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Sunday, July 02, 2006


So where are the camels and the tents? That was the question my boss asked me when he came to Amman, he continued "you know Americans we love to stereotype" that was a funny joke, but at the time I did believe that only American brutally label people and nations.

Recently, I have noticed that we put some sort of socially accepted format, for each of the types and ignorantly label and judge people accordingly.

My Aunt and her husband are religious or pious people, in lets call it the traditional way. Meaning she wears the veil in a certain way and has studied shri3a at university and he has a beard and says Al Salam 3leikom, you know they are shyoukh.

So, one day they are visiting at our house and I was attending training so I come in home at 10 pm. they give me this look of disapproval!!

Every time I say something about religion they look to me in non-acceptance and try to defend Islam in front of me, in the most stupid way any one can do it ….by pretending or believing that I don't know any thing at all and try to cover up and explain things the wrong way-simple and superficial way- so I don't get the wrong thing from the correct concept. And mind you I do wear hijab and don't wear makeup in public meaning that I have the look of the religious. But still to them I'm not.

I should be staying at home, or be there before sunset. Don't speak to any man that is not my relative and be (m3a2deh), no travel no going out with my friends. To fit the type and get the social stamp of approval.

On the other hand there is the other side. I walk in to nice restaurant or a hotel and I get these queer looks, for them I don't fit the surroundings I'm too m3a2deh for the place.

The other side as well rules me out. I'm not from the cool bunch because I don't fit the format, and I wear hijab, which is a big head turner when ever I go to see a movie.

A friend of the family was working with the Jordanian peace keeping Forces in Kosovo, when a group of them went to local restaurant, the other guys with him started hitting on the ladies in the most grouse way, thinking they were cheap ladies due to the way they dressed.

He had to explain to them, that this is the way they dress here and that this does not mean they are looking for "something".

It is very sad for us that we keep on judging by the cover, I cannot see how people can live their lives by just the superficial look.

Seems that for the time being I will fit in no "Type". and I'm very happy and proud of myself for being unique enough not to fit a TYPE.

All for now ….


Anonymous said...

be proud and don't you ever mind ....just keep being yr self .... by loving allah and his religion you will be the most insightfull creature in the world..

Tamara said...


Thanks for the kind words.

But this is not only about me, but about every one else as well, it is a call to not be superficial

(Tealover) said...

I couldn't agree more , we do label people according to what they wear or look like , I admit I do that sometimes but the other way around , for girls who show off lots of their skin for example .. of for people who TAG themselves as religious yet behave in a way that totally contradicts with it . I believe it’s a human nature..

Very good and realistic post!

Tamara said...

Thanks for your visit ( tealover) I'm glad you liked the post : )

There are a lot of things we will do wrong if we just let our selves drift in life without thinking. Judging people by the way they look is one of them; I believe we should make an effort to consider each individual by himself.

Unknown said...

Well said Tamara as usual, methinks now a days; a flaringly-gay looking guy is probably more accepted (if not even celebrated) in some circles of our society more than a guy sporting a beard or a typical sheikh-like dress (The same applies to a veiled woman).

The tragedy in this is that you would’ve expected those very well-educated & open-minded circles to be more accepting, tolerant, embracing & understanding; more than say, your average middle-class/poorer or less-educated Jordanian who probably will harbour an inherent respect to any religiously-looking individual regardless if he/she was pious or not…

More on this below (in my series of shameless promotion of previous writings):

This is the dogmatic fallacy of being a self-acclaimed “open minded” liberal/secular; my friend.

The Sheikh-Makeover reality show & the “Islamic” franchise!


Anonymous said...

People are judgmental by nature. As long as you're convinced with what you're doing you'll be alright:)

Tamara said...


I totally agree, but I would rather see people use their brains than mindlessly accepting one format or another, because that leads to so many bad results. like accepting the views of any guy with a beard and not accepting the really pious guy that does not have one


I am totally convinced in what I am, but I would really love to see people use their brains for a change : )

Anonymous said...

Tamara, don't even bother. The question you should always ask yourself
Do you want to live YOUR life or theirs?
I had the same issues anywhere I go. Where people think that being religious is only their little narrow view of it. Who said it's like that? Why can't I question certain things that don't make sense EVEN if it was in Shariah?
The problem is that we really don't have REAL scholars, we have these half literate people telling us how to live our lives and boasting with praying more when that has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with it
I do have certain criticism to Shariah, and excuse me if some people disagree, I'm sorry I thought of things they didn't. If I'm smarter than someone and can think of different things then that's not my fault

You should focus on living your life the way that makes YOU feel good. And as the prophet said "استفت قلبك و ان افتوك" The right and wrong are clear and it doesn't need a half literate person to tell me about it

Tamara said...


I'm okay with questioning some parts of share3a, because this is the way you will get to the truth, and the right answers. but refusing some set rules and picking the parts of religion we like, and leave what ever we don't like, is the kind of thing I will not agree with ( believe me I have seen it)

As for the post, yes it is about me …but I was trying to make a point, I'm not suffering from this, I could care less what other people think of me. as long as I believe in what I am, but I was trying to get people to use their brains

I was going for the eye opening article …any open eyes ?

Anonymous said...

Actually Arabs stereotype much more than Americans do. I heard so many ntimes that Khalijis are womenizers no matter what, lebanese girls are prostitues no matter what, Egyptians are easily manipulated, black people are idiots (whether sudanese or somalian or just from al-ghoor)...etc

The difference is that it's much more acceptable in our countries than it is in america

Tamara said...


My point exactly : ) they have one manifestation of stereotyping we have many ….I have mentioned only a couple here

Welcome to my corner : )

Osaid Rasheed said...


Again, a wonderful post Tamara.
Believing that you are true and the whole world is wrong ( your ideas ) is total stupidity.

With respect

Tamara said...


Glad you liked the post.

As for the me against the world, well I think there are a lot of other people who agree with me, so its more than just me against the world.

Besides it’s every one has the right to their opinion : )