Friday, March 09, 2007

Highlander: to be or not to be grounded ? ( Updated)

Like Sereeb, Braveheart and Um Dania , many others Libyan and non-Libyan are outraged and talking about the latest hot topic; namely the purported planned banning of Libyan young women from travelling abroad without a chaperone, effective Monday ( which Monday? ) .

A lot of people and me included have only read very brief mentions regarding the issue such as in here , and are building whole theories on them, but none of us have any concrete proof.

The story began when the Aljamahiriya daily paper ( cartoon above courtesy of the same paper) ran an article on Monday March 5, in which a woman wrote to complain that she had been turned back at the airport apparently because of this new law. Well first of all this is the link to the full article in Arabic by two Libyan female journalists critical of this decision. In the same paper another Libyan female journalist wrote an Op-ed, in which Khjadija Bseekri wonders among others things in Arabic, how is the Libyan female pilot, judge or other professional going to travel and will she have to beg from her male relatives to accompany her.

It seems some women have been turned back, and I also read plenty of references to this Law , but I do not see the text or a copy of it anywhere. So I turned to the website hosted by the General People's Committee . This is an extremely popular and up to date Libyan governement site. It is very professional and all the decisions, decrees and laws are categorized and posted in pdf file mode. I was surprised to find no sign of this law, but only a clarification about it. I even checked the website of the Ministy of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice and still could not locate it . The clarification simply states that this decision aims to regulate the unecessary travel of Libyan women abroad due to some negative past activities and that it is the same as for men, i.e. you have to show why you are travelling and what for. It is well known that employees male and female are required to have a letter stating their purpose of travel if for business/study /etc... I am not translating the entirety of the article but just the salient points. Regardless of that I see no trace of that law yet so could it be that some overzealous people are implementing it already based on rumours ? trigger happy kind of ?

To be honest I am not surprised at this turn of event, I could see it coming for the last few years because of all the questions and hints I kept being bombarded with each time an immigration officer held my passport. I had an uneasy feeling because I had heard of the unfortunate misconduct of some of my Libyan sisters which meant that the reputation of many Libyan women travelling alone has a potential to suffer because they are looked upon as less than pure.
I understand this is discriminatory, because even if some girls are dishonouring themselves, or being sucked into crime, who is to judge ? and why not the men? some of them are behaving even worse. So the responsibility for honour and a crimeless life lies with both males and females as good citizens. If there is a criminal offense, then apprehend the offender, but if it is a case of morality then if someone has not been brought up well in their home whether male or female, then they will not be chaste in their own country or outside away from prying eyes and nothing will curb it.

Preventing Libyan women under 40 from travelling unless they have a male guardian with them is not going to stop depravity. In addition it implies that after the age of 40 you are less depraved and cannot become a criminal because you are mature ? or because you are less pretty and too old , very unflattering. Meanwhile , nothing, zilch , nada in the local press, except for the above mentioned paper.

I will not argue religion because if true this law is not based on Sharia and according to the clarification mentioned it is to curb criminal and depraved behaviour. Sharia has a different angle, and some of it is still under debate. So please don't bring religious arguments into the comments because this alleged decree does not discuss the Sharia as it clearly stipulates a certain age range and not ALL women. The Sharia as illustrated here bases its fatwas on several hadiths . I am not an expert on Islamic jurisprudence and as I said it is not today's topic.

Hence to this date, this decision against lone women travellers under 40 is still unpublished officially even though there have been a few cases of women being refused permit to leave. However, if true then it really clashes with several of our local laws here especially article 21. This is not only ironic as it comes into force concomitently with the celebratrion of International Women's day but if true it is indeed disappointing to say the least.

My personal prediction if it turns out to be correct is that I don't expect the decree to last more than a few weeks, and I have of course my own theory about that..

Obviously this means the farthest I will be travelling for a while could be my grandparents' house... ridiculous no ?

In the meantime, the Egyptians have a wise saying , 'yakhabar il naharda bi flus , bukra bi balash'.

