domenica 11 novembre 2012

Arabic World

Perhaps no region of the world is more subject to stereotypes than the Middle East. Being a woman from that region, I have encountered these stereotypes on many occasions. While I was a teen, my family lived in Europe for a few years where I was often asked question reflecting these stereotypes. Do all Turkish women wear the headscarf? Um, obviously not. Do you ride camels? I have never seen one in my life outside of a zoo.
At one dinner party, I witnessed my mother get interrogated on whether she was just dressing in a modern way because she was now in Europe. She kept trying to explain that she had changed nothing in her wardrobe. “But, can you actually wear a one-piece bathing suit to swim in a beach,” one of her obnoxious interrogators persisted, unable to believe she might be telling the truth. “Well, now that I am a bit older, I do wear the top as well,” she deadpanned. Ah, the joys of messing with stereotypes.
It is a single story of one Turkish girl, which illustrates all type of stereotypes about Arab World. The oldest traditional stereotypes associated with the Arabic countries are derived from Arabian Nights and include flying carpets, dreamy palaces, people climbing on an erect rope and djinns. Since 9/11, people from Middle Eastern countries are often stereotyped as fanatical Muslims out for blood, hijacking planes, making anti-Semitic comments, slaughtering sheep in the kitchen, making too many children, conducting suicide bombings, being aggressively offended by blasphemies or planning terrorist activities. Arabic immigrants in all European countries are a frequent target in racist Western propaganda. You just need to see the detention without trial of eight foreigners in England in 2004, that was incompatible with European human rights law.

Valeria Aleksenko

4 commenti:

  1. In my opinion, Turkey is an amalgam of elements placed in the same spot. Yes, it is true that some Turkish people are westernized (hence their desire to join the European Union), but this thing started a few years ago when tourism began to flourish. However, there are a considerable number of people who still follow tradition and aren't easily influenced by what the Occidentalism "offers" .
    I had the opportunity to travel to Turkey and I have experienced first hand what it means to be a Turkish citizen. Those who are westernized are mostly rich, ordinary people are more inclined to preserve their identity and traditions.

  2. I believe that the media and public opinion play a key role in the formation of stereotypes and in the formation of positive and negative ideas that people do in some situations.
    Especially the industrialized countries with more economic resources and power will always have the ability to draw people to himself and to prune their ideas and conditions that will always be in favor and against whom at that time is the enemy. I think that in the Iraq war against Saddam or in Afghanistan against Bin Laden, the U.S. media highlights of U.S. power in the world have contributed strongly to form the various stereotypes in the minds of the American people and make them believe that the Bush administration wanted them to believe.

    Andrea Scapin

  3. Surely after September 11, 2001 the prejudices against Muslims have increased exponentially. Often the slogan is "we do not know them but we do not want to know" and this is one of the great evils that afflicts our society, often the result of ignorance and fears that lead us to believe at stereotypes that have been built around the figure of the Muslim.
    I think it is important to know the people around us and never let us trapped by unfounded fears or racism. Obviously we cannot deny that there is a minority of Islamic fundamentalists who are struggling and want the destruction of the West.
    I still believe that the Islamic religion is very different from ours and often the role that the Muslim woman in a strongly patriarchal society, which is Islam, contrasts with the way that we see the equality of gender. Often is possible to read in the newspapers that Muslims kill women because they do not respect the way to dress imposed by their religion or refuse to marry the person chosen by the father. This treatment of the woman and Muslim man's superiority is something absolutely unacceptable in our culture.
    Anna D’Amico.

  4. The stereotypes applied towards the Arabic world is a fact, we can’t deny it. But that not explain why we should consider it like the most important. Usually, when someone argues like that, he doesn’t know the case in relation to the others regions of the world.
    In fact, like I shortly argued the discrimination against the Arabic world regards especially the confusion done between a Muslim and a terrorist. Most of the European and American media don’t make any effort to differ it. But that not explain why they are really the most stereotyped at the world. There are another part of world which can consider themselves like most stereotyped than Arabic World.
    Before of all, we have to connect today the Arabic’s stereotypes with the 9/11 terrorist attack. Since then most of European and American news papers have started presenting that region like dangerous, like a “no man’s land”. But on the over hand, the Arabic case confronting the African case could be consider less important. Today in European society, when there is reportage on Africa, often is focused on : Corruption, wars, A.I.D.S, starvation, Lampedusa (when I just arrived in Italy a one asked me, if I didn’t arrive in Italy by Lampedusa)…etc.
    Fortunately, Africa can’t be summarized only by these stereotypes. Many African countries know an important rate of growth and these governments are applying the important reform in all sectors. Unfortunately on the European and American media, we can’t find that kind of information which presented these African progresses. . Finally, everyone could consider his case like the most stereotyped….