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25 January 2006 @ 04:04 pm
Uppity Young Women Award  
As former editor of Uppity Women Magazine I am spontaneously bestowing an award on an uppity young Saudi woman for her smart and snarky blog. It's one thing to speak your mind in America, and quite another to challenge the cultural status quo in Saudi Arabia. Let's hope she doesn't get arrested!

From her FAQ:



C) Why must you be so crude? Why don't you love and embrace your culture?

I am deeply, profoundly, overwhelmingly in LOVE with my Saudi, Arab, and Islamic culture. If I come off as anything short of the zealous and passionate lover that I am, then there must be a misunderstanding on one of our parts. (And this will be the LAST time I say this.) If I do, through my writings, find a way to exceedingly demoralize your sense of identity or whatnot, then kindly make clear to me your point of nuisance and engage me in a civilized discussion, via my email: Farah[dot]Aziz[at]Gmail[dot]com. No, you're not exactly flaunting your elegance and modishness by swaggering in all your spitefulness on other blogs, or worse, on your own.

D) That doesn't change how mad we are at what you write, ya know! Especially since you choose minor, petty inconveniences that only a slight chunk of the society has to endure and emphasize them till they come off looking like the norm!

Well, my bad. I have a question for you. Why do you care so much about how you "come off." Wouldn't you much rather save the affection and show it those of us who do suffer of these everyday annoyances? Wouldn't you much rather acknowledge them, for us, your brothers and sisters of this society; a society steep in social bigotries and corrupt cultural norms, for that matter. Or would you much rather that our friend Jean P. Sasson acknowledges them?
Moreover, as readers of my blog, I assume you are avid followers of Western art; cinema, literature and the like. When the world watched young Westerners struggle with drugs, teen pregnancies and etc, did the world look down on the West, or their culture? When the world read books by the likes of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Ernest Hemingway, did the world despise Western culture? Did they look down on them, tsk in dismay and call them "masakeen"?
No, I'm afraid. Western culture managed to, as a matter of fact, progress to lead all cultures of the civilized known world. When will we, as Saudis and Arabs, ever be secure and comfortable enough with our imperfections? Not acknowledging your self-worth is what begets this attitude. Love your country and be comfortable with its flaws, comfortable enough to even (gasp) discuss them aloud!

E) Hey, but I'm a Saudi girl, and I'm living fine. Listen, woman, if your family is barbaric and mistreats you, how's that our fault? Isn’t it "haram" what you're doing? Why must you do this to Saudi girls? They may be smiling with you now, but the joke's on you, you poor oblivious child.

Yawn, here we go again with the thems and the theys. I don't care why or who is reading. Yes, I am getting attention, but aint that swell? That I, Farah Aziz, is getting attention as a result of writing about MY society, a Farah Aziz and not a Jane Smith, or a Barbara Brown?
As far as not being mistreated, then well, that's great. Mabrook to you, I applaud your family for providing you with a normal, wonderful life. Isn't it about time, though, that you get off your high horse and start looking around you? You were lucky enough to have been born into a well-off and educated family. What if you weren't? Do you take the fact that you live in a society that ALLOWS such practices with ease and comfort? What if YOU one day fall prey to such inconveniences? (and trust me, it's just a hop, skip and a jump away, baby) Living on fortune, chance and luck isn't all that great, now is it? And do not attempt to persuade me that, whether or not you are lucky enough, is not what being a Saudi female is all about. It is, whether you deny it or concur it.