not all middle easterners are arab

I feel like I want to make some people SHOOK today, so here is a free mini-lesson for everyone (P.S: If you’re American then please pay close attention):

-There isn’t a single country in the Middle-East that has the word “stan” in it. Not a single one.

-And yes, that includes Pakistan & Afghanistan.

-Yes you heard me correctly, both of Pakistan & Afghanistan are not in the Middle-East, but instead they’re in South & Central Asia.

-Muslims don’t wear turbans, at all.

-Arabs/Middle-Eastern people also don’t wear turbans either, at all (In some Arabic countries there ARE types of traditional headwraps and they’re called “Emamah”, however they’re not called turbans and you can easily tell the difference between them if you bother learning).

-The only Religion/Culture whose people do wear turbans are called Sikhs, follower of Sikhism religion. And no, Sikhs are not from the Middle-East either, but are primely from India.

-There are over three muslim countries in Europe. And no, the muslims there aren’t immigrants but are in fact native white Europeans who are also Muslims (Yes white European muslims exist, since you know, Islam is a universal religion not an ethnicity or a race)

-There’s over 50 Muslim countries in this world and aside from Iran there isn’t a single muslim country in this globe that forces women to wear Hijab (Headscarf) By law. 49 out of 50 muslim countries don’t have laws forcing women to wear Hijab or face veils.

-A Muslim woman wearing a Burqa is an extremely rare thing that can hardly be found in any Muslim countries, so if you see a Muslim woman covering her face with a type of cloth then that piece of cloth is most likely a Niqab NOT a Burqa (Seriously, don’t bother saying Burqa cuz 99.9% of the time, the thing you want to describe is probably not a Burqa)

-Only 23% of the world’s Muslims population are from Arab/Middle-Eastern countries. Yes, there are more non-Middle-Eastern/Arab Muslims than there are Middle-Eastern/Arab Muslims.

-Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha wasn’t 7 when she married him, but was actually 19 at the time of the wedding (And this have been debunked for centuries now, yet it’s still used by Islamophobics till this day).

-Almost everything I have said in this post have been true for centuries actually, so if you didn’t already know at least one of the things from this list then you really have no excuse to be this deep in the dark.

i’m never going to shut up about this.

i saw a middle-eastern, muslim man on u.s. television depicted as a real human being. someone who faces struggle and tries to approach it with humor. someone who is kind and is capable of love. someone who has desires and seeks to give and receive affection. i saw a middle-eastern, muslim man on u.s. television who loves other men.

in fact i saw two muslim men depicted with such dimension and humanity. and i got to see them become intimate with one another. clothed to fully naked. from gentle touches to loving sex. all of it.

i don’t think some people understand how immensely important this was on so many fucking levels.

Alright I’m just going to jump into the Aladdin casting controversy bullshit head on. Since this is Disney making a live action version of their 1992 cartoon adaptation I’m just going to address that and not the original origins of the story. Now, I’m seeing a lot of people saying that the character MUST be Arab because the characters are Arab… and like no they’re not? Disney’s Aladdin is not explicitly Middle Eastern, South Asian, North African, Arab, etc. It’s a racist fusion of the non-white “other” that takes aspects of all these cultures and blends them into one. 

Don’t get me wrong. I freaking LOVED Aladdin as a kid, but like let’s be real here this is in no way a positive example of representation. It’s filled with stereotypical, racist tropes that reduce us to savages. Like literally:

“Oh, I come from a land from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.”

So many people are on here saying that the characters need to be Arab because it’s a Middle Eastern story. Which just blatantly ignores the other influences this film had, not to mention that there’s more groups in the Middle East besides “Arab.” Like somehow the fiction Agrabah is located along the Jordan River, has tigers and monkeys in it, was named inspired by Baghdad, is inspired by the Taj Mahal, includes Arabic architecture, and overall uses Middle Eastern, South Asian, North African influences. 

