Friday, July 23, 2010

Sofas? Banned for Women

Just sent to my inbox this morning ...

The latest FATWA: women are not allowed to sit on sofa because they get relaxed and they may open their legs while relaxing and this will seduce the male in the room…..

28th July - update
this was written by a woman

اخر فتاوي :الجلوس على الكرسي حرام

الى اي مستوى قد ينزل التفكير ؟؟ والى اي مستوى نصل بالدين الى حد الأضحوكة
كان الرسول الاكرم وصحابته الكرام يجلسون على المنبر

فتوى (تحريم الجلوس على الكراسي) التي أصدرتها الدَّاعية أم أنس، على موقعها الإليكتروني، بعنوان (تنبيه إلى حرمة الكراسي وما أشبهها من مقاعد وأرائك، والله أكبر) وإليكم نص الفتوى:
"إن من أخطر المفاسد التي بُليت بها أمتنا العظيمة ما يُسمَّى بالكرسي، وما يشبهه من الكنبات وخلافها، ممَّا هو شرٌّ عظيم يخرج من الملة كما يخرج السَّهم من الرَّمية . و إن السَّلف الصالح وأوائل هذه الأمَّة، وهم خير خلق الله، كانوا يجلسون على الأرض، ولم يستخدموا الكراسي، ولم يجلسوا عليها، ولو فيها خير لفعله حبيبي، وقرة قلبي، وروح فؤادي، المصطفى عليه الصلاة والسَّلام ومن تبعه بإحسان. و إن هذه الكراسي وما شابهها صناعة غربيَّة، وفي استخدامها والإعجاب بها ما يوحي بالإعجاب بصانعها وهم الغرب، وهذا، والعياذ بالله، يهدم ركناً عظيماً من الإسلام وهو الولاء والبراء، نسأل اللــــه العافية . الأمر جلل يا أمَّة الإسلام، فكيف نرضى بالغرب ونعجب بهم وهم العدو . و ما يجلبه الكرسي أو الأريكة من راحة تجعل الجَّالس يسترخي، والمرأة تفتح رجليها، وفي هذا مدعاة للفتنة والتبرُّج، فالمرأة بهذا العمل، تمكن الرَّجل من نفسها لينكحها، وقد يكون الرَّجل من الجّنّ أو الإنس، والغالب أن الجّن ينكحون النساء وهنَّ على الكراسي. وكم من مرَّة شعرت المرأة بالهيجان والشَّبق الجّنسي المحرَّم، وذلك بعد جلوسها على الكرسي. ولكَمْ من مرَّة وجدت المرأة روائح قذرة في فرجها كما خبرت وكما حدثتني بذلك بعض الصَّالحات، التائبات من الجُّلوس على الكراسي، لذلك فالجُّلوس على الكرسي رذيلة وزنا لا شبهة فيه . و الجلوس على الأرض يُذكر المسلم بخالق الأرض وهذا يزيد في التعبُّد، والتهجُّد، والإقرار بعظمته سبحانه "

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fat Arabs: it's official

When I last visited America I was amazed at how slim everyone seemed to be.  At the time I put it down to being in San Fransico and being surrounded by a city of people who were simply healthy.  But then I got to Florida and it was the same.

I couldn't imagine, from everything I'd read and heard about America, the people I saw in the street were slimmer on average than the people I saw in the street in the Gulf.  Basically I didn't believe what I was seeing.

Turns out I was right; many Americans are slimmer, on average, than Gulfies. 

Each year the Economist publishes figures which include the percentage spending of GDP on health care, average figures for literacy and clean water supplies, as well as a list of the levels of obesity.

Scarily, of the top 9 places in this particular award, 4 members of the GCC make an appearance.  Only Oman and the UAE are not mentioned.  Thanks to LONDONGIRL for highlighting this idea. 

The cartoon below highlights changes in dress sizes before and after marriage:

Places were given as follows:

10th Place:  Cyprus

Joint 8th:  Bahrain
About 1 million people live in Bahrain, of which it is said 23.3% of men are obese and 34.1% of women. Overall it is thought 28.7% of the adult population is obese.

Joint 8th:  Kuwait
With a population of around 4 million, it is said 28.7% of Kuwaitis are obese. 29.9% of all women have a BMI of 30 or more, compared with 27.5% of men.

7th Place: Albania

6th Place: Mexico

5th Place: Panama

4th Place: USA

3rd Place:  Saudi Arabia
Population is estimated to be around 25 million people. Of these, 35.2% of adults are obese; 26.4% men and 44% women.

2nd Place:  Lebanon

1st Place:  Qatar
Qatar's estimated 1.5 million citizens very large indeed; 39.95% of adults are obese. 34.6% of men have a BMI of over 30 and nearly half of all women; 45.3% are obese.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How loud can you Shout?

We're in the middle of nowhere in Thailand and ahead of us are two men shouting into a public phone. 

Seriously, they would have given a vuvuzela a run for its money.  I turned to my husband and said, "They must be Arabs" . As we came up close enough to the two gentlemen to work out where they were from, it turned out they were Arabs. 

After 25 years of observation, the theory with shouting appears to be, 'the louder I shout the more likely it is I'm going to get my own way.  If the person being shouted out does not give me what I want I will shout louder and louder, and louder and louder, in a cresending noise until the other person bows to my wishes'.

At times it's like being sprayed with verbal paint stripper.  And hense the vuvuzela on the phone outside this rural 7-11 coldstore. 

Sure enough, as we walked up to the two men ahead of us we could translate the almost visible wall of screams.  The Bahraini wanted the bank to send him, immediately, now, not tomorrow, not yesterday, but NOW, "arr-baa-a wa kham-seen alf dollar".

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dressed for the World Cup?

Not sure if this is photoshop or for real, but in honour of the world cup, these three photos are doing the rounds:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gift Giving

Gift giving can be a cross cultural nightmare; in the Arab world gifts are generous, large and given as often as possible.

Basic Overview
Gifts are always given when you go to someone's house, or visit someone in hospital. Sensible things to bring with you are flowers and/or chocolates and generiosity is the order of the day. Gifts are never given at weddings, but on return from honeymoon women will be expected to go around to the bride's house and present her with jewellery, gold preferably.

When a gift is given, the receiver will thank the giver but will never unwrap it in front of them.

Personal Recollection
My friend was at a loss as to how he could get visas for his holiday, the embassy was in a different country and getting them there with DHL was possible, but lots of hassle. I offered to take them with me as I was visiting the country three days later.

Having taken the passports with me and deposited them at the embassy, I arrived at work the next day to find the biggest gift I have ever seen on my desk.
When I mentioned how large it was my friend said,
“You saved me lots of time and trouble and money, it’s a small gift for your house to thank you for all your trouble.”

I asked if I could open the present there and then, and he said, “You must”. Before I could start removing the wrapping paper he was tearing at it himself, helping me to undo the parcel. Inside were 12 wine goblets, and this was from a man who doesn’t drink.

In this case all the rules were broken, but it was a very unusual situation.