Sunday, 5 April 2009

Respecting Women

When I wrote my lost post "Autumn Thunder" there was an issue I wanted to write about but I was not sure if I should, anyway it had nothing to do with the event it self but with mainly the Libyan community in London, as I walked in the hotel I found most of the invited people standing outside the hall where the film was going to be screened as the doors were still closed, I noticed very few ladies there, they were standing with their partners, about 20 minutes later I saw a member of staff open one of the hall's doors slightly then suddenly from no where I saw a group of Libyan ladies, about 15 or 20 run past us and straight into the whole, it really was like a flash then the member of staff closed the door, obviously they were hidden somewhere out of sight until some body asked the organisers to open the door for them to keep them away from prying male Libyan eyes!!!! after the doors were open for the rest of us to go in the event hall, the first thing I noticed was how all the ladies were seated right at the back all in one group in a segregated section, I immediately looked at the few ladies I saw in the beginning who were standing with their partners, they all looked puzzled and confused, I am sure they wanted to sit with their families but eventually decided to segregate from their families and sat at back with the other ladies and they really did not look very happy, if you check the pictures of the same event that took place in Washington DC and in Oslo you will notice that Libyan ladies attended both of these events too but rightly they sat with their families as full members of the Libyan community, they were not herded and hidden at the back as if they were something to be ashamed of, I myself did not take my family as they had to attend Arabic school on that day and did not have time to come to this event but if they did attend I was not going to let them sit away from me, most of the ladies there were young, probably did not know much about Libya, so wouldn't it have been better if they sat with their fathers or husbands who would have explained things to them especially that the film was full of old historical facts!! by letting them all sit together at the back they had no chance of asking any one if they had a question and to be honest I do find things like that a bit insulting, this was not a social event, it was an educational respectable event full of respectable people, we were not there to ogle women and make a pass at them, after all these same ladies go to mixed schools and colleges, they use mixed transport and do their shopping in mixed stores, the silly thing is that who ever decided that women are to sit at the back probably thought it was best to not draw any attention to them, they did the exact opposite, the only lady I saw sitting with everyone else was European.
They got it right in Washington DC and in Oslo but in London, well as usual we got it wrong, no surprise there!
I know some people will not like what I wrote but I meant it in the best most tasteful way, it has nothing to do with being a westerner or modern but all to do with respecting our Libyan ladies and accepting their place along side their brothers, fathers, husbands and sons, that is not wrong.

20 comments:

MusicLover said...

"after all these same ladies go to mixed schools and colleges, they use mixed transport and do their shopping in mixed stores, the silly thing is that who ever decided that women are to sit at the back probably thought it was best to not draw any attention to them, they did the exact opposite, the only lady I saw sitting with everyone else was European."

Typical hypocrisy from Arabs, I was telling a friend of mine yesterday, I do not understand how Arabs in Arab world do Wudu before prayers, but many of them do not take showers in regular basis and to top it you find Arab cities are dirty, either at their homes, streets, shops, office buildings, schools, universities, hospitals and etc.........

Something wrong with this equation, I do not even find Arabs in cultural, educational and other events in the city I live in, it is easy for me to find Arabs just go to any Starbucks coffee shop and just follow the cigarettes smoke, there you will find them drinking coffee and chatting whether they are young or an adult. It seems that praying is enough to be a Muslim not your contribution to civilization, humanity and the society you live in.

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Luna said...

Great post Al !
I too noticed that the ladies sat far behind. Such stupid behavior is not only to be blamed on the men ,but the women should also take responsibility .Being herded like a bunch of sheep ,having no self respect is a behavior which is not part of our religion nor culture. Its these so called Sunnis that put on a good pretense of being great Muslims then Allah /God knows what lies beneath their indescribable hidden characters !

Musiclover;
"Typical hypocrisy from Arabs, I was telling a friend of mine yesterday, I do not understand how Arabs in Arab world do Wudu before prayers, but many of them do not take showers in regular basis and to top it you find Arab cities are dirty, either at their homes, streets, shops, office buildings, schools, universities, hospitals and etc.........

Something wrong with this equation, I do not even find Arabs in cultural, educational and other events in the city I live in, it is easy for me to find Arabs just go to any Starbucks coffee shop and just follow the cigarettes smoke, there you will find them drinking coffee and chatting whether they are young or an adult. It seems that praying is enough to be a Muslim not your contribution to civilization, humanity and the society you live in."

You made a great point ! Well done.Here in Tripoli its the shisha/cigarette and mochiata .I dont know how their tummies feel as they drink the darn coffee and just blabber on...doing nothing but siting on their a.... creativity and constructiveness never cross their minds. All they talk about is getting fast money!
As for the wudu . This is a point which should be made to all . Nothing beats a shower then wudu to not make the person next to you when praying wish he couldnt smell.

