Second Coming of French Colonization (Veil-no-Veil ) by Naim Farhat
the nineteeth century the western world had divided North Africa
and the Middle East among themselves. When the western powers divided
the Middle East, the French colonized North Africa and the Levantine
countries. During that period, the French as colonizors looked down
on the North Africans as primitive, uncivilized easy to control
and exploit. The young girls and young women were exploited through
Among the most famous of the Orientalist painters was Jean-Leon
Gerome born (1824- 1904), who mainly depicted the Arab women within
the Bath Houses or in the Market Place. Gerome also had students
who followed in his footsteps with the Orientalist approach in depicting
the Arab women in degradating situations. The myth of Shahrazad
and Arabian Nights lived in Geromes paintings. Because of the high
demand for such genre in art from the French and the Western World,
Gerome was able to live up to the demands of the colonizors and
fill the need for the exploitation of the African and Arab women.
In photography, the French took their cameras to North Africa, not
to document the long history and civilization of Africa, but to
prey on the young and lovely girls, in need of a few Francs, by
photographing them some semi nude and others fully nude again, to
supply the demand of the perverted and hard French culture.
A century later, France finds itself in another confrontation and
clash with Eastern culture. In the past this need for colonization
was with the North African countries but now it is with its own
citizens who are of Arab descent.
When does one
of the most civilized countries on earth take upon itself the need
to dictate a dress code and pass a law telling Arab women how to
dress. In a scale of comparison, France should be critisized just
as Iran and Saudia Arabia are critisized in their laws on dictating
a dress code for women.
In this day and age of the Twenty First Century, the Western World
should not have " a selective morality"in judging and
critisizing third world countries while they allow France to do
Civilization is measured by the scale of tolerance and how much
the majority of the populace has tolerance for the minority of the
people. If France considers itself a highly civilized and democratic
country, passing a law on a dress code which prevents women from
wearing a scarf will have a long and damaging effect on the French
itself. This is one instance where the citizens of France should
take a stanze to prevent this from happening.
In conclusion one must encourage not only the women of the Middle
East but all women of the world to reject and contest to France's
violation of basic human rights on what to wear, when to wear and
how to wear is dictated to them. To contest this mandate, all women
should stop wearing French Designer clothing, French Perfume and
using any other French products.
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