Sunday, December 30

Hijab as a Dress Code

Another visit to Egyptiana's blog and another discussion. This time, however, I am not being merely inspired by her latest post.. but I am also conversing with the ideas mentioned in it. First time ever to have something else to say other than agreeing with the brilliant ideas expressed by this dear friend, ever since I started blogging. I felt there was a need for someone to step in and clarify the blurry image that tends to generalize our view of the Other, with capital O. The inspiration came as I read the questions being raised at the end of her post:

لم اذن ندعى ان الحجاب خطأ بشرى فى حق النساء المسلمات؟؟؟انقول المثل على اليهوديةانجرؤ ان نقول المثل على الراهبات المسيحياتلا والله ما يستطيع ان يتدخل اى شخص فى حرية اليهودية او المسيحية... ولكن المسلمة تحتاج الى وصاية... الى من يقول لها افعلى هذا او ذاك... حجابك خطأ ... حجابك جاء من وراء البحر ثقافة بدوية تدعو الى قمع الحريات لا اهوى المهاترات او المناقشات العقيمة فى امور محسومة... وما هذا البوست الا دعوة للتدبر فى الامر... والتفكير فيه بتأنى ما كان الحجاب قيد... ولكن تجميد عقولنا ومحاولة فرض اراء تبدو فى ظاهرها حرة هو القيد العظيم

Why do we claim that hijab is a human fault committed against women? Do we say the same about the Jewish woman? Do we dare say the same about Christian nuns? No. I swear by God that nobody can interfere with the freedom of the Jewish or Christian women. . But the Muslim woman is in need of patronage.. of someone to tell her do this or that.. your hijab is wrong.. your hijab came from overseas.. a beduin culture promoting oppression. I don't like talking nonesense or aimlessly discussing what is well known. This post is only an invitation to reflect on this issue... Hijab is no bondage.. but freezing our minds and trying to force ideas which appear to be free is the great captivity.

At first sight, it may appear that the conclusion being made is about a well-defined group. But as one readers to search for such a definition, things start getting mixed up. The descriptions being stated as examples of what "this group" believes in, reveal that a wide range of people are gathered together in a single basket. Let's review each together:

1- Why do we claim that hijab is a human fault committed against women?

Not all people who believe that hijab is not doing good to women have the same reasons. There is a large range from conservatives to moderates to extremists, each group having their own reasons. Consequently, although they may agree on the disadvantages of hijab, they do not all share the same view about it. Therefore, assuming that they all have the same attitude towards hijab is so unfair.

2- Do we say the same about the Jewish woman? Do we dare say the same about Christian nuns? No. I swear by God that nobody can interfere with the freedom of the Jewish or Christian women.

Mmmmm.. There are those who say the same about Jewish and Christian women. They don't all interefere with their freedom. Some of them dare to do it. Others are not afraid, but don't interefere because they believe it is not the right thing to do.

3- But the Muslim woman is in need of patronage.. of someone to tell her do this or that.. your hijab is wrong.. your hijab came from overseas.. a beduin culture promoting oppression.

Which ones are we talking about here? Do all those who refuse to wear hijab patronize Muslim women or tell them what to do? Do they say that their hijab is wrong? And why would analyzing the origins of hijab be considered as a way of attacking it or those who wear it? Isn't the beduin culture seen to be oppressive, regardless of hijab? Doesn't this same beduin culture tell women who don't wear niqab that their hijab is wrong?

4- I don't like talking nonesense or aimlessly discussing what is already undisputable.

What makes hijab undisputable? It is not one of the five basic pillars of Islam. Islamic scholars are disputing about it all the time. Different cultures have different definitions of it. What makes it undiscussable? And why would discussing it be a sort of nonesense?

5- This post is only an invitation to reflect on this issue... Hijab is no bondage.. but freezing our minds and trying to force ideas which appear to be free is the great captivity.
I totally agree. And that is why I would rather discuss my point in detail, as I feel like I have been put my mistake into the wrong company. I don't wear hijab. I don't believe it will do me good. I have my own reasons to think that it has many disadvantages. Yet, I never forced anyone to take it off, but the opposite always happens with me. And I never told anyone who agrees with it that it is wrong, although the opposite is always said to me. And I certainly would never judge anyone based on whether or not she is wearing hijab.. again in spite of having been always judged as a non-hijabi. I don't support hijab, but I am not against it, either.
Allow me to defend myself. In saying so, and from now on, I am not addressing Egyptiana. I am expressing myself, and giving myself the right to talk on behalf of others who hold my beliefs, and who are usually misunderstood and accused of joining those who are against hijab in general. Egyptiana did a great job with her post, actually. She displayed three pictures of different women who are covering their hair.
1- A Jewish woman praying:
2- Christian nuns praying:

3- A group of Muslim women awaiting prayers:

I so much believe that "a picture is worth a thousand words". Egyptiana's 3 pictures say that women have been covering their hair regardless of their religion, nationality, or race.
But I would like to add some more pictures to her wonderful collection to aid me in explaining my point. I would ask you to please have a look on the following ones.

4- Buddhist women:

5- Hindu women:

6- Sikh women:

7- Jain women:

8- Parsi Zoroastrian women:

So.. What are those pictures trying to tell us? Can you read them? Apparently, women who follow non-Abrahamic religions also cover their heads, as you see. What does this invite us to conclude? I, personally, believe that this dress code is purely traditional, passed down from one generation to the other.. Just like men in the Gulf who cover their heads with aggal.. or other Muslim men who wear turbans, or 3emma, like men of Azhar.. or those who wear chitral, like Afghani men. Can we call this hijab? Can we force men to wear it, knowing that Prophet Muhammed used to cover his head? I don't think so.

Moreover, it is normal to see a male sheikh who doesn't wear a 3emma nowadays.. although this was completely out of question in the past. Does this make the sheikh who doesn't wear the traditional 3emma guilty in any way? Can we judge him to be less moral or less religious than other sheikhs who do wear it? It is a traditional way of dressing, people. All kinds of clothes are passed down through imitation.. That's what we now call "fashion".

Islam, like all other religions, never told people what to wear. It is a matter of what people decide to wear at a certain time. We are only demanded, men and women, to dress modestly while praying.. like all other religions. A man can not pray in his shorts, although there is no clear or direct verse in Quran to prohibit that. But, logically, measuring on other demands in Quran, we can easily reach this rule. It is the same with females.. who were only instructed to wear moderate, conservative clothes, that won't cause "NORMAL men" (and i insist here on NORMAL) to be seduced.. or invite morally corrupt or sick men to abuse them, or harass them sexually. What was said is clear: Cover those parts that are private.. Don't wear sheer fabrics.. Don't wear tight clothes.. And try to keep away from too much accessories.

These are the demands of God. That's how women were asked to dress according to the Quran, which God declared to be complete and whole. He could have easily told women "Cover your hair" or "Cover your breasts" or "Cover your legs".. But He didn't, because He created this world and He knows that people's habits change from time to time, and from place to place. He didn't care to put a piece of cloth on women's heads. He only instructed them on how to protect themselves and how to avoid sinning by means of (intended) seduction. Accordingly, the choice of outfit was totally left to humans. They decide according to their culture, traditions and times what is considered to be appropriate and what is not. How can God order a Muslim woman who lives in equatorial Africa (in Kenya or Congo or Ughanda) to wear hijab or niqab? She will be committing suicide if she did! Besides, with global warming - which we know is a fact - the Earth's temperature is expected to rise.. which will make poor countries, which don't have proper homes, not to mention air-conditions, a living hell. Don't you think God knows about that? How can He then demand women there to wear the thick black niqab of Saudi Arabia? We all know that women are flogged (in one of the hottest countries during summer) if they don't abide by this dress code. What would please God in that? Do you think their rich women, who are married to the princes of oil, would find any difficulty in wearing this outfit? Those who have air conditioned luxury cars, with chauffeurs.. Those who live in villas with central air conditioning.. Those who wear original brands underneath their black abayas! Would they suffer in any way?

But what about poor women? What about those who can't afford any of those luxuries? Aren't they suffering? What about the old Egyptian women we see waiting for a long time under the hot sun in summer to ride a public bus, or any other means of public transportation? Have you ever seen their red sweaty faces? Have you ever felt how hard it is for them to deal with poverty as well as the summer heat while wearing the veil? What about those wearing niqab? Do you think God is a classist? He should be if He demands something that doesn't require any effort from rich people, while it would make the poor really suffer. Do you think God is a racist? Well, He should be if He truly would punish women in Congo for not wearing the hijab/niqab, and reward women in Russia for covering their hair (which they all do automatically in winter).
Now, we come to the most important question of all. Do you think God is a sexist? If you truly believe that God will never approve of His female worshipers unless they wear hijab/niqab, then that's what you are saying. Because in this way it would be impossible for them to have equal opportunities in life.
First, what is the original definition of hijab?.. Hijab is only mentioned once in Quran, while refering to male visitors who entered Prophet Muhammed's home and wished to talk to his wives. In this case, God instructed that there should be a hijab between them, meaning something that would block their vision, a curtain, so that they won't be able to see the Prophet's wives, who are described by God as being like no other women.
Does this mean that nobody saw either of the Prophet's wives? Of course, not. We know from many history books that those women interacted very normally with their community. The most powerful of them, Aisha, was known to be an excellent scholar, and who told many of the stories about Prophet Muhammed after his death. She even raised an army against Ali ibn Abi Taleb and directed it herself while riding on a camel's back.. Hence, the battle took the name of "Mawqe3at el Jamal" or Battle of the Camel. And there was a huge uproar against her in Basra (where the battle took place) for not respecting God's orders to the Prophet's wives; for she has left her home, and she has overthrown the rule of hijab! Notice that we are talking about Aisha, mother of the faithful.
Now, let's move on to the present time. Can anyone give me one definition of hijab that all Muslims would agree on? I dare anybody to do so.
Each Islamic culture has come up with its own version of hijab and claimed it to be the best of all.
There is the Wahhabi hijab of Saudi Arabia (niqab):

There is the Isdal/Chador of Iran:

There is the Talibani Burqa of Afghanistan:

There is the Khimar:
There is the Egyptian head scarf which covers/uncovers the neck:

Each woman of those thinks she is wearing the right hijab. Each woman of those thinks her hijab is better than the rest. Each woman of those believes that her dress is religious. None of them is right, and none of them is wrong. Nobody can objectively tell who is better than who. Nobody can prove any claim of superiority of one of those styles.

It is enough to show your face down a Saudi street to receive lashes on your back. So, do you think they believe that women who cover their hair and show their faces will enter heaven? Can an Egyptian girl who is convinced with her hijab wear it there? Can she convince them that she is not upsetting God? Can she get the women there to believe that she may be rewarded as well as them in afterlife?

In short.. There is no such thing as Islamic hijab.. There is only traditional/cultural hijab.. The hijab approved by the community where a female lives.. Just like any other set of traditions that she must follow in order to win the respect of her community. In some African tribes, it is normal for women to walk topless in public, while it is shameful to reveal their legs. We may find it strange, we may disapprove of it, but we should respect their culture.. because that is what they believe to be right, and thus is of high value to them.

Many people are surprised that I am not against hijab although I don't believe that it is a must, or that God would put it into consideration while judging my soul. The reason is that I respect the beliefs of others so much.. as long as that's what they are truly convinced with. Moderate secular thinkers are not extremists.. And that is what I meant to say through this discussion of my personal opinion of hijab as a dress code. Moderate secularists agree that a woman is free to wear hijab when it becomes her choice. They respect others' beliefs, even if they disagree with them. They don't pass judgements or condemn others. They don't seek to force women to take their hijab/niqab off their heads/faces.. but they wish them to take it off their minds. Talking about the origins of hijab, or how it found its way back to Egypt, is not an attempt to shake the belief of others. WE DON'T DO THAT. We are the ones being accused all the time of having weak faith. We are the ones who are insulted for questioning human explanations of religion. We are the ones being attacked because we don't wear hijab. Thus, our aim is to let others see things from our side, in the hope that they would be more understanding and tolerant.. not to tell them "you are wrong". The person who aims to force others to adopt his/her ideas is not a secularist. All we want is coexistence. We don't want to be accused of athiesm or lack of ethics. We don't want female secularists to be disrespected or considered to be women of easy virtue. Don't you think it is fair enough?

I said it many times, and I will say it again. Variety is the law of life. Difference will always exist. We have to accept one another without trying to wipe away differences. God could have easily created us all the same. Thus, our ability to tolerate difference is a virtue, and will be rewarded by God. Moderates, whether agreeing or disagreeing with hijab, should always have a quite dialogue based on logic. Disagreement is not equivalent to hostility. We shouldn't be putting any person who disagrees with us in the place of our enemy. We would be losing many good friends if we do so, as well as creating false stereotypes. When we seek to compare views, we should make a balanced comparison. We shouldn't show all those who differ with us as the opposite extreme.

Moderate people, should compare their views to those of other moderate people. You wouldn't like others to say that all those who wear hijab are terrorists, would you? You wouldn't like them to say that those who agree with hijab want to force everybody else to wear it. So, it won't be fair when you use the same way of thinking with others. Always look for similarities instead of difference. What unites us as humans is much much more than any differences between us.

Daughter of Sheikh Hassan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, unveiled and wearing make-up


Ahmed Al-Sabbagh said...


fantastic article

really i didnt read all of it

but i read the head line and i understand the main idea

happy to see your blog

and i wish to visit me

happy new year


egyptian feminist chic said...

Great article as usual fanta!! I saw egyptiana's post and I commented a very very lengthy comment on it ( i believe that was 2 days ago), but she has not posted it on her comment section... I dont know if she just hasnt gotten around to doing that, or if she disagrees with what i said so she will not post it... we'll see if it shows up any time soon.
i basicly talked about the origin if hegab in egypt specificly and in religion, and about covering hair in general and expressed my total disagreement with the whole concept....

I would like to post it here , but i think it may be a repetition of things i have said before in your comment section.... i dont want to be saying the same things over and over again... I originally wrote it on word before copying it to her comment section, so i still have it on my computer. It shares a lot of ideas you have mentioned so well in your post , which you have discussed better than how i would have discussed, so i will not say them again...

like you fanta i dont believe inhgab, however i am 100% against the whole consept, since i believe it is based on a lie. to say women are free to wear it is not true...

women are intimidated and told they will burn in hell forever if they dont wear it... when a woman hears this from a religious figure, then covers her hair, this is not free will.... this is intimidation. this is fear of god's wrath. if a woman is told there are no consequesnces to wearing ahegab, and no consequesnces to taking it of, then she goes and makes the decision to wear it, this is free will. this is what i would support.. it is her right and her decision. so in short, i believe that 100% of women wearing it now are doing it under pressure of society, religion, family, and fear of eternal burning in hell. no oe is doing it out of free will.

2-the second point i would like to add is the comparison of all muslim women to nuns in christianity.. this is a very unfair comparison, since in christianity, women do not cover their hair, however if a woman decides to be a nun, and give up life, and any worldly pleasure, including marrying having children and a family... then she must also give up her beauty... so she covers her hair.... so no,christianity does not make women cove their hair.

3- I believe the extreme wahabi ideology is a means to control peope and to weaken competing societies. this is the first step in undermining egypt.... get rid of half the working power of the country.... half the brains are gone.... less man power... more people to support... perfect!!! and all in the name of religion... the new ideology became that a woman's place is her home, she shouldnt leave it if she doesnt have to... women dont need to work... they need to stay at home and do the dirty work men dont like, and care for the men and clean and basicly be cheap liked the idea it gave them the feeling of power over the women, which they lacked in every day life, at work or with money or with the government... oppression of women was suddenly encouraged. people were forbidden from thinking....
the current trend now is if you have a concern about religion, dont look for answers in the koran... you are not qualified!!! ask a shikh( preferably a brainwashed wahabi ideology one) and they compare it to doctors.. everytime you watch tv you hear a sheikh saying if you are sick you go to a doctor , you dont cure yourself, and similarily, if you have a religious question go to a sheikh... ( stupid argument.... we all practice islam... the koran itself says it is a book for all people, and is easy to understand.. don't you think we need to believe what the koran says about itself? but we dont all study medicine and we dont all work as doctors!, so no, they are not similar!) anyway, they basicly started forbidding music, tv, any fun activity, they have even gone as far as forbidding sports since it " betolhy 3an zekr allah" you can't even say hello when you answer the phone.. you have to say alsalamo 3alaikom wa rahmatullahy wa barakatu!! more niqabis are popping up everywhere we go in cairo, wheras just a few years ago, we never had any niqabis, and when one was seen in the street, people stared at her, children cried in fear, and everyone wondered why she is dressed like that.