This was by no means an “Arab film,” this was Disney using a bunch of stereotypes and throwing them together because they didn’t care enough to invest in the history and culture of a specific area. Instead they melded SWANA influences together because who cares, we’re basically all the same, right? Unlike movies like Brave where you know where the film is located, the cultural influence, and you see that represented on screen. 

Anyway that’s all I have to say on the live action version directed by Guy fucking Ritchie in what’s sure to be totally positive representation. 

my (foreigner) friend once tagged me to show me this (taken from mundo lingo facebook page) and i found it hilarious. but it also inspired me for a post idea.

HOW TO TEXT IN ARABIC LIKE A NATIVE - THE BASICS

let’s attack the “alphabet” first. so we use the latin alphabet bc of many reasons: some devices don’t dispose of an arabic one, we use a lot of french/english words and ofc the arabized english/french is better written with the latin letters.

for the majority of the letters, we use their english equivalent like for ت it’s “t”, for س it’s “s”, for م it’s “m”, etc. for the letters that can’t be pronounced in englsih, we write them in numbers!! and here lies all the fun! :D

unfortunately, north african and middle eastern don’t agree on some letters. so i’ll seperate the letters/numbers in 2 groups.

the letters that are agreed on in all MENA:

  • أ is 2
  • ع is 3
  • ذ is 4
  • خ is 5
  • ح is 7

the letters that are different in NA and ME:

i’ll write the maghrebi version first then the middle eastern second.

  • ق is 9 or 8
  • غ is 8 or 3′

this is all. 

here is me and one of my friends chatting. Practise! ;)

 back to that meme, u might understand now that it’s all wrong, except the word 7abibi ;)

POC Profile: Jewish Middle Eastern from Israel

I was born in Israel and moved to the United States later on. I’m of Yemen, Egyptian and Syrian descent but am 100% Mizrachi Jewish. My family all moved into Israel in or right after World War II, having gone through its affects in context of the Middle East. I am bilingual (Hebrew and English) so I may also point out some bilingual experiences. 

I see a lot of talk about Ashkenazi (European) Jews and the Arabic/Muslim community in the Middle East, but barely see any information about Mizrachi Jews (which is a huge ethnicity). 

Culture/Holidays: Even though Mizrachi Jewish culture is very similar to its surrounding Middle Eastern community it’s also extremely different. Because Jews were segregated from Muslim (and other goy religions) neighborhoods they grew their own cultures and traditions, and because they were far away from their Ashkenazi sisters the holidays are celebrated differently. Some even created new holidays! A good example of this is Mimuna, a Moroccan-Jewish holiday celebrating the finish of the intense Kosher within the Passover season. I’ve noticed that in my Grandma’s Yemen household we celebrate holidays differently than in my Ashkenazi friend’s households (also extremely differently than in American Jewish households). We read different parts of Magalas, sing different songs, and if we do sing the same songs they are probably set in different tunes. Simply, search up traditions for the specific area you’re writing about, because chances are they celebrate it differently than most Jews you see in the USA (or any European country) do.

Food: You know how people make jokes about white people food being bland? It’s the same in the Jewish community. Food is very different within the Jewish community. You heard of kugel? That’s an Ashkenazi food. So is defiltefish and chunt and matzabre (although matzabre does have a Yemeni equivalent called ftut where you soak the matza instead of fry it). Middle Eastern Jewish food is amazing! Although I can mostly only tell you about Yemen food, it’s such a great area to explore. Yemeni Jewish food is very filling and has a lot of dough based recipes (such as jachnun and malauach), and has amazing spice and sauces like schug and chilbe. A lot of the food is also pita based (the cuisine very rarely involve bread). And Just like how the shnitzel snuck into Ashkenazi food, goy Middle Eastern food became a common in the Mizrachi community, like shwarma, falafel and shakshuka. 

