She Killed Scheherazade

Wow, i was just reading about this amazing Sagittarius woman – Joumana Haddad – in the New York Times.

So she is Sagg, Moon in Pisces, Mars-Uranus in Libra, Venus & Jupiter in Scorpio….Neptune is currently sitting on her idealistic North Node in Neptune (see below for how to have a functional Neptune transit) and Pluto is on her Mercury.

Wow. The article is worth reading in whole but getta load of this:

“…In the Arab world, suddenly she’s everywhere, a dark-haired, golden-eyed looker sashaying onto talk shows in stiletto heels, provoking Hezbollah with her contempt for Shariah law, penning newspaper columns and books about Arab gender politics, publishing a racy magazine and flashing a winning smile as a judge on Lebanon’s “Celebrity Duets.”

A poet and the cultural page editor of the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, she started publishing Jasad (“body” in Arabic), a quarterly erotic magazine, in 2008…Her latest project is a book in English…

“I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman” is many things: a coming-of-age memoir, a sexual polemic and a spirited call to Arab women to stand up for themselves….

A mother of two sons by two different men, she is on her second marriage, to a fellow writer two decades older, and they live separately. She cultivates a wanton streak…”

She also has a passion for manicures and beauty therapy; she is about to get her own night-time talk show.

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Seabird
Seabird

Timely post for me as I am back in the ME tying up loose ends for my new business. Down here in the remote regions of the empty quarter, I have noticed that things have changed in just 9 months. Girls are waling around WITHOUT THEIR VEILS!!! What gives….Yeeehaaaaaah. So so so much is changing here. But as an outsider, I don’t think that Lebanese experience could really speak for the Gulf and vice-versa. yes they are both Arabic/speak Arabic, but totally different cultures, mores, beliefs and ways of dealing. As for sexuality – it’s over-rated n’est pas? There is… Read more »

piscesienne
piscesienne

Joumana Haddad is quite amazing and an important voice to listen to from the Middle East … she is however, one voice among many important voices. The thing I find problematic (after reading parts of the book, although admittedly not the whole thing) is that her image as an archetypal Scheherazade appeals very strongly to our Western conceptions of liberalised sexuality, which in turn colours how we imagine Middle Eastern sexuality, both in a historical sense (the romanticised eroticism of belly dancing/harems) and in a contemporary sense (repressive, totalitarian). The reality is that sexuality, as a cultural construct, is far… Read more »

Pegasus
Pegasus

Thanks Piscesienne, interesting, will take a look.
In the Sexual Arena, books i have read about the
‘beautiful boys’ that are in Mid East cultural history
and novels. How preferred they are & how ubitquitous.
Extremely feminine eye makeup & sinous bodies.
(Didn’t germaine Greer write about that???)
I knowhow much they are willing to pay for
Virgin girls of 12 & 13 years from stays in Muslim countries
& Singapore.

Pegasus
Pegasus

Point proven in the ‘Letter to Joumana’. QED.
European ‘the boys’ & European thoughts re what has been
gleaned by mainstream ie that’s ME! (just this once it’s me being
mainstream 🙂

piscesienne
piscesienne

Pegs, I highly doubt you are ever mainstream! Glad you enjoyed the article – I found it particularly thought provoking in relation to the question of sexuality and how it is understood/thought of in the Middle East (ie, ignoring, as you said, the beautiful boys).

Lauren
Lauren

So many good points are raised by your post Piscesienne and by that letter to Joumana. I haven’t read her book, but I can understand the struggle of trying to establish an identity that doesn’t necessarily conform to Western stereotypes. There was just a special report on the BBC about this new generation of Arab film makers and how they are re-interpreting the stories of people living in the Middle East. I think all the emerging voices are great, not only because of what they have to say, but because of the discussions that can now be had because of… Read more »

piscesienne
piscesienne

“… because of the discussions that can now be had because of what they have to say.” Beautifully put, Lauren! As you said, the cultural and religious diversity of the Middle East is vast, as it is within any geographical region of the world (or even within in one country!). Studying the Middle East at uni does tend to focus more on the political/religious/economic dimensions without making the connection to the wider cultural spheres of art, music and so on. I realised that I’m also not much help in that regard, resources wise – most of the cultural knowledge (which… Read more »

Lauren
Lauren

Awesome! I’ll look into all of them. I’ve also been able to find more cultural resources by subscribing (it’s free!) to Saudi Aramco’s magazine. http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/201102/ Yes, it’s a magazine that an oil company puts out, so some people say there’s an agenda there, but the only topics discussed are cultural and from what I’ve read there never seems to be any political bias and its contributors come from all over the world. It also has lists of teacher resources for classroom discussions in the back of the magazine, as well as lists of museums and galleries that are hosting events… Read more »

piscesienne
piscesienne

Thanks for the link – had no idea Saudi Aramco had a magazine! Searching for your own answers is one of the best ways to learn … and being genuinely open and curious to learn more about the world is a beautiful thing (although being a teacher, I guess it’s somewhat predictable I’d say that!). x

Charley
Charley

Yes! A new hero to add to my roster/obsession of/with inspiring Middle Eastern women.

JulesSagg
JulesSagg

She is also wearing PURPLE, which is THE Sagg power color (of course!)

Pegasus
Pegasus

Funny, thought Saggs’ NEVER wore purple!
Ultra Violet on rare x rare occaisions, maybe.

Lauren
Lauren

I’ve never associated purple with Saggs. Aquarius maybe, but for Saggs I always think of fiery earth tones, like sandstone or granite, vibrant greens or flaming tigerlily orange. I’m a Sagg Rising, so I suppose I should be dressing in Sagg colors and I DO wear a fair amount of purple, but I feel especially Sagg-like when adorned in orange for some reason.

Pegasus
Pegasus

Colour…..can’t wear it, too distracting, my mind perhaps
full of colours enough? Cap rising likes neutrals, earth tones,
nudes, creams, white & black. More an age thing as def wore
colours in youth. Practical as everything goes with everything
else = practicality.

Pegasus
Pegasus

Is she Zarathustra?
Always wondered who Zarathustra was?
Coz she ‘Thus Spoke’.

quapricoro
quapricoro

oh no, THAT name ‘Scheherazade’ – it has annoyed me since trying to read Amis’ ‘The pregnant widow’. why do characters in books with these difficult names annoy me so much? Dostoyevsky also had a thing for these names that just irritated. Oh Rushdie also…

but this beauty sounds like now, cool.

Angie
Angie

She sounds awesome, thank you for sharing this!

InchbyInch
InchbyInch

Article quotes her as saying, “If you don’t feel humiliated and insulted, nothing is going to change. We don’t need reconstruction in the Arab world. We need destruction and construction. We can’t just try to make it better. We have to cancel it and have a fresh start. . . .” Doesn’t this seem very apropos of Zap Zone/Uranus-Pluto square?

Saturn knows
Saturn knows

Doesn’t this seem very apropos of Zap Zone/Uranus-Pluto square?

Yes! and also her Venus & Jupiter in Scorpio

Inger
Inger

Sounds like her timing is PERFECT!!!

GeorgeSand
GeorgeSand

She’s fascinating! She is Arab but she is not Muslim. I think that distinction needs to be made.

Steph
Steph

She sounds amazing! And so Lunar Pisces: She has a book of poetry in Spanish and French called The Return of Lilith (El Retorno de Lilith), which is weird because as I was reading this I thought her to be very Lilithic..

Here’s a link to the poem: http://wn.com/Joumana_Haddad__The_Return_Of_Lilith

Saturn knows
Saturn knows

She rocks!!!

unpredictable pisces
unpredictable pisces

I thought Lebanon was a pretty relaxed country as far as women go? But then again…

Lauren
Lauren

Lebabon is one of the more Westernized and open countries within the Middle East, but it’s still in the Middle East and I know that after the last terrorist attacks there it’s not completely considered safe to travel in. I’ve always wanted to though. The blending of cultures makes it a fascinating place that produces fascinating people. 😀

Ali B Aqua
Ali B Aqua

Wowweeee!! Love it.

Saturnrox
Saturnrox

Right ON !