4-yu have already talked about this, but i still want t stress that now if you do your own research and see what exactly God wants us to do, you will find that the Koran only states that a woman needs to be modest... specifically mentioning lengthening their dresses( not specifying how long, since it is relative to where you live, how others dress...etc. and specifically stating that there should be something covering your bossom (if you look at old beduin clothes, up until the 70's, the women covered their hair, but showed the cleavage of their breasts) so god asked that they cover their chest. there is nothing in the koran mentioning hair.... not a single verse.... nothing at all.... people have argued that wearing a long dress means cover your hair, and some said it means cover your face except your eyes, and some said it means cover one eye, and look through a small hole with the other eye.... I dont know what you think of this, but when god says wear a long dress... i bve;ieve that this is what it means... to wear a long dress!!! all the other interpretations are rediculous, and are made up.... and i disagree with all of them because god's words are clear.... i dont see how they came up with all these strange dress codes......

this brings us to the second source of religious information...... there are 4 a2ema.... 3 of them dont have any ahadeeth discussing women's hair... one however, mentions a certain hadeeth, and states that this hadeeth is da3eef, and that it may not have happened anyways.... of course you know which one i am talking about....the one where the prophets daughter walks into the room where there are strange men, and she is wearing a transparent dress... so all of her body is showing ( breasts, buttocks, genitals...etc.) so the prophet tells her that the only thing she can show is her face and hands..... now i have to ask you...... if you believe in the prophet, his integrity, and his ability to lead a nation, why do you think would he be unable to raise his daughters??? why would his daughter feel like it is okay for her to show her semi-naked body to strange men visiting her father?.... would you as a well behaved person do this? do you need your dad to remind you to cover your private parts infront of his male friends? i think the story is rediculous, and because i am a strong believer of my religion, i refuse to believe such an insulting story.... and one more thing i was reading the saudi government religious authority website, and they talk about this hadeeth, and say it is da3eef, and may not be true but women should cover their hair anyway for the good of society.....

5- more examples f intimidation on society?? anyone who tries to argue these silly ideas is called a KAFER... and people threaten his life... so no one dares dispute the fanatic claims. remember what happened with farouk hosny when he mentioned he didnt like the hegab, and people took to the streets protesting his OPINION?? and threatning his life and asking that he loses his job?
Add to that muslims are now discouraged from thinking..... if you think you will go to hell... so dont think... dont read the koran except for "eltagweed" but dont try to understand it... ask a sheikh, he will understand it for you, and tell you what it says!!!!

so my conclusion is--->
1-there is no Hegab in islam....
2- hair cover is worn by beduin MEN and WOMEN to protect from the heat.... not from sexual predators
3- islam requires modesty, so you should not be sexually provocative
4- hair is not sexual..... it makes a woman pretty, but chest and buttocks and legs are sexually provocative, so God specifically orders women to cover them, and did not specifically ask for covering of hair.
5- being pretty is not against religion. so covering a woman's hair is pointless
6- covering a woman's hair does not protect her from sexual harrasment. the proof?? men harrass women regardless of what they wear.
7- the only way to stop sexual harrassment of women in the street is to PUNISH THE MEN who harrass, and educate the public to repect each other, and not punish the women by limiting their activities, and forcing women to wear layers and layers of cloth over their head in extreme heat, which causes a lot of suffering for the women and not the men.
8- Saying women in islam cover their hair voluntarily is ludicrous..... women are lied to, and told they will burn in hell, so they are being threatened with eternal punishment for showing their hair.... how is this voluntary? this is psycological abuse, and forcing women to do something against their will for fear of punishment. so basicly they make a decision, to either wear a hegab and suffer now, or dont wear a hegab and suffer forever... no way around it. how is this fair???

Hegab is beduin dress... to protect from the weather, this is why you will see it worn by beduins regardless of religious belief..... it is time we treat it as such and stop making muslim women look rediculous and unfitting in civilized societies by wearing a 2 thousand year old dress code not related to religion!

thanks for letting me express my opinion!!!

raaasa said...

Whew! Ya salaam! There's nothing left to say. EFC, you go girl!

Miss Egyptiana "Trapped Soul" said...

Dear Fantasia
I didn't reply on your comment in my post, instead I am here to clarify my point of view about the whole issue, which seem to be totally misunderstood; and to start I would like to say that nothing would please me more than discussing matters with you, and at the end of the day after we both express ourselves we would remain good friends

First let me tell you why I wrote this post; which shows in my reply to previous comments on the post; the whole point is that we shouldn’t take hijab as a sign of oppression… or at least do not generalize, if it is in some countries… it is not in others… and if it is was not a choice for some women, it is for others… moreover, freedom is not about what we wear, and what we don’t… it is about expressing our points of views without wesaya, within respect to others opinion no matter how much it opposes ours… in addition to that, hijab can be considered as a minor issue to discuss, leaving other major issues that have direct impact in our lives

Instead of saying No to hijab, we better look at more serious issues like sexual harassment and incest, and breaking the man's financial chains that bind women necks

Everybody is talking about hijab and how it negatively affect EGYPT… and actually I didn’t hear a single word on how it does so… women wearing hejab are as productive as other who doesn’t … live their lives… share in different activities… have a role in society… it is not what you wear, it is what you do…

To cut the long story short, attacking hijab has nothing to do with defending women, it is a matter of choice, and I will only attack It if it was forced… and as you said dear, I am not against, and I am not with

Hijab is a human culture, with all its forms, and I thought of adding more pictures of other religions, but I thought that the three displayed pictures are enough… and believe it or not, I am against all the stickers and promotional talk about wearing hijab… but to face it, I shouldn’t attack the concept of hijab itself, cause it is a matter of choice… and I better clarify with logical and religious proof the hijab point of view

No matter who say hijab is wrong… in whatever form either the Bedouin as you call them, or those who are against the idea as a whole… shouldn’t simply assure that it is wrong or right!!! Who has the right to say it is right or wrong? No one, as long as it is a matter of a personal choice…

Everything is disputable dear, even GOD's existence, and I meant that we should leave minor issues for major ones… as I previously said in this comment

I love your argument about what god told us to wear, and I have heard it many times that covering the hair is not included… but hijab is not just about covering hair, hijab is not just the veil… it is as you presented cover the body in a way that doesn’t seduce men, or attract their attention, any other opinion is egtehad. And I am glad things are not mixed in this matter

We finally agree that it is a human heritage, and everyone has the right to follow it or not… and I think you contradict yourself fantasia when you said that you are not supporting hijab, and you are not against it… cause simply you do attack it and show it as a mean to constrain women freedom and sufferance, represented in hot weather in summer :)

Dear… first women don’t wear hijab at home, so it will be hot for poor women if they are wearing it or not …. Second if it is about the hot weather, taking off the veil will not actually help… does it help you ?! I mean you don’t feel hot in summer ?! women who are not wearing hijab have access to less temperature than those who wear it ? I am sorry but I didn’t understand this part

God will judge everyone with what's in his heart and intentions… and it is something that we cant actually talk about, cause he has his own divine standards… a woman wearing hijab may go to hell for being bad, and other who is not wearing it will go to heaven for being good to herself and others …. I believe that الدين معاملة and god has stressed on this issue… regardless of what we wear

and by the way, I was in ryadh visiting my father, and el amr belma3rof use to shout in women and lash them for showing their faces, but … such a thing doesn’t exist now, KSA is more modernized :)

strange enough dear you reached my same conclusion, hijab is a human heritage… why attack it? Accept the choice of others,,, have moderate point of view about different matters of life instead of extreme yes or no, and this cannot be done but with accepting the other

though I am a little disappointed for dividing those who wear hijab, and those who doesn’t … cause we are all women, fighting for our freedom no matter what we wear

I hope that I clarified my point of view, and i am so sorry for being tht talkative

One last word for egyptian feminist chic
I will reply to your long comment in my blog, as I have taken much space of fantasia's … just wanna tell you dear, that I have been under stress out of some personal issues that is why I didn’t publish or comment, and I am not of the type who reject comments that oppose mine, to the contrary they are more than welcome as long as they are decent.

Glad for your visit
Thanks fantasia for everything
Have a lovely day

ألِف said...

I have to begin by saying that I have no bias against or with higab. And my point here is not to argue that covering the head is the traditional way not only for women, but for men also, inspired by practicality; and I beleive this is what it boils down to. I'd do it myself to fend off the dust and sun one has to go through everyday in Cairo where I live. And I sure happily do it in a desert-trip.

My point here however, is that I find a discrepancy between the view of the higab as seen by Islamist radicals in our region, and the photos you display here, which I have seen and noted many other examples from around the world depicting the same idea as they do.

Most of the photos here resemble the national dress [code] of these women. So does the Sudani dress, for example, and the Mouritani. A dress that is percieved within a social context, rather than a religious one. No one in her community will judge an Indian woman by how carefully she hides her hair under her scarf; and surely no one will expect a forigner visitng Muritania to dress like women there do. While a state-imposed hijab|veil|shador can get a woman abused in the street if she doesn't follow the directions described by the state|sheikhs, regardless of her personal shoice or background.

Of course I'm not doing a body-memebr-to-body-member comparison between what's covered in each culture, because that is just silly. Rather, I'm talking abot the psychological and social effects, and about the drive to comply and the consequences of not complying.

Moreover, The photos go back and forth between women in places of worship (and nuns, of which there is no equivilant in Islam, as there are no male-priests either), and women in other daily life situations; in the street or field or social gathering. In almost all cultures visitng the place of worship has a dress of code which is different from what goes for other situations. An Irish catholic woman who would go in a pleasant summer day in a short-sleeve blouse and a skirt just below her knee, and willfully cover her head with a scarf as she enters the church where everyone there is at most a second cousin to her. So let's not go there.

Could anyone say that the traditinal Saidi or Fallahi dress of Egyptian women was not modest enough? Why do these women have to follow a dress coded marketed to them as the only god-approved one when in fact its just a national dress code of a neigbouring peoples? And even then not for all of those neighbours! I find this ridiculous; yet free is s|he who wants to be so.

Amre El-Abyad said...

Thanks for stirring up a contraversial issue as usual.

Higab has got its roots in Arab culture, look at the way tradtional women in Upper Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia are dreseed- they all have their black Hijab. Hence, one could quite arguably pose that it is- at an ultimate level though- basically a tradtional dress.

Unfortunately,the failure of he Egyptian Nasserite modrnisation project has paved the way for very conservative reactionary wave to take over Egyptian society. There, I don't blame Saudis , for Egyptian had always been at the forefront in terms of culture in the Arab nation.So, there is noway ever they would have been influenced by Saudis in this regard.

The boost to this entire medival wave came from the demagogic Persian revolution of the horrible freak Khomeini.

At the time, an unholly alliance leveled at surface between Americans Israelians, Iranians( Shah and Khomeini) . They all had one common clear enemy a progressive enlightened well- integrated or united Arab world; since it would turn upside down the world order and shift the centres of power to the Nile Euphrates line. For the provincial enemies Iran and Israel that would be devastating. Meanwhile, control over oil , will industralise the Arab world. For oil means control over supply, markets, global economic development......etc.

In this context Sadat of Egypt had no chpoice but to join in, and I dont blame him for our land was occupied.And Egypt couldn't resist without Nasser. For it was his charisma and leadership that boosting the singl weight of Egypt.

The worst enemy of Israel and imperialists is a modern , confident progressive Arab world. There, the Persian national interests of Iran masquarded in a pan islamic project coincided with the Israeli interests in destroying the enlightening Iraqi model of seventies and eighties.

Looking through the MB rhetoric and their newspapers ( Al-Shaab) and rhetoric, one could find that they are idealising Iran and its value. A very hypiocrytical stance, given the Iranian alliance with the U.S in Iraq and the horrendous horrible ethnic cleansing crimes and destruction Iran is perpetuating In Iraq. They basically want to sell the Idea of a presumbaly-Islamic revolution to Egyptians. There it is worth mentioning that one of the icon writers of the MBs-Fahmy Howaidy, goes off to Tehran every other month!!! And the hypocrite is polishing Iran'smurderous crimes and conspiracies against all Arabs- not just Iraq- and against Egypt in particular.

A mediaval version of Islamism is the best way to keep Arabs down. Look at the American and internatinal media, they use a pan Islamic discourse on addressing Arab issues- While they refrain form refering to Arabs or Arab world!!!! They opted to attack and invade the most educated and secualr Arab country, where they allied with the pan islamic theocratic, seemingly anti American Mullahs Iran!!!!!!!

Western media in general tend to deconstruct by direct and indirect means any pan Arab discourse. I am not surprised there, for pan Arabism is their clear enemy. And at cultural level anti-Arabism is subconsiously rooted in western collective mind- which is not the case for Iran.

To my opinion, the best way to counter that medival wave is to focus on the another Ideological feed to Arabs- a socialist, pan Arabist progressive ideology. It is the sole road to dignity, power, independence and progress; And that is the only way we could counter our enemies, who are all as one, as far as Arabs are concerned.

Also, I think that we should focus on Iran instead of Saudi Arabia as despite of the harms Saudis have caused the region, it is the only Arab foce that is standing up firmly to Iranian crimes, murders and conspiracies. In Iran for example, women get beaten up for not wearing the Hijab the right way. You tube is full of such disgusting clips.

finding mimo said...

In order to be objective I read Egyptiana's post several times and i found nothing pro or against hijab in it, I found it to be an invitation for tolerance and unity amongst women, alerting them of the more serious issues at hand rather than arguing about the head cover..!
now Fantasia and Egyptian chick do agree that many cultures have it but they just can't accept that our culture does and still call it a Bedouin dress code even though India and others are not Bedouin as far as we know.
as far as we can remember egypt always had head cover from Aswan to Giza and from Banha to Aexandria or that does not count, only Cairo and Alexandria had some form of different dress code
I will add to that, when I traveled to some European countries i saw that Spaniard wear it in rural areas so are the Greeks and the Italian(these are no Bedouin!!!)
I can understand the disagreements and I join the voice of egyptiana for tolerance both ways, and look what women and men can do to better their society. and not turn into a self hating society.

egyptian feminist chic said...

Wow!! so many opinions, and everyone making so many valid points!!

