November 23, 2009
The Color of Monkey: Egyptians Draw A Bead On Haifa
Guardian (UK) angel Nesrine Malik tells of lyrics by an Egyptian writer, sung by sultry songstress Haifa Wehbe, that refer to a child pining for his "Nubian monkey". The term, supposedly referring to a toy, is apparently tied in with long-standing negative color-race attitudes among lighter-skinned Egyptians and other Arabs towards the swath of swarthy Nubians in Egypt's south, and blacks in general. Nubia's bias guardians have requested some sort of legal sanction against the song. The issue brings to rare local public airing the color biases of much of Middle Eastern society, or in Ms Malik's words, the "endemic culture of racial stereotyping in the region ". It apparently also extends to a standard of beauty that elevates a "light-skinned, catty-eyed and slim-nosed" Lebanese look, though the description of the Haifa Wehbe song as "a mindless children's tune sung by an equally vacant performer" does suggest that the term "catty" is not restricted solely to the field of ocular esthetics. (PS -- Just love those commenters below the article at the Guardian. Sheesh.)
Posted by Matthew Hogan at November 23, 2009 07:53 PM
Filed Under: Ethnic Minorities , Gender Issues , MENA Region General , Media , North Africa , Political Development , Press Freedom , Society & Culture
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Interesting. Haife Wehbe is a nasty and empty headed bitch, so utter insensitivity on her part is no surprise.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at November 27, 2009 05:37 AM
I got this far in the Guardian comments and had to stop:
"Talking of racism, you see in English vocabulary words like: Black mail, black market and many more words and we are not told to avoid using such discriminatory words."
Posted by: Antiquated Tory at December 14, 2009 08:15 AM