7.04.2008

What I didn’t blog about this week

Saturday - Whenever I come to Egypt, I am always struck by the conflicting images I see—the Arabic music videos, not unlike American ones, featuring scantily clad women writhing around a dance floor in contrast to the modestly dressed and sometimes completely covered women on the streets.

I asked my sister-in-law why there is so much variation in dress. While she respects the practice, she, herself, chooses not wear a head covering. She explained that the Koran advises a woman to dress in a way so as not to attract attention, and that a woman (or a woman together with her family) interpret the passages as it suits her own belief system.

As I am not Muslim, it’s not for me to judge how a woman dresses. (I am more concerned and perplexed by the inequities in other aspects of life, the justice system and social system as it pertains to issues of inheritance, divorce, etc.) But I cannot for the life of me understand how women walk around in the Egyptian sun fully covered. I walk around in long skirts and capris and am ready to die of heat stroke!

Sunday – Today I saw a woman in a burka riding through downtown Cairo on the back of a Harley Davidson. Now that’s something I don’t see every day!

Tuesday – The African Union met in Sharm El Sheikh while we have been vacationing, but I haven’t noticed increased security. This surprises me because Sharm El Sheikh suffered terrorists bombings a few years back. The only time I noticed an increased presence was when Libyan president Momar Khadafi came to Naama Bay by motorcade. Although I do not know for sure, I suspect he might have come to party at the Hard Rock Café or Buddah Lounge, ya think?

Thursday – I am ready to get back to Germany for a host of reasons, but mostly because of the stress family “vacations” puts on poor Max. Everyone has his ear. Family members come to him with all of their problems and it weighs so heavily on his heart. I leave this place grateful that I married for love and am with man who believes I am his equal and treats me with respect.

Friday- Happy 4th of July, my fellow Americans. Please, eat a hot dog and watch some fireworks for me!

16 comments:

patches said...

I would have found myself asking questions about the uh "dress code" as well. The burka and the Harley totally cracked me up. I live for incongruity.

American in Norway said...

Happy 4th! Not the same away from home it it? Hope you have a great day!

Jean Ann said...

I have often wondered what it would be like to be a woman who attracts attention by looking different (blond, blue, etc)in a society that does not treat women as equals...I would think that it would be better to blend in...

Jill said...

Happy 4th of July to you - this is my 1st one in the States in 5 years....

I hope you had a great trip to Egypt. It sounds like it will be nice to get home - and recuperate from your trip!

Cheryl said...

Happy 4th to you as well! A burka on a Harley?! Awesome.

Rachel said...

Your Sunday story is such an incredible image...

running42k said...

I would have love to see that Harley.

As for Arabic music videos, my God (or is it Allah?) those women are beautiful.

meno said...

The woman on the Harley in a burka is justification for always carrying a camera with you.

Charlotte said...

Happy Fourth to you, too, Diane!

No hotdogs here, though. We had a New England-style meal with grilled salmon on tart cucumber sauce, with parsley potatoes, and peas n' pods. And yeah, some ice cream.

Looking forward to your being safely back in Germany. And as to the dress code: You see the same thing in Istanbul, too, in all degrees, from midriff-baring tank top to the full-on burkah. Different strokes ...

Andrea said...

Sounds like you had a great vacation, I mean other than being sick...
I loved the podcasts. That was so cute!
Happy 4th and welcome back!

Dan-E said...

happy 4th of july diane! i didn't get to have a hot dog since i had to work but i cooked a cedar plank salmon with a spicy orange rum reduction sauce instead, hope you don't mind.

i did wash it down with some good american beer (sierra nevada)

Lynda said...

Yes, the conundrum of Egypt... and then you see the 'peep-show' underwear stores where gifts for the bride are purchased for her wedding night. The old adage of 'a gourmet chef in the kitchen, a whore in the bedroom' always rings through my head... it is confusing for me too.

Dianne said...

sounds like you'll truly need a rest after your trip.

Every family has a Max - the one they all go to. Max is lucky to have you - someone for him to go to.

Peaceful journey Diane

V-Grrrl said...

Once in store in Brussels, I saw a woman in a burka buying Lancome cosmetics. Only her eyes were showing but she was carefully checking out lipsticks and other makeup. It made me curious about her "hidden" life.

Paige Jennifer said...

Yeah, um, I've totally had those thoughts about conflicting views of women in that region. It usually strikes me when I get a word search that is unquestionably pornographic in nature leading a visitor from let's say Saudi Arabia to my site. It's just so want-my-cake-and-I'm- eating-it-to.

Of course, for the sake of keeping on point, we're going to TOTALLY ignore the fact that "women giving head" is a way people find my blog.

swenglishexpat said...

Diane - The burka woman on the Harley encapsulates the conflicting views of a country like Egypt, I suppose. What a sight it must have been!