Monday, January 30, 2006

Two Instances, Worlds Apart!


Yesterday I was struck by a great example which depicts the dichotomy in our Arab society.

I was watching "Super Star", the Arab version of the American Idol show, where three contestants were competing for the Super Star title: one Syrian, one Tunisian, and one Saudi. There were two women from the audience, looking glamorous and young, carrying the Saudi green flag, showing support for the Saudi contestant.

This picture struck me, because just a couple of days back, Hamas won the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories, and they too carry the green, Saudi flag, which contains the shahadatan inscription on it and symbolizes the Islamic umma. This flag is also used by the Jama'a Islamiyya of Lebanon as their emblem.

In one instance, the flag was used to support the Arts in the Arab world, a cultural aspect which is viewed as disgraceful and blasphemous in some Islamic fundamentalist circles; not only that, a cultural aspect that has become in the Arab world extremely vulgar and commercial as well.

In the other instance, the same flag is used to stand for politics in the Arab world, which carry notions that nowadays have become increasingly extreme, fundamentalist, and violent. Think resistance, jihad, religious puritanism, death cults....and mob rule.

But this is our Arab world for you, symbolized and nicely summarized in these two instances...and pictures speak more than one thousand words....

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think we should not comment until Dr. de La Vega comments first with his sectarian full of hatred ideas.
Although I work in educating people, I wonder if its just to allow people like him to learn to read and write.

Mustapha said...

you know doha, I also saw that woman carrying the Saudi flag and actually commented to my mom about her!

But come on, she doesn't look Saudi at all, blonde and blue eyed, probably a pro-Hariri lebanese ;)

hummbumm said...

Tangential really, but I was thinking of why in reality women's rights are the key to everything. Because in the end, a society that has no qualms restricting the rights and opportunities of half its citizens, makes the very easy leap to restricting the rights of all its citizens, for the greater good of course, or cultural values or tradition or whatever.

Doha said...

Mustapha,

I didn't say that these two women were Saudi; I just said that they were carrying the Saudi flag and cheering for Al-Hakami. At least someone is watching Super Star other than me :)

zwixo said...

A flag can't represent a way of life, heck a book can't. Of course there will be contradictions. Frankly, this is just too narrow a statement.

DemoBlogger said...

Great insight! People forget that there are many struggles and dreams in the Arab world, not just those of the fundamentalists, which cover our television screens.

Leilouta said...

Anyway, so who won?:)

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

WEHBISM & WAHHABISM

Frankly, if you view shallow TV shows such as “Star Academy” or “Pop Idol” on Saudi-owned TV networks as modern embodiments of “Arabian art”, well… I’m at loss for words!

Faux sheikh Saad Al-Hariri and his collaborationist cum gangster corner (May Chidiac’s LBC, Future TV, Al-Nahar & Co.) have succeeded in creating a “new Arab world” revolving around decadent TV shows à la Star Academy and Hamas-style Hambali fundamentalism.
A brainwashed populace is kindly invited to shop from the two only “cultural products” in store: MTV vulgarity and Mosque-based militarism…

In a remarkably short period of time, Lebanon has become an Arabian banana republic where hapless admirers of Haifa Wehbe and hateful disciples of Wahhabism reign supreme…

In many ways, it’s kind of King Fahd’s dream come true: a welcoming Potemkin bordello where complacent belly dancers and Saudi-appointed ministers will always do a generous sheikh’s bidding!

Anonymous said...

I think dr. de la vega's dad was raped by a saudi or his mom used to work there as a maid and didn't get paid

Doha said...

By the way, Doctor, I do watch from time to time shallow shows. Superstar, in particular, is a unique show because it has succeeded for the past three years to resuscitate "old" music and songs, such as those of Wadih Safi, Asmahan, Fairuz, and Abd Al-Wahab for the Arab youth to appreciate. Example: my brother is 19 and he would not have known so many of Wadih Safi's songs if it wasn't for that show. It also showcases beautiful voices and teaches the Arab listener how to appreciate music, regardless of what country the contestant comes from. Just an FYI.