18 November 2005

Sheik it




I know, it's not even funny... a sheik shaking it, well ok. Speaking of presenting another image of life in Gaza, I thought it's time to present another image of the Gazan men. Did you know they dance belly dance? I might be haunted by the Hamas for publishing this, but I'm willing to take my chances for the sake of peace, love and understanding.

At weddings the men usually dance, and they dance in a very feminine way. I will need to study some more anthropology before I can analyze that properly, but for now I just find it amusing. The arabic man is surrounded with too many stereotypes, I think, and this should give another side to it.

10 comments:

Abu Sinan said...

Doesnt match with the macho side people think of Arabs. Then again, they havent seen Saudi men holding hands have they?

lisoosh said...

I also notices men holding hands in Egypt. A friend guessed that it may be because men cannot touch women (before marriage) and so it gives them some physical contact. Anyone else have any suggestions I would be really interested to know as it really does go against stereotype.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Israeli woman living here for the last 27 years. I've read that your dvd is down and it needs a part which has to come from Israel. Is there anything I can do to help, or is the problem solved in the meanwhile?


Tsedek

PS - nice blog!

UmJannah said...

The guys in Morocco hold hands too. When I first noticed this I was like whats that all about? My husband said its completely normal for male friends and cousins to hold hands while there walking around. I think I'll just pretend I didn't see that, I happen to like the macho side much better. Call me crazy...to each his own.

With Love said...

I'd like to add my voice to those who have expressed pleasure and gratitude at your having started this English-language blog, which is one of the few that I read regularly. Your make your experience so accessible!

Like you, I don't like or believe in fences, and it's very sad that although we live geographically so close to each other, it is as if we were on opposite ends of the earth for most practical purposes. I would love to meet you in person, and hear more about your life and the choices you've made. Also, I think we'd like each other. But as I'm not a brave journalist like "on the face" Lisa, chances are that I won't get to Gaza in the foreseeable future. And as you are a Muslim living in Gaza with a Palestinian husband, chances are that our government wouldn't let you come to Israel. (But God is great, and who knows? Our border may yet open up in our lifetimes.)

God bless and preserve you and your children.

Sara

Judy said...

Mmmm, yes...getting in touch with their feminine side, are they?

From a social anthropology point of view, it's interesting to compare their dances with the long established penchant of British men to like dressing up as women for things like all-male rugby club celebrations or army concert parties, where they parody women glamour dancers. And of course ***the most popular comedy show on British TV*** is "Little Britain" which is full of scenes of the two main (male) comedians either "seriously" cross dressing, ie representing themselves as female characters, or playing hopelessly incompetent transvestites -- men who dress up as women while still wearing beards and moustaches. It is now one of the most common things to hear in our school playgrounds-- one of the catch lines from the fake transvestites "But I'm a laydeeee".

I think a soc anth analysis would show you that this is all about a combination of deep fear and deep envy of women's power and sexuality...

Men dressing as women is absolutely central to comedy in the UK. And of course our gay clubs are full of men dancing like the ones in your pix.

But I expect our Hamas friends would put a quick bullet through the brain of anyone who said that had anything at all to do with what you see in Gaza.

Thanks for showing us this side of Gaza life. It's rather touching that they can be so unselfconscious about it-- as they never could in England.

MomTo5 said...

Salaam
i dont really see it as bellydance...when my mom and my brother came for a few weeks ago my brother was quit chocked when my brother in laws son kissed him hehe and later when they saw men holding hands...
/Johanna,Syria

Umar Lee said...

why do arab men love to wear tight pants? When I lived in Palestine this is a convo I had a lot.

Elizabeth said...

In my experience Arabs are just less uptight than Americans and maybe even Europeans when it comes to sex, affection etc. As for the men dancing I suppose they are just expressing themselves. American men are too uptight to admit they enjoy their own bodies and way too uptight to hold hands with another man.

Shirazi said...

Catching headline -- Sheikh who shake it. Nice Ghaza blog.