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Monday, October 29, 2012

Egypt asserts its masculinity; bars American woman for "insult"

From Bikya Masr:
After allegedly insulting an Egyptian customs officer at the Aqaba port, an American woman was barred from entering Egypt, the ministry of interior said Tuesday.

The woman, who was trying to cross into Egypt from the eastern port of Aqaba, allegedly “verbally attacked” the customs officer over visa-related issues and when the ministry was made aware of the incident, the decision to forbid the women from entering the country was put into action.

Amr Roshdy, the spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs said that the necessary legal steps were made against the banned visitor.
The rest of this article shows what is obvious to anyone who actually observes the region, and it is missed by those who refuse to see the truth:
Reports mentioning the incident were cheered by online commentators.

One man said it was “a step in the right direction to regain Egypt’s dignity” while another said that “this action puts us on the same level with the US.”

Egypt’s decreasing regional role and US dominance across parts of the region has made Egyptians yearn for action that proves Egypt’s power and asserts its place internationally.
This is the honor/shame mentality that is the key to understanding the Arabic-speaking world.

Arabs will act in ways that are at odds with how Westerners would act - because they think differently.

The idea of such pride at banning a woman is ridiculous on its face, but once you put it in the proper context of an honor/shame society, it makes perfect sense.

And the last paragraph proves that it isn't Israel that the Arabs resent - it is Western power, viewed as being at the expense of Arab masculinity.

It might be a throwaway article, but if you don't understand it, you don't understand the Middle East.