Watching the movies, watching the moviegoers

My ears are still doing that weird void of silence things after an assault in the cinema at Cairo’s glamour mall, City Stars. I know Egypt has only two levels of volume: off and 10 and like the rest of the region, love nothing more than a good blast of polar-strength air-con. Loud and cold is probably not the best environment to enjoy a movie, though, especially the three-hour doomsday saga of 2010.

As interesting as the movie were the clientele: being the holiday period of Eid, Cairo is once again full of holidaying Arab guys (that’s Saudi Arabians, for you and me) with their long hair and fat wallets. Also, one of our gang was shocked to see a munaqqabah in the cinema. The niqab is the all-encompassing dress some women wear that leave only their eyes visible, and lately I’ve been noticing women on the metro who go the final step and have a piece of black gauze over their eyes so they can see out but you can’t see in.

What’s so weird about a woman wearing the niqab in the cinema? I asked, only to be reminded that many in this super-conservative group consider movies and music to be haram, or against Islam.

Recently, the imam of Al-Azhar mosque, the esteemed seat of Islamic learning, banned the niqab from female-only classrooms in the mosque’s schools, secondary schools and university institutions. The debate amongst bloggers is raging.

I don’t know a lot about it: I do know women wearing the niqab aren’t so keen to sit beside the obviously non-Muslim foriegner, though I had a chat with a nice young munaqqabah last week on the train. Locals can’t understand my fascination with the topic, but I maintain that what people don’t understand, they fear. And in a time when the world is in religious upheaval, understanding and appreciation are the only ways toward acceptance and tolerance.

(Pic credit: Bikyamisr)

One thought on “Watching the movies, watching the moviegoers

  1. Belle… Islam has specific bases concepts to understand it and understand its rules …first of all of these concepts is that Allah is the only one God and there is no God except him and the second is that Mohamed is his last prophet to the human and the third is that the Holy Quran is the book from Allah (Allah's talk) sent to Mohamed. Forth is that Mohamed peace upon him says nothing regarding the Islam's rules from his himself but he always be guided by revelation. I know these all hard for you to believe but be sure that these bases of Islam have mental proofs and good Muslim who accept Islam on the base of those mental proofs.
    This introduction was important to declare that all the Islam rules its source from Quran and from Mohamed peace upon him. Many of these rules are already clarified and need no explanation because they have only one meaning and others without explanation or they carry more than one meaning left for Islamic scientist to work on it to find the convenient Islamic rules for the subject all the time in present or in the future. That is why opinions difference between these scientist occurs most of the time and that is why Islam has opinion in each case and it will till the end of world but sometimes some people doesn't know these opinion difference or they ignore them

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