he said. “My dad sees all people equal, thank god!”, I replied. “But what about your kids, think about them. No one will want to marry them when they grow up”, he continued thinking he will persuade me from being such a “selfish” human being. “Okay,” he said, “what if it was a khaal (black)?” I looked at him with disgust and said, “are you serious?”. I think he was trying to find a common ground between us, but struggling somewhat. I told him my response is the same. I won’t reject someone based on color.

Then, some of the most ignorant words started coming out of his mouth. “What do you mean its okay? why would you marry a black guy? and what will happen? are you okay having a mixture of color within your family?” I think I was surprised because he was so frank and comfortable with his replies. Then, he continued… “A story from the prophet Noah, that Noah had three men. One black, one white, and one brown. The brown one’s private parts became visible. The black guy didn’t do anything. The white guy covered the brown man’s stuff. So, God made the black guy slave to the others. See God’s knowledge. He knows that black people are not as good”… First, I never heard of this story before though I read the stories of all prophets, second of all…. I became furious. I said, “You are saying that the whiter people are the better they are? Then you are telling me that Europeans and all Americans are better than us. Should be, because they are lighter!”

“No no no,” he went on, “those are red people! they are not white”… Uhuh!!
“No” I said, “they are WHITE, some are even like these white walls. Not red.”

“You guys run after lighter skinned girls, the whiter the better, and you are telling me about mixing colors?! Just because black people are two tones darker than us, then that means they are less?! You know what, I prefer not to talk about this because we come from two totally different ideologies and thoughts.”

The End …

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