June 28, 2007

Female Doctors & The Eternal Muslim Plea...

Having worked in the health care system in an immigrant dominated suburb in Stockholm, one picks up on a lot of things going on with people behind closed doors and text book replies.

One of the main issues for patients visiting a doctor has been the lack of female doctors to meet the huge demands of a large immigrant population, some perhaps not used to going to a doctor of the opposite gender.

In the suburb in question, Wahabi inspired Islam seems to be spreading more and more. The influx of Somali refugees, many (but of course not all) of them having lived in Saudi Arabia, has affected the spirit in this particular suburb. Seeing women in Niqab on a daily basis is nothing strange here. I must add though, most of these women don't work and it doesn't seem like it's part of any future plans.

To become a doctor, all of you surely know, hard work is needed. Night shifts and working in environments with men and women, female and male patients.

These women (with the encouraging tune of their husbands) who for religiously claimed reasons won't see a male doctor even if it has to do with examining a throat, are no where to be found in medical schools or nursing schools but rather make themselves scarce when the subject is brought up and it is not uncommon to get the reply:

"It's not islamic for a woman to stay away all night
(referring to night shifts), or to examine male patients."

But a female doctor, they must have.

From Stockholm to Yemen. In Tarim, an area near Hadramout, there are no female doctors to be found, at all. Well, apart from the imported female Russian doctors. But no woman will go, or rather, no husband or father will allow them to visit a male doctor. So I ask myself: from where are these female doctors supposed to rain down on us?

June 24, 2007

A hommage to the Markets of Sharjah

The Fruit Market. If you are looking for Pakistani Mangos or
Dates from the UAE there is an abundance of them here.

The Fish Market. Here a fisherman sells a catch of reef sharks.

The Meat Market. A long line of stores all selling halal meat.

The Plant Market alongside a road. Buying plants is an expensive
business due to the cost of growing or importing them in
the otherwise very dry and much too hot UAE climate.

The Vegetable Market can be found right next to
the Fruit and Meat Market.

The Animal Market. If you need a camel, horse, cows or
some sheep, this is the place to go to.

There are many more Markets in Sharjah worth mentioning, like the Iranian Market or the Pet Market, but that will have to be for next time! On any trip to the UAE I recommend a visit to these markets to get a feel of what everyday life is/was like in pre-Shopping Mall crazy United Arab Emirates.

June 18, 2007

Team Work

Local fishermen in Alexandria, Egypt together pulling a fish net with the catch of the day.

June 05, 2007

Silence is man and Speech is woman...?

On one of the most widely seen arab-muslim channels, Iqraa, a man by the name Sheikh Jassem al-Mutawah explains the differences between Man and Woman.

I was very surprised to see that a channel like Iqraa, known for its moderate and contemporary elements would allow such a man camera time to voice what is no doubt a Wahabi inspired Saudi view of Women.

Watch what he had to say, with english subtitles.

Ps. His words are not lost in translation. His arabic corresponds to what has been translated.

June 02, 2007

Omani Dancers

The energy in this crowd of Omani dancers visiting the Sharjah Heritage area was amazing. I, together with the polish woman and her friend, was one of few women there so I had to respectfully make my way around the crowd. I got nothing but smiles from this happy crowd of dancers who swung themselves around in all kinds of ways to the tunes of the drums and bagpipes.