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Morocco: Ashoura and Fashion

Morocco is celebrating Ashoura, the 10th day of the month of Moharram (which is the first month of the Hijra calendar year). Unlike their Shi'a counterparts in Iran and elsewhere, however, Moroccans typically do not commemorate Ashoura with mourning and breast-beating. As Everything Morocco explains:

Children and young teens are everywhere in the streets with whole percussion bands assembled from genuine snare drums right down to plastic gallon-sized vegetable oil bottles they probably snatched from the kitchen. Some have metal castanets and others have sticks. They are celebrating the 10th day of the month of Moharrem.

Shifa of Move It or Lose It noticed how the holiday coincided with warm weather:

The second day of Ashora was the first day of Spring in Tangier. Heartwarming, seeing as how I can assume my bedroom at home is still overlooking dirty mounds of snow and sludge. I celebrated by taking the three dirham taxi to Sweni.

Dress was a prominent subject amongst Moroccan bloggers over the weekend as well. Maryam of My Marrakesh, who is currently traveling in Kyrgyzstan, shares a poem and photographs:


A girl who lived in the heat of the desert

found herself in a place

where, in the warmth of the mid-day sun,

it was -17°C.

Without the wind chill factor.


Brrr….Welcome to Kyrgyzstan.

Cold weather in Kyrgyzstan

A Moro in America shares an AP photo of Moroccans celebrating their football (soccer) team, and remarks:

Moroccan chicks support the national team a-la-Bresilienne :)

Myrtus shares two fashion-related stories; one about “Redlight Fashion” in the Netherlands, to which she remarks:

Those who think that fashion can replace prostitution seriously need their heads examined and those who say the two don't mix are in for a big surprise. Take a look how Amsterdam is making it all happen in the famous Red Light District.

The other is in regards to the ongoing debate about hijab, or “the veil:”

The question is: Do Muslim women believe and desire what Western women believe and desire? Following Virginia Woolf’s model of sexual equality, the internationalist feminists are convinced of the universality of women’s needs and rights beyond national boundaries. As Woolf once said, “As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, I want no country. As a woman, my country is the world.”

But, according to professor Shahrzad Mojab, some postmodern feminists defend the use of veil in the guise of respect for other cultures and denouncing critics of the veil as cultural imperialist. For example, professor Fadwa El Guindi goes as far as claiming that for women, veiling in contemporary Arab culture fulfills many functions. It can signify privacy, kinship, status, power, autonomy, and political resistance, she says. Boiled down to its essence, this view is a cultural relativism, which render nations or individuals with authority to (mis) use culture as a basis for justifying human rights abuses.

Loula comments:

Muslim women and the West. What about Muslim Women and the Far East? I think women in “Islamic” countries are in a very bad position. Of course, some will argue that much need to be done before women's condition could be enhanced in “Islamic” countries, funny this always comes from men.Other will argue that women in the West are also oppressed, then again depending where. Anyway we are all in the same boat, although Women in many countries are really suffering. But, hey the Old Boys Club is still calling the shots.

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