Amr, you mentioned that Saudi Arabia could never affect egyptian culture... what about how egyptians suddenly started dressing differently? it all started in 1973 saudi arabia withheld oil from the world to help egypt in the war... and they prospered afterwards, because oil prices jumped dramaticly.... egypt on the other hand may have won the war and gotten its land back, but economically, it was struggling to overcome the financial burden of the previous wars... add to that the emerging corruption and the population boom...

this all resulted in intelligent educated egyptians leaving egypt to look for work elsewhere, to send money home to their families so they can have better lives. egypt as a country supported that, because it meant more dollars were being spent in egypt, and they expected this to add to the financial boom of the newly liberated country...

in the mean time saudi arabia was getting richer and stronger, and they marketed what they knew best to gain even more power.... mainly religion, and not just any religion, but the extreme wahabi version of islam, that made sure they will always be in power, and everyone else will follow.... this caught on well with the egyptians who absorbed all of these ideas and practiced them , believing that what saudi does must be right, after all, it is the land of the ka3ba, and the prophet... there is no way they can be wrong,right?? so then the late 80's and ealy 90's rolled around, and saudi didnt need so many foreigners working there any more, so they sent most of them packing home.... egyptians came home with the foreign imported ideas, and the foreign dress code that we have never seen before... so basicly egyptians living in beduin societies, copied their dress code, and after years and years of being told that it is god's will they dress like that, they came home and worked very hard to convince others to follow their example.
in the mean time alazhar was getting funded by saudi as well... and its ideology was suddenly becoming more wahabi... remember when the little green korans suddenly were all over egypt?? everyone said these were a gift from saudi... so they were showering religious institutions with gifts and money, in exchange for folowing their ideology... and considering the financial mess in egypt, it worked.... sheikhs started appearing on tv promoting women covering their hair.... among other more rediculous ideas... all claiming that women are bad, and need to be hidden... when that didnt work, they changed it to a woman is like a jewel... she will be stolen if seen so she needs to be hidden....

then of course the fiasco of all the egyptian actresses who suddenly decided to "repent" and quit their jobs and covered their hair... i remember watching ART where they had an interview with soheir elbably, who said that after she covered her hair, she moved to saudi arabia, where she lives in a palace, and has maids, chauffeurs, and travels to london to go shopping with her daughter. who funded all of that?? of course you know it was saudi arabia!!!

now i agree with you that egypt has always been a cultural leader in the area, but the saudi ideology was not to change egyptian culture, it was to destroy it, and pretend it never existed... they want us to be ashamed of our culture... egyptians had the music, wahabi's forbid music. egyptians had movies and media, wahabis forbid that too.... egyptian cities were cosmopolitan, and tolerant of people's differences, wahabi ideology is not. egyptians respected women in the streets and treated them with respect as equals, wahabis felt that if women didnt wear a black tent and covered from head to toe, they deserved harrassment and rape and murder...

now after this multi-directional attack on egyptians and their culture, people are classified into good and bad.... egyptians who remained true to who they are are now bad, egyptians who changed their ways to conform to the wahabi ideology are good.. and peer pressure does wonders!!! the effect is like an avalanche, every day, more and more people follow the ideology, and the more people that follow, the more the pressure is on those who dont.

in short egyptian culture has now become a bad thing in egypt, that only the morally corrupt will follow.

i agree that saudi's cannot impose their culture onto egyptians, but they can impose religion!!! and what they did is change the way religion is interpreted to suit what they want and incorporated their culture in between the lines, and cf course, most people want to be good and go to heaven, so people changed right along with the religion, and what they were told it meant to be a muslim!

ultimatly, the problem is political and financial.... egypt was politically influential but poor, saudi had no influence and poorer..... once money came in, saudi used money to increase its plitical influence, and kill any other potential that may have existed in egypt...egyptians have gotten poorer due to all the wars, so it made things much easier for saudis to do!!

the problem with hegab is that it is a symbol of the loss of egyptian identity, influence and power... as well as the first step to taking women back a thousand years and losing all the rights they have fought so hard to get,so tolerance of a symbol of our defeat is not very easy to get used to.... when you see your country being attacked,you need to step up and fight and bring it back to its people, rather than tolerate those that want to destroy you!

i also wanted to add that although people in rural areas in other places wore something over their head, it was never to cover their hair completely, and if their hair shows it is not a problem.... they have room for change... clothes change over time, and these people will not be killed if they change their mind about what to wear!! in wahabi ideology, they changed hair into a sexual object, and if a strand of hair apears, under the head cover, it will be a disaster, and they refuse any form of change!!! so islamic head cover and non islamic covers are completely different.

besides, hegab is only the beginning... the worst is yet to come. niqab is next, and sooner or later it will be like afganistan, where women are forbidden from working,so there are no women doctors,and if a woman gets sick, she cannot go to a male doctor, so they just let her die, rather than recieve health care!!!!

So if you guys believe in tolerance, just how tolerant should we be?? when will we stand up and say no? if we are oppressed more every day, and then told it isnt culture, it is gods will, what will make people stop the oppression? what about all the pressure non hegabi women get from all the hegabis who follow you around telling you will go to hell if you dont dress like me? where is the tolerance there? what about when people threaten your life for believing something other than what you believe? where is the tolerance there? i think egyptian women have been so tolerant for so long,they have been trampled on and are losing ground day by day.. i am afraid that if people dont stand up for themselves and their country now, it will be too late... there will be no going back.

MechanicalCrowds said...

I almost threw up when I read Egyptiana's post comparing the nuns dress code to the hijab and making an argument out of that! Nuns are nuns, they're not common christians. Nuns work in monasteries and stuff, it's a job like a priest or a sheikh... etc. Comparing what the nuns wear to the public hijab and saying oh well it's all the same is soo wrong.

I'm not defending christianity or anything, I'm an atheist as you know. I just hate it when people make two different things the same by taking bad samples (ie nuns).

The main point of your post seems to be that the hijab is a cultural not a muslim thing, which you made a good case for. However, it appears that the hijab is spreading where islam is spreading. In other words, non-muslim but culturally similar women are not wearing hijab-like clothing. Christian women in the arab world for example do not wear it thought they are of the same culture. Maybe you meant to say that hijab had cultural 'origins'. I'm not sure about that one, I'm not a historian but it's a new one to me.

By the way, why are you ignoring the hadiths? There should be a lot of stuff for you to work around there.

I am just hoping that this light bulb would go off in your head and you could see what I see. The hijab notion is a purely patriarchal culture/religion thing. Whether it is the the middle eastern culture or islam, they are both very patriarchal. I mean it is MEN that want women to wear the hijab. It's not WOMEN that want to wear it or want other women to wear it. And when was the last time women made men wear something of their [women] choice??? Can you see it? Isn't it clear that men are making women wear hijab/burqa/etc cause they cannot deal with their hormones or jealousy of their wives??? It's crystal clear to me...

ps: you misspelled atheism :D

last of the mohicans said...

Will, the fact that so many people have taken interest in egyptiana's post shows how important it is. but it seems some of the critics passed the hijab issue and got into the Saudi influence on Egypt or that hijab is spreading where Islam is (should we uproot Islam as will) even some went as far as throwing up for they can not stand the word hijab.
the question now what do you propose for Egyptian women to have as a dress?! I'm sure tolerance is the answer..!!!
since some commentators appointed themselves as the spokes person in behalf of the Egyptian women arguing that all Egyptian women with hijab are forced to do so. i think the argument is purely false and it calls for an episode of throwing up.
and to pretend that Christianity does not have a head cover that's another false statement. and read what Paul said addressing the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 11:6
"For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
need i say more about that.
back to the Saudi influence that may be right, Rich countries always do, we in Egypt are more influenced by US McDonald's than Saudi kabsa should we talk about that or just welcome any thing western with joy. don't get me wrong i'm not for accepting influence from either one.
again egyptiana as i read her post was not promoting any thing one way or the other she merely was promoting tolerance and acceptance of both covered and uncovered but obviously from what i read egyptiana achieved something that she may never intended to, she made us discover the lack of tolerance with those who claim it.

Amre El-Abyad said...

Egyptian feminist chick..........

Having gone through your long post, I concieved that we are not communicating well. Apparently, you are muddling up means with ends. The Saudi influence on Egyptian labour and the new middle classs which was the outcome of the sixties tremndous social mobility, is to be attributed to their ideological vaccum, the dramatic deterioration of Egyptian state in all fields, and Sadat's unsustainable policies. He opened up Egyptian instituions for MBs with the blessings of Al-Saud, Americans and Israelians and Iran's Shah, in order to root out Nasserism and leftist anti imperial influence- I don't blame him, though, since putting up with plethora of difficulties and challenges Egypt was facing required a highly exceptional leader.

Later on, Israleians and the Khomeini's Iran allied themselves to halt the enlightening progressive Iraqi model which was going to be the locomotive of the Arab region. But Iran was defeated in 1988- so, there was no choice but to destroy Iraq and discredit its develomental line. Again I say, the worst enemy of colonials, Iranians and Israelians are a well integratyed or united progresssive enlightened Arab world. Therefore Egypt's Nasser and Saddam's Iraq were the worst enemies of Iran, Israel, U.S and Al-Saud.

Regarding beduins, there is a big difference between Saudi people and Al-saud. Also, the enemies of Arabs who are jealous of the thousands of their years old civilsations like Iran and Israel use the language you are using, in order to break apart the Arab world and dilute the Arabs self-conscious.

The semitic Arabs were babylonians and Somerians who spoke and ancient form of Arabic along with the mainly semitic(Arabs) Egyptians whose language is closely related to Arabic ( even more than coptic which is basically greek) invented civilsation from scratch. The entire history of Arab world is made up of successive settlemnts of semites from Arrabia in Iraq and Egypt. That is why we have always been one people since th dawn of history.

The last Arab wave in the 600 A.D liberated Egypt from the Greco-Roman cancer which had wiped out the ( Arab) pharoanic culture one thousand years before along with "Ethiopians" and "Persians", and enslaved the semitic Egyptians and converted them into servile population assgined to menial tasks- while sciense, wealth and power were monopolised by the Greek dwellers of cities who imposed their language on the semitic Egyptians. Also, the savage barabric Achaemenid Iranians( there is no such thing as Persians - they are different peoples with different tongues, Parthians, Sassanids.etc) sacked the Arabic Iraq in 500 B.C around the sme time Egypt was invaded by "Americans"( our enemies are always one) and mimicked the Iraqi Arab culture to create their unoriginal persian culture. However, in 600 A.D our both distant and recent ancestors and contemporary "cousins" the beduin "semitic" Arabs wiped out the Persian and greco-Roman dominace and integrated the knolwedge, learning, cultures and poeples of the semites into one Arabic civilisation that surpassed the GREEK classsics by far, and through the power of Islam transformed itself into a cosmopolitan movement that extended the semitc Arab influence as far as China and all over Peria.

مروة الزارع said...

As usual, the topic of very cool
But before I put the response I want two question
First: Are you a Muslim?
Second: If you are Muslim (hijab) dress Do?

Waiting answer


raaasa said...

"Really, what is the point of religion if you can't disapprove of other people?"

taken from an interview with Karen Armstrong.

egyptian feminist chic said...

Amr, I am not talking about Iraq, i am tallking about Egypt.I honestly dont know much about Iraqi history, so I cannot agree or disagree with what you say. But thanks for the info.

Regarding egyptians being arab... I am sorry, i dont understand what you are saying.... the first human populations were found in central africa, from there they moved north, and then into asia and beyond. The first actual civilization was started in egypt... you know the whole story of the north and the south that were united by the king mina "mowahed alkotreen" from there dynasties started and ended, and later more civilizations appeared, like the greeks, romans, byzantines etc. and these people came and invaded egypt...the last were the byzantines, who lost egypt to the arabs. i will not get into details about what happened, this is not relevant now... however, during that time, arabs lived in beduin tribes in the arabian peninsula, until islam started and made them stronger, and this is when they expanded the islamic/arabic nation and began conquering other countries including egypt.... i am sure some people travelled and maybe settled in egypt before these events, but to say that egyptians originated in the arabian peninsula is historically inaccurate.

the arab invasion of egypt was just that ... an invasion... as documented by history books which show how proud arabs were of robbing the riches of egypt and enslaving its people. it is true, they introduced islam into egypt, but their main purpose was to take egypt's wealth and resources, to make themselves more powerful,and they did it in the name of religion,and imposed the arbic language onto egyptians, and punished those who didnt use it...
i dont see how this makes egyptians arabs...

the following exerpts are from a post i read recently on another website discussing the arab invasion of egypt, so i copied it here for you to see:
ومن هذا المنطلق سخر عمرو بن العاص الاف الفلاحين في اعاده حفر قناه تراجان او قناه امير المؤمينين، كما سخر عبد الله بن ابي سعد بن ابي السرح صناع مصر لبناء الاسطول العربي و في العموم: كان المصريون يقومون بحفر القنوات وبناء الخطط و البيوت للساده العرب....بينما يكتفي هؤلاء الساده بصفتهم الفرسان اصحاب السيوف والخيول والجيوش باستهلاك الخيرات وانفاق الثروات"( هوامش الفتح العربي لمصر لسناء المصري ص78)

"كثيرا ما كانت العنجهيه تذهب بهم الي حد الرغبه في الاستخدام المباشر لثنائيه السياده والعبوديه ، وعدم الاكتفاء بالوضع العام لقوانين الاختلاط ، كما حدث مع هذا العربي الذي سخر ملاحا قبطيا لنقله عبر النهر بمركبه ، و حينما طلب القبطي اجره ، رفض العربي متذرعا بحق السياده الذي يخول له استخدام المصريين دونما مقابل" (هوامش الفتح العربي لمصر 78)

"...كان عمر يريد عمل القبط في مصر في الزراعه و الحرف و يؤدون الجزيه علي يد وهم صاغرون مما يعود بالخير العميم علي بيت مال المسلمين، دون ان يتقلدوا ايه وظائف اداريه"( هوامش الفتح العربي لمصر ص135)

"...والطبري يشير الي معاناه المسلمين اثناء حفر قناه امير المؤمينين في عمل من اكبر اعمال التسخير الجماعيه، و خوف عمرو بن العاص نفسه من هذا الوضع لان تسخير الاف في اعمال الحفر يسبب انكسار خراج مصر وخرابها، ولكن حسم ابن الخطاب دفع الي استمرار العمل في ظل تلك الظروف القاسيه حيث كتب اليه يقول:( اعمل فيه و عجل، اخرب الله مصر في عمران المدينه وصلاحها)"(نفس المصدر ص135)(نقلا عن الطبري كتاب تاريخ الكبري الجزء الرابع ص100)( يؤكد نفس الواقعه السيوطي في كتاب حسن المحاضره الجزء الاول ص 63)

انظروا معي هذه الجمله التي شاعت في رسائل بني اميه:

"أن مصر انما دخلت عنوه، و‘وإنما هم عبيدنا -المصريين- نزيد عليهم كما شئنا ونضع كما شئنا"(تاريخ الرسل والملوك للطبري ص106)------>>>> this was documented by ALTABARY!!!!!.... and other things tabary mentioned were:

ماقاله الطبري عن عمرو بن العاص عند رؤيته لمصر:

"ارضها ذهب ونيلها عجب وخيرها جلب ونساؤها لعب و مالها رغب وفي اهلها صخب وطاعتهم رهب وسلامهم شغب وحروبهم حرب وهم مع من غلب" هو دا اللي عجبه ف مصر؟؟؟ نساؤها لعب و ارضها ذهب؟؟؟

ونقرأ كيف وصف عمرو اهل مصر؟؟؟؟

"أهل مله محقوره وذمه مخفوره يحرثون بطون الارض ويبذرون بها الحب يرجون بذلك النماء من الرب لغيرهم ما سعوا من كدهم"
(المسعودي مروج الذهب و معادن الجوهر)
البدايه والنهايه لابن كثير القرشي ص166 :

"كثرت شكايات العرب بعد وفاه عمر بن الخطاب وولايه عثمان بن عفان من ظلم وجور عمرو بن العاص وان كثيرا منهم كانوا محصورين من ابن العاص حتي عزل عثمان عمرا، وولي عبد الله بن ابي سرح علي خراج مصر فقال ابن العاص ساخطا:"ااكون كماسك بقره وغيري يحلبها؟" ووقع خلاف كبير بين ابن العاص وابن ابي السرح حتي كان بينهما كلام قبيح، فأرسل عثمان ليجمع لابي السرح (شقيقه في الرضاعه) أمر الخراج والحرب والصلاه، وبعث لابن العاص يقول له:"لا خير لك في مقام عند من يكرهك فاقدم لي" فانتقل عمرو بن العاص في نفسه امر كبير من عثمان".( ايضا يذكرها ابن عبد الحكم فتوح مصر و اخبارها ص 178)

وماذا عن السرائر و العبيد؟؟؟

من هوامش الفتح العربي لمصر لسناء المصري (عن الطبري كتاب الطبري الجزء الرابع ص 105)

"....والطبري يذكرنا بأن الجيش العربي الفاتح قد اسر اعدادا كبيرا من المصريين، وان صفوف العبيد من القبط امتدت من مصر الي المدينه، فينقل عن رجل من اهل مصر_او بمعني اصح عربي سكن ارض مصر_، -وكان في جند عمرو بن العاص اثناء الفتح-انه قال لما فتحنا بابليون تدنينا قري الريف فيما بيننا و بين الاسكندريه قريه فقريه حتي انتهينا الي بلهيب _وهي منيه الزناطه بالبحيره ومحلها اليوم فزاره بمركز المحموديه يقال لها قريه الريش وقد بلغت سبايانا المدينه ومكه واليمن"(نفس الكلام كتاب فتوح البلدان للبلاذزي القسم الاول ص253)

Arabs also destroyed the alexandria library... and this is documented in كتاب تراجم الحكماء by القاضي جمال الدين ابو الحسن
also in 334 الغدير 6/301-302 والفهرس لابن النديم ص
So basicly, egyptians were treated as slaves.... we dont learn this in school, but this information is found in the above referenced books... so check them out, and see if as an egyptian you still consider yourself an arab!
some arabs settled in egypt after that, as well as some british, greek, french....etc. but no one tried to enforce their identity onto egypt like the arabs did. now it is hundreds of years later, and the arabs still have control over egypt and still deny the existance of a separate egyptian culture... they try to mix them all together to say we are one, when in fact we are not.

i do not mean to offend anyone, i am merely stating that we are different peoples. as for nasser, he arabized egypt for political reasons, and sadat freed the MB for political reasons as well.... i think that was the cause of the fundementalism that egypt is suffering from until now... as well as the feeling of egyptians that they need to be more "arab" since they force feed us this information in school until we are old enough to think on our own! however i dont think this is relevant to our discussion...

again,i am not anti-islam.... i am a muslim, but i am antiarabization of our cultures and ideas... and hegab is one of these arabizations.

