I bought an address! I now own a domain, I am so proud. When we were first here Q was having a conversation with one of the Americans. They were discussing the social implications of class distinctions. When she asked how Q would categorize me, Q said, “Mom is landed gentry, but without the land.” Now I have a domain so can I consider than cyber land?
The following is from an article I read this morning about the increasing roles women are playing in Algeria. I was cruising along being very pleased with the statistics (women 70% of lawyers, 60% of judges, dominate medicine, 60% of university students, and driving buses and taxis) when I hit this next paragraph. It brought me up short I tell you. It’s fear isn’t it? This reinforces my theory that the root of all evil is fear. Now I know I have a few male readers out there, what is your take on this? It is not Islam, this is not what the Koran teaches, and so to say it is the religion is too easy.
NYTimes 26 May 2007
Not everyone is happy with those dynamics. Some political and social analysts say the recent resurgence in radical Islamist activity, including bombings, is driven partly by a desire to slow the social change the country is experiencing, especially regarding women’s role in society.
Others complain that the growing participation of women in society is a direct violation of the faith.
“I am against this,” said Esmail Ben Ibrahim, an imam at a neighborhood mosque near the center of the city. “It is all wrong from a religious point of view. Society has embarked on the wrong path.”
I see this in Morocco as well, and I have seen it in Pakistan so it is not confined to North Africa or the Middle East. It frustrates me no end, really makes me want to hit something. Not very enlightened eh? This is when I put on my boxing gloves…
Q and her fiancé’ A had a wonderful time at Mama’ Fatima’s house in the Fez Medina when he visited Morocco. There were discussions of “That’s right the Jews left Germany because they had some difficulty with Hitler.” It was meant however in the best sense when one considers how conservative the older son, who is the male of the house (even though there is no doubt it is Mama’ who rules the roost) is in his beliefs. His wife does not come downstairs when there are male visitors, and wears a hijab in the house even if those visitors are male relatives. He had several discussions with our friend Sandy while she was there as a student-guest and his view is that the Holocaust never happened; this resulted in the almost embarrassing display of welcome lavished on A who is Jewish, when he arrived. I am telling you, the women of Morocco are not wussy. Fatima Zora and her friend Marilyn have started a business together, an English school. Fatima Zora does not wear the hijab and there is no disapproval from Mama who does.
There was a house full of relatives. Two sheep were killed in preparation for all the family and visitors expected; one of which was hanging upstairs and being carved as-you-go. The downstairs large mahogany table was covered with a display of home baked cookies to make the best baker weep.
The older sister Fatima, who is an Economics Professor in Marrakech but wants to quit and open a beauty salon, was there discussing in detail (to the horror of Fatima-Zora the younger sister) the varied and specific oils that should be used for massage. Once again proving that Fez, in spite of its size, is a ‘small town’, Fatima Zora said to Q, “My friend Fed-wa tells me you were in to the Spa and had the hamman and the waxing.”
Q is thinking, “Fabulous the entire family now knows I was waxed!” She said, “How do you know Fed-wa?”
“Her salon is across the street from my old school. I used to go there, and she said there was a Western girl in named Q so I knew it was you.”
At the end of the evening Mama Fatima said to Q, “You are behaving like an American! You have to be invited to visit! I do not expect this from you.”
Mama Fatima is constantly trying to feed me up. She says I will never get a Moroccan husband if I don’t put on some weight. Along this same cultural line, Fatima Zora has decided she is ready to marry so she GAINED twenty pounds in preparation! Stick that to the skinny ladies of Hollywood and the catwalk.
Q returned from class. She walked in the door with that look of someone who has just had the cream from the cat's dish (if you are not British that is "smug").
"Whatever have you been up to," I ask. Being her mother, I know that look when I see it.
"W-e-el-l, I felt a bit bitchy during class so I wrote dirty sentences. I made myself write them in grammatically correct Arabic, so it came out: "Fatima would you like to penetrate my dog?” and "Dear Karim would you like to surrender to me?"
"The funny part," she said, "was that my Moroccan teacher just assumed no one would be proficient enough to make up the sentences on purpose; so he thought I had made a mistake. It was great."
Parental advice from Fez: rear your children so that when they are grown they will amuse you.