Saudi Arabia and the Dangers of Cultural Reformation

Western absurdities and sinful projects. The Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) certainly had a colorful way of describing cinemas and concerts in a bulletin it issued on June 1st. The terrorist organization condemned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for “opening the door wide for corruption and moral degradation” with his plan of … More Saudi Arabia and the Dangers of Cultural Reformation

The Controversy of “La misère sexuelle”

  “What long seemed like the foreign spectacles of faraway places now feels like a clash of cultures playing out on the West’s very soil. Differences once defused by distance and a sense of superiority have become an imminent threat. People in the West are discovering, with anxiety and fear, that sex in the Muslim … More The Controversy of “La misère sexuelle”

A National Day Like No Other in the UAE

American Independence Day has nothing-I repeat nothing-on the United Arab Emirates’ National Day. I love the Fourth of July, because of the symbolism behind it and because, on the Eastern End of Long Island, it means high summer is in full swing. But Independence Day here is lowkey-parties, barbecues, a parade, lots of red, white … More A National Day Like No Other in the UAE

The Middle East and its Tolerance Towards the LGBTQ Community

Gay marriage and transgender acceptance have been hot topics in the United States recently, with the US Supreme Court voting to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states (Ireland beat us to it though) and transgender celebrities such as Caitlynn Jenner and Laverne Cox gracing magazine covers and headlines. Given that the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, … More The Middle East and its Tolerance Towards the LGBTQ Community

More than a Song: Domestic Violence Tackled in Elissa’s Ya Merayti

 Lebanese superstar Elissa’s most recent music video is also her most serious: “Ya Merayti” (“My Mirror”) features Elissa as a domestic abuse survivor. Shunning the romantic lovey-dovey storylines popular with Arab music videos the clip, shot on location in Serbia, brings to light a problem that is all too familiar for plenty of Arab women, yet, … More More than a Song: Domestic Violence Tackled in Elissa’s Ya Merayti

Long Skirts VS Underwear: The Control of Women’s Bodies Continues

Dress codes come in all different shapes and sizes: some are strict and rigid, backed up by local laws or the rules of an establishment; others are more cultural ‘suggestions’ backed up by the frowns (and likely harassment) of a certain community. Dress codes serve different purposes: some are meant to unify; some are safety … More Long Skirts VS Underwear: The Control of Women’s Bodies Continues

Reality TV Invades Lebanon with The Sisters

Reality TV has already established itself in the Middle Eastern with music and talent competitions: Arab Idol; Dancing with the Stars ME; The Voice; Arab’s Got Talent; MBC’s The X Factor and Golden Mic are just a few of the programs dominating Arab media. Yet the type of reality TV that has become increasingly popular here … More Reality TV Invades Lebanon with The Sisters

Breathing You In: The Arab Music Video Goes International

Controversial Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe is at it again with her first English-language single Breathing You In, released on April 14th. The accompanying music video, shot by international Palestinian music director Tarik Freitekh (see picture below) in Las Vegas, has predictably taken the Arab world by storm, as all her music videos usually do. Haifa is the … More Breathing You In: The Arab Music Video Goes International