Who is Shereen El Feki?

The Arab world is very different from the Western world… or is it?

Shereen El Feki according to the Huffington Post is, “a writer, broadcaster and academic. She is an expert on social change in the Arab region, particularly as it relates to sexual and reproductive life, and served as vice-chair of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, representing the Arab region. She is a United Nations Global Expert, a project of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.” A lot of information in there I know!

I bring her to light because of the amazing work that she has done. She has recently left the new outlet Al-Jazeera. We all know the impact that Al-Jazeera has on the political, economic, and social identities in the Middle East and Arab world. The program which she is most formidably known for is called People and Power. It revolves around the concept of who is in power in a certain region or state and what they are doing with it, for the better or worse.

In the video posted she explores the differences between Arab and Western children culture. She compares the traditional American Barbie and Arab Barbie named Fulla. Fulla is downed in a full burqa and is presumably never in the bikini that the Barbie flaunts everywhere. Feki also shows the most masculine side of pop culture with the first ever Arab comic book for children. It showcases superheroes that battle the same fight that the Justice League and members of Marvel Comics fight. Even though both of these examples are flattering, Feki shows two completely different Arab music videos that bring to light the still ever present conservative yet attempting to be modern culture. One video preaches of Ala and the role of women in a society, the other shows a pop star rolling around scantily clad singing provocative lyrics.

I am extremely happy I stumbled upon this video. It shows the first steps in as she calls it, “meshing cultures.” It seems as though Arabs are skeptical of losing their culture to the West. This shows the steps which the Arab world has taken to preserve their way of life, as well as incorporate worldly trends.


About ethurston359

I am a Classics major at Roger Williams University.

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