In Israel there are some really common food differences than in the USA. Falafel is the common street food (similar to getting one of those ham and egg bagels in a coffee shop in an inner city area in the USA). Almost every house is equipped with pita, and bread is of higher level than the usual pre-cut soft white bread that is found in Supermarkets in the USA. The Mizrachi and Ashkenazi cuisine gets really mixed (such as having Ashkenazi defiltefish with Yemeni chilbe as a spice) and there are some stables that everybody eats (like shnitzel with ptitim or spaghetti).

History: The main thing I want to say here is that yes, the Mizrachi community was affected by WWII. Just like with Trump, when a powerful nation f**** up, the whole world feels it. The Holocaust was not exclusive to Europe. The Mizrachi community was hunted for literally thousands of years in the Middle East (seriously, that’s what many of our holidays are about) and it absolutely did not end until we were able to move out. My Yemeni grandmother had to run away from Yemen and walk the whole way through Saudi Arabia to get to Israel because their community was being murdered in masses, the Jewish community in Yemen is practically extinct, everybody who could moved to Israel. My grandfather in Egypt faced the same causes to move into Israel, even though his family was powerful in Cairo back then they left all their belongings when his uncle was killed on the street by an anti-Semitic riot.

Identity Issues: Back in Israel my identity wasn’t an issue for me. I was Jewish (like everybody) and Mizrachi (like many). But when I moved to the USA it was different. All the Jews here were Ashkenazi (except for the small Sephardi community) and none of the Middle Eastern community here was Jewish. They barely even thought it existed. I still have people who are shocked when I say I’m a Mizrachi Jew, because they thought that Judaism was almost exclusively a white religion. Which I can’t blame them for when that’s all they see around them. But it’s still a problem. Middle Eastern meetups commonly wouldn’t accept me as a Middle Eastern person, and even more so shunned me for being Israeli even though I’m not anti-Palestine. I would still go to meetups like this even though I was commonly called a terrorist or would have to deal with anti-Semitism, because even though I was the only Jew there, these people still dealt with similar problems to which I did living in this which supremacist nation - I felt closer to them than I did to Ashkenazi Jews (and unlike in Ashkenazi communities I was not treated as a token POC).  I stopped going when my mom banned me from such meetings, because someone in the group threatened to hurt me. I’m not saying it’s not okay to be disgusted by Israels actions against the Arabic community around it (I am too), I’m just saying that shunning me from that community when I had no other community to go to because of something I could not and did not have any say in was not the right answer in my opinion.

Language: One aspect that the Ashkenazi and Mizrachi community have in common is the Holy language, Hebrew. In Israel that’s the main language that is spoken, other than minor communities who speak Arabic or Ultra-Orthodox communities who speak Yiddish. Still, the communities were separated for so many years that there are many alternate pronunciations and accents. As you may have noticed in the food section, Ashkenazi food names are a lot more European, while Mizrachi names are a lot closer to Arabic and other Semitic languages. 

Misconceptions: Judaism is not a white religion! That is not to say that Ashkenazi Jews aren’t white, but saying that Judaism is a white religion cuts POC Jews (or JOC? I’ve never seen that in use) out of their goy communities. Judaism is found all around the world, there are Latinx Jews, East Asian Jews, African Jews, Hispanic Jews, and Middle Eastern Jews. The only place I would be shocked to find a Jewish Ethnicity in would be Native American tribes. Also on a different note, bilinguals do mix up languages. I see bilingual people shunning monolingual authors for having characters accidentally answer in the wrong language, saying “whoops! I was thinking in my /other language/!” But I do this so commonly that my friends joke that I’m a badly written bilingual character. I’m just saying that the bilingual experience is vast, and not everybody thinks the same.

Things I’d like to see less of/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing: Every Jewish family being written like the Maus family. All of them are white German Jews who’s family suffered through the Holocaust. Don’t get me wrong, Holocaust survivor’s stories are so so important. But all the Jews I see in media are Jewish studies professors in the upper middle class suburban area who adopted a kid of a different race and made them hilariously Jewish in an out of place way. It’s so boring. And nonrepresentational. Please stop creating stereotypical cookie-cut Jews. Also the idea that Jews are the extreme end of being white, where Jews can’t even start to understand people of color, or white Jews marking themselves as people of color. 

