By Roqayah Chamseddine, Al-Akhbar
The stock characters and sounds in Tyrant are the same as all other mainstream films and TV shows involving the Arabs – men with darkened beards, unnerving and penetrating rounds of ululation from veiled women and the muezzin’s call to prayer as a haunting backdrop. Then there are the elite Arabs who are flashy, play American music, and mingle with affluent white Americans. They do not adhere to religious dress codes, nor to religious moral codes, and they drink and fill themselves with the best liquor money can buy. Yet despite all this they cannot break away from the shackles of Arab society. No matter how Westernized the elite Arab woman is, with her casting away of the hijab and her captivating sexual presence, she remains a device, written into this script as being almost entirely silent but for whimpers and terse statements bolstering the fanaticism of male characters.
In Tyrant, and other similar television shows, the Arab man is a savage creature who rapes and pillages. He lovingly kisses his mother’s cheeks and hands but strikes his wife’s face and brings her crumbling to the floor beneath him. He gets drunk, dresses like the white man and speaks like the white man in bouts of broken English but is nothing more than an animal in a suit.
By Yazan al-Saadi, Al-Akhbar
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Beirut witnessed one of the largest protests in recent memory, calling on the Lebanese parliament to pass a law protecting women from domestic violence. Beyond highlighting the latter, the demonstration suggests a growing desire by Lebanese citizens for a political and social system that truly represents their voices and protects their basic rights.
At least four thousand people, composed of men and women of different ages, backgrounds, and creeds, answered the call. It was one of the largest demonstrations seen in the capital in the past few years, overshadowing last year’s International Women’s Day march by a landslide.
Photo: The mother of Roula Yacoub, a victim of domestic violence, holds a portrait of her deceased daughter during a rally on “International Women’s Day” on March 8, 2014 in front of the National Museum in Beirut, Lebanon.
International Women’s Day 2014 - Syrian women defend their country against imperialism and contra violence.
New Brunswick, New Jersey: Israeli Apartheid Week 2014 at Rutgers University campus.
Photos: Rutgers NB Students for Justice in Palestine
Brooklyn, NYC: Human apartheid wall by Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine, March 4, 2014.
Photos by Sarah Aly and Shahana Hanif