اجندا حمرا said...

العزيزه فانتازيا

كل سنه و انتي طيبه و هابي نيو يير ياجميل

موضوعاتك دايما في العمق كده

شوفي ياجميل الصور الللي العزيزه ميس ايجيبسيانان نزلتها مع الموضوع معبره و مجهود تشكر عليه و برضه الصور بتاعتك معبره و لو جمعنا الأتنين حنلاقي ان تغطيه الرأس عاده عند جميع الطوائف الدينيه فيه اللي بيتبعها و فيه اللي لأ

لازم الناس تفكر انها قبل ماتغطي راسها لازم تعرف تعاليم دينها

الدين مش تغطيه راس و بس و مش تأديه فرائض و بس الدين معامله اولا

زي مثلا في شغلي لسه واحد زميلي كان بيحكيلي عن منقبه تفتقر ابسط قواعد العنايه باسنانها يعني الدين قال كده؟قال نهمل في نظافتنا الشخصيه؟

المشكله ان اللي بيطبق الدين بيطبق جزء ممكن يكون باين قدام الناس عشان يقولوا ده كذا و كذا لكن ماهو الموقف ده اذيه برضه للناس اللي مالهاش ذنب تشم ريحه كريهه صح؟فاهماني يافانتازيا؟

لازم نمشي صح و نطبق الدين صح و مانركزش في نقطه معينه و نسيب الباقي

مشكوره ياجميله علي الجهد المبذول في الموضوع و انشاء الله تفضلي دايما متألقه و تحققي كل اللي نفسك فيه في العام الجديد
كل سنه و انتي طيبه صديقتي

The Alien said...

you know my opinion about all this so i will just say one thing, i think the women haed cover has nothing to do with Islam or any other religion. it is something related to the male culture. it is a symbol for the men controle over women.

last of the mohicans said...

The Egyptian chic now shows that hijab is not the only issue she has,
she went through great efforts to get some anti Arab books in order to prove a point, and bought the idea that the line of Egyptian prisoners of war (there was no war in actuality) made a line that was from Egypt to Medina (2000 kilometers)pay attention to that..!! and Egypt was occupied by the byzantine army at that point anyways..!
and if the Arabs were so bad how come the christian are still here in the millions compare that to the christian conquest to the new land (north and South America) where the people were massacred and completely wiped out.. you will not see a single native when you walk the streets of north America and you know what happened to them?! they were massacred by none other than the the christian Pilgrims much for love!!!
so now Egyptian chic problem obviously runs much deeper than debating hijab doesn't it?!

Fantasia said...

ahmed al-sabbagh,
happy new year. thanks for your visit and your sweet compliment. glad you could admire the article even before reading it. hope you would come again to read it and tell me what you think.

Fantasia said...

dearest feminist chic,
WOW!! i mean really.. you amazed me! hope i am not too late. i have been following the discussion with much interest. i am so thankful that you took the time and made the effort to say many of things that i would have had to explain. you almost said everything.. nothing left for me to say, actually. i just loved how you exposed all facts.. spoke your mind freely and directly. you certainly rock, dear.
i would only like to comment on one point. you know that i agree with you totally. and the reason why i don't support hijab is explained, both, in my post and in your comments as well.
there remains one point to clarify, then.. why am i not against it?
1- cause i can see why women reached this state of vulnerability which made them constant followers, and even supporters, of any socially imposed set of rules or traditions.
2- i gotta respect their attempt to defend their conviction with whatever i am not convinced with. there is no point in pressuring them even more. i can be hard on them at times.. but i also have to be understanding and appreciative.
3- i can't force girls/women who believe in hijab to see things through my point of view or else condemn theirs. they would have easily accepted this view and welcomed it, as it is for their own good. thus, having not done so, means that there are other considerations which causes them to stick to what they believe. in which case, all i can ask for is their own understanding and respect in return. each of us has to abide by decency and tolerance, without seeking to twist the other's arm.
4- my pure aim in life is to see women able to shed away their minor differences in order to be able to see the bigger picture and fight for the rights which they are denied by patriarchy. once they regain their self-esteem and individuality, women will be free to choose.. and they will no longer have to do something against their will, or against their own good, and then seek to justify it. freedom is the key.. and it will never be possible if we concentrate on the outcomes of oppression while disregarding their causes.
5- the first step in liberating women is to free their minds.. guide them to find their own voices and their personal identities. they have to stop parroting what our male-dominated society tells them. they have to seek knowledge on their own to be able to appreciate its value. i can only be a facilitator.. someone who can guide them to the first step of the staircase. once they reach it, they have to proceed on their own. there is no point in giving them my own work and effort in accumulating knowledge so that they can parrot it instead. no, no. they have to suffer.. they have to go out there and look for the knowledge by themselves if they really care to know it. we didn't find things easily.. nobody gave us our freedom.. nobody handed us the truth on a silver plate. that's why we grew up to become the women we are today. if the mind is not free, knowledge will be useless. free thinkers are self-made, and must always be self-made in order to be really free.

i hope you didn't get from what i said about not rejecting hijab that i was calling others to swallow it up as a matter of fact. you know this is not what i think. if everyone gave up to what is already established, then we would be stuck with the status quo forever. however, the role of change agents is not to change people or push them to another side. change agents are only agents.. their role stop at pointing out to where they see the good of humanity to be. those who have the vision to look ahead and see, will realize where their benefit is. those who are short-sighted will need glasses. your role is not to buy them those glasses, but mainly to let them realize that they are short-sighted and that it is better for them to get a pair of glasses.

i can never tell you how happy i was while reading your wonderful articles/comments. you did such a wonderful job, to which i can never pay enough admiration. thank you for this sincere dedication and effort.

Fantasia said...

dear raaasa,
hope you are enjoying the discussion going on as much as i do. liked your quote from armstrong. have a great day.

Fantasia said...

dearest egyptiana,
thanks for your detailed reply. i hope i didn't upset you in any way. and if i did, then i must have been misunderstood.
before i start replying to the points you mentioned, i'd like to express my fear that we are deviating away from the topic at hand.
dear, my post is not about hijab. i don't know where the confusion came from.. but i explained it many times that i am only expressing my own view of hijab to show that i have reasons not to support it.. but at the same time i am not attacking it or calling others to reject it. i said clearly that, like many others who share the same view, i am being attacked for not wearing hijab. people don't care to know if i have reasons for that or not. they don't care to know if i am convinced with not wearing it or not. they give themselves the right to say that i am wrong, and that i should wear it.. while i never did so with anybody.
my point was not to discuss hijab at all. i told you in my comment on your blog and i repeated it twice here.. my aim is to establish a balanced basis for discussion when we talk about different views, or explaining two different sides of an argument.
your post supposed that all those who support hijab are peaceful, pious, convinced women.. while on the other hand, all those who do not support it are aggressive, forceful, and intolerant attackers.
i only meant to say that this is not true. when you place a moderate version of hijab supporters on one side of the scale, you should place a moderate version of hijab nonsupporters on the other side. otherwise, we would be following the same pattern that others use to promote for their causes without really caring to reach a kind of understanding or deliver a balanced insight. and i certainly don't believe that this is what you intended to do, or else i wouldn't have bothered to make this point while refering to your post. i did so because i know that we agree on the main issues, and i only meant to draw your attention to the form you chose for your argument, which can be seen as following the usual stereotype of oppositions.
i used an example in my comment to clarify matters.. saying that the west puts moderate muslims with fanatics to come up with a general image of all muslims. we disapprove of that while the majority of us, automatically, tend to do the same while defending their points of view. we assume that all supporters of hijab are moderate people (which is not true) and then we suppose that all those who don't support it are hostile attackers (which is also untrue). we should be clear about the groups we are comparing. if we choose to talk about moderate people on one side, we should compare them to moderates on the other side.
my post is not about hijab.. this is not the point. please read again the last three paragraphs of my post to be sure of what i aimed to say.
wishing you a happy new year. all my best regards.

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Fantasia,
Harmony of thoughts again. I could not put the synopsis related from my book "Islam and Secularism' here as I thought it will take huge space. I put it in a post here

It adds nothing new almost to what you said marvellously here, but it only proves a point: Knowing what you know, understanding what you do, and adopting the thinking manner you adopt in your age, makes you one of a kind. Regards

Fantasia said...

dear egyptiana,
as to accusing me of attacking hijab, which i was very careful to stress was not true.. i'd like to explain the example that you misinterpreted as an attack.
first, allow me to untangle the mixed threads between hijab and islam's advisory guide as to how women are encouraged to dress.
you said, " but hijab is not just about covering hair, hijab is not just the veil… it is as you presented cover the body in a way that doesn’t seduce men, or attract their attention, any other opinion is egtehad."
hijab.. the word hijab.. is only used once by God as i explained in my post. it meant a curtain.
the hijab of the human sheikhs meant the head cover. they didn't care if women abided by all the demands of God in her dress without covering her hair, and sometimes her face.
so, the hijab of God is a curtain, only.
the hijab of sheikhs is hair/face veil, only.
the word hijab in its both its divine and human meanings has nothing to do with what covers the body.
women's wear dress instructions does not include the word hijab. and it does not even say the extact body parts or the degree of coverage required. it is relative from time to time, according to what people agree on. if in a certain society at a certain time people agree that a woman's knee is sexually seductive and should not be shown.. then God instructs muslim women who live in this society that their knees should be covered.
so, when you say i attack hijab.. what exactly do you mean? when i said, "How can God order a Muslim woman who lives in equatorial Africa (in Kenya or Congo or Ughanda) to wear hijab or niqab? She will be committing suicide if she did! Besides, with global warming - which we know is a fact - the Earth's temperature is expected to rise.. which will make poor countries, which don't have proper homes, not to mention air-conditions, a living hell. Don't you think God knows about that?"

am i attacking hijab? i am saying that, from my own point of view, i don't think God the merciful would demand that poor women, who live in hot countries at the time of global warming, would wear what the sheikhs claim to be a hijab. where is the attack? this is my own reasoning, on which i decided not to wear a hijab. and i am telling people that i have logical reasons behind this conviction do that they won't attack me for not wearing it. what wrong did i do?
why did you go on word for word trying to prove that it doesn't make sense?
in old times the hair cover was put loosly to protect against the sun.. it was not tightly wrapped around the neck as nowadays. how is the hijab of nowadays not causing women to suffer in summer? all my aunts wear hijab and they all complain of the heat in summer and the amount of sweat under the heavy fabrics, long sleeves, and hijab tied to their heads all day, because they work, my dear.
rich women in saudi arabia do not work. they stay home where they take off their hijab. moreover they have a seperate floor in their big houses where they stay when visitors come to their homes. female visitors join them in this place.. and they call it magles. this is the harem or haramlek of old times. but the small appartments of egypt, make women wear the veil at home most of the time because they can't hide away from visitors. they serve the guests, bring them beverages, they open the door to the makwagy, zabal, bawab, mo7asel elkahraba..etc.
when i said that africa does not have proper homes, i meant proper buildings in general. women who work even in a sheltered place, away from the sun don't have any access to air conditions. homes in africa are like huts, they mostly show who is inside. there are no floors.. 90% of homes are ground level. what are we discussing really?
are we truly discussing whether hijab will make their lives difficult or not? i surely don't understand!
we both have the same aim dear. i see hijab as an outcome, not the cause of women problems. that's why i don't discuss it. i was only talking about the basis for any balanced, fruitful discussion.
hope this time i am really clear. and hope that you see that i am not contradicting myself in any way. thanks for your time. best regards.

egyptian feminist chic said...

Fanta... I understand your point.and actually i agree with you... It is just that as an egyptian muslim woman, you go get so much pressure from every hman being walking the face of the earth,it pushes you to defend yourself... and ignoring being bullied into dressing in a certain way did not make people stop... i have found that the best way to have people stop nagging you is by proving my point of view is legitimate.... if i came out as trying to shove my ideas down people's throat, i apologize, this is not what i have intended.

in the end, every woman has a right to choose to wear what makes her feel comfortable...

MOHICAN.... why are you attacking me personally? you dot know me, and you dont know who i am... i have posted excerpts from a very respectable arab writer.... ALTABARY.... do you have something against altabary? arabs unanimously agree he is telling the truth, this is why he is famous, and streets and schools have been named after him. So no altabary is not anti arab... and he is my reference! and he never said arabs killed and wiped out egyptians, he said they enslaved them and stole their money, and the egyptian wealth, so the existance of egyptians now does not contradict his writings aand the documentation of history.

and it was altabary's documentation of history that states that egyptians were abused and used as slaves.All i did was quote him!!! the book's name and pages were also stated so you can verify what you read.

would you rather people close their eyes and not find out the truth?? i am afraid egyptians are being cheated out of their heritage and culture. we a egyptians need to stand up for ourselves. if you disagree with me, please discuss it in a civil manner as to why you do, and it would help to have references rather than what we here from others. and I would appretiate it if you dont attack me personally, but rather discuss the differentpoints of view.

Amre El-Abyad said...

With all due respect to the great effort you have put into the comments. I am afraid your facts are not correct. It is not a matter of different opinions as I am talking about undeniable facts.

1) Man originated form central Africa. True indeed! But when ? That was one million years or so ago when homo sapiens had became distinct from the closest primates ( higher apes)

2) Ancient Egypt clinically died in 900 B.C when the Ethiopians sacked Egypt and settled in. They followed by Libyans and Persians. The fatal blow came from the Greeks who built cities as far as Aswan settled in and imposed their language, alphabet and culture on Egypt. The last breadth of ancient Egyptian language was done by the Eastern Christian church. As the Romans adopted Christianity, in order to subdue the unruly Germanic tribes in Europe. Thus, they considered any non Greco-Latin heritage to be PAGAN. Christians engaged in a wild campaign to kill those who use the old tongue and destroy the monuments. According to all Roman historians , the last script of ancient Egyptians was inscribed in 400 A.d OR SO IN Abou Simbel, t where sign of a violent destruction of the writings are still obvious.

3) Ancient Egyptians were a n ancient form of Arabs, their language is one of the ancestors of Arabic . According to Dr Gamal Himdan the author of the “personality of Egypt” Ancient Egyptians had 100,000 common words with Arabic . Moreover, all linguistics with no exception acknowledge that ancient Egyptian had the same structure as Arabic- sentence starts with a verb, a feminine ends with “At”……….etc So, given that Arabic is the most recent of Semitic languages, one is quite justified to state hat ancient Egyptian is one of the ancestors of Arabic. A fact sustained by the following:

Yemen which was the first incubator of what is now known as Arabic is actually a melting point for Egyptians, Mesopotamians and other Semitic groups.

check the literature of banished Egyptians into the desert, or the histories of the several groups in north western Arabia where they used to speak an ancient form of Arabic which was almost Hieroglyphic....or these of the various Mesopotamian groups pushed to the desert by the action of ammorites ( Northern Arabians later on) invasion, or the Akkadian North Eastern Arabs. In Arabia, prior to the oral poetic history of Arabs, they had only some vague folk tales about pharaohs, Sumerian and ammorite kingdoms. Bingo!

Pharoanic, Babylonian , Canaanites ( the intermediate link between peninsula Arabs and ancient Egyptians) all bear considerable resemblance to the more recent Arabic language which is a mix of Egyptian, Babylonian and Aramaic languages.

Ancient Egypt was made up of numerous Semitic settlements at different intervals- one in the pre dynastic era, several in the old kingdom, the modern kingdom ..etc The same goes for the parallel sedentary civilisation- Mesopotamia.
In Pharoanic Egypt, for instance- the mummies from pyramid builders era revealed astonishing resemblance to their contemporary Mesopotamian types. Pre-dynastic Egyptian pottery shared many elements in common with Sumerian one....etc .

