The Arabic countries will continue to live in the Seventh Century as long as their women, continue to live as slaves and Shuttles to men. Women’s liberation must be total unconditional and immediate.
The three most frequently used words relating to women’s fate in Arabic societies are *عيب* عار* عرض.
Accusing a girl of one or more of these descriptions invariably spells her death sentence by her father, brother, a male member of her family and sometimes even by her own mother.
When an Arab scholar, Dr Muhammad Ali AbdulRahman Al AlKhasawneh, was recently asked why these words hold so much power on women’s destiny he replied that they are an important part of Arab heritage and of “our customs, culture and traditions”.
These words are instilled in young girls’ psyche at birth. While they may be used for other purposes -very rare- they are the weapon by which girls are conditioned to be subservient to male members of their families. These words origins are linked to the religion of Islam. (Wearing the hijab on the other hand is mainly an additional proof of a girl’s chastity)
Words Speak Louder Than Actions
عيب* pronounced EAIB means shame as reflected in the way girls dress. Young girls are taught from a young age (often as early as 3 or 4,) to dress demurely and to cover every part of their body including their hair.
عار* pronounced AAR with emphasis on sexual behaviour. It is Aar to talk to boys in what appears to be a provocative manner. It is Aar to hold hands with a boy and to walk with him unaccompanied by a member of the family. It is Aar to exchange words of romance with a strange boy It is very Aar to exchange kisses with a boy and worse of all it is a “big Aar” to have any form of sexual intimacy with any boy at all.
عرض* pronounced AARD is the ultimate definition of shame as related exclusively to sexual behaviour. To be accused of breaching one’s AARD is tantamount to a death sentence. In such circumstance it is bestowed upon the family to cleanse their collective honour by killing the guilty girl. In matters of AARD nothing less is tolerated by society.
The above words are parts and parcel of the Arab/Islamic concept of honour. Women are not second-class citizens in the Arab nations they are NOT citizens at all and have no control of any aspect of their life.
With only 50% active population it is no surprise that the Arab world has made no contributed to civilization in the last five centuries. As long as no gender equality exists, Arab societies will continue to live in the Seventh Century.