Sunday, February 23, 2014

City Mouse, Desert Mouse

The contrast between Hadhar (literally "civilized", city-dwelling Arabs) and Badu (Bedouin Nomads) is a common theme in Arabic literature.

Here's a poem from a Bedouin woman about her loose city sisters:




To the beauty salon I do not go

nor do I apply any make-up

For I am not one of those who purchase beauty


I host the guests and bake bread

And kneel down to the Lord in prayer with supplementary kneelings


Nor do I go to the beach to watch the waves

For I am not one of those who give out their numbers


A bedouin woman, I walk a straight path

For I am not one to shorten my dresses


Those women who flock to the beauty salons in order to empty their husbands' pockets

They herd their husbands like cattle

And direct them as they please

And the men shut up and dare not protest

We say oh Allah, Have mercy on those men who are lost to the evils of such women



1 comment:

Maya M said...

The bit about staying away from the waves... does it imply that good, chaste women never make their bodies sinfully attractive by taking a bath?
(BTW, there was such a concept in Europe at one time.)