Just have a look at the As for what is called the Arabs form the Arabian peninsula. the judo Arabian mythology conceives Ismail the grandfather of the Arabians to be the son of an Egyptian MOTHER HAGER and a banished IRAQI IBRAHIM!!!!
so from the very first beginning and at a sub conscious mythological level, Arabism is a noble unifying project.

4) Apparently you are restricting your argument to a pseudo-scientific racial discourse ( I am not against racism myself) so for the sake of argument I shall follow your lines and present you a group of scientific genetic studies made by Europeans, Americans as well as Egyptians: which states that ancient Egyptians genetically were Semites which is the same as middle eastern and Arabs ( Persians are not middle eastern they are a different racial group- a mix between Indians and Aryans) .

5) Also it appears to me that you tend to overlap Race with ethnicity with culture. And you tend to focus on a single historical incident which took part in 600 A.D, isolate it from all the relevant cultural and historical contexts- while you totally disregard the fact that history is a dynamic continuous mu near multi-dimensional process. The Arabic wave of 6oo A.D integrated all the ancient near eastern cultures into a single united Arabic civilisation, that restored to the region its authentic identity and cleansed the Greco-Roman and Persian dirt from the region.

6) regarding the historical reference you selectively picked, first of all Arabs meant by Copts a group of people called the Bashmoories or “Bashmooryeen” in Arabic which was group of Greek settlers in Egypt who fought the Arabs for 200 years. However, you forgot to refer to what

Amre Ibn Al-Aaas who said Egyptian are the most kind of all people and they are the closest to Arabs……

However, one can’t deny that there were some excesses, but that is only natural when a new regime is emerging. The picture changes when Egypt totally melted and recrytallised into its eternal Arabic identity. Also, I would like to remind you that after Amr , successive Arab waves arrived into Egypt maybe until the 19th century. Yet the biggest wave which finally and totally Arabised Egypt and North Africa came with the “Banu Hilal” and “Banu Selim” Arabs during the Fatimid state

Amre El-Abyad said...

Now leaving aside all the previous argument which I set out just to expose you to the bigger picture: Now let’s discuss what is more important the status quo and the future:

Egypt is Arabic in language culture and geopolitics, and any attempt to play with that will be disastrous to its weight and future. And it will empower regional competitors like Iran and Israel on behalf of Egypt. It is only the enemies of Egypt- Persians, Israelians and colonials who temper with that fact. They actually do so by taking advantage of a narrow-minded petrified chauvinistic portion of Egyptians.

Now let’s examine the Arabic feature of the region:

Well, Arabism is a living culture and civilisation that is spread in the region from Morocco to Iraq.

what do Arabs in North Africa, Egypt and the Levant have in common?

1) A common language which- unlike English or French that are spoken by different groups all over the world- is not similar to any other living language ( the only living Semitic language). The people who speak that language stretch over the same region in the world that is separated from the non Arab world by mountains and seas.....

2) A common history, in ancient times ancestors of Arabs created first world civilisations in Levant, Egypt Iraq that interacted and exchanged dominance over each other. the value system and culture in the ancient Arab world shared more common elements than that that existed among the very different Indo-Iranian peoples in the Iranian plateau ( Persians are a collective term that refers various groups of people who spoke different languages coming from a common indo-Iranian origin- Achaemenids and Parthian barbarians as well as Sassanids, they were always united by the strongest of them that is why Persian was an empire) or Chinese provinces in china

3) common religion. For Christians- Coptic, syrianic and Assyrian churches are closer to each other than they are to Catholic or protestant ones- the rest are Muslims of course.

4)common culture: people in the Arab world listen to the same songs and watch the same movies and read the same novels. Social structure o different Arab countries is the same.

5) compare the Arab world to India or China and you will find out that the variations and differentials among Arabs are far less significant than those that exist among Indians and Chinese. for example in India they speak 1500 languages, many of them are of a different origin.

6) more or less, a homogenous Semitic stock of people. And Semitism is basically a cultural term we might as well us the term Mediterranean stock.

7) common threats and common enemies- Israel, colonials and Iran.

Amre El-Abyad said...

Forgot to mention, folk tales and poets all over the DELTA AND UPPER EGYPT recite poets and epics of Arab heoes like Al-Zeer salem and Abou zied Al-Hilaly or Sief Al-Yazan. I guess with reference to anthropolgy that tells a lot about th identity of Egypt.

On another note, that mohican guy is not me in way whatsoever. I am totally sure that they are trying to discredit my argument.


last of the mohicans said...

No. I didn't attack you personally ms.Egyptian Chic, where did i do that?! I was merely stating the fact that you deviated from the original subject of hijab to the Arabs and whether we Egyptian at Least some of us have Arab roots or not?! so I was still on the subject..!!
I think Mr. El-abyad answered that very eloquently.
as for being civil I would consider that an emotional error in your part and I will just consider that it didn't happen so we can concentrate on the subject at hand and not the individuals debating it.

Amre El-Abyad said...

sorry there was an error in the link I provided the previous one is the corect one.

Fantasia said...

that was my point exactly when i discussed my view of hijab. thank you. you said it briefly and to the point. why are women who are originally conservative and dress modestly be forced to wear this traditional outfit? i wonder, just like you. i can't tell whoever wants to wear it that she shouldn't. it's her choice after all. but why am i being forced all the time to abide by it?
reducing religion into an outfit is not doing any good, neither to religion itself nor to the people who are forced to wear this head cover. and nobody can go around, in metros for instance, telling women to take their hijab off.. but it is the opposite that usually happens. and it is exceeding all limits.. people who do so are inconsiderate.
so, in addition to be bullied by such persons, as EFC has kindly noted, i am also being accused of attacking those who support hijab (which i never did) only because i myself refuse to wear it!
thanks for your comment. wishing you a happy new year.

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é . Um abraço.

egy anatomist said...

I was taken in the first place with the art in yr post Fanta Hanem! You have a distinguished artistic eye that adds enjoyment to anything being discussed even if it wasn't delihtful by nature. I mention this point cuz I believe that it's not sufficient to anything to be able 2 influence to be good, it must "seem" good as well!

Regardless the main root of the whole thing between u and Egyptiana Hanem, I do think that hegab is an outcome not a cause. I see fashion as an instrument through which the society expose the way it thinks and interacts with life. When Egypt retrieves parts of its influence in its region, when Egyptian middle class rises from the swamp of economic problems and gets some time for practicing its historical role as a change agent, when the third wave of petrodollar attack cools down, when all these things happen, hegab will be shifted to other dress code. Till this happens, I think that we should spread the ideas of secularism so that a strong progressive base could be at place at the right time. Concentrating on hegab has become a sensitive issue that never be dealt with reason. When the people are poor and uneducated, sociology descends to the level of religionizing even head scarves.

Accept my best wishes with a happy and prosperous new year.

Fantasia said...

dear all,
i will continue to post my individual replies which i didn't have time to finish to today. but i noticed that the main point of argument now has diverted to race, arabs, arabism and the possible hope in unity as suggested by dear blogger amre al-abyad..
although i included the iranian dress as another invading threat.. i still think that the wahhabi invasion is much more powerful and destructive because of its direct attack.

amre, before i reply to your comments.. i need to ask you about the possibility of a socialist, progressive pan-arabism in the presence of the monarchies of the gulf! how can those oil kingdoms be willing to turn to socialism?!!
moreover, how can their insistence on their fundamentalist ideology pave the way to any progressiveness whatsoever?
not to mention their hostility towards us.. their envy of our long history and civilization.. their desire to take revenge for what mohamed ali did with the wahhabi movement.. their own plans to spread their control on egypt, being the heart of the region.. and the motives they have for wipping out egyptian "pagan" history and the fanatic dreams of a 2nd islamic fat7 of egypt!!

i am sorry to ask everybody who doubts any of the things i mentioned above to please check this video on youtube:

this is what saudis think of egypt.. and they are not making any effort to hide it. i can provide many articles published in saudi newspapers and magazines which spread the same ideas with the exact same insulting manner.
no country served saudi arabia like egypt, and no people helped them more than the egyptians.. still, that is what they think of us.. of you and me and the one million egyptians working there to modernize their desert. that's the way they thank us.
please people.. we wasted many years on this arab unity thing. we invested too much in it.. and we get nothing in return but hatred and humiliation. i believe that israel itself doesn't hold as much hostility towards us as those gulf people.. and for no reason whatsoever.. just their blacke hearts that are full of jealousy.
iran is another danger, i agree.. but those enemies disguised as friends have already broken into our gates. what more shall we wait for?

Anonymous said...

I thought this was about hijab!!!!!!!
So now saudi is our enemy and Iran is our enemy?! .. that leaves us with one loyal ally in the region..Israel..!! common people get a grip.

egyptian feminist chic said...

hi amr, i just read your response, and i have been reading about the origin of ancient egyptians....i have seen studies saying they were caucasians from europe, blacks from africa, semites from asia, and the most likely a primarily indigenous process!! so to say they came from the arabian peninsula is not accurate . here's a link you might like to read

however what i found to be unianimously agreed upon was that modern egyptians are genetically similar to ancient egyptians, which means egyptians are not similar to arabs, but similar to ancient egyptians!!!

---> one more question i would like to ask... arabs all believe they are decendants of the tribes in the arab peninsula, and everyone knows his/her own tribe... which tribe do egyptians come from, if they are arabs?? and if they do not descend from these tribes, then how could they be arab?

another thing...sharing a language does not make us all a similar race.
watching the same media is because egypt excelled in that aspect, so arabs imported the egyptian media for their viewing pleasure..... it still doesnt make us arab.( besides they are trying very hard now to kill egyptian media by making it haram)

common religion still does not change our race... we have common religions because we are close geopgraphicly , but that should not make us arab.

regarding old poetry that sings the splendour of the arab invaders... poetry is not history... many poems and music have been a way to make people aprove of their opressors or their rulers... ( remember mubarak's song... "na3am na3am men gowa al2alb... na3amn a3am na3am na3am ben2olha behob" it doesnt mean egyptians loved the current regime, or they dont wnat change or they feel safe and secure... it doesnt mean anything.... it just means the media wants to brainwash us into believing certain things that are not true... the same goes for the old poetry...
historians are another story.. they record history rather than try to calm down an angry nation, or kiss up to the rulers.

the other point i wanted to make was... there were millions of egyptians, and a few thousand arabs... even if some arabs married some egyptians, egyptians can never become predominantly arab through marriage...Also although ancient egypt stopped at 900B.C. it doesnt mean egyptians ceased to exist... they still existed, but the political structure was no longer there due to the serious of invasions that happened over time.

the point now is we are turning from a cosmopolitan modern society into an opressive narrow minded one, and it is caused by the notion that we need to be arab... although arabians do not think of us as arabs, and they are right.. we are not, no matter what nasser said! after going through so many invasions, and mixing with so many civilizations, egypt emerged as a unique nation , wih a unique idiology.... which works out so much better than the opressive arab ideas... no matter which race egyptians originated from, i just wish they would remain true to themselves and embrace who they are, rather than follow what arabs say and think...

amr i suppose there are so many versions of the origin of egyptians, that your theory may be right or mine maybe right, or we may both be wrong... but the conclusion is that egyptians have not changed... the current egyptians are the descendants of the pharoes, and not the arab tribes in the arab peninsula..
now if only we stop copying them, and enforcing their dress code onto women ( notice how egyptian men dont wear the saudi head dress, but women will go to hell if they dont wear it!)

regardless of our points of view, i am impressed with what you have to say, i actually read a lot in order to keep up with you, and fully understand what you had in mind.... thanks for the interesting conversation

Amre El-Abyad said...

All Arabic people from Morocco to Iraq have very sismilar gene frequancies as they have been mixing over tens thousands of Years.

The full Arabisation of Egypt took part in the 9th and 10 th century with arrivals of millions of Banu Hilal, Bnau selim and Fazara Arabs. Yet still I am sure that would have never made a difference because Egyptians had always been Arabs, even before Mena Narmer.

On another note, Marking down national identiies using genetic studies is not only outdated, but also not quite scientific, given the high level of scientific uncertainties associated with such studies.

Finally, I have to point out that Arabic culture is anti-christ archetype in wstern civilsations- thus most writings about Arabs are uite biased and full of fallcies, especialy popular sources like wikipedia.....etc. Sadly enough, the miserable cultural, politcal and social state of the Arab world is rendering us defencless against those who are keeping us down. Here It is imporatnt to differentiate between individuals and cultures, I for insy´tance have many real friends from th U.S and Europe, but that has got nothing to do whatsoever with Darwinistic conflict of cultures.

I complement you for not resorting to perconal issues or cheap shots. Hats off!

MerMaid said...

Dear Fantasia
I beleive in every word u told in ur post....
But dear..what about the Ayasin The Holy Quran Telling muslim women to wear a Hijab??
and how u see the Hijab should be?
If it was an order and obligatory to put i dont think that we can object to God and say No.
I dont disagree with u ...i just need some answers,,,,

wish we can be friends and accept me as afriend of ur Blog...
U can also visit mine
They are 3...only two i keep on visitind and publishing posts on,
Showayet kalam
7alet sa3ada

Fantasia said...

amre al-abyad,
waiting for your responses to the questions i asked. have a nice day.

Fantasia said...

finding mimo,
there is really no need for anybody to defend egyptiana. i wish you had read my post.. if you had done so, you would have discovered that i agree with her. she is a dear friend of mine, so i would never think of attacking or criticizing her.
also all the points you raised have their answers in the post. please care to read it if you wish to comment on it. thanks for passing by.

Fantasia said...

mechanical crowds,
well, off record, i just wanna add that christian women used to cover their heads during the middle ages.. they also wore long tunics with long sleeves and collars covering the neck. they also covered their hair in puritan america.
that's not our issue anyway.
when i said hijab is a traditional dress code, i was actually referring to its origins. and i totally agree that the reason why it was linked to islam and why it is being imposed up till now is the patriarchal ideology. i don't believe hormones played any role in making men decide for women what they should wear. it is far more complicated than that.
i didn't mention hadiths because my post is not originally about hijab, but about the misconceptions and false stereotypical image of secularists in our society.
sorry for the typo.. i try to revise my posts as carefully as possible, but with long ones it becomes so difficult to make sure that nothing was left out.

Fantasia said...

last of the mohicans,
seriously, i don't know who you are talking to.. are just you asking and replying to yourself? besides, it seems that you haven't cared to read a single paragraph of the post that you are supposedly commenting on!
and what sort of question that?: "what do you propose for Egyptian women to have as a dress?!"
you know what.. we propose that they wear bikins.. i think that's what you wanna suggest, so i am cutting a long way short for you.
what the hell is going on? i mean, if you don't care to read, why do you care to write a comment? and why are you so rude in talking about others whom you don't know, mohican? and why on earth do you suppose that someone should propose a dress for women to wear??? are those women brainless? are they incapable of choice? don't they have any kind of will or say in what they wish to wear?
and why aren't we asked to propose something for men to wear? what if we propose that they wear potato bags? will they fulfill our wish?

i think we all know now who has got issues to deal with. so please, spare us. your fellow mohicans are calling on you to join them.. so you'd better get yourself into a time machine instead of talking about 21st century which don't belong to.

Fantasia said...

dear marwa,
yes, i am muslim. i'm not sure i understood your second question.. but if you mean to ask whether or not i wear hijab.. the answer is no.
looking forward to your response.

Fantasia said...

dearest agenda,
happy new year and wishing you all the best in every single day of it.
thanks for your motivating words. glad you liked this post which seems to be generating much controversy.
i can't agree more with you, agenda. appearances are being stressed and forcibly imposed on people in a way which threatens the real essence of everything. the same kind of threat is facing a religion which is reduced to an outer appearance. we have never witnessed this huge amount of corruption, crime, sexual abuse, violence, intolerance, or sectarianism before hijab/niqab invaded egypt as the only acceptable outfit for muslim women. such a narrow view of religion which only places a very high value on cloth.. and the more this happens, the more the heaps of cloth are overlapping, buring true ethics and the soul of religion underneath them.
the example you mentioned is not a single incident by the way. those who ride the women's vehicle in the metro would understand what i mean. although cleanliness is part of faith, and it is also demanded as a requirement before praying. so, these women are not only hiding their neglect of personal hygien with what they wear, they are hiding their ignorance with the very basics of religious demands.
been some time since i commented on your blog.. forgive me.. i am too busy. but i am a regular you know.