Things I’d like to see more of: More Mizrachi Jews! I’m telling you this is such a rad community, and it is barely explored in literature. Once when I tried to find any books or studies about Yemeni Jews in English, and all I found was one book about Yemeni-American second generation girls in Michigan (it’s called “All American Yemeni Girls” by Loukia K. Sarroub, and is an amazing study you should read). All I found was this one book! This tells me that both the Middle Eastern and Mizrachi communities are lacking in literature. 

Please just consider integrating different Jewish communities into your story if possible.

Shira’s Note:

Great post! I just wanted to add a note that I’ve seen a Native+Jewish blogger on Tumblr; I’m not sure if there was a conversion or intermarriage at some point but I would hate for that one blogger (whose URL escapes me at the moment) to feel erased. Another note about the bilingual thing: it is VERY, VERY important for people writing bilingual characters to understand that different languages treat their bilingual speakers different ways. The ways Yiddish sneaks into English are different from the ways Spanish sneaks into English and both are different from the way Mandarin sneaks into English. Don’t extrapolate the Yiddish-inflected English from TV sitcom Ashkies as the way Spanglish works, for example. This post is a testimonial as to why.

Third, lol: “All of them are white German Jews who’s family suffered through the Holocaust.” it me, so thank you for contributing this post so that my voice isn’t the only one on here. We all really appreciate it.

–Shira

~Guys, guuuys...

I’ve just learnt that Ben Affleck:

- has taught himself Arabic

- speaks Spanish and French too

- is so good at doing impressions that when he did one to Morgan Freeman, it was so accurate Freeman told him, “You ever do that again, I’ll kill you”

- won $356,000 by winning the California State Poker Championships in June 2004 - defeating some of the best poker players in the world in the process

- filmed four movies simultaneously in 2001: Pearl Harbor, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Changing Lanes, and The Sum of All Fears 

- began an intense two-hour a day workout regime the day after he was cast as Batman

- received a lifetime ban from playing blackjack at the Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Casino due to his ‘counting cards’ skills


Which tells me:

1. He’s fucking smart. I mean, he can pick up/learn languages pretty well (one of which is Arabic, Damian are you listening and he majored in Middle Eastern Affairs in college) and he is a boss at poker/blackjack.

2. He’s a workaholic. Look, I’ve never made a film (or even a short video) in my entire life, but he did 4 in one year at the same time and I bet he’s done similar workloads throughout his career. Also, see: two-hour a day workout regime for more evidence.

3. He can do good enough impressions to freak the fuck out of God™.


Ergo

= Ben Affleck is well on his way to being Ultimate Batman

All Hail the mighty Bat!

Originally posted by ageofsuperheroes

(edit: someone didn’t like my previous gif-use due to literal-Superman-bashing, and I agreed. Sorry, I didn’t see Supes little face on the wee gif-screen. Here’s some batfleck just being the best Bat he can)

ignore me creepy internet researching the fuck out of him to get my hands on this info. i needed it to defend myself from absolutely no one. fucking fight me

So I have been checking up discussions from last year about Santa Claus being Black and how much of an unnecessary controversy it caused and it got me thinking, does the public even know if Batman was white or do people just assume he is? cuz lets be real, the man is covered from head to toe and only appear at nights, that’s not enough to know someone ethnicity so what if every kid in Gotham believe that Batman is the same race as them and will not allow someone to tell them otherwise?

.

White kid: But why do you think Batman is black?!

Black kid: Why do you think he isn’t?

White kid: Why? have you see his chin skin? its white so how can he be black?

Black kid: Heelloo, black people with vitiligo exist so….

White kid: Bu- thats-….that’s just an unlikely to thing to be. Thats all. 

