Tuesday, February 06, 2007

At last an interesting radio station

Since I converted by joining the 21st Century and using cheeky mp3 players and have confessed to owning an Ipod , I have not listened to anything much except my favourite compilations. This was until a couple of months ago when my cousin convinced me that there was a new Libyan FM radio station which was broadcasting pop and all sorts of other music all day long with some lighthearted show programmes. She even was willing to bet that I would not need my mp3 anymore. She herself does not take any CDs with her.

So I decided to take her advice and test this station while I'm driving on my errands. To my surprise it was very easy to get the frequency on the FM band, the music catered to every taste, classical Arabic, pop, top 10 etc.. there was the news flash, advertisements, the cute talk shows and phone- ins plus the occasionaly token official in interviews. Basically Allibiya FM delivered on all it's promises . It was especially good for going to and back from work and was reminescent of the popular Lebanese radio [station] Strike it had the good quality programming and wide target audience. In fact I think it has made listening to radio popular in Libya again and I notice now how many cars have their antennaes pulled up ( including me :P ).

On such a day last week, I chanced upon one of the shows where letters from fans with a problem are read and suggested solutions from other listeners are sought.

This is Isam's dilemna. While at university he met a lovely girl Nadia and they became pratically inseparable. They helped each other studying and got to know each other very well , fell in love and decided to get married after they graduate. So one fine day after graduation , she made an appointment with her family for him and he convinced his parents to ask for her hand. But despite all her reassurances to the contrary , Nadia's parents refused him. Why ? because he did not have a job, house, car etc..yet He begged and said he wanted to get engaged first and that he was going to have a job and start planning for a house etc.. But to no avail , they wanted what only perhaps an older man could provide or someone whose parents could get that for him.

Nadia and Isam started meeting in secret since their union was not blessed anymore ( this does not mean they were sleeping toghether by the way). He was looking for a job and she was busy refusing suitors. It got to the point where people started to doubt her chastity. In Libya if you refuse too much for too long the majority of people don't say you're being picky or looking for a soulmate.. oh no dirty minds start thinking that you probably played around and must have lost your virginity to some dude ; otherwise why would you refuse to get married , you probably feared getting 'discovered' on your wedding night!

So when a really good catch came to her, Isam who was still being refused by her parents and still had no decent job, decided to seek greener pastures in a different country. Maybe he could forget the love and not having him in her face would help her choose and end her dilemna. But Nadia got word of his plan and decided to commit suicide if he left. So he had to put that plan aside while she once more gave the boot to the 'good catch' . Nadia was not getting any younger and her family was disappointed .

Shortly after that her brother came to him and told him that Nadia's reputation was really destroyed and that he guarantees that if Isam would come and ask for her hand he will be well received and allowed to marry her this time. Apparently the whole area new about their romance which had dragged on for 10 years now.

But fate is weird, Isam's elder brother died in a horrible car accident leaving a young widow and three toddlers, so when after a decent time Isam asked his parents to go and visit Nadia's parents something unthinkable happened. His mum begged him literraly on her knees and asked him to marry his brother's widow so that no stepdad would harm the grandchildren and so that they and her are taken care of. Isam was livid just as his dream was within reach he was seeing it being stolen away. Did anyone even ask the widow if she would like to marry him? he was not interested he wanted his love he was crazy about Nadia, but his mother has begged , could he break her heart ? and could he break the heart of his love ? she has sacrificed her youth waiting for him. This really was a big problem, on the one hand , mother and family duty and 3 innocent lives, on the other hand the love of his life another innocent life. We Arabs fully believe that if your parents and especially your mum blesses you, you will be fine , we call it 'ridha alwalidein'. It is very important and drilled into our psyche and you do not want to incurr the wrath of your parents and God in the process, but still a promise is a promise.They have after all not told him to do anything bad , it is a common practice to marry the widow or the widower to the living sibling to keep the children in the family... Isam had plans , but God made different plans and his question was what should he do?
whom to marry ? was his sister in law even aware of the plot ?

I could see that it was a problem indeed and I wanted to hear what would the listeners suggest male and female.. Do you know what the solution suggested equally by both was ?
I was surprised myself as I was more inclined that he should marry the widow if she accepts him, because no one will love the kids more and she would not need to remarry. Although I was thinking that Nadia was in a tight spot too and it was not her fault. But the solution I heard and which seemed to me logical the instant it was stated is that he should marry both. The widow, for humanistic reasons and to please his mother and family but on the condition that they let him marry his love Nadia too since polygamy is allowed in extreme circumstances. The host was saying that Nadia may not accept a co-wife, and that since he loved Nadia he would not be fair in his love towards the other woman, and polygamy is allowed if you can be fair, physically as in the sexual relationship and materially and emotionally. Some were arguing that he will find a way to be fair...

If you knew that he is not breaking any laws by marrying them both, do you think Isam should make that choice? what do you think should he do ? I personally would love to know what happened and am waiting to find out how it will end. Incidently I have become a fan of Allibiya FM which it seems is available on satellite as well for listeners on other continents. Have you heard it abroad or regionally ?


Chris in MB said...

hey I think I'm first for once!! :)

WOW, what a story! You know that isn't exactly the sort of situation you'll ever run into over here! :P

Yes, I think he should marry both. That wouldn't work here either but in your parts sure why not!

Sereeb said...

If he were a true man / gentleman he wouldn’t marry both. He should stick to the love of his life. First, he should trick his parents, tell them that he would marry his bother’s widow but first he has to marry Nadia. After he marries Nadia, he and Nadia should vanish from the face of the earth, to punish both his parents for putting him through this and Nadia’s parents for being materialistic and selfish. I’m sure if she were a male, they wouldn’t have acted the same way they did with her. Typical machismo Libyan mentality/culture. Ahhh, what a fucked up society we have! I hate it, I hate it.

Libyan_NBA said...

I don't think he should marry both and I don't think law permits it as he obviously doesn't love his brothers wife and even if he can love her he won't love her like Nadia.
He should explain to his family his situation with regards to both legal and religious perspectives and all they want - i think - is to guarantee financial support for his nephews; so he can promise to do the best he can with regards to that, but since he had a part in ruining Nadia's life he should live up to his commitments.

Chris in MB said...

"I don't think law permits it as he obviously doesn't love his brothers wife"

I don't understand? Why can't he just marry the widow for legal/civil reasons? Does he have to be intimate or really love the widow?

BTW, with parents like that they should have just eloped! Have the ceremony in Las Vegas! That would teach'em! :P

Libyan_NBA said...

"I don't understand? Why can't he just marry the widow for legal/civil reasons? Does he have to be intimate or really love the widow?"

He can if he wanted to I was talking about the case where he marries both then he would have to love them equally. In the case where he marries only one of them, since he has already committed to Nadia and she has already turned away so many suitors to such an extent that it is harder for her to get married - in our society - so if he is a MAN he should commit to his word and marry her, if he isn't its her fault for allowing him to take advantage of her and this should be a lesson for her and others . I also think that her family shouldn't of turned him away if he was committed initially, unless his financial situation was so dire that he couldn't provide the minimum requirements for marriage ( a place to stay rent/otherwise), then Nadia shouldn't have gone behind her parents back and gotten entangled with him in the first place.

NOMAD said...

he should take Nadia and fly away anywhere in EU or America, so that he gets away from the dilemn ; and I am sure the widow and the family would find another issue ;

by the ways that's what happened to one of my great grand mothers, her husband died in WW1, and his youger brother had to marry her ; at that time it was to protect a family property ; nowadays, laws and insurances make that very different.

Chris in MB said...

libyan_nba, oh no I was meaning marry both yet have the marriage to the widow for legal/civil reasons only. I can't see how one can judge or require that they are loved equally or not.

One could say it's equal, yet a different sort of love.

btw, nomad.... and what's wrong with Canada may I ask?!? EU or America yikes!! The last thing they need is another poor choice! :P

Libyan_NBA said...

"I can't see how one can judge or require that they are loved equally or not."

Yes, you have a point but the law has a religious basis and polygamy requires equality between wives in everything and he should know that he won't love them equally and his brothers widow probably knows that too and his parents might know it as well, to me it seems a bit hypocritical. He also can't marry both at the same time so he would have to marry them one at a time and in Libya he would require the approval of the first wife before marrying the second, anyway it isn't as straight forward a solution as some make it to seem . I don't know if the judge asks him about his love not that i think he can measure it :p but if he is to adhere to the religious legal basis of polygamy he should be honest with himself at least, not that there is anything binding him to it.

NOMAD said...

is there a Kanada dream ?

"America" is ment abstract seen from here, Kanada is included as well Mexico or Brazil :lol:

AngloLibyan said...

I used to listen to Libya FM online here in London when it first started last year then one day they stopped broadcasting on the inernet, what a shame :o(

when my grandmother died, my father was only 4 years old and had a brother & sister, my grandfather then married her sister who wanted to bring them up and she did that very well bu that was more than 70 years ago.