Fantasia said...

dear alien,
i absolutely agree.. although the majority of women who wear hijab do not realize that.. and some of those who do, pretend that they don't and would rather convince themselves that it is God's command. it is human. i can't blame them for this one.. but i definitely blame them for everything that led to it.

Fantasia said...

dear dr. eyad,
thank you, thank you, thank you.. i appreciate your words so much. proud that i could earn the respect of an inspirational thinker like you.
so glad that you wrote about hijab as well.. would sure want to read what you had to say.
hope also to get your feedback on the other part of the post dealing with the negative stereotyping of secularists.

Fantasia said...

dear anatomist,
what a great comment. first one to talk about secularism in the middle of all this controversy.. i was starting to lose hope that anyone noticed that i even mentioned the word in my post.. i myself went back to check that those part dealing with secularism are still in their places!
thanks for everything you said in praising my writing. i particularly liked the line which says that it is not enough for something to aim to what's good, but it also has to "seem" good as well. you used the word "seem" and i would like to replace it with "feel". this way it helps me refer to many other things :)
actually, i'd like to paste your whole comment again here.. i really wish everybody would read those words: "I think that we should spread the ideas of secularism so that a strong progressive base could be at place at the right time... When the people are poor and uneducated, sociology descends to the level of religionizing even head scarves."
you truly nailed it.. left nothing for me to say. very insightful as usual.

Fantasia said...

dear mermaid,
so thankful for your nice words. it is certainly my pleasure to have you as a friend of mine, and of this blog as well.
i didn't actually mean to discuss hijab in this post.. but if you wish me to talk about my idea of hijab in more details, it will take very long.
for now, given that you agree with me on my general viewpoint, i can't see how you still consider hijab to be obligatory. in explaining my personal idea of hijab, i didn't mean to answer back to all claims being made to support it.. because i meant to address another issue, as i said. but even if i had decided to talk about hijab, still i wouldn't have done so.. because this was done by many people who are very well oriented in this field, and because i care to make people understand my own point rather than refuting other opposing claims.
however, if you have a specific question related to hijab, i would be glad to help. just don't tell me there are other surahs in quran which mentioned hijab.. as the quran i know does not mention the word hijab except once. other surahs which were interpreted and explained by human male sheikhs did not mention hijab at all.
i did visit one of your blogs very recently. didn't have time to leave my comment then.. but i will sure do so very soon. wishing you all the best.

last of the mohicans said...

Thanks fantasia for every thing,I wasn't defending any one it's not a war, we are expressing our views.
Egyptiana more than capable of expressing her opinion and views.
as for joining the Mohicans obviously you are making the same mistake you are accusing me of..not reading.! I'm the LAST of the Mohicans..!!
take it easy fantasia no need for calling me rude, I'm your guest i deserve some courtesy.

Miss Egyptiana "Trapped Soul" said...

Dearest ever and my fellow feminist Fantasia

i am not upset at all, to the contrary, i am so happy we have this discussion that would build upon the good we share, and enrich our minds with other opinions... and see the outcome ... a bunch of replies with a massive amount of information and opinion ....i dare say that your blog turned to be one of the old cultural saloon :)
صالون فانتازيا هانم الثقافى حيث يتجمع المثقفون فنختلف ونتبادل الاراء ولكن دوما نخرج من عندك اصدقاء

the people who try to force their opinions and call those who doesnt wear hejab, are the true enemy... believe it or not, i get comments although i am wearing it ... that i should wear god's hijab ? i dont think that god sent us a catalog of his hijab... and i think that what's important is to wear respectable clothes ... for our bodies are too precious for street dogs who search with extreme hunger for a glimpse to our bodies.

dear i didnt assume anything in my post... i just dont like that people would say no to hijab, although it is so widely used in many forms... moreover, the personal choice has to be respected!... but maybe my words were not clear enough ... hope i clarified my point of view ,,, and i am thankful fo the valuable information that you have presented in you blog and replies

moreover, i hope i didnt offend you by any mean ... after all we are on the same side, and this discussion is great prove for that, as we both help each other in building our logical arguments, if i deviate you clear matter to me and vice versa

wish you a very happy new year, full of success and joy

One last word for mechanical crows... i am sorry i made you sick, next time i will put a set of paper bags in my blog for people like you, who get ya haram sick easily from few words... though it is not my fault that you didnt understand the hidden meaning ... which doesnt tend to compare anyone ... but to prove a single point that fantasia reached in her post : Hejab is a human heritage !!

Egypt Rose said...

Hi Fanta,

very strong as always. I need you to start writing in arabic if you can it is important to reach the Arabic readers. think of what I will ask you now: there is no direct harm from the hijab, but there are other harm things in the religion it self woman can feel it like

الجنة للذكور فقط واكثر اهل النار نساء
الجائزة للرجال .. غلمان و فتيات في الجنة
انا منبع الفساد و الانحلال و شقيقة الشيطان
انا حرث .. متاع .. ناقصة عقل ودين
لا مكان للنساء بين الديانات الثلاث الذكورية

ممكن تناقشي الموضوع من وجهة النظر الملكية الخاصة والملكية العامة ..

لا تحاولي ان تقولي ان الدين لم يحث على الحجاب بل على كل امرأة مسلمة ان تتحجب .. نعم صحيح.. ماذا لو لم تكن مؤمنة بالاسلام فلا حرج عليها من منطلق لا اكراه في الدين
Take it or leave it

مروة الزارع said...

I am a believer that the hijab was imposed on every Muslim woman
God said this
And can not argue God in that order

I hope that you wear the hijab

God said

قال الله تعالى : { يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً }

سورة الأحزاب - الأية 59

Difference in opinion does not spoil the states case

I wish you a lot of good


Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Fantasia,
I dare to say that I see secularism deeply rooted in both Christianity and Islam, only when we skeleton both from the human layers of misleading we can find this out. I go further to claim secular state is the state of equilibrium God wanted us to reach one day with the gifts he built in mankind, ego, superego, innovation and freewill. Thanks for the unique post

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Egypt rose,
Allow me to say, you took in consideration only one type of faith interpretation. Look at Islam after you free it from the bedouin interpretations, and at Christianity apart from the bedouin patriarchy interpretations and additions by Paul the impotent. You shall see it different. I am a Muslim who believes:
1- Qiwama is a duty on man. Not a privilige to him
2- Females and males are equally eligible for god heaven
3- Females and males are harth and mata3 to each other. It is a blessing to both in its true meaning not the opposite
4- Females has nothing to do with satan
5- Heavens joy are for both male and female.

The common religious interpretation that was not re-thought for ages are getting people who respect their minds like you from faith. I stayed for quite good time outside faith boundaries until I started to separate between what is divine and what is human in Abrahamic faiths. Greetings

Amre El-Abyad said...

Dear Fanta,

The majority of Arabic people are still underdeveloped, that goes for all Arab countries. Consequantly, they make fatal mistakes. Never theless that must never put us down because history is contnious process we have leading the world from the dawan of civilsation till 600 years ago.

As for the Gulf princes, well, the best way to cause a change is by rebuilding the power of Egypt, when we regain our cultural and econimic verility and show dedication to our destiny and historical role the rest will follow us.

We ionvested nothing in Arab unity. What we did invest in, was the dignity, power and freedom of our people. Hadn't it been for Nasser's influence on the Arab street , they would have enslaved us in 1956.

Hadn't it been for the moral boost and dignity the progressive, free Arab natinalist regime of Egypt provided to the 95% of Egyptians living in illiteracy and as poor as the Indian fakeers we wouldn't have witnessed the tremndous social mobility of the sixties- which is quite exceptional in the entire history of Egypt.

Remeber that Egypt had an economic growth rate of 6% till 1967 which was miraculous by standards of the time, rmebr theEgyptians became the jewel of the region. Rember the tremendous industrlisation of Egypt and the investements in hi tec and education instead of building hotels for Egyptians to serve like those in the bhamas , the philpenese .....etc. That is why Israel harpoone Egypt in 1967- the influence of Egypt was a threat to the thrones of Al-saud . An arab super power bigger than China was looming up in the distance. Again in 1990 the same story was repeated in Iraq!!!!!!!

Girls in the poor districts of Cairo wore short skirts and no one dared to call them whores!! Now a modern dress ( or western) dress code is only a sign of class superiority, that's why millions of Egyptians resort to higab as the last sanctuary of DIGNITY

And Arabism is not about the gulf Arabs- they are part of the regime of course but Arabic culture and civiulsation are both, richer more complex and inclusive than this old vision

MechanicalCrowds said...

EFC, you go girl! start a blog please....

raaasa said...

Awesome discussion here. It has been a great pleasure to read the variety of perspectives discussed. EFC, please do not start a blog as then all these brilliant ideas of yours would completely occupy my waking hours.

Fanta, I am posting a link from the U.S. press about Egypt still debating the validity of divorce by text-message--I mean, really!

While, forgive me, it is not directly related to this strand in the discussion--probably it belongs in the divorce/ marriage articles, I think it is related to the theme of your whole blog.

I have often been profoundly irritated by the gender roles played out in society---here, I imagine a neanderthal bellowing
"ana ra-jul" or a woman choosing to waste her intelligence because she, after all, is weak, supported, of course, by law, culture, and a conservative interpretation of religion. This is just one more example of gender roles, specifically male law and power, obscuring the potential for humanity, ie. being human, in both sexes.

Amre El-Abyad said...

@ last of the mohicans: Please email me, I would be honoured to exchange opnions and views wioth you

egyptian feminist chic said...

Fanta, thanks for giving me the opportunity to express my opinion here. I am realy enjoying the discussions, and regardless of what anyone here believes, i think it is very interesting to hear all the points of view.

mechanical crowds and rasaaa, thanks for the complement. I have no intention of starting my own blog... Fanta comes up with amazing subjects, i dont thik i can come up with so many great ideas to discuss if i was on my own.... besides, so many people log on here and express their opinions, and i am happy to be part of this is this disussion that promts me to go look up things and to express ideas i have always thought of on my own, but never realy shared... put on top of all that... i am married, i have a husband i need to see, i have a 3 year old daughter i need to take care of, i have a full time job with 36 hour calls and endless paperwork, i have more exams i need to study for,i have presentations i need to prepare, and patient health issues i continuously have to read about every day, i have a house to manage, and i have to keep in touch with family and friends.... so maintaining a blog on my own is next to impossible... i actually log on here when i am alone at night, around 2 or 3 in the morning, and everyone is asleep, so i can have some time to myself!! I admire Fanta a lot since she takes so much time writing her articles, and discussing every comment's point of view, as well as she has some of the most original points of view i have ever seen... many times i read a post and think she's right, how come i never thought about it this way before! anyway, i have grown quite addicted to this blog, and i enjoy the discussions a lot, so i hope to be here for along time, if that is okay with fanta of course!!

Fantasia said...

dear amre el-abyad,
thanks for enriching our discussion with all this valuable info and unique perception.
i don't wish to discuss the genetic origin of different races that exist in the middle east, as i think this is too far fetched and won't really help us reach a sort of conclusion related to the issue at hand. yet, i can assure you that ancient egyptians are not the decendants of Shem. the bible refers to egypt as "the land of Ham" in (Psalms 78:51; 105:23,27; 106:22; 1Ch 4:40). Ham was said to be the father of all african nations, and egypt in particular has always been refered to as a typical example of those nations. in fact, the hebrew word for egypt was "Mizraim" which was the name of one of Ham's sons. so, when you said that the ancient egyptians were arabs, i really couldn't believe my eyes!

you said that the majority of arabs are still underdeveloped and they make fatal mistakes.. and then you go on saying that this should not let us down because "we have been leading the world from the dawn of civilsation till 600 years ago".. what does "we" refer to? does it refer to egyptians? or to arabs? or to the egyptian-arabs?

i found myself so confused while reading your last comment. i made a huge effort, reading it several times, but i still couldn't get it. all your responses to feminist chic aimed to support the idea that egyptians and arabs are basically one and the same. however, in your last comment, you refer to each seperately, as two different cultures, and at other times you talk as if they are one. for example, you said "the best way to cause a change is by rebuilding the power of Egypt, when we regain our cultural and econimic verility and show dedication to our destiny and historical role the rest will follow us." and as you were talking about arabs and the gulf princes, i assumed that you meant that those are the ones who should follow us. but "us" who?

then you say, "We invested nothing in Arab unity. What we did invest in, was the dignity, power and freedom of our people. Hadn't it been for Nasser's influence on the Arab street , they would have enslaved us in 1956." what i could get was: "egyptians/arabs invested nothing in arab unity. what egyptians/arabs did invest in was the dignity, power and freedom of egyptian/arab people. hadn't it been for nasser's influence on the arab street! imperialist powers(?) would have enslaved egyptians/arabs in 1956.
what is that supposed to mean?

then: "Hadn't it been for the moral boost and dignity the progressive, free Arab natinalist regime of Egypt provided to the 95% of Egyptians living in illiteracy and as poor as the Indian fakeers. we wouldn't have witnessed the tremndous social mobility of the sixties- which is quite exceptional in the entire history of Egypt."
so basically you give the credit of what egypt accomplished during the time of nasser to its arab nationalist tendencies.. which was in fact the initiative of egypt.. of nasser, the egyptian, who comes from upper egypt.

again while discussing the egyptian economic growth during that era, you say, "Egyptians became the jewel of the region... That is why Israel harpoone Egypt in 1967- the influence of Egypt was a threat to the thrones of Al-saud." so, al-saud are not arabs? the land of al-saud is not part of the pan-arabism you wish for?

in your first comment you said "I don't blame Saudis".. and you went on to conclude: "I think that we should focus on Iran instead of Saudi Arabia as despite of the harms Saudis have caused the region, it is the only Arab force that is standing up firmly to Iranian crimes, murders and conspiracies. In Iran for example, women get beaten up for not wearing the Hijab the right way. You tube is full of such disgusting clips."

OK, of course you are not suggesting that the iranian beating up of women who don't wear the "right" hijab, is among those crimes that saudis are standing up firmly against. may i know what sort of crimes you are refering to? and what have the saudis done in regard to those crimes?
as far as i know both iran and saudi arabis are fundamentalist states, their oil markets are strongly related and thus they can't mess up with their economic benefits, they both support sectarianism and islamist groups (one supports shiites and the other supports sunnis), both are working against the existence of a secularist and moderate state in egypt, and both are very pragmatic with anything concerning their interests and are always ready to reconcile under the umbrella islamic solidarity! when have the saudis been standing firmly against iranians? is it cause they support sunnis? they do so to protect their thrones, which are threatened by the iranian political system which is totally against islamic monarchies and allows citizens to participate in choosing their representatives. in fact, saudi arabia is so pathetic in its attempt to protect the throne of al-saud.. did you forget that it was one of only 3 countries which recognized the taliban regime in afghanistan?

i really wish we would clarify many issues to reach a kind of understanding. is your vision of arabism a theoritical, idealistic one which you hope would be achieved in spite of all the factors which makes such a thing ultimately impossible? or is this arabism a realistic approach which the arab countries work on accomplishing through the 2nd islamic fate7 of egypt? or is it egypt which must carry the load of this impossible dream in spite of all the conspiracies being made against us by countries inside and outside the region?

i sincerely appreciate your attempt in reacting a frame through which this whole region can regain its strength and dignity. but those who you refer to as arabs, with their current culture and limited narrow views, will neither agree to be led by an enlightened egypt (even if this was for the good of the people of the whole region), nor stop sabotaging the egyptian identity and culture, which they think is threatening their existence and accumulation of wealth.

looking forward to discussing things further with you.. and hopefully we can reach something at the heart of this. best regards.

Fantasia said...