Update 12-3-2007

As I said above this law has not been promulgated and there was no trace of it but only indirect references and allusions to security measures prompting the sending back of some females from the airport . Yes the General People's Committee issued an announcement for those who do not read Arabic, here below is the summary :

(1) denial that it was issued on its behalf
(2) confirming some temporary security measures and which have now been taken care off.
(3) clarifying that these organising procedures never aimed that discriminating against Libyan women especially since our ladies are leaders in being aircraft pilots, judges and lawyers etc..
(4) it has already explained before the causes of these temporary measure which have been duly carried out by those in charge , and that there has been a misunderstanding along the way.

So basically I'm not grounded anymore, and I told you so .... and what's more I still have my own theory about all this :P


Gheriani said...

Is this really true? So a woman has the right only to travel from her parent's house, to her husband's, and then to the graveyard! Allah yarhamuk ya Hameda Al Anezi.
I still find it hard to believe it's true.

AngloLibyan said...

i think Libya tried to introduce a simillar law many years ago but it was never enforced, its rediculous and degrading, i hope that we have heard the end of it inshaAllah.

dania2004 said...

...And why should i be judged by the behaviour of a small "very" small percentage of women who -disgraced- the NATION with their desperate search for money and food.. i mean why didn`t they track the problem from its origions .. why women are selling themselves abroad!!!
i `m sooo angry because it is affecting me directly ,, i`m feeling humiliated, discriminated and pre-judged... and as you said HL, i had always this proplem of suspicious looks in the airport while travelling.. now they could tell me to back off and bring somebody to accompany me (as an immature creature)to the safe grounds...!!! how rediculous..\

even children could travel alone it just need some supervision from the crew...!!! sigh

Um Dania

NOMAD said...

hehe, this must rejoice LWarrior, this has something to do with the preservation of the Berber race :lol:

Ghazi Gheblawi said...

Since the day I heard this utter joke that is called traveling with a Mahram, and I am trying to control my tempers to write something that might offend people who think that the government is obeying the rules of Islam. I read so many comments on Libya Alyoum E-newspaper that revealed the true face of the backward and despicable hypocrites of the male Libyan society. If you go to the web site you will find that they are conducting an opinion poll on the issue and till now the majority agrees with this invisible decree, I am so disappointed and frustrated with the stupid reaction to the acts of small number of the Libyan community, i.e. Girls who are traveling abroad and selling their bodies for money... all I have to say to the government please grow up... Ghazi

onlibya said...

I think every female should not travel alone, I have to go back to the definition of knowledge and what it means to practice it.

mani said...


I agree with you and commend your outrage. Only self serving oppressive men who have no confidnce in the quality of their upbringing are going to agree with such a law. however please don't be misled by putting your hearts to analyze this law more than it deserves, although I concur that reflection on these matters and sharia is food for thought. but the issue is far simpler.

The main reason for this law is short term and in a word; diaspora. This is of course in line with the measures the government is taking as part of the economic reform programme. There is a concerted effort to stem the tides of brides currently being called and planned for by many Libyans who got the chance to emigrate to the west. It has been going on for ages and one objective is to disincentive the Libyan diaspora living abroad in a bid to bring them back. Its very clever because Libyans know that Libyans no matter how far flung and exiled, if hey cant find a way home, at least their women can, so it puts pressure on newly married Libyans abroad with a choice.. either leave your wife to go to Libya but she cannot go back to you or just stay put.. which is a very difficult choice for most Libyans, especially now we have the chance to travel to and fro. Trafficking is really not an issue in Libya because traditional patriarchal sentiment and jealousy still exists no matter how corrupt the men are. Those men that vote on polls and consider this an Islamic issue are very narrow minded as this law gives them nothing more than an excuse to consider that they are not part of the problem, when in fact they are the very CAUSE. besides.. laws don't get made because some Libyan girls were indecent in the west that's just silly. those that are indecent mainly belong to an indecent class which actually 'owns' the country and get the chance to do what they like abroad spending the nation's wealth.. you think this law was made to curb them????

Sania, Libyan women who wish to sell their bodies deseprate in search of money and food, dont really leave the country.. they have it good in Tripoli.. wala hawla wala qowwata illa billah..

onlibya, with all due respect whether you think so or not, that is just an opinion and a truly Islamic civil society would never make this 'law'. no state should have the right to intervene in people's life in this manner, its disgusting.

Maya M said...

I think Nomad shot right into the center. I mean, it seems to be an eugenics issue, otherwise why is the age limit set at exactly 40 years? Women over 40 are able to have affairs and do crimes as well, while if it were about prostitution, the age limit would have been about 30. But the age 40 is significant because it is usually the point when women lose fertility. So authorities seem to fear that young women may conceive abroad and deliver a Libyan baby with foreign genes... Wake up, non-Libyan men, raise voices to reject this genocide against your unborn babies! Libyan women, defend your right to travel and to choose freely your partner for procreation! I know this is a deadly serious problem and I mustn't joke, but I just can't help it, sorry!

Anonymous said...

What is more disgusting is when some one leaves their natural course and forgets who they are.
A female is always in need of a male perspective, a female, look at some of the sisters from Libya who ventured out and did it their own way, they are a wreck, some are even psychologically irreparable, the issue here is not just penetration of any sort, the issue is the psychological defects that creeps in to the mentality of the female that can not be reparable, I also must state that "You can not legislate morality" but you can bring people's attention to a problem and who is better to rule laws on ones life then its maker. Wise up

NOMAD said...

I can see anonimous is very courageous , is it the average male way to consider women issues in Lybia ? Then, I understand why the younger and wiser lybian females would search for a better life elsewhere else ;

Anonymous said...

Nomad, stay on the subject please. Also state your opinion about the matter rather the Anonyme, Since we are all Anonyme here. znayesh?

NOMAD said...

yeah anonyme , I am right on the subject ; plus I know who you really are, be sure I don't mix you with LW, he could be funny at his times, him !

so get back to your pseudo

Anonymous said...

actually nomad i think you confused this anonyme with me (Libyan_NBA) and its true he isn't LW either, and you don't know who I really am because nobody knows that not even your friend and if you knew who I really was you wouldn't be so confident like everybody else. Oh and last time, i was messing with your head to get you to slip up, knowing your friend wasn't there and your a big mouth, which i enjoyed by the way lol.

Anonymous said...

oh and if you could improve your English maybe i can give you a reply to your image of Libyan men, problem is half the time I find it hard to understand what your saying which is why I usually don't bother myself with you.

Mitchell said...

The alleged law sounds ridiculous and retrograde... But I am excited to finally see a *.GOV.LY domain in action. :-) I looked for Libyan government websites in the past, without success. But I see there are lots of them now.

Maya M said...

Anybody wondering why on so many blogs anonymous comments are banned? Highlander has several times threatened to do the same, I'm sure she still allows these comments only because of her unconfessed but genuine commitment to free speech.

Anonymous said...

Well Maya I'm not the only anonymous commenter so shut your trap and mind your own business. Even if I was to use a blogger ID it wouldn't change anything. She knows who's who and since its her blog thats all that matters.

NOMAD said...

Dear anonyme, your serching formalist arguments now... with which I do care of wouarfffff !

Anonymous said...

Another thing why is who I am so Important ? Shouldn't you be arguing my ideas instead of me?

Anonymous said...

"Dear anonyme, your serching formalist arguments now... with which I do care of wouarfffff !"

Could somebody please translate this to English for me? Is the "wouarffff" a French bark?

Anonymous said...

If you want to reply, reply to the comments I left on your blog.

NOMAD said...

I do appreciate being that for you, I revendique it as an honnor

Highlander said...

Gheriani , as I said in my post no one really knew if it was true or not except. There only some ladies who could not travel and they said so. But you saw my update by now.

Anglolibyan, you are right it was never enforced and it was not a law.

Dania2004 , thank God this is not going to happen so you can come and visit your parents now :) . Thanks for your comment.

Nomad, in Libya as you know we are mixed berber, arab, sub-saharan african , melting pot … but I get the humour . To be honest I miss LW’s comments.

Ghazi you know it really is difficult sometimes to explain that this alleged law had nothing to do with Islam as it only targeted a certain segment of the society.

Onlibya , thank you for your comment and welcome to my blog , I really did not understand what you meant. However, I think the issue is if someone does not wish to travel alone that’s their own choice which it would be preferable not to be reflected in state laws. And if such a law is implemented it should not single out only some people , what do you think ?

Mani, thanks for your comment , you’ve got some interesting points , but I don’t think the reason is the diaspora, those are after all Libyan men marrying Libyan people and also we don’t have a shortage of Libyan females mashallah :) so we are fine this way. Plus what’s the point ? If the men can’t/don’t want to visit their wives and kids certainly can and do

Maya , I beg to disagree with you even though your deduction is quite clever with reference to the fertility age . Libyan women are quite fertile beyond this age . That’s not a problem in Libya from what I can see. I will talk another time about Libyan women married to non-Libyans and if anyone was afraid that they would deliver some foreign genes they would prohibit marriage to non- Libyans like in the United Arab Emirates. Libyan women can marry anyone they chose as long as the man is Muslim , which brings us to interfaith marriage and that has been extensively discussed on other blogs.

Highlander said...

@Anonymous 3.44 Mon Mar 12
Thank you for your comment, do you mean that female needs a males perspective always, but a male never needs a woman’s perspective ?

However the Maker is the one to regulate one’s life as you correctly stated but not other humans which are made of the same material : ) which brings us back to the maximum age of 40 :P

@Nomad my dear, Libyan females do have a good life in Libya , I think the majority are actually very pleased with their lot. Those who seek greener pastures do so like any immigrant for better academic achievements, for success in areas which are not available locally, for improved economic lot It's not like all women are suddenly running away. However, a little mixing of DNA is always good for a country.
So what we need - according to a Libyan man I spoke with once - is for all Libyan men to marry non –Libyan and live in Libya and all Libyan women to do the same and we will double the population => 10 million in a jiffy . That would be cool !

@Anonymous Mar 12 09:57 PM can you please translate ‘znayesh’ I hope it is not an insult ?

@Libyan NBA thanks for your comment , only I ( at least on this blog) can know if anon 3.44 is LW , but from the writing style we/you could assume it’ s not LW and we also know from LW’s blog that he is busy at the moment.
Actually it would be interesting to hear about Libyan men ( I know some are jerks like all over the world ) but many are wonderful Libyan men out there , such as my brothers , uncles, neighbours , friends , colleagues, classmates , tribe etc… Good and evil is all over, except that evil is more vocal ....

@Mitchell, long time no see , I’m so glad you dropped by. There are many websites you should have asked me to refer you.

@Maya , re anonymous comments, I leave the option on also mostly because some people really DO have a problem to log in from some countries or servers.

However, and this is a note to all readers, I really wish that my kindness would not be abused and that commenters would keep posting with the same ID it does not take long you can just type your preferred ID no need to log onto blogger, it would be less confusing and prevent misunderstandings , especially as someone noted we are all really anonymous even with our monikers - except those posting with their real names of course.

@Anonymous Mar 13 11.10 AM , since you are talking about discussing your ideas you mean others ( except me :P of course ) must assume you are the same anonymous Mar 12, 3.44 PM. ? It really would be easier for reference purpose to just type an ID or sign an ID at the end of your comment, and you would do me a favour as well. Thank you.

Perkunas said...

One of the problems with freedom is that people will make mistakes and go bad, they will use drugs, there will worship material goods, they will do all sorts of things that aren't in the best interest of human nature and human culture. Anonymous is saying that only religion can stop this from happening -- is that true? Is there any way to avoid the negative impact of freedom on the lives of people who are free to make good and bad decisions about how to live their lives?

Perkunas said...

Link to similar issue in Jordan.

Maya M said...

Reason and secular moral also can prevent many people from doing bad and stupid things, but they are not as reliable as religion. And even religion won't be 100% effective.
Have you seen this post of Leilouta?

mani said...


exactly highlander.. these are all little ruses and tactics to try and put pressure on some of the Libyan men abroad.. of course.. many of their wives and kids do visit to and fro even if they dont.. but say their wives go to libya.. they wouldnt be allowed to travel back unless he comes back.. and yes libyan men are marrying many non-libyan women in the Uk I know 3 close friends who have done so..

You know.. I was telling my friends at Uni exactly teh same thing.. Im all for gene mixing.. and considering the size of our country and its relative population.. you definately know that pro-emigration to Libya policies are not far off inshallah.. itll be like australia and singapore.. even our parents who are both libyans encourage us to marry muslims cross seas when possible

Perkunas said...

Thanks for the link -- great story. I only ask the question because it is a puzzle. I'm very much of a secular person and believe that people have to be allowed to make their own mistakes -- this is how people learn, but such a way can be very dangerous, as life can be, not sure what can be done about that. I just don't see enough concern about morality from secular sources and I just wonder what that will mean for the future of secular society.

mani said...

Thanks for the link -- great story. I only ask the question because it is a puzzle. I'm very much of a secular person and believe that people have to be allowed to make their own mistakes -- this is how people learn, but such a way can be very dangerous, as life can be, not sure what can be done about that. I just don't see enough concern about morality from secular sources and I just wonder what that will mean for the future of secular society.

Perkunas.. thank you very much.. you know, my english friends and I were reflecting on the same issue yesterday. I was telling them about the Laws of Allah swt(huddod)in the Quran and how the punishments for the major sins and their underlying conditions were described in the Quran. You see, its common sense to know that people should learn from their mistakes but its also common sense that transgressions that are not (mistakes) be dealt with approporiately because if they are not, then moral and social decay will incur. This is because man's knowledge is imperfect and between his uncertainty and limited reason man copies others. Th emajority of the people in the world follow a simple 'baa baa mentality' that makes them succeptible to being herded around like sheep. So moral decay is eating up the planet because fake role models and heros of modernity (celebrities, fashion people, fake stars, lewd people etc) are being paraded infront of us daily in the media as role model citizens that we should emulate, follow, dress like, sing to and about bllablabla. This, i think is your point.

youd expect any reasonable system of governance to make room for both mistakes and correction. So the punishments that are prescribed in the quran for examble are protected by a combination of severe warnings , punishments for misuse of witness authority and all sorts of other measures designed specifically to guarentee room for privacy and personal learning. Not only that, but Islam is not just a system of governance or (law) as in other societies.. its a sytem of teaching. We muslims are encouraged to approach ourselves or other sinners in compassion and advice and the same Quran discourages revenge and scandalising while encouraging advice and respect for other's privacy. Believers who take this message of Islam should take it wholly, and under those circumstances I can see that the system Allah swt lay out for us is only for our own benefit at the end of the day.Islam is common sense .. thats why we have reason to identify it with.. not irrational attiudes of irresponsbile emotion..

Id love to stay longer and write a bit more im not usually in these moods of reflection and writing flow too.. but I hope that I may have given you something to reflect on with me too.

Maya M said...

I'm also secular but I agree with you that secular moral doesn't seem a working basis for a society. For individuals - yes, but not for whole societies. Just look at secular Europe.
You are right that it can be too dangerous to learn from one's own mistakes. It has been said that fools habitually learn this way, while clever people prefer to learn from other people's mistakes. It is so well known that drugs are addictive and bring you to Hell, so does alcohol abuse, reliable contraception is needed until you want a baby, and you mustn't go out with somebody if your gut feeling says no. Yet, in every generation of young people some "accumulate experience" by violating these simple safety rules.
Highlander, I just mentioned something. I know from many sources, your blog included, that most Libyan women wear traditional clothing and headscarf and the trend is increasing. But the woman in the cartoon is dressed Western style and barehead. I wonder, is this detail intended to say something?

Highlander said...

Perkunas I don't think there is any way to stop people from abusing freedom. The only method I can see is how each individual is raised. It starts in the home , the values that one is thought , and at school as well. Those are the characteristics that would make a person not stray in the midst of a pack of wolves...

But I believe that the common sense ( as Mani said it so well) and morality derived from religion are very important as those are guidelines for the unenlightened enough to think for themselves and know right from wrong.

On the other hand each one of us will be judged ( by God)solely for his/her own actions.

Also thanks for the link , interesting that Jordan was thinking about preventing single women from entering.. Honestly I must say that Jordan has changed so much from only 3 years ago.

Maya I read Leilouta's post a long time ago and I get your point :)thanks.
As for your remark about the woman in the cartoon, that's actually also how a typical Libyan woman looks. You cannot generalise like this about hijab because if you read the Libyan bloggers you would find that many wear hijab and are very active, very smart , travel alone , are devout etc.. maybe someone can point you to a site with a compilation of Libyan satire and caricature, you can see from there how the Libyan society is portrayed. A Libyan woman can be a military recruit and still wear a scarf , that piece of cloth is not going to be an obstacle to achievement :)

On the other you may have a point and the artist could have wanted to pass a message, would you like to tell us what do you think it could be ?

Mani , hello again, I'm really grateful for you dropping by on my blog. I am impressed by your parents especially that they are both Libyans. Cross cultural muslim marriages are common when one of the parents is not Libyan, a bit less when both are Libyan as you know . Alhamdulilah for your parents.

As for your comment re. huddoud I guess we are in agreement and I wish you would stay more on this blog to give a different taste to the debate.

Highlander said...

Oh and Mani I have seen you blogging for a while :)

Maya M said...

Perhaps the Western-style clothing of the depicted lady is to portray her as a habitual traveller under foreign influence?
Or, because a paper called "Jamahiriya" is expected to reflect official positions, possibly Libyan women wishing to dress Western-style are encouraged by the authorities to do so? I know that Libyan government lets women choose, unlike the situation in some other countries where headscarves are either mandatory or banned, but there may still be preference either for wearing or for not wearing it.
I really don't know. Indirect, implicit messages are difficult to be deciphered by an outsider.
I'll be happy if this is the typical look of a young Libyan woman. However, I remember your recent post about the hijab and how you sometimes feel discriminated for not wearing it. It made me feel really sad.

Highlander said...

Maya, in Libya everything is not as you would think at first glance. Habitual travellers are women and men of all walks of life and segments of the society. There is no certain 'look' of under 'foreign influence'.

Libyan women dress anyway they like and it is not mandated by the government or society. However, the recent trend in hijab is the third wave which harks back to the mid-80s and the influence of the Afghan war. It is socio-cultural phenomenon and not a general increase in religiousity, political posturing or conservatism. Libyan society is still conservative in its composition. Moreover, you can be modest-conservative and wear 'western' style of clothing, which is what our mothers and aunts did while our grandmothers wore the Libyan traditional clothes which are beautiful garments, fulfilling the requirements for modesty and totally unrelated to the various types of head/body covering 'hijab' mentioned in my earlier posts. Furthermore, I felt discriminated against because of the certain tendency towards hijab which was not necessarily related to morality but more of a fad. That does not mean that the strong morally principled women who chose a hijab and all the consequences it entails do not have my full respect and approval, nor does it mean that only these women are strong and morally principled. Displaying Muslim modesty whether one is with a scarf or not requires a lot of self restraint , respect, morality and good upbringing. It is not the clothes (in my opinion ) that make the person, but what the woman can add to the clothes that shines through. In this regard, the muhajababes or so called modern look has little to do with 'conservative' behaviour. A combination of those effects and a certain tendency to self righteousness and pre-judgment by a minority are the ones that make me uncomfortable at times but not the morality behind whether one is western clothed or not. In the end we are all victims of globalisation :P even in clothing . Leafing through the vintage fashion magazines like Burda that my aunts have been collecting since the early 70s, I see how fashionable the trouser/various lenght tunic combination was. This is definetely of Pakistani origin and I rencently see a variation back in fashion now whether in Europe or in the Arab world. The Pakistanis and Muslims team it up with a scarf while fashionistas just wear it for its ethnic style :).

