January 27, 1994 |
After 22 years of teaching, the promotion of Nasr Hamid abu Zaid, a professor of Arabic literature and one of Egypt's best-known intellectuals, seemed a sure bet. Two fellow professors evaluated him and complimented his many papers and books on Islamic discourse. They recommended him for a full professorship at prestigious Cairo University.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 1997 |
Samira Ismaili can see the world around her through a thin slit in her veil. The world sees little more of Ismaili than her eyes, the rest of her concealed by folds of black cloth. Still, among the conservative Arabs of the Persian Gulf, showing even a woman's eyes is too much. Hard-line Islamic clerics say that the niqab--the eye-revealing veil that gulf women are taking to--can encourage promiscuity. Women's eyes are too alluring, the clerics argue.
March 10, 1992 |
The imam at a mosque in one of this city's popular quarters was recounting the prophet Mohammed's last days on Earth. His rapid-fire Arabic began rising in pitch as the tale grew more dramatic. Then the holy man got to the part where the angel Gabriel summoned the prophet to heaven, and suddenly he broke into French. "Prenez vos valises and partez tout de suite!" the imam exclaimed--"Take your bags and leave right away!"
February 11, 1992 |
A young Palestinian staggers into the room, blood dripping down his face, his breath coming in broken heaves. "He insulted me. He insulted all of us," he announces to a roomful of dumbstruck friends. "He called me . . . " he pauses for the indignity of it all . . . "an Arab!" Instantly, the assembled men on the stage, the Egyptian and the Moroccan, the Saudi and the Lebanese, the Syrian and the Iraqi, hide their faces in shame. The audience watching the scene, Arabs all, laughs uproariously.
October 21, 2001 |
The young woman didn't know the name of the book she was after when she wandered into a Santa Monica bookstore. She just knew she needed to read it. "What is their book, the one like the Bible?" she asked Margie Ghiz, owner of Midnight Special. The Koran, Ghiz said. Then the owner apologized; she had just sold out. In that case, the woman asked, could she look at anything related? "I think I need to know more about how other people think," she said.