LAST of the mohicans,
i didn't say you were rude, i said your way of talking to other guests of mine (who all deserve respect) was rude. you falsely criticized a dear friend of mine saying she had "issues" and "problems"! do you consider this a civilized way of discussion?
and what's up with you being LAST of the mohicans? does this make it a must for you to be left behind? or do you mean that your nickname comes from the novel. i excluded this possibility knowing that this novel was a literary failure and a clear example of weak narrative.
i didn't mean to upset you dear mohican guest.. i just wanted to give you a taste of what it is like to make fun of those you don't know or even care to benefit from their insights. nothing personal against the mohicans, i swear :)

Fantasia said...

dearest egyptiana,
believe me i was never upset.. you are such a respectable person and i can clearly see that we are both on the same side. i may have felt a little disappointed when you said i was attacking hijab, only because i am used to you being a careful reader and i expected that you would never misinterpret my aims.
anyway.. i'd like to thank you so much, first for stirring all that buzz over here, and second for comparing my humble blog to a cultural salon. that was really sweet of you. i sincerely hope that you find all the discussions being made here to be fruitful and informative in a way.
i totally understand your point about people who might be a little harsh in their criticism of hijab, that they carry on the attack against all those who wear it. and i believe females wearing hijab are always criticized from both sides, either those who support hijab or those who don't. your hijab is never good enough nowadays, unless you wear the wahhabi niqab, and this is what the opposers are worried most about.. it is just that not all of them are good at expressing their concerns. they might seem to be attacking a moderate person like you.. while in fact they don't. and that was my point and the main purpose behind my post.. that all moderates should unite against all kinds of extremism. in the end, as moderates, we are the people who have the vision the is able to carry our country into the future. we shouldn't thus waste our efforts in fighting and accusing one another.

thanks for your nice words and tender wishes. all my respect.

Fantasia said...

dearest egypt rose,
this blog misses you as much as i miss you. hope everything went perfectly well with you and wishing you a joyful year.
i do have an arabic version of this blog. the posts do not get published on both blogs at the same time.. there is a kind of lag, but all posts are being published in arabic.. don't worry.
i also started another arabic blog to train myself to type in arabic, as i am tooooo slowwwww with that.
as for your valuable suggestions, i agree that all those topics should be addressed. yet, the way i see it, these topics and others keep emerging and disappearing from time to time.
what is religion? religious texts are one thing and practiced religion is another.
let me put it this way.. our grandmothers were very good muslims, yet none of them wore hijab. does this mean that hijab has recently been discovered in islam? does this mean that the hijab as it is interpreted nowadays ever existed in original islam? does this mean that hijab has ever been demanded by islam?

nope.. it simply means that the current human version of islam (as a practiced religion) has associated hijab with islam. then another extremist wave came to replace islam with hijab.. so that they both became one and the same thing, in such a way that when someone criticizes hijab, he is accused of criticizing islam. and so on and so forth.
same with all the topics you mentioned.. they surface according to the time and according to the agenda of those in charge of addressing the public and guiding public opinion. there are clear links that can be drawn between the emergence of an issue like "elqowama" and certain factors existing in society.. like unemployment, low investment rate and weak economy. if all 100% of egyptians expect to have jobs with good pay at a time as such, there would be a serious problem. while during the nasserist era, for instance, such an idea was unheard of.. although it was expected from men to provide for their families by default. but women were encouraged to participate in the labor market, to be highly educated, and to join in all fields of life. egypt needed every single hand to help in the construction of the modern post-revolutionary state.
and as some things are forcibly pushed to the front, being presented as having high religious value.. other things disappear and are totally hushed about. like for example, all the verses and hadith that talk about seeking knowledge and the value of science. this raises to the level of "fard" in a hadith like
"طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم "
but can you tell an illterate muslim that his islam is not complete?
and in God's words:
"يرفع الله الذين أمنوا منكم والذين أوتوا العلم درجات"
can you tell muslims that a better educated person is prefered by God?
and these are direct, straightforward verses that do not need much effort in explaining.. unlike those verses they attribute to hijab, which don't even have the word hijab in them!
so, as much as i agree with you, i find that those issues must be discussed in their exact context, without being influenced by current applications.
thanks dear for the valuable comment. wish to read more from you.

Amre El-Abyad said...


I rally have truck lorads of problems to tackle, but I simply can't elude an interesting discussíon.

First of all, your citing of the bible is unaccptable and irrelvant. Because bible belongs to the realm of spirituality religon and culture.On the other hand, politics and history are social scienses that can only be tackled by usinfg scientific methodolgies. Thus bible can only be and indication.

Bible refers Phoeneians AND PALESTINIANS AND YEMENSE as well the Amazigues or Berbers of North Africa ( THE ORIGIN OF ARABISM) AS THE SONS OF ham as well!!!!!! most linguistics and anthropoligists regard no difference between Semites and northern hamites( Egyptians , Lebanese and Palestinians) in terms of language and culture. There, I think it is worth mentioning, that some contricted narrow minded Iraqi and Syrian christians ( Syrinacs and Assyrians) consider the pennisula Arabs to be Hamites and not semites ( because of their Egyptuian and Yemnese origin. which is not true as the PENNISULA aRABS ARE A MIX OF mESOPTAMOÍANS , SYRIANCS, YEMENSE AND EGYPTIANS). Most probably the word hamite refers to location on the African continent. Also, you have to bare on mind that in an anthropologiocal language there is a difference between eastern and northern hamites- eastern hamites refers Negros, Ethiopians and Somalies.

secondly, on the genetic studies isssue. I cited them to show that there are certain phenotypes that are quite abundant in the Arab world and that some gene frequancies are more common among Arab populations. However, "Egyptian Feminist chic" exteracted only one line from the argument to sustain her point. That is called " FAHLAWA". Anyway, we all agree that those studies are not useful in the topic we are discussing.

Now back to your use of language, by picking out "US" from my lines and posing it a s proof that Egyptians are distinct from Arabs, is only a matter of semantics. It is a good language play. Arab nation is made up of Egyptians, Iraqis, Tunisians, Lebanese, Syrians, Saudis......etc. Also resorting to semantics is a sign of your running out of proper analyticaland critical points( no offence intended here- I am talking about the argument). But since I have to be fair with you you may have a point when you say

" which is quite exceptional in the entire history of Egypt."

Well, Fantasia, Arab nation has always been a nation under construction- a single civilsationary regime ever since the The Arab Iraqis who spoke Arabic invented writing followed by the Egyptians who were semites at large, however the unique features of the Nile valley bestowed a special character on them. So for reasons of accuracy I would say that ancient Egypt was a spcial case of semitism .

Moreover, the great Arab civisation which surapassed the Greek one in all aspects and lead Europe through the dark ages, is the last phase of the Arab world history- the integral sum of ancient glories. There is no contrasdiction at all between refering to ancient Iraqi or Egyptian history and the Arab one.

Remebr that the difference between the the ancient chinese 5000 years ago and that of the contemporary chinese is identical to that between hieroglyphic and standard Arabic. What is more striking is that fact that there 40 languages in chinaand 100 hundred different ethnic groups- however when it comes to the other- they are all Chinese. That case is more shocking as far as India is concerned- as they have 1500 languages of radically different origins, some are of Australian aboriginal origin in the south some are of a Germanic origin like Hindi and Urdu some of Indo-Iranian orgin and some of chinese origin in the east. Thery also look very different some of them are black while the noble race in the north looks like Arabs.

the Persians- were never one people- basically they were groups of barabrians who inhabited the Iranian plateau - Achaemenids, Parthians and Sassanids

Also, there is big difference between Arab national consciousness and identity on the one side and immediate unity on the other. Econmic and politcal integration- which is the first step on the long way towards Arab unity- would suffice at the present.

to be continued

egyptian feminist chic said...

Amr, dude realy...... the reason i discussed the genetics research is because i believe in its authenticity, and I worked in genetics in a very big university.... i have presented at international conferences, and I have publications in my name, i am also a co-author in several publicaions, both in very reputable magazines.... so believe me, i know genetics, and I know research! I know that it takes years of research to come up with a conclusion you can publish in a reputable genetics magazine, and only a few articles are selected, so i assure you there is no racial bias whatsoever, and if an article is good enough to publish in a world renouned magazine, then it is authentic, and you can trust the results!

this is why i felt that this was one point i could elaborate on knowing full well that the information i use is true.

so no, this is not fahlawa, this is science, and for me this is something i know better than history, so i feel that i am more qualified to discuss... the article i posted a link to cited many respectable reputable publications, so i believe that it is not biased, and it tells the truth.


Amre El-Abyad said...

On Persians they were only united by the strogest of them, somtimes Achamenids later on Parthians and finally the sassanids, there collective national identiy was only empahsised after the Arbs liberated from the malignant influence.

Also, there is big difference between Arab national consciousness and identity on the one side and immediate unity on the other. Econmic and politcal integration- which is the first step on the long way towards Arab unity- would suffice at the present.

At the present time there is noone in the so called middle east except Arabs and the colonial illeagal, illegitmate terrorist state of Israel. Israelians condier Arabs to be the same. For example the bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, killed many Egyptian scintists harpooned Egypt and solicited the destruction of Iraq in 2003. However, when it comes to Iran, they are allies under the surface. I assure you that if the Irani nuclar reactors were constructed in ANY ARAB COUNTRY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BOMBED BY NOW.

You said:

"so basically you give the credit of what egypt accomplished during the time of nasser to its arab nationalist tendencies.. which was in fact the initiative of egypt.. of nasser, the egyptian, who comes from upper egypt". Dear Fantasia any revolution that tries to impose radical changes on a stagnant society must have a cultural and moral dimension because man is a complex phenomeno they are robots that react automotically in mechanical way to leagal, legislative and normative signals!! Arab nationalism played that role. Ads it liberated us from th retarded ottomanioan shckles of the stupid mongolian Turks and Tratrs who brought down islam and failed to provide an added value to civilsation and islam and lived as reactinaries in the shadow of the Arab culture till Arabs became atbehind the worldin all aspects.

You also said:

"again while discussing the egyptian economic growth during that era, you say, "Egyptians became the jewel of the region... That is why Israel harpoone Egypt in 1967- the influence of Egypt was a threat to the thrones of Al-saud." so, al-saud are not arabs? the land of al-saud is not part of the pan-arabism you wish for?"

I cant believe that you have said:

you know as much as the next percon that there is a tremndous difference between people and regimes- the majority of Egyptians , Saudis, Lybians, Moroccans, Yemense, Syrians are under-developed and their national cognition is not strong enough after having been the losers for centuries.

On the Iraq issue: Al-Saus is working for their own parochial interets of course- which in this particular case is aligned with interests of all Arab countries both collectively and singley-

the conflicty is not so much between shiites and sunnis as Arabs and Persians. Iran pushed millions of arabic speaking persians to alter demograpgy in Iraq- which will be catastrophic Egyptian and all Arabs national security.

Iran is an evil, ultra nationalist barabric power. And it is not democracy. There are prerequiites for democracy: remeber it took Europe 400 years of dictatorships , religous wars to reach its current comparatively stable scoial and politcal state.

in this regard Sadam's Iraq was the most democratic staein the middle east:

there I cite this article

"I am afraid your characterisation of Saddam as Suni Muslim favouring Sunnis, is so much detached from reality, that is to say the least.

Sadam Hussien was secular pan Arabist who built the most secular, enlightened and developed Arab state in the 20th century.

He was trtying to drag Iraq by force into the 2oth century. 50% of top rank Baathists were shiites. The words shiite and sunni were forbidden to be mentioned in Iraq. Alas, the fundamentalist fantic backword revolution of the Ayatollahs , were marketing a pan shiite fundamnetalist ideology in Iraq so as to fulfill strategic gains for Iran. In this regard, politicised shiisim was firmly crushed. The same goes as well for politcal sunni Islam.

Regarding Kurds, Well, the Iraqi Jurds' cultural specifity was more acknowleded by the state than that of those i Turkey, Iran and Syria. Saddam built the Solemeniya university whereteaching was in Kurdish. He enforced the Kurdish language as a secondary one in all Iraqi schools.

Yet while Iraq was engaged in war of defence against the fanatic revolution exporting Iran, a rebel group of Kurds infiltrated Iranian special forces to work behinfd Iraqi lines- arounfd the same time Iraq was going through a ferocious El-FAO battles in the south against the Iranian human waves where 14-18 years old boys were promised paradice by Khomeini if they dye fighting Iraqis and infidels. Iraq was not simply facing a terrorist organisation like Al-Queda, but rather an entire nation that was hijacked by the shiite strand of Al-Queda thought.

By the way, do you have any idea how th peaceful unarmed Japanese Americans in world war 2 were treated or, how Gerrman Americans were treated in world war 1?

How do you think the U.S would react in case of a Mexican invasion?

Now, I shall list out the incidents of international recognition of Iraq's achivements: Saddam Hussien recieved a medal from the the unicef in 1982 for wiping out illiteracy in Iraq.In 1989 he recieved a certificate from the WHO staing that health care system in Iraq was the best in the midle east.A united nations development programme issued a report in 1989 prognosing Iraq to reach western European standards in terms of , GNP per capita, health care, educational standards and women rights.
notwithstanding all thses solid tangible accomplishments, American, Israeli and Iranian propaganda is distorting the reputation of the man. No wonder, the pan Islamic Mullahs Iran is the best ally of the U.S in its war against the most secular and developed Arab state. What else would Isael want but an Arab world dragged down by medival ideologies and religous fanaticism
By the way, free education and health care was available to everywhereeven in the remotest Kurdish mountain village".

last of the mohicans said...

thanks for clearing the air, that is nice of you and i appreciate it, as for the egyptian chic i was merely asking to stick to the hijab subject for the arab subject requirres another post and i surely wish her well.
after all our views as much as they may vary we are all working and thinking for the greater good of our people.
as for the mohican since the failure of the novel we have become very sensitive people you know...
thanks fantasia again for your courtesy. best regards

Amre El-Abyad said...

On the Sunni shiite conflict:

in 1979 a war was looming up in the distance because of the following:

1) Bani Sadr- the first Iranian president in 1979 stated that the revolution will stop only in Bahgdad

2) Ayatollah Khomeini called upon the shiites of the "south" [shiites in Iraq follow diffeent political streams] to revolt. The majority of shiites in Iraq are Arabs, howver some of them especially those in the south are either of a mixed Irani origin or of a pure Iranian lineage. And it was those that were kicked out of Iraq in seventies and later some of them took refugee in Iran During the Iraqi war of defence against the sectarian terrorist Khomeinists. And I think it is quite jsutified to persecute thm in Iraq as they sided with the fantic asectarian terrorist Iranian enemy which launchd a ruthless war against Iraq.

3) Ayatollah khomeini called Arab nationaluism heresy

4) Iran' attempts to play a a role in country like Iraq which is more civilised, advanced and with a longer and more important history.

5) Iraq filed 100 official complaints to U.N about Irani border harrasments

6)Iraq's embassy in Tehran was stormed.

Iraq was progressing tremndously and quickly, the Persian freak Khomeini wa destabilising the country. So Iraq had no choice but break the back of Iran to secure the country. Time has shown the long vision of sadam in tyhis war; Iran actively participated using special forces and intelligence as well as Iranised " Badr" Iraqis in the inavsion of Iraq( quoting here the deputy of Khatemy).

And it neither Americans nor Saudisthat made up the sunni-shiite division, it is indeed, maliciously using it, however it remains and IRANI TRADEMARK.

Iraq had no choice but to deport to Iran Iranian Iraqis as well the advocates of POLITICAL SHIISIM, I EMPHATHISE THE OWRD POLITCAL SHIISM INFLUENCED BY KHOMEINI'S MEDIVAL HERESIES. For the word shiite or Sunni were forbidden in Iraq.

What is the implication of Nasser's experience the tragedy of Iraq on the democracy discourse in the Arab world:

Given the high levels of illiteracy and underdevolpment in the Arab world- popular democracy would a very stupid and unwise descion at the present.

A dedicated, idealistic, Top- down, ideologically charged reforms must be given a chance to work before Democracy comes out which will be the natural outcome on the long run of such changes. Yet, it will have been an autonomous indeginous Arab form of democracy that is quite suitable for culture, mindsets and socio-politcal environment and economic needs.

It was the dictaor Crumwell of the English revolution that paved the way for English power and stability, and eliticst democracy. Finally a bottom up democracy emerged in the 20th century.

It was Stalin of russia that industralised Russia and educated the poor crushed miserable peasants and trasformed Russia into medival feudal state into modern industralised naion.

What I am trying to say is that democracy must come out of autonmous forces of change in a given society.

Unfotunately, the weak national cognition and the lack confidence induced by centuries of being losers are all, making Arab prostae themselves infront of anything foreign- they parrot and copy everything from the west withpout modifcation, interaction and modificatin, or else they resort to self-destructive islamic or coptic rejectionist fanaticsim.

what really prtected the progress of Europe is their miltary supriority over ottomanians, Indians and chinese which protected their system from unhealthy outside influence. Despite of their biiter wars they were all as one, as far as Arabs are concerned.