It's all relative Maya, only the West sees the clothing of an Arab or Muslim female as a problem.

To get back to the cartoon and the topic re. the now defunct ban of younger women travelling alone. Demographically most younger women in Libya wear some sort of hijab, travel and of those many ARE influenced by the west too such as in make up , perfumes , clothes , bags, glasses and other superficial accessories ( lol mostly the wrong influence I daresay instead of science, education and research but there is still hope ) So really it is difficult to generalise and make any statements as there is no typical look. We are varied , and vibrant regardless of what we think and a 'western' look should not be the only criteria that garners the approval of critics and onlookers from outside Libya. How a Libyan woman looks should not be an issue to be judged on the international scene as long as she does not break the laws of a host country.

I hope I have not confused you even more now :P

Curt from Houston said...

This is a bit off topic H, but I just thought everyone might get a kick out of it. It's a little ditty by some Afghan women titles "Burka Blue".

Too wierd huh?

Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Curt from Houston said...

This is a bit off topic but I just thought everyone here might get a kick out of It. It's a song called "Burka Blue" done by some Afghan gals.

Not sure what to make of that one. :-)

By the way, I seem to be having a problem posting today so I apologize in advance for any multiple posts.

Perkunas said...

Thank you Maya, Mani, and Highlander for your thoughtful comments on the issue of morality.

This is a great blog, Highlander. Your comments on fashion are very interesting.

Yes, Mani, it is the celebrity media culture that concerns me -- not sure what can be done; nobody wants to be accused of censorship and there are certain people in the movie and entertainment industry whose goal is to be as offensive as possible to all traditional morality and I think that this attitude is creating serious problems with the cultures of the West.

Have a great weekend everybody.

mani said...


But if the laws of a country ban 'Hijab'.. she still has every right to break it...countries 'banning' hijab! what nonsense.. ban caps and bandana's, balaclavas and ties too.. sheeesh

Thank you highlander ;) Im really happy to see another blogger putting in the time and effort to write at length :D

red said...

A great post once again, H. Regarding the issue mentioned, I was wondering if countries such as Saudi or Iran impose such rules or regulation? I have to admit that I have no clue of such things.

So, will it be imposed in Libya? I hope not. Based on my very limited Islamic knowledge, a woman is to inform her husband if she was to leave the house. I don't think her hubby needs to accompany her.

H, I'm glad that misunderstanding has been cleared by the respective authority. So you're free to roam the world! See ya.

Highlander said...

I checked the video Curt, at first impression I thought it would be offending sort of a propaganda videoclip funded by the occupation forces in Afghanistan to demean the Afghani culture and I was not going to clear it .... but then when I listened to it to the end I realised it was some Afghani girls and they were just making fun about themselves, so I put aside my favourite conspiracy theory thought for the day... It's a very thin line sometimes .

I've seen similar things on you tube by some Arab girls having a hen's party dressed in hollywood stereotyping of harem girls and they recorded themselves on mobile cameras. I've also seen some video of Libyan guys acting out comically the Arab movies and some historical situations..which really makes sense to only us in Libya who grew up watching these TV series about pre-Islam and post Islam. So I guess these are just teenagers having a joke... on themselves.

By the way I did not really get a kick out of it as I felt the view from behind the little squares of the face veil was scary. If some women chose this traditional Afghani dress as a personal choice then that is fine, but if some are forced into it then that is unacceptable.

Whatever it is I did not like the video as it was disturbing kinda - but thank you for sharing . It is good to know other people's opinions my friend- including yours :)

PS I seem to be repeating myself above , but I'm really too tired to re-edit LOL.

Thanks Perkunas :) have a great weekend as well. By the way I've been meaning to ask you about some topics on your blog and your sidebar we seem to be sharing some common interests. I'll get back to that maybe later this week . In the meantime have fun !

Mani :) I agree with you about the countries which ban hijab - I usually write a lot, the chatterbox that I am , but my parents have threatened to throw my computers and books out if I don't get out of my room :P so now I'm being a dutiful daughter ..

