Just as Arab men are stereotyped and pigeonholed in the west, western women hover somewhere between myth and fantasy in the Arab world. As her husband led her into the boat, she glanced back over her shoulder and said goodbye to Venice, hoping the journey ahead would leave space for some rest. If I ever had an inkling this were a remote possibility I would file for divorce. As she put baby Yusef to sleep, she looked ahead and thought of Greece, the last stop on the five-day journey that would lead them to Egypt. Never mind that most people lumped everyone who is of Arabic descent into the same category and culture. In fact, some men want the best of both worlds: She nce lived in Kabul, Afghanistan and is currently updating her classic work "Mothers on Trial: So You Have an Arab Husband.. While exceptions do exist, in general, the Western woman is, more often, treated as if she were an Arab or Muslim woman, which means she is verbally abused, downgraded in status to that of a house servant, routinely monitored, isolated, threatened, battered, expected or even forced to convert to Islam, and to promise to bring up her children as Muslims. Most assume all Arabs are Muslim. So, which Arabs have the most negative views of western women? Believe it or not, some Arab men like to show off their skills in the kitchen. It sometimes seems to spell freedom," observes Angela, a Jerusalem-based acquaintance.
Part of it relates to the conservative Arab fixation on women's sexuality in general. Granted a scholarship by the Egyptian authorities, her husband Aly was studying to obtain his PhD in Mathematics at Liverpool University, where he and Beatrice had met. If she refuses to do so, she might even be honor-murdered. In , in New Jersey, this happened to Hindu-born Marlyn Hassan, who was 8 months pregnant with twins at the time. In short, they are not your average Prom Queen. I have talked to many American mothers who have traveled to the Muslim world to meet their husbands' families who soon find that they cannot leave. It had been a fatiguing trip since they had left from Birmingham, England, crossing the channel tunnel and hopping on a seemingly endless series of trains through France and Italy until their had reached the port. Another form of opportunism is the allure of escape. CairoScene speaks to six women and delves into their stories of success, struggles, and romance having married an Arab man. Most assume all Arabs are Muslim. Most women agree that communicating is key. A similar phenomenon is occurring in other modernising patriarchal societies, such as India. Arab and Muslim male visitors to Western countries tend to choose Western women as spouses who have been raised on romantic fairy tales, who are vulnerable and trusting; they are very young, perhaps quite lonely. Enlarge Reduce Image 7 of 9: The US is not one of them. How did you handle it? Never mind that most people lumped everyone who is of Arabic descent into the same category and culture. Enlarge Reduce Image 6 of 9: What assumptions have people made about your partner based on their ethnicity? As she put baby Yusef to sleep, she looked ahead and thought of Greece, the last stop on the five-day journey that would lead them to Egypt. The Family Puzzle Marriage came out as something of a challenge for Faima, who moved to Egypt with her 4-year-old daughter after meeting her husband through an online simulation game called Second Life. In this view, western women are oversexed, promiscuous and have revolving doors in their knickers. For now we have ground rules of what we expect and we have even sat with a mediator and written them out so we feel the other really understands. Think again, because concepts of virginity in the Arab world can be somewhat Arab Muslim men are permitted to have up to four wives in many countries. Share via Email When I wrote last month about western stereotypes of Arab men, several commenters, including WeAreTheWorld , suggested that Arab stereotypes of western women would also be worth exploring.
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