Fanatsia- I havent anything more add to the discussion. Let's end it.


Fantasia said...

dear marwa elzare3,
i really don't know what to say! i appreciate your point of view, although i disagree with it. but i can't understand on what basis you hope that i wear hijab.. it is clear that i don't believe that it is what God wants. and in fact that verse you mentioned from quran does not mention hijab at all. it was talking about the dress, saying nothing about head cover. and of course you know the reason behind this advice, which is not even an order.. there is absolutely no punishement implied by God for those women who won't even wear a long dress. God said that this long dress was to protect them from intruders, who at night may not tell the difference between free women and slaves. therefore, free women, including the prophet's own wives and daughters, who had to go out at night in order to get rid of their bodily wastes, were often harassed by men who did not recognize them in the dark.
i thank you for hoping for what you think is best for me.. and i don't want to disappoint you if i say that i am really convinced with what i believe in. all my best regards.

Fantasia said...

dear dr. eyad,
sorry for being late to reply on your post. i read it, but got interrupted before writing my comment. will do it as soon as possible.
i agree with everything you said. the wisdom of all religions point towards secularism as the best way in governing human societies. unfortunately, those who deformed religion, adding to it from their own imagination and limited perspectives, were followed by those who took their interpretations to be religion itself.. not only that, but they carried them to the extreme.. widening the gap between being religious and being a member of civil society. those people also deformed secularism.. made it sound scary, presenting it as an equivalent to atheism.
i know what islamists think about secularists.. so i never ever cared to hold an argument with any of them about secularism. but recently, i was obliged to pay a courtesy visit to ya3qoubi and ga3fari's blog. and i almost went nuts with the false claims they published about secularism. imagine that they didn't refer to any sources written by actual secularists! they only copied from what was said about secularism in their books! i left a detailed comment on every single word.. and what did i get in return? i swear i thought that this person was joking, until i read that he actually expects me to reply to points!!! while there are absolutely no points to respond to.
islamists carry a name that doesn't suit them, dr. eyad. i am indeed considering coming up with another term for secularism for addressing the arab public. let's call it "moderate religionism".. i am serious. it is clear that our people have developed a kind of allergy against the word "seculariam" itself.. it blocks their ears and minds. so maybe they would be encouraged to know about "moderate religionism". i am only thinking out loud with you and everybody else here. what do you think?

Fantasia said...

dear raaasa,
actually, the link you provided is deeply linked to everything being discussed here.. yes, imagine! divorce via SMS, does it deserve a law or not! as if divorce is the word being uttered and not the will behind it. i personally believe that an SMS is a better way of divorce than the verbal declaration:
1. It takes longer to write and send.. making it difficult for the man to claim that he didn't mean to divorce his wife.
2. It gives the woman an actual proof that she has been divorced. instead of the verbal declaration that can not be proved unless the woman can provide witnesses which the husband can not object to.
3. it keeps record of the number of times a woman has been divorced. some men divorce their wives 10 or 20 times and continue to live with them based on a fatwa. this fatwa is usually issued according to what the man claims to be a "slip of tongue".

now, link this issue with the whole issue of hijab, islamism vs. secularism, moderates vs. extremists.. they are all related. women are the vulnerable, passive receivers of all the dictations of patriarchy. they can not even decide whether they think their husbands divorced them or not. a woman ready to go living with the same man (knowing that he really intended divorcing her) only because some sheikh, who doesn't know either of them, issued a fatwa based on the husband's side of the story. imagine the crisis we are facing!
thanks for the link. i hoped that i could even smile while reading the article, but i kept wondering about this engineer and what kind of projects he might be in charge of. can this be someone whom you can trust with constructing your home? just a passing thought.

raaasa said...


While I have found your comments colourful, fanciful, and entertaining, I must mention that I have noticed several inaccuracies. Here, I'd like to comment on some discrepancies in your argument comparing the potentially united Arab world to China.

You wrote:

Remebr that the difference between the the ancient chinese 5000 years ago and that of the contemporary chinese is identical to that between hieroglyphic and standard Arabic. What is more striking is that fact that there 40 languages in chinaand 100 hundred different ethnic groups- however when it comes to the other- they are all Chinese.

I respond:

In fact, there is one official spoken and written government language in China, Mandarin also called Putonghua or common speech. This is the language of the Han ethnic group. Regional accents make even Mandarin difficult to understand between provinces.

In addition to Mandarin, China has seven other spoken dialect groups: Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka.
These dialects then divide into many more sub-dialects.

Surely, you have heard the riddle--what is the difference between an language and a dialect? Answer: a language has an army behind it.

In theory, all Chinese dialects share the same written system. (There are approximately 56,000 characters, but the majority of those are archaic so out of use. )In practice, however, Cantonese adds about 3000 specialised characters of its own. Many Chinese dialects don't have a written form at all.

Regarding ethnic groups, there are 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities in China. The majority is Han Chinese and this group makes up 93% of the Chinese population. Hence, the minorities are only 7% of the population.

Yes, in theory everybody in China is Chinese--the government will tell you that. This policy has been enforced with an iron fist--dispensing pain and suffering and massive destruction for over half a century.

ln practice though, some Chinese are more Chinese than others, and rights are distributed accordingly. You will never hear a member of a minority group say "We are all Chinese."

Two years ago, I was teaching in China. The college I taught at included students from a variety of provinces. One of my students was from a minority and his name was Farukh--the Chinese equivalent of Farouq. Students commented on his name because it wasn't typically Chinese. Other students commented on his appearance which also wasn't typical.

Some students went so far as to say that looking Chinese, that is to say looking like the Han majority, is what is necessary to be Chinese. The point here is that official China aspires to be one unified mass--but who chooses the characteristics of this mass--and this ideology dribbles down to affect individuals.

As charming as the notion of pan-Arabism is--I fail to see how the peoples and cultures of nation-states from Maghrib through to Iraq are in any way like the peoples and cultures of China or how you can compare one situation to the other. Erasing the histories, cultures, religions, personalities, and idiosyncrases of differences has been disastrous for many many many of the peoples of China and I have little doubt that the same would be true if the same attempt were to be made in other parts of the world.

Fantasia said...

dearest feminist chic,
you are more than welcomed my dear.. it is my pleasure that you chose my blog to be your space of self expression and that you view it to be worthy of the time you reserved for yourself during your busy day.
i was so flattered and touched by your high opinion of me. i sincerely thank you for this appreciation and motivation, and hope to be always up to your expectations.

on the other hand, i truly support the suggestion of mechanical crowds and raaasa.. but out of selfishness, i offer you to become a co-author on this blog :) i have been thinking about this for some time now, and i think it would be an excellent addition to feminist blogging in general.

during our discussions, i was stunned to notice that we have very similar minds. even your writing style is very close to mine. so, i thought why not make use of this huge resemblance and harmony.. but i was reluctant to ask you until MC and raaasa brought up the subject. i was also encouraged by your reply.. as you won't be under any pressure in writing posts.. the blog is already there, you know many of its regular visitors, you have been communicating with them, and you do enjoy interacting about the topics being discussed here.
so, what do you think?

Fantasia said...

dear amre,
ouch! you slammed the door right into my face! why did you suddenly decide to end the discussion?
seeking to have a clear image of what you are trying to say should really be seen a sign of showing interest, not as irrconcilable differences.
the minor disagreements i expressed were out of my sincere aim to help you reach a realistic version of your theory, which i thought to be interesting and providing a fresh perspective.
it seems, though, that you prefer that i would guess your answers to my questions, instead of stating them directly.. which again leaves room for misinterpretation and inaccuracy.
however, i'd like you to know that i myself am against the establishment of a westernized democracy in the current middle east.. and i think we both agree on that. i also believe that we agree that it is not because this system of democracy is a failure by default, but rather because of our region's unique idenity and culture, which are deeply rooted in conservatism.
what i was able to conclude from your reply was that your pan-arabism is based on an idealistic vision, an imaginary scenario of what is supposed to be the best situation for all the arab nations.. and i might go with that in its most abstract and absolutely theoretical sense.. yet, what about what can be achievable on the ground?

a dedicated top-down reform is only doable through dictatorships, like those of nasser and saddam hussein.. however, the idea of any radical change in the region will never be allowed to take place in today's new world order. the complex network of interests, created by the growing globalization, makes it impossible for the world's great powers to wait and watch while a new nasser emerges in the middle east, whether it be in egypt or anywhere else. such an experiment is bound to failure, whether in aborting any chance for its occurance, or in using force to stop it from achieving its aims. and there is no better proof than the examples you yourself mentioned. both the attempts of nasser and of saddam hussein (which i can never compare to nasser) ended in failure.

therefore, i was hoping that we would keep working on your initial idea, duscussing it more thoroughly, suggesting possible adjustments, or even using it as inspiration to come up with a new theory.
i wish what i said would cause you to reconsider your wish to end the discussion. who knows?.. our collective minds might end up leading somewhere under the sun.

egyptian feminist chic said...

Fanta, I would be honored!!! But I am new to this so you have to help me out... I would like to give you my email, but I don't want to publish it here....because basicly it is my name!!! so I dont know... maybe i can set up a gmail account using my other name ?? what do you think? I need to be able to ask you things and I need more details from you about what you had in mind...

or if you have an email account associated with this blog that you have on your site that I havent noticed, i can email you there using my regular email... dunno, what do you think?

Fantasia said...

dear feminist chic,
please feel free to email me at any time:
i will be more than happy to help you with everything you need. so glad and so excited that you're going to join me in this little cyber world.. welcome onboard :)

مروة الزارع said...


I disagree with you very different

God has ordered us to wear the hijab

This can not be questioned

Afraid to take on the sins of what you say

I not strong in the debate on the subject

I dont know how you debate

But I sad that the Post

You could spoil the minds and shaking the beliefs of young people

I am not accused, but I hope that doesnt try to do so in youth

If that drew the attention you kept to yourself and not published

God will be so angry you

I am bad in English and I dont know how debate you more

I have a question for you

Do you pray?

I hope that the response

I hope that I dont get angry of the opinion that my


Fantasia said...

عزيزتي مروة,
عفوا, كان يجب علي مراعاة إحتمال عدم وضوح أفكاري باللغة الإنجليزية
كنت فقط أظن أنك لم تقرأي الموضوع بالكامل
أرجو منك إعادة قرأته بعد ترجمته إلى العربية, وسوف تدركين أني حريصة كل الحرص على مشاعر الجميع وأني بالفعل أخشى الله وأبتغي رضائه عن طريق ما أكتبه
يا مروة, ألمح في كلماتك إتخاذ موقف مني ووضعي في موضع الإتهام لمجرد رفضي إرتداء غطاء الرأس
وأسمحي لي أن أعاتبك عتاب الأصدقاء
وأن أشعر بخيبة الأمل من محاولة التفتيش في نفسي والتشكيك في عقيدتي
بينما لم تتحري الدقة في تكوين هذا الرأي وهذه الصورة المشوهة عني
رغم أنها تتناقض كل التناقض مع ما خبرتيه عني وعن أفكاري وعن إحترامي لك ولما تكتبين
لقد إنطوى قلبي من الحزن على خسارة صديقة محترمة ومخلصة مثلك
كنت أتوسم فيها سماحة الفكر وسعة الأفق
ولم أتوقع أبدا أن تفعلي ما تنتقديه في سلوك الآخرين
الذين يكونون فكرة سيئة عن شخصك لمجرد إختلافهم معك ف الرأي
لقد جرحت يا مروة
جرحت بإتهامك لي بالعبث بعقول الشباب ومحاولة زحزحة إيمانهم
إذا كان الإيمان هو قطعة قماش تغطي الرأس فما أسهله
سوف تكون رسالتي الأخيرة لك هي إرسال اللينك الخاص بالمقالة العربية
وقتها سوف تدركين بطلان إتهامك لي
الله وحده يعلم ما في صدور عباده
وأنا على يقين من عدله وعلمه
كما أني مؤمنة أن أفضل العباد عن الله أتقاهم
والتقوى لا يراها البشر, بعكس غطاء الرأس الذي اللتي كانت ترتديه صديقتك ملك لتتستر على حقيقتها
أشكرك يا مروة
كنت أرجو أن تؤجلي حكمك حتى تتبيني صحته
ولكن هذه إرادة الله
وداعا ولك كل إحترامي

مروة الزارع said...

صديقتى العزيزة فانتازيا

انا لا اقدر على ان اخسرك ابدا

انا احبك جدا ويعلم الله ذلك

انتى لم تفهمين ما اقصدة فى اخر كومنت لى

انا لست جيدة فى اللغة الانجليزية لذلك لم استطيع التعبير الجيد

انا افهمك وكنت اقصد ان من الممكن ان يكون هناك عقول صغيرة لا تستوعب فكرك وتفهم فكرك بطريقة خاطئة

هذا ما كنت اقصدة واقسم بالله

انا احبك واحب تدوينك واعتز بك صديقة بشدة ولم اقصد تجريحك صدقينى

انا لم استطيع التعبير الجيد فقط

اتمنى ان لا تكونى حزينة من كلماتى

واتمنى ان نظل اصدقاء

انا فخورة بمعرفتك رغم اى شئ

ولكل شخص حرية معتقاداتة

اتمنى ان تسامحى اذا كنت اخطأت التعبير

اتمنى ان تردى على هذا الكومنت

اختك مروة

Amre El-Abyad said...

Dear Fantasia,

The attempts of saddam worked , Iraq had almost broken loose of the viscious circle of thirld world nations in 1989; it was going to be locomotive of progress and development in the region. Nasser was not given enough time, he ruled only from 1956 to 1967.That is all.

They failed because of two reasons:

First there is the external pressure, which both of the great leaders failed to cope with. Simply because no other nation in the world aprt of the Arab nation is subjected to that relnltess colonia pressure as the histoical, cultural , military and economic potentials of the Nation are quite alrming to the current " world order"

Secondly, both of them were too idealistic and overestimated the strength of national feelings among Arabs ( especially in case of Saddam) Nasser was another case, he was too young and too green- he was the first free Arab in 700 years or so..Unfortunately he only matured after 1967.

As for giving up to the current world order, I am afraid I totally disagree with you. That world order is skewed as Aabs must be at the forefront. We are a great country that is apart of superior nation. It is our destiny to resist and pay the heavy toll of our freedom and dignity.

There comes the role of the conscious and "enlightened" ones in our nation. Our sole mission in life must be enhancing the national cognition among Arabs and educating the masses on their potentials, history and real enemies. Under such cirmustances, ah historical hero will come out. In this regard, I would like to emphathise that Nasser was the product of the Egyptian pre- 1952 revolutionary , enlightened and idealistic wave.

Fantasia said...

الأخت العزيزة مروة
أشكرك على التوضيح والاعتذار الرقيق
كما أشكرك على حرصك على استمرار صداقتنا
وأمام هذه المشاعر الجميلة
لا أملك سوى نسيان كل ما يمكن أن يكون قد سبب لي أي ألم أو جرح
فأنا حريصة على صداقتنا بنفس القدر
ومهما يكن بيننا من نقاط خلاف فهذا لا يمس إحترامي وتقديري لك
الدنيا علمتني فن الإختلاف وروعته
وقد تمكنت طوال حياتي من الحفاظ على أصدقائي الذين يختلفون معي ف الرأي
وهي صداقة وطيدة لم يشوبها أي شائبة
أنا مؤمنة تماما أن الإنسان الذي يحمل الله بداخله لابد أن يكون متسامحا مع الحياة ومع الآخرين
القلب الذي ينيره الإيمان لا يصد أبوابه ولا ينبذ الآخر ولا مكان فيه للمشاعر السلبية
فتأكدي أنني من هذه اللحظة قد أسقطت سوء الفهم الذي حدث من ذاكرتي
والفضل يرجع لمبادرتك الطيبة
خالص تحياتي

Fantasia said...

dear amre,
i totally agree with everything you said.. and that is exactly what i wanted to know through the questions i posed to you.
here comes the role of the educated elite, the enlightened cultured citizens, the secularists.. they all have got a huge responsibility on their shoulders. and i certainly hope they would be willing to perform their active social roles.
thanks amre for all the valuable insights and your unique perspective.

Lecea said...

You write very well.

Sara said...

I wear Hijab (Khimar) and I am proud to say that this is a COMMANDMENT from god to protect me for my own good! If you dont agree with it then dont wear it! But you are surely not going to win an argument against god.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde