The Arab world has experienced an era of darkness since the 1950s. During this time, Arab societies closed off from thought and religion, and this has affected the way they view sex. Islamic conservatives have hijacked the argument on sex, claiming that feelings and sex are mutually exclusive. Hence, sex occurs under the covers, in dark rooms, and even on wedding nights. For this reason, Arab sex is not as open and public as in Western countries.
The Sex Talk project, which started as a small group, has now become a global social media initiative. It aims to translate sex talk in Arabic, and create a relevant catalog of information on sex in the Arab world. Its founder, Dr. Sandrine Atallah, is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Glasgow Caledonian University. She is currently researching the financial well-being of refugees in the United Kingdom, and she has been active in promoting sex education in the Arab world.
The book is a must-read for anyone interested in Arab sex. Those who want to understand the complexities and challenges of Arab sex should read Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El Feki. It is an in-depth study of sex in the Arab world. While it may not be taboo, it is common for the religious authorities and society to keep sex to themselves.
The role of women in sex was often attributed to women. According to Hamdouna, Arab men considered women to be “the better messengers between men and women.” Moreover, women were believed to know more about the mysteries of women than men. This was also reflected in women’s profession of procuring prostitutes. The Arabs called these women ‘wise mothers’. This is an excellent example of the dominance that women have over men in the Arab world.
Despite the fact that Arab men are largely unaware of the harmful consequences of sex, the importance of virginity among young men is a major concern for women in this region. As a result, they often engage in unsafe situations if they are not protected by a barrier. In fact, barrier protection is the best way to avoid the transmission of many STIs. If you have unprotected sex with unprotected partners, you’re playing Russian roulette. You are risking life-threatening viruses.
The formal education system in the Arab world provides limited information about sex and reproductive health. According to a recent survey conducted by the Population Council in Cairo, nearly one-fifth of adolescents aged ten to 29 years received no or minimal information on sexual health in public school. Further, outside information on sexual education was not helpful. Despite this lack of knowledge, young girls starting their periods reacted with shock and tears. It is clear that lack of education is the main cause of fear.
The Arab world’s history of anticolonialism must be read in this context. As a result, we must understand the historical and political consequences of sex. In Arab history, sex was a key factor in the emergence of anticolonialism. This was also the case for the colonial period in the West. While the Arabs were not fully enslaved by Europeans, their sexuality remained illegal.
In Tunisia, a pilot sex education program was launched in late 2019. The program is in collaboration with the UN Population Fund and the Arab Institute for Human Rights. Since then, the country has incorporated sex education in public schools. The sex education program is not a new idea in Arab societies, but it is important to recognize the cultural and social contexts of the program. After all, sex education is not confined to marriage and it can affect anyone.
Before the Arab revolution, an Egyptian pimp organised thousands of marriages a year, often involving teenage girls or virgins. Saudi men, however, are more likely to be wealthy, and prefer virgins and teenage girls. The girls are usually kept for 10 days to two weeks before they are sent on their way to a wealthy Saudi man. In some cases, parents sell their daughters to a pimp for the same reason. Once a girl is bought, she is kept in a’marriage’ contract, which is usually signed by her ‘husband’. This’marriage’ can occur several times a year, and girls can have as many as half a dozen a year.
Similarly, women in the Middle East prefer women and do not like boys. Historically, men in the region married women and fathered children without engaging young boys. Pederasty may also have been practiced. However, this practice is not widespread in modern societies. But the sexism in Arab countries is extremely complex. It can be traced to a number of sources, including Arab culture, religion, and language.