Location:Home > news > starting from Le Lido or Moulin Rouge." But another interviewee thought the lingerie is "almost don(2)

starting from Le Lido or Moulin Rouge." But another interviewee thought the lingerie is "almost don(2)

Time:2018-07-05 00:14Underwear site information Click:

Lingerie Panties Secret from life

Thong and cell phone holder (photo: Gilbert Hage)


"I can't get to the phone right now, honey, could you pick it up?" Some Syrians take a very innovative approach to underwear telephony

​​"The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie" may itself attract such criticisms. Interviews with women are interspersed with photographs of lingerie by Lebanese photographer Gilbert Hage, but many women turned down the request to be interviewed, or became angry when they saw examples of the lingerie. A woman in her sixties who declined to be interviewed declared: "Damascenes are proud of their city and culture. No one will talk to you." Another said: "Lingerie is such an embarrassing issue for Syrian women to talk about, and that's probably why it's called 'the secret life'."

Naïve, sweet and innocent One interviewee pointed out that the type of lingerie highlighted in the book is only a small part of Syria's overall lingerie output, and is linked only to a small category of people. "There are subcultures in Syria, and subcultures everywhere else in the world that would be interested in this kind of lingerie, starting from Le Lido or Moulin Rouge." But another interviewee thought the lingerie is "almost done in a naive sweet innocent way. It's not sick or perverted."

Veiled women buy lingerie (photo: Reine Mahfouz)


The more religious a country, the more daring its lingerie? Women in headscarves in a Damascus lingerie store, looking around for the right piece of clothing

​​The interviewees often associated the "exotic" lingerie with a certain class or religion. One said: "The underwear makes me laugh so much. It is not sexy at all!" She considers it mirrors "the very old fashioned ideas about sexuality in the less educated classes of Syria." Another said that for Christians, the underwear is "nothing but embarrassing, old-fashioned fun; for Muslims it is something very normal – they not only accept it but also enjoy it. The more religious an area is, the more risqué the underwear becomes. I think that Muslim women have less freedom on the outside so to compensate they have more freedom on the inside." "The Secret of Life of Syrian Lingerie: Intimacy and Design" is one of the most unusual, even bizarre, books you are likely to see on the Arab world. It is surely the first book to probe an Arab culture via the medium of its female undergarments, and looks certain to arouse debate and controversy.

Susannah Tarbush

© Qantara.de 2008

The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie: Intimacy and Design, Malu Halasa and Rana Salam (ed.), Chronicle Books San Francisco, 2008, 176 pages

 

Qantara.de Ahmed Khaled's "The Fifth Pound" A Bus Named Desire Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Khaled has produced a courageous film about sexuality in the Egypt. But the film can't be shown. Sonja Zekri reports Marriage Counseling A "School of Marital Bliss" in Cairo Many Arabic men and women are unhappy with their sex lives. Recently a school opened in Cairo to tackle this problem through counseling, seminars and Koran verses. Nelly Youssef introduces the school Syrian Sitcoms Religion, Politics and Sexuality Are Sensitive Issues The series Hakaya wa Khafaya will be shown on Syrian television during Ramadan. German actress Meike Schlüter played a role in the production that also features Andrej Skaf, one of Syria's best-loved television actors. Manuela Römer reports

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