Trabilsia said...

A dilemma indeed!

Go with your heart or obey your parents............

Why should he marry his sister-in-law ?
What if she has no intention ????

Parents should be encouraged to let their children make their own choices , be responsible for their decisions and live up to them.
Enough of all this backward mentality ie: not speaking to their children orhaving their blessings,until they do as told ! Not children we're talking about , but adults !!!DUH !!!
This must change, we cannot continue to call ourselves responsible people if we are always as adults unable to make decisions of such importance. And as an old English saying says :
"You make your bed , you sleep in it !"
Thanks HL dear ,for a very interesting topic and may Allah bless you.

The Lost Libyano said...

Well i think Sereeb is being a bit too emotional. First off Madias parents where not selfish or materalistic they just wanted to make sure that their daughter had someone to provide with her, if I had a daughter, I would most definatly want to make sure that her husband is financially stable, and that he will not be leading her into a life of hardship.

I’m sure if she were a male, they wouldn’t have acted the same way they did with her. Typical machismo Libyan mentality/culture. Ahhh, what a fucked up society we have! I hate it, I hate it.

Well i am sure they wouldnt of seeing as how generally Men are the providers for their women, while Women are not the providers for their men. Europe really had the whole EXACTLY EQUAL thing totally wrong which is exactly why the birthrate has fallen, and well i am sorry to say but if Women dont start having more children their wont be a West. Look at Russia. I dont know why people in the Muslim world are so egar to follow in the footsteps of Europe, especially in the ideas, and ideologies which have completly failed. We have a fucked up society Sereeb, but not as fucked up as their, because well we have one, while their is dying off everysingle day, Whites(Europeans) are the Minority, and now the minority on their own content, i for one would hate to see, the berber people become extinct because women and men are precived to be exactly the same. Men have a job, and women have a job, its been that way forever, and if a society is to stay alive it shall continue to be so.


I can't see how one can judge or require that they are loved equally or not.

LOl. Well Islam is a way of life, so manners, and feelings, being kind , golden rules, and all that good stuff is ACTUALLY the law, as it should be in my opinion.

He should stick with his girl, and push the widow of on a cousin or something.lol. Thats my opinion. God I hope his other brother doesnt die, then he would have another one on his hand.lol.

ياسمين حميد said...

i don't think he should marry his sister-in-law, unless he doesn't love Nadia anymore. It would be unfair to both women, to Nadia because after she waited for him and loved him for so long a time, she deserves better than having to share him with another woman, and to his sister-in-law, because he couldn't possibly love her enough, especially when literally forced to marry her.

Anglolybian: It seems they still have online radio, only you have to sign up first.

Anonymous said...

I think they made an egyptian film out of this story once before..;)

The Lost Libyano said...

Okay all in all after sleeping on the issue I think he should only marry Nadia. His brothers wife is not his responsibility, that being said even if he did marry his brothers wife, it is no doubt that she will most likley be a burden on the relationship. Dude 3 is a crowd, and his brothers wife will just be extra bagage,something the guy will fell he has to put up with for the sake of his "Social obligations", by religion he is not bound to it, and thus he has no obligation to put up with it.

Lets not kid ourselfs their is no way he is going to treat them both equally.

Now that being said a big thing that bothered me in this post was the fact that Nadia's rep was allegedly compromised. I for one am sick of the double standards when it comes to male and female chasity.

Major societal changes must occur, and the first being education.

I would also recommend that Libyans remember what their religion teaches them, about the severity of makeing socially damaging statements about a womens chasity, IT IS A MAJOR SIN. One would think with all the hadith and verses in the Quran which adress these very same issues people would have gotten it by now. I geuss not. Saddly this crap continues to persist in both our part of the world as well as in the west, anyone who doesnt take my word for it, just watch a rap video on MTV, or talk to a teenage boy and ask him what he things of females, and he shall tell you they are all "ho's bitches, and sluts". If they fuck around they are dirty but if a male has many sex partners then he is viewed as a "pimp" or a "Player" and thus is considered the "shit".

I would also like to say that Libyans should also remember that a unchaste women is no worse then a unchaste man. Where ever this mindset that a women's sexual transgression is greater then that of a mans came from it must go, nothing is wrong with keeping with ones tradition and customs, but if they go against Islam then they should be abolished.