Hi Red long time no see :P

I don't know about Iran and Saudi, I may venture that they don't but I'm really not sure we will have to check with bloggers from those two countries.

Yes I'm free to roam and as the Libyans say innasrf LOL :P

Maya M said...

Nobody translated "znayesh", so I'll try. In Bulgarian, pronounced more firmly (znaesh), it means "you know". In Russian, it means "do you know". I guess, the Anonimous must be some Croatian or other Slav acquaintance of Nomad and he used the word to reveal his identity to her but not to others.

AlanK said...


good to know this law did not turn out to be true in the end. Unfortunately lone travellers can get harassed based on stereotypes, whether the wrong colour (by making the terrorist assumption about someone) or age (as in suspected drug trafficker, which some official in Austrailia decided that about me (which I was not to there disappointment) or in this case possibly gender (lucky not true in this case)

also curious what your own theory on this is

Curt from Houston said...

Hello again H. Just found another really bizarre story on World Net Daily about Egyptian men marring wealthy older foreign women.

Desperate housewives turn Egypt upside down
Young Arab men fall for, marry older, foreign, wealthy tourists

Muslim clerics around the world preach against the temptations of the West – meaning movies, music, television and other cultural influences.

But some in Egypt worry about a more direct threat to their social structure and traditions – older, foreign, wealthy, female tourists who are dazzling their young men and stealing their hearts.
In other words, real-life "Desperate Housewives" are invading the nation of the pyramids and turning the country upside down.

Authorities in the city of Luxor, where some 40 percent of young men are married to Western women, recently launched a new campaign designed to provide incentives to stick with local women.

Dr. Samir Faraj, who heads the Luxor municipality, explained to Al Sharq Al Awsat the main reason behind the marriages of young Egyptian men and the aging westerners – including many in their 40s and 50s – is for financial security.

Faraj says better jobs need to be found for the young men, who will then be free to marry the women of their choice and raise families.
Luxor is one of several Upper Egyptian cities struggling with poverty. But it also attracts tourists from across the world to its ancient ruins. Egypt last year drew an estimated 9 million tourists.

Apparently, it's happening so frequently that it's becoming a problem.

The world seems to be getting stranger and stranger. What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is going on here? While Muslim women seem to be getting more devout, the men appear to be heading in the opposite direction, Suicide bombers aside of course. Any thoughts?

Highlander said...

Maya thank you for the translation, I guess the commenter and Nomad have figured it out ...

AlanK , look who is back :) where have you been ?
He he he so you are wanted in Australia ? I remmember the story I think you posted it once on my blog about border troubles. Safia had an interesting one to share as well :P

As for my theory obviously if I wanted to voice it I would have done so a long time ago'll just all have to be patient I guess

Hi Curt thanks again for the input , I think we cannot generalise from the Luxor situation for the whole Arab world as stated below:

"While Muslim women seem to be getting more devout, the men appear to be heading in the opposite direction"

While I'm all for intermixing I think what is happening in that Egyptian city is simply a symbiotic process. The desperate western housewives need a man and good sex :) ( maybe they are not getting any @ home ? no offense of course to any good lovers out there) while the Egyptian guys need funding and Egyptians according to Sandmonkey are very hot ??
I dont know how they live as a couple but I think they don't stay in Luxor all year round and there are no kids involved but this is just my speculation. We can ask Big pharaoh since he lives there now :P I think.

Brave Heart said...


i think u didn't understand the Libyan decision, the decision is to pan women to travl alone , not to pan women to blog in her blog.
u understand me, long time we didn't see ur respected issues.
come on, we're waiting

programmer_craig said...

Just a gigolo

I wonder what that song sounds like, with an Egyptian accent? :P

Highlander said...

Thank you Braveheart, maybe it is the spring fever as Safia says on AngloLibyan's ?:P

but I've been very busy , will maybe post about it soon.

NOMAD said...

I have forgotten the alien, anyway, Maya, he is not one of my aquaintance, he rules for Lybian girls :lol: