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Arabisc: Hijab-clad Doll Under Fire in Tunisia

Fulla in Hijab

This is Fulla, the Hijab-clad Arab Muslim adaptation of the decadent West's Barbie doll.

Our Barbie wears the Hijab (head scarf) and Islamic attire – a long dress with long sleeves. While she is a blessing to many parents in the Muslim world who are happy to see their children playing with a doll which conforms to social traditions and religious obligations, Egyptian blogger Ahmed Shokeir registers his disgust against Tunisian authorities who aren't happy with the doll and are conducting a witch hunt and confiscating it from stores.

فـُلـّّة هي دمية عربية نشأت منذ سنوات تحاكي الدمية باربي الشهيرة وطبيعي عندما تظهر دمية عربية أو بمعنى أدق خليجية أن تتشابه مع الشكل والتقاليد العربية وبالتالي ظهرت الدمية بأشكال لطيفة وترتدي بالطبع العباءة هذا الزي الخليجي المتعارف عليه ، وقد حرص المصنعون أن يكون الشكل يحاكي الواقع فظهرت بغطاء الرأس المرافق للعباءة دون نقاب
ولكن تونس وماأدراك ماتونس ، قامت حملة تفتيشية نشطة على كل المحلات وصادرت جميع الأدوات الدراسية التي تحمل صورها بزعم أنها تحمل دعوة للباس الطائفي ، ويعلق أحد الصحفيين أن الشنط المدرسية تحمل صور فلة وبالتالي الخوف على الأطفال الصغار أن يتعرضوا للتحقيق والإستجواب من جراء حملهم للشنط
“Fulla is an Arab doll, developed a few years ago as an adaptation from the famous Barbie doll. It is only natural that she appears Arab or more specifically Gulf Arab, wearing the attire people in this part of the world are used to. Its manufacturers made sure that she wears the head scarf and its accompanying cloak without a veil, which covers the face. But Tunisia and you don't know what Tunisia is, is conducting a clampdown and confiscating the doll and all other items which have Fulla's image (such are stationery and school bags) on the grounds that the clothes she is wearing spread sectarianism. One of the journalists wrote that school bags carry Fulla's pictures and he was worried that young children will be arrested and questioned for carrying the bags,” he wrote.

Still in Egypt, but on a more contemporary note, blogger Kareem Nabeel Suleiman was back in court today (Thursday, January 25), where the judge refused to release him on bail.

Suleiman, 22, was arrested in November for articles he wrote online, and is being charged with a list of allegations – which extend from writing blasphemous articles against Islam to defaming the President of Egypt.

Fellow blogger Wa7da Masrya was at court and describes to us what happened. Along with his lawyers, journalists and other bloggers, Wa7da Masrya arrived in court at 9am.

اليوم انتظرنا كثيرا و كادوا يمنعونا من دخول القاعة بعد ان منعوا التصوير التلقزيوني او حتى بالكاميرا العادية و كان فريق من قناة دريم موجود و لم يستطع التصوير حضر كريم و لم يراه أحد حيث أدخلوه من الجراج و منه إلى طريق مباشر لقفص الإتهام و منعوا دخولنا القاعة حتى ياتي دور قضية كريم قي الرول
“Today we waited a lot and they were about to throw us out of court after banning the television crew from shooting the proceedings. They also banned people from taking pictures with a normal camera. A crew from Dream TV was present and they too were banned from filming the proceedings. Kareem was sneaked into court through the garage and no one saw him. They even banned us from sitting inside the court house until Kareem's case was called,” she wrote.

The trial, said Wa7da Masrya, started at noon.

رفعت الجلسة و خرجنا نتظر قرار المحكمة و في أنتظارنا تحدث معنا بعض الصحفيين الذي حاول بعضهم في أصرار أن يعرف أن كنا نوافق على ما كتبة كريم و كنت احاول ان اشرح لهم اننا حتى إختلافنا مع كريم نحن هنا لأننا نؤمن بحرية الرأي و التعبير و أن الإعتقال و العقاب بهذا الشكر لن يغير شيئا
“The case was adjourned and we gathered outside the court to wait for the verdict. Meanwhile, a few journalists spoke to us trying to know whether we agreed with what Kareem had written or not. I tried to explain to them that despite our disagreement with Kareem, we are here because we believe in freedom of expression and that arrest and punishment in this manner won't change a thing,” she added.

Away from Egypt and its ‘issues’, Abu Dhabi-based Ben Kerishan has decided to take a short winter break to Beirut, Lebanon, with a friend.

With alcohol consumption being a top No-No in Islam, Bin Kerishan's first challenge is to be able to consume it on the flight despite the presence of his friend's relative on board.

و في الطائره..و من سوء الصدف ان ظهر معنا على نفس الرحله و على كرسي قريب.. خال شهيل..الذي سلم علينا ، كذبنا عليه وقلنا اننا في رحلة عمل..بيزنيس يعني .. همس لي شهيل : لاحول الله لن نشرب اليوم شيئا على هذه الرحله ؟ فطمئنته مهدئا من روعه : لا تخف ..ان الله معنا
“On the plane, unfortunately, Shuhail's uncle was seated close to us. He greeted us and we lied to him and said we were on a business trip. Shuhail whisphered in my ears: I won't be able to drink on this trip. I tried to calm his down and told him that Allah will be our side.”

To conceal the alcohol, Bin Kerishan orders a Buck's Fizz (a champagne-orange juice mixture).

Although they had a full plan to make the most of their short break, drinking, gambling and dining, they seem to have forgotten that Lebanon was facing a stand off between the government and opposition.

شرح لنا السائق فادي ان الناس لاتخرج الي السوليدير بسبب الاعتصام الذي يقوم به جماعة حزب الله..ثم اخذنا الي اماكن خيامهم المنصوبه و كانها مضارب ارض الرمال في وسط السوليدير ..شباب يلعب كرة قدم في الساحه..مطابخ منصوبه في الخيام..شرح لنا فادي ان الحزب يدفع عشرين دولار لمن يعتصم نهارا..و خمسين دولار لمن يبقى طوال الليل..و بما ان اليوم عطلة الاسبوع فعدد المعتصمين يزداد حيث تاتي العوائل الفقيره المعترّه لتقضي سهرتها هنا.. تتعشى ببلاش على حساب خامئني
“Our driver Fadi explained to us that people don't go to the Solidaire (city centre) because of the protest being led by Hizbulla. He then took us to where their tents were erected. There we saw men playing football and open air kitchens in the tents. Fadi told us that the party pays $20 for those who attend the protest during the day and $50 for those who stay over night. And as today was a holiday, many poor families turned out en masse to spend their weekend and have a free dinner, thanks to Khamenei,” he wrote.

Our final stop is in Yemen, where Thamud thinks he was ripped off after spending $150 to learn how to drive at the state-run driving school.

23 سنة ولا أعرف القيادة, نعم هذا أنا!! لا أدري لماذا لم أتعلم القيادة, فحين كنت مراهقا لم يكن هناك الكثير من الاصدقاء الذين أعرفهم يملكون السيارات ولم اكن املك ذلك الصديق “الصايع” (والذي كان يحذرك منه والدك) الذي “يلف و يدور” 24 ساعة ليعرض علي تعلمي القيادة.ذهبا إلى المدرسة صباحا وسجلت في ما يسمونه الدورة “الطويييلة” ولكنها في حقيقة الامر أسبوعين مقسمة إلى أسبوع نظري وأسبوع عملي وتكلفة الدورة حوالي 150$ وهي مبالغ فيها نوعا ما فلو قمت بإستئجار مدرس خاص كان سيكلفني أقل من ذلك
“I am 23 years old and I can't drive. I don't know why I didn't learn how to drive before. When I was a teenager, I didn't have many friends who used to drive. I also didn't have the careless friend, who was driving up and down the streets 24 hours a day – the type your father would warn you from – to teach me how to drive. To learn, I went in the morning to the Driving School and registered for the morning programme. In reality it was a two week programme. The first was theoretical and the second practical. The course costs $150, which is an exaggerated amount. It would have cost me less had I had a private instructor,” he explained.


  • I had no idea that demonstrators were paid to participate…i guess it’s a win-win situation. the organizers get a rent-a-mob and the participants get money and food…no wonder they always look so enthusiastic on the news, it’s part of the show…

    do the organizers interview them to find out if they even know what the demonstration is about? what do you think?

  • This is shokeir post about FULLA
    وصل بيكم الخوف من الحجاب انكم خايفين من عروسة

  • Fulla

    The story about Fulla has been covered on Global Voices Online by Sami Ben Gharbia

  • Kamran

    This news is in wrong section, not related to Iran.

  • Dear Kamran,
    If Khamenei isn’t Iranian, then I don’t know who is! Please read paragraph 20 to understand why there is a reference to Iran in this link.

  • Dear Fulla,
    Thanks for drawing my attention to Sami’s post! The Egyptians seem to have just caught up with the topic as there are at least three entries on different blogs which I saw covering the same story yesterday.
    Thanks again for dropping by!

  • la hawlla walla qoata illa billah .. wallah mosebah .. maqwool yanass mqwool .. Tuness balad islami abaan an jad .. allah almstaak .

  • […] 原文:Arabisc: Hijab-clad Doll Under Fire in Tunisia作者:Amira Al Hussaini翻译:abstract校对:Portnoy […]

  • Sameh

    عمرك شفتي عروسة لبسة صليب!!

    Translation by GV editor Amira Al-Hussaini:

    Have you ever seen a doll wearing a cross?

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