Non-Adherance to religion is the problem in my opinion,or rather selective piety, and until people reject the un-islamic and primitive mindset of pre-Islamic Arabia no changes shall occur.

programmer craig said...

I don't think Isam should do anything that makes him unhappy. He's been unhappy for 10 years already, as has Nadia, do to the silliness of one or both of their families. Now, he should do as his family wishes? Neither family seems to care much about either Nadia or Isam, from what I've heard of this story. It's *their own* happiness that matters. The only way I could see him marrying both the widow and Nadia is if that is what all three of them wanted. Which would surprise me a great deal - I'd find it hared to believe that Nadia would not be crushed by having to share the love of her life.

Something tells me there is more to this story than what we are hearing, though.

Highlander said...

Chris :) yes you were first to comment this time . You know most respondents said he should marry both which is not what I expected to be honest.
As for eloping , it's not really feasible in Libya because it is a social killer. Everyone knows everybody else here and you don't really want to ruin the family reputation. Plus if they could afford eloping don't you think they would have done it ages ago :) Las Vegas :P come on these are Libyans my dear visas to the US are not so easy especially if you are young. I only know two girls who eloped with a non-Libyan and they could afford it as they had the money and otherconnections. One of them her parents consider her dead and have stricken her out, while the second one was forgiven 2 years later but had to pretend she just got married when she returned and that was when she was able to have her kids- they had to keep a facade befor society.

Nomad , same thing for flying to Europe - visa problem how to get it, where to live - language barrier , jobs etc.. we have to be realistic :P

Sereeb :) thanks for dropping by habibti. I agree with you, but your solution is the romantic lovely and sweet one . Not the practical one for Libya. If he and Nadia could vanish they would have stopped waiting for her parents blessings. Remember the mentality is different, Nadia like most typical Libyan females wants the married life of a Libyan, and the advantages that go with it not the life of a pariah. Her parents were the ones to ruin her life with their selfishness . I agree that people want what is best for their kids, but when you are young and in love you can build a nest step by step, they should have accepted. Think of it from the other side of the coin. His parents have been offendes and rejected at least 4 times , how does that make them feel towards her family. Rejection is terrible don't you think so ? They probably did not even think he still was thinking about Nadia when they started plotting to marry the widow to him . The widow has no idea either what's going on. Also I've seen this happen to widower men like AngloLibyan said sometimes the sister marries the widower, or the cousin marries the widow if there are no brothers left. It is a way to provide for the kids and keep them in the family. It may not be romantic but I've seen it work a lot of times even in recent times. But I have never seen it forced , most of the people who did it was by choice.
I hear that it is /was common in China too.

Libyan NBA, he definitely should marry Nadia yes.

AngloLibyan see , your grandma's sister wanted to bring the kids and so it worked . As for FM yes I think you have to subscribe online now.

Trabilsia , wise words as usual. Both sets of parents have done wrong, but I think Nadia's were even more wrong , no ?

Anonymous :P yes these stories are common in Egyp too Sa3id especially ( upper Egypt) weld il 3am and all that so I'm sure there is a movie about it somewhere ...

Lost Libyano, absolutely , religiously he is not bound to marry the widow and as you said she may not even want him. The only thing religion tells us to do is care for orphans that is all we are bound to do . Care for ALL orphans.
I do agree that Libyans should stop making damaging statements about a woman's chastity. That only causes terrible problems and is hypocritical.

Craig this is the whole story. Isam and Nadia love each other. Her parents refused him but she stuck to him. Now that he can finally marry her, his parents want him to marry the brother's widow. He is stuck between and anvil and a hard place....yes he should only do what makes him happy , but he has this emotional blackmail to deal with .. maybe he could reason with his mum. The fact that he is asking for advice makes me think that he may have considered marrying the widow...

Anonymous said...

Definitions folks, we need definitions for what is so called Love and else, before we exercise hate, dilemma and emotional dump we need to examine the situation and define terms.
Love is the entrapment of a human being lost the defense mechanisms to her/his hormones( excess hormones).
A man and a woman are enjoying each other's bodily fluids out of the natural course of material satisfaction imposed by the definition of what rights call for as a natural law. Some one taps on the shoulder of the man in the high position and asks, would you like your bodily fluids produce a babies (since you love each other) the answer is a huge pause and a " no but and buts and more buts and a'''''s.
Question: where did Love go, is this an extreme, no or maybe yes, but the reality of life is that people reach peaks and graphs repeat themselves as history does.
Stupidity is a norm also on people who have undignified nature and isolationists by natureto be contionued, and I love you all.