Saturday, August 21, 2010

The tales and fables of Joumana Haddad

When will this woman (whose connection to feminism is what resistance is to Muhammad Dahlan) stop weaving her tales and fables about her suffering at the hand of imagined oppressors?  She talks about her country hating her.  The headline should have been: nobody knows who I am.  I mean, really.  There is no danger to her sleazy magazine, Jasad, which sells very well in Gulf countries, and Lebanon has become quite hospitable in recent years to various forms of sleazy and pornographic publications.  So no one is oppressing her if they know who she is, and she remains the editor of the weakest and dumbest culture section of any daily newspaper in Lebanon.  I think the few who know of her (like me) dont react to her ideas (because she has none), not to her literature (because what she puts out in Arabic does not amount to literature or even to trash culture although because she promotes herself (very well) in Western countries to people who can't read Arabic as an Arab women who suffer from sexism, they take her seriously and they even translate what she writes although no one who deals with Arabic literature consider what she writes in any light.  This interview is a good example.  Look at the fibs she tells:  "The first year that Joumana Haddad took her new magazine to the Beirut book fair, her posters were torn down, there were bitter complaints to the director and Hezbollah, whose stall was directly opposite hers, tried to close her down."  Lebanon is a country where the slightest incidence of repression and oppression get widely reported because various sides are just watching each other and wanting to scare points, and no one ever reported that Hizbullah or Hizb of Potato ever bothered with her silly little magazine (which sells very well in Gulf countries).  And then demanding more sympathy and awards she adds this:  "They hack into her website and fill her inbox with threats of rape and murder and stoning, call her debauched, immoral, criminal and wicked, a bleak litany she appears to accept as an unavoidable consequence of what she does."  I mean, i receive daily (literally) threats and hateful messages but I dont see me running to the White Man demanding sympathy.  And I must confess that did it for me is this line:  "I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of An Angry Arab Woman."  She does not at all deserve to lable herself as Angry Arab Woman.  If Joumana Haddad is an Angry Arab Woman, please count me as the Most Docile Arab Man there is.   And then she writes these deep philosophical observations:  ""The Arab mind is in crisis. And because of this it wants everyone to be in crisis with it … The Arab mind cannot handle questions, because questions can hurt and upset the murky calm of the swamp.""  I mean, Raphael Patai did much better than this, come on.  And then she has to mention that she knows eight languages (I wish to test her):  "she also speaks French, Arabic, Armenian, Spanish and Italian."  Wait.  She is missing one language.  She has been saying that she is fluent in seven languages and she is studying an eight language.  I mean, by the quality of her (native) Arabic, I have been desperately looking for a proof.  Than this:  "equality is incredibly important to her, but so is femininity, a power and danger to be enjoyed to the hilt, along with more cerebral achievements." What are her achievements, aside from a great skill of self-promotion in Western countries where there is high demand for an Arab woman telling them: please, help me.  I am liberated and Western and they hate me over there.  Lastly, it figures that Saqi books would be interested in publishing this babble.   I wrote about her before here. (thanks Arun)