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Marhaban

“GREET your husband with a smile when he comes and a smile when he goes.” So says a new magazine aimed at women in the Middle East. “Don’t dabble in his work,” it continues, and certainly don’t hector him. “Can you imagine all the bloodshed and bones he sees every day? Your fussing only increases the pressure.”

According to this Economist article, conservative Middle Eastern groups are producing local women's magazines to keep them off the battlefront. Two things about this. First, they have women's magazines for the brides of holy warriors. Amazing. Not only that, but -

"Unlike a women’s magazine published by the Taliban, this does not feature fun toting women."

- they have a rival Taliban woman's magazine! It’s like Hello! and Cosmopolitan, but presumably Marhaban and Rural....

They’re apparently lifestyle magazines which I think is missing a trick ; they should make them human interest magazines, like Take a Break, you know - the ones that have horrific stuff like 'MY HUSBAND ATE A LADDER' or 'I GAVE BIRTH TO A LIFT,' because there's definitely enough horrific stuff happening in the middle east to fill a few issues. They won't even need to pad it out with fake ghost photographs like they do in the UK. They could have headlines like 'HE LEFT ME... FOR 72 VIRGINS' or 'MY FAMILY WAS CRUSHED... BY AN ALLIANCE OF REBELS AND LOCAL MILITIAS.' I might buy some shares in the magazine and push them in this direction....

Anyway, these magazines started because traditionalists were getting worried about women going to fight with Islamic State,so they wanted to encourage women staying in the home. Incidentally, did you know that a male holy warriors gets 72 virgins when they die, but a female holy warrior only gets 61?

Equal pay is a global issue, people. Sign my petition here.

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Photography ©2019 Rah Petherbridge