Same applies to women. I go to the mosque in Ramadan ,cause we have great young sheiks who have beautiful voices when they recite the Koran.....and believe me its no party to sit next to woman who stinks......sorry for being to loud spoken -comes with age lol..yep an Azouza that brags lol

Abdul said...

Hi How are you? How is the family? I hope everything is ok. Your website looks really good. I like the variety of issues. What about this one? In English, Arabic, Spanish and french. My wife works with them and I thought you might like to share it or link it on your website. What do you think?
http://www.fmreview.org/mags1.htm
and in Arabic:
http://www.hijra.org.uk/mags.htm
a special issue was written looking at Islam, human rights and displacement.
http://www.fmreview.org/human-rights.htm
thank you
abdelsalam

Anglo-Libyan said...

Thank you Music Lover and Luna
there is no more I can add to your comments.

Abdulsalam, thanks for the link, I added it to the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

This post has liberal views and Libya is and still and will be a conservative country, you don’t expect men and women to mix in a venue just because they are in London and not in Libya do you? I do appreciate your views that women and men should be together and your views as far as I am aware comes from not just from living abroad but also because of your upbringing, as I understand one of your parents is Lebanese and Lebanese society has more liberal attitude in comparison to the Libyan society please don’t take this personally, Libyans changing by the day and if you compare to when Libya use to be 50years ago and now, there is a considerable advancement and improvement as it became more liberal and understanding then some other Muslim countries, and it is a step at the right direction., many thanks for the blog.

Ahmed

Anglo-Libyan said...

salam Ahmed and thank you for your comment
first of all, im not sure where you live but from what I know about Libya and what I see on TV, press and hear from people I know, Libyans in Liby are a lot more liberal than Libyans living in the UK, so living in LOndon has nothing to do with it.

seondly, you brought my mother to this and that something I was expecting anyway, remember I grew up in Libya and all my life had to deal with many Libyans that did not approve of me being half Libyan and always used the excuse of my mother when ever they did not agree with me on something, anyway for your own info, my mother came to Libya as a young 16 year old teenager so hardly any liberal views or liberal upbringing there!!

I stressed in my post that this was not a SOCIAL event or party, this was a historical educational event, so if husbands, wives and daughters sat together, watched the film together and discussed the issue together, why is that wrong?
you seem to forget that in Washington & Oslo that was exactly what most did, is that because they all have a non Libyan liberal mother?

yes Libya is a very conservative country yet refer to comments above, as we Libyans are not that conservative!!

thank you and sorry for the long reply but yes I do take it personally when ever someone uses my dear mother as an excuse.

FreeQA said...

hi can i comment
yeah i guess, if the author approves
oh ok, ill just wait then,
no no, go ahead
ok, can i talk from a religious point of view or not?
not yet, nobody mentioned religion
oh ok, i guess il just talk from an open minded global universal point of view
.... yeah i guess
here goes...
--------
men and women are not equal, tehy were not created equal and so they should not be treated equally, for instance, if u find a woman standing in a bus you would stand up and give her ure seat, u wouldnt do that to another man,and teh women love being treated like that, but when it comes to other issues they want "equality" with the man, the two shouldnt even be compared, tehy are both humans but have different obligations towards humanity...
id like to quote miss Ninah Cherry..
"ive born and ive bread
ive cleaned and ive fed
and for my healing wits
ive been called a witch"
what she says here are her obligations that she has fulfilled but she hasn’t been credited for it, so by nature these are a woman's duties and it is wrong for a man to take away the respect she deserves for this.
And a mans duties are to get out thre and earn a living and have a decent job that brings food on the plate and a place to live in. so by nature women are housewives and men are workers and each is a complement to the other.
RELIGION:
Islam strongly distinguishes men from women and gives rights to each gender in respect to the other or in respect to Allah, and the division of women from men is a must in gatherings and meetings. And sitting in the back does not mean they are less then men, it means they can see but cant be seen, even in prayer women pray behind men.
In your incident: the manner in which the ladies were placed in the back maybe wasn’t to your liking, and if I was there I might not of approved meself but the fact that women should be seated away from men (and better of with a separator between them), this I go with.
"Typical hypocrisy from Arabs, I was telling a friend of mine yesterday, I do not understand how Arabs in Arab world do Wudu before prayers, but many of them do not take showers in regular basis and to top it you find Arab cities are dirty, either at their homes, streets, shops, office buildings, schools, universities, hospitals and etc........"
Wudu is a teaching of islam, and it is a right thing to do and cumpolsary, Islam also forces personal hygiene and is probably the only religion that details how. What the arabs and their cities have come to is because of not following Islam's teachings, and stating that many don’t have showers on a regular basis… I don’t know where u get that kinda sensitive info. All in all the above quotation whether it is taken out of context or not is racist. In the end just go please yourself, if u cant please yourself, how can u please sum1 else :P.
Salamz

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