Friday March 18, 2005
BY AMIRA AL HUSSAINI
Cover up the mannequins please. Those distasteful anorexic women should not be on display for public viewing. Let them wear abayas, with the red lace of nightgowns hanging out from the side. For a change, the mannequins will then be mimicking real women - instead of the other way round. I can't help but roll my eyes every time I am out in public, surrounded by women wearing the tightest, brightest, embroidered, see-through abayas.
Is it only me who feels this way? If they really want to expose what lies beneath, why do they bother wearing the abayas to begin with?
Please, don't get me wrong. I am not voicing my insecurities or anything.
I am also all for freedom of expression and dressing up is one way of expressing oneself, which I don't want to limit in a society which has more restrictions and taboos today than it did in the swinging 60s and sizzling 70s.
But to humiliate the abaya - the sign of the humble modest woman who strictly adheres to tradition and culture - in this shameful manner is blasphemous by all standards.
I really don't know why parliament has not taken up the matter, or why members from the Islamic Bloc haven't yet passed a motion banning such scandalous abayas, which are closer to nightgowns than the symbol of the humble Muslim woman.
I know I am opening myself up to criticism here, because I am not exactly the abaya-wearing Muslim woman.
But at least whatever clothes I wear cover more than some of the abayas worn by many women!
If parliament does not want to do something about loose women on the streets, perhaps the municipal councils should come up with a motion to cover up scantily-clad women wearing abayas?
They have, after all, appointed themselves as the vice squads in a Bahrain where everything is so perfect - albeit with a few people hanging their underwear to dry outside their homes.
Vol XXVII NO. 360 Tuesday 15 March 2005
BY AMIRA AL HUSSAINI
The Municipal councils are continuing to amuse us with their trivial pursuits.
Many people, including my humble self, have no idea anymore what their real job is because they have distracted us with their hilarious concerns.
The fact that they are spending time discussing whether mannequins have to be covered up or not or where people should hang their washed underwear to dry sends shock waves down my spine.
After Muharraq, the Central Municipal Council has now succeeded in passing an order to cover up all the mannequins in their area.
A great achievement indeed in areas with roads full of potholes, overflowing sewage and dilapidated homes, swarming with insects and rodents!
From banning the display of nightwear and swimwear on mannequins in shop display windows, the Northern Municipal Council comes up with another ingenious idea: Let's stop people hanging their underwear to dry outside their homes.
I am sure other councils will follow suit and before long, people will have to resort to wearing disposable underwear or maybe no underwear at all rather than break the law and face penalties - perhaps jail or a fine - for not affording dryers or mansions to hang their underwear in places far away from prying eyes.
I wish I had time on my hands to review to the 50 elected councillors' election programmes and see what they have achieved over almost three years.
Have they lived up to people's expectations?
Wasn't there a municipal councillor in Muharraq who promised his constituency to close down Bahrain International Airport because of the noise and inconvenience it brought to people in his area?
What about the Isa Town municipal councillor who promised to close down Al Manar for Parents Care - a daytime centre looking after the elderly - and turn it into a health centre?
The message coming from the leadership is loud and clear: The aim of reforms - political, economic and labour - is to improve the quality of life of all Bahrainis.
It is a shame to see what little is being achieved because the reforms are being hijacked by concerns which are not the need of the hour in my country.