Monday, 19 May 2008

Women in Black 2

The second episode of WiB was filmed in Dubai. If you're in the UK, you can still catch the second episode on BBC here. If not, here's a short clip:

I thought this programme was supposed to be about Muslim women? No where in this episode is any reference made to religion, nor do we see any sort of Islamic activity (quite the opposite in fact!). All that's portrayed here is the culture of certain social classes in certain parts of the Arab world. Although not all Emirati Muslim women can afford to spend thousands of pounds on designer gear!

From the fashion perspective - all was exactly as expected. Those Khaleeji girls have style! Blingin' abayas with matching shaylas, and the most luxurious accessories. I did a post here about how to get the look, albeit more affordably.

I had assumed that the purpose of the programme was to get rid of misconceptions surrounding Muslim women, but I feel that it just adds to it, and reinforces the stereotypes of Arab exoticism. I also wonder why on earth they had to film that scene in Agent Provocateur? Are the producers just trying to make the programme more saucy? Again more stereotypes.

Perhaps the one redeeming feature was where they showed women trading stocks, the female F1 driver and the film producer. It's nice to see they do more than just shop and get pampered!

In the next episode, Amani Zain travels to Egypt, where she meets the ultimate Hijabi Fashionistas. I wonder if it will really be any better than this one?


Anonymous said...

Actually I have been really enjoying this series. Yes it is not representative and yes some parts of it are down right laughable but I do think that Amani is trying her best to break down sterotyps in the short 30 mins allocated her once a week.
It is clear that she is appealing to the classic western sterotype that all Middle Eastern women "are black shapeless lifeless bags with no interest in their beauty- almost sexless beings." And that is an actual view of someone's that I read. She does admittedly create another sterotype but I would say that she very successfully destroys that one.
I watched this with some of my English friends and they were really surprised that the Middle East has fashion, has salons etc. So I think that she is really just trying to destroy the misinformed sterotypes of many in the UK

Hayah said...

Arima, thanks for your comments! Most non-Arabs I know though are very much aware of the extravagance of Dubai - you can't really miss the rich khaleeji ladies arriving at the doors of Selfridges in taxis!

Although I did like the parts where she showed the women working the stock exchange, and female F1 driver :)

b said...

I thought i was the only one that wondered what the real purpose of the show is.

It started out as if it was aimed that reducing the misconceptions about muslim doesn't. I cannot relate to any of those women. For the first time, the hijaab didnt feel like it was put on in obedience to our creator...more a cultural and fashion this. There was no reflection about Allah, religion didnt seem to play a role.

Maybe it is shocking because to me hijaab shouldnt be a cultural thing.

Let's see what teh episode on Egypt brings

MomTo5 said...

i think its fun to look at ;)
but i tried to look at the episod on BBC and its only for UK :(
can i find it anywere else?!!

Anonymous said...

i think its really good shes showing hijabis in a positive light and the agent provocateur bit was fine showing that yeah we are sexy and not dull shapless women, its all cool, and shes doin a really good job showing that hijab and abayas babes can be hot

maimoona said...

I thought the ep about dubai was great, yes it wasnt all about mosques and the religious aspect but I think it was making a point that these women bound by faith are really rocking it. I mean the fact in l'argent provocateur the most popular piece of stuff was the rod gives u an idea of who may hav power in the bedroom. the fact kinky lingerie sells so well suggests that these muslim women arent so shy about their own bodies in their own homes. Dubai really is a different type of living, if u can afford it. the point i suppose is that, women dont just wear black, we automatically think arabia where they have no choice. i personally like to wear pink. and if u watched it, take note about the stock mocket,the biggest piece of hypocrasy i found, its LIKE gambling. IT IS GAMBLING, u put ur money into a company that may or may not fold in hopes of multiplying ur cash without working for it. GAMBLINGGGGGGGGG... im done.

Mina said...

Aaarrrgh things like this piss me off, they are sendin out the wrong signals of Muslimah's, it all looks like all they care bout is fashion and pampering themselves...

They are not sending out any good messege to the outside world, are they now??? Juz too much discrimination and sexism going on walahi, I'm so disappointed

We know we are blessed mashallah and have curves etc in all the right places we definetly don need a documentary tellin us, whatever happened to modesty hmmm?

amzz said...

salaamz m 4rm the uk n i want 2 woch the episodes i have only seen the eygypt one n i dont know were 2 find the rest can u help me?

Jana's Journeys said...

No one ever said this woman was Muslim at least in the clip that I saw. I think like anyother designer fashion type show, it was superficial and like you said before unrealistic that regular average people could ever afford this kind of stuff.

Moon said...

heh. (i can only watch this small clip) not very Islamic indeed. Being excessive, wasting, and showing off....

i learned in class a few weeks ago the difference between Islamic Built Environment (i'm an architecture student in IIUM) and Muslim built Environment. For example, many people have the common misconception of saying that Islamic architecture is Taj Mahal. The fact being Taj Mahal is actually a haram buliding (it's a tomb) but built BY a Muslim.

hehe just felt like sharing.


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