"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Al Dabour series and the Position of Women

The director of Al Dabour series is Tamer Ishaq. Most of the Middle East televisions have been broadcasting his TV series during the fasting month called Ramadan.

Al Dabour, one of the most popular television series in the Arab world,  provide us with an array of ceremonies, rituals, and folk practices which re-construct the daily routine of Arabic women's lives. 

Tamer Ishaq exposes anxieties related to the proof of virginity, women's mobility and transgression of home boundaries, restriction on speech and the idolization of silence as a feminine virtue, the threat of divorce or polygamy which "yokes women's daily lives into SUBMISSION", and the enforcement of this submissiveness through rigorous religious application.

Al Dabour TV series is a frank expression of mysoginy and it conveys the negative message that women are a source of worry because they are a potential threat to the honor of EL HARA (the neighbourhood)! The women are shown as an economic burden to be shouldered by the males of the family as long as these women live.  

Women, poor women, they lacked economic power, and most of them still do, most of us still do! Women are shown passive and completely insignificant in the scale of the society, and the universe at large. All these women in the TV series are trapped in social and economic conditions which they do not even question. And if they do, they will be murdered or accused of madness.

The women in Al Dabour TV series live in a patriarchal society under patriarchal control, completely excluded from the society, with covered faces and hidden bodies.

Well, thank you to Tamer Ishaq to remind us today that many women do still live like the women in the TV series called Al Dabour!

I would like women to start making television series which will be broadcasted during Ramadan and they will focus our attention on the important role that women have in our societies! Women's series which will serve to confront and counter the picture of the passive chador clad women! 

Mr. Tamer Ishaq, your TV series convey stereotypes of Muslim women: doe-eyed, veiled, and submissive, exotically silent, inhabitants of harem! Well, I am glad that women in Tunisia and women in Egypt's Tahrir square were at the front and centre of organising and leading protests! Women were a leading force behind the revolution. They are hotheaded young women with megaphones and blogs to cry their ideas out to society.

We are tired, Mr. Tamer Ishaq, of these TV series which convey images of women who have no voices in their homes, no voices in their neighbourhood, no voices in their society, and where they are only considered as good cook or sexual being! 

Women's sexuality was linked to the honor of the men and the family, while men's sexuality was not linked to their honor! Therefore, women are restricted to their homes  and if they went out, they were responsible of the preservation of their purity. 

Badran, Margot. Feminism, Islam and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt.. Princeton, New
Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995.
Badran, Margot and Miriam Cooke. Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing. Bloomington
and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1990.

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