Friday, 9 May 2008

Women in Black

Last night there was a programme on BBC 2 called 'Women in Black' where the presenter (who is Yemeni) gives us an insight into the way women live, dress and party in her home country. If you missed it you still have 6 more days to watch it here. This is a short clip from YouTube:

Having seen the first part, I was saddened by the extent of poverty in the Yemen, and rather disconcerted by the widespread use of qaat! I wonder if any Yemeni readers can tell us if the programme depicted a true picture of everyday life in the country? I also found it quite amusing how they started playing a Nancy Ajram song in the middle...why do all programmes about the Middle East do that??

From the fashion side, I look forward to seeing the 2nd part of the programme, where the presenter goes to Dubai, and explores the world of abaya couture. It will air on 15th May at 7.30pm. Although the snippets at the end do seem to cover some rather dodgy goings-on!

What did you think of 'Women in Black'?


Anonymous said...

Poverty and qaad in yemen there is nothing new about that to be honest, more to the point There was a hell of alot of fashion taking place in this episode. I really enjoyed it, you dont have to be a rich emerati to appreciate fashion and those yemeni women did a great with the resources available to them.

Hayah said...

Anon, I knew qaat was used, but I didn't realise how deeply entrenched it was in the culture! It's just not used in other Arab countries. I wish I had seen a bit more fashion tbh, there wasn't anything knew there for me.. although I was surprised at how expensive the cloth was for the dress - £100?? And in Yemen that's worth a heck of a lot more than here.

Arima said...

Yeh I watched this too and was also surprised at the prevalece of qaat and the percentage of income that people spend on it! I'd heard of it but have never seen anyone using it.
I thought it was a nice program though, although as you say it didn't include very much fashion...would be interesting if they made a seried going to all different countries in the Middle East and Maghreb.
As to the poverty....well it seemed to me that many parts of Egypt look even worse than this!

Anonymous said...

i was so disappointed in this programme it was a bit daft that she would put her scarf on in the aeroplane and how she had an english side and arab side and why did she go into the market with the guys she must have know she would have a got a bad reaction its a bit of a let down i think she is trying to hard to make it a bit racy and really she doesnt need to and nobody needs to encourage drug taking sorry for the long post love your blog

Anonymous said...

ASA, Is there a way we can watch this in the USA? It sounds like an amazing program!

Anonymous said...

I watched the programme and was very taken by the design of the dresses everyone wore. The fabric she chose was pricey but the style was just what I want for this summer here in London! I especially liked Auntie's day dress in yellow cotton with the black motifs. I don't suppose anybody remembers the name of the style? Was it 'balto' or something like that?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this programme but I speak from a point of view of not knowing very much about it all so very pleased to hear the different points of view. I hadn't realised qaat was a problem and didn't know what it was. If it is as habit forming as its seems the programme should have made more of an effort to not make it appear as an exciting part of the culture to perhaps give a try. I know that I will steer clear of it if anyone mentions it as I'll now know what it is.

Looking forward to next weeks for the fashion.

pink_marshmallow said...

asalam alaikum

i liked the programme as did my boys mashallah. but i dont think having a party for the qaat was a good bit of viewing, my sons were amazed that this would be allowed. was a good insight though as too how other cultures cope in different ways. love the comment the aunt made about the men, that they are useful sometimes lol.

im looking more forward to next weeks programme in dubai as they are totally wacky lol in a nice way lol.

will defo watch again on the iplay.

heres to the next few weeks of a great new insight programme of islam and its wonderful women.

fi aminallah

Anonymous said...

I just watched it, although I am glad that the documentary is trying to break the view westerners have of the woman in the veil.... I personally am not sure what it did for people's perception of the 'muslim woman'. Not once did it show any sign of islamic activity... However, I am very much looking forward to the next show- love dubai fashion!

Anonymous said...

i watched the programme like the fashion side of it the abayas were so elegant mashaAllah, and even the tops that the presenter wore in her yemeni home like the kurta tops were nice, but the qaat was disturbing but because i'm unfamilair with yemini culture i dont know how much of the truth was portrayed, perhaps our yemni sisters can comment on that? also the market place scene was uncomfortable and got me thinking u can be covered head to toe but how come these men dont show respect? Allahu Alam
eternal peace

Anonymous said...

I thought the 1st episode in yemen was quite good, although i was surprised at how practicially everyone there eates qaat, isnt it just an intoxicant which we have2 avoid in islam?

I can't wait for the next weeks episode in Dubai! those shoes with the pink sparkly heels looked sooo nice!!

A x

Mina said...

You've been tagged

Anonymous said...

Loved the fashion element of the programme, what struck me the most was the similarity between Somali and Yemeni culture - qat is widely used by Somali's but it's not socially acceptable for women to use it. Also the clothes! So similar! Was lovin the dira' they were wearing in fact am chillin in one now lol!
Lookin forward 2 next weeks one.


DawnUK said...

Salaam Aleikum.


The weather has been lovely over the last few days but yet again this leaves me with my annual problem - summer shoes!!

I'm a boots girl so I don't actually own a collection of shoes that could cover the seasons so EVERY summer I go on the hunt for slip on shoes with closed toes

PLEASE PLEASE can you help??

InshALLAH you can!

Anonymous said...

So! Those dresses are called 'Dira'. Please will somebody put me right if I've got the wrong end of the stick. I'm serious about trying to get some made here in London if at all possible. I usually wear salwar kameez in the summer but I was very taken with the loose dress with a 'tightening' around the upper arm - no gapeing around the armhole.

Hayah said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Anon, the dresses have different names in different countries. It's just basically a rectangle of fabric folded over, and sewn up the sides with holes left for the arms, and a hole for the head. I'm sure if you go to an Arab or Somali seamstress they'll know what you're talking about!

Dawn, I got the best pair of neutral flats from Next a couple of days ago. They have loads of great shoes!

Anonymous said...

asalaha muny kum i would had liked to watch it but i am not in the U.K. so it is saing i cant view it do you know of anywhere else it is showing

Hayah said...

Anon, I'm afraid I can't find the full programme, but there is a very short clip on youtube:


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