Korean kid: Well if you’re so hang up on skin color then Batman might be Korean? we have fair skin too.

White kid: What?? how can he be Korean if he doesn’t have Asian eyes??

Korean kid: Ah, well not all of us have “Asian Eyes” and even if we do, Batman has his mask on him at all time, so how do you know he doesn’t have “asian eyes” under there?

White kid: Because I’m being logical and going by facts unlike you.

Arab kid: Well if you really wanna be “logical” wouldn’t it make the most sense if Batman was middle-eastern?

White kid: And how does THAT make any sense?!?

Arab kid: Well I mean the current Robin is obviously Arab and unlike all the other Robins he refer to Batman as “father” which would mean Batman is his father so it would make sense if Batman too was the same ethnicity as his son.

White kid: Okay all of you really need to stop attacking me right now because Batman is white just like Jesus is >:(

Arab kid: Oh boy if you think Jesus was white then I got some news for you…

anonymous asked:

do u know any lgbt arab movies u can recommend ?

This list is of queer middle eastern films that include queer arab films

Circumstance (2011) - film explores love and sexual rebellion between two women under the watchful eye of the government and through family dynamics in modern day Iran.

Caramel (2007) - “a beauty salon in Beirut is a safe haven for five women in this Lebanese romantic comedy. Follows the love lives of five Lebanese women, one of them is the stylist Rima who does not know how to handle her attraction to a female client.

Mondial 2010 (2014) - “is a film on love and place. A Lebanese gay couple decides to take a road trip to Ramallah. The film is recorded with their camera as they chronicle their journey. The viewers are invited through the couple’s conversations into the universe of a fading city.” In reality Lebanese cannot drive to Ramallah as they are forbidden into Israel and this plays with the significance of a same-sex relationship in the Middle East and what it means to be a queer Middle Eastern.

Lola and Billy the Kid (1999) - “Murat, the youngest son of a conservative Turkish family, is struggling with his sexuality as well as with the demands of his patriarchal older brother. When Murat meets with Lola – his estranged brother who now is a drag queen – and her macho Turkish lover, Billy the Kid, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous new world. 

Oriented (2015) - feature documentary that follows the lives of three gay Palestinian friends confronting their national and sexual identity in Tel Aviv.

Fifi Howls From Happiness (2014) - “I will tell you my life story so that no idiot will write my biography the way it suits them,” says legendary gay Iranian artist Bahman Mohassess in this documentary about his life. 

A Jihad For Love (2007) - feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. This movie focuses on Islam in multiple regions of the world rather than just the Middle East.

Mixed Kebab (2012) - centers around a TurkisH character and talks about the struggles of being a gay poc in a conservative Muslim household in a western country and having to defy middle eastern expectations of you. Best of all, the ending is a happy one!

I Say Dust (2015) - “Two Arab-American women in New York City fall in love, argue home and identity, engage in a chess battle, and express themselves through the power of the spoken word. 'I Say Dust’ explores poetry in cinema through the story of Hal, a poet belonging to the Palestinian diaspora in NYC, who meets Moun, a free-spirited chess boards sales girl. Their brief love affair challenges their understanding of what makes home.”

Note: There are more LGBT films produced and directed by Israelis but I don’t recommend them. They pinkwash Israel’s violent acts towards Palestinians by diverting your attention and targeting the queer audience, in specific, to claims that Israel supports LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) rights. 

The films usually depict a Palestinian struggling with their sexuality and their community’s rejection of their identity and a “free” Israeli that fall in love and Tel Aviv is the safe haven for their love. Basically using representation that Arabs are savage and Israelis are here to free us. 

Truth is there is no rainbow bedazzled hole in the Israeli West Bank Wall that allows you a free access to ‘freedom’ if your ass is queer. When they bomb Gaza they are bombing Palestinian including queers one. Besides the fact that they are killing us, this just shows their LGBTQ rights  (all their human rights) are just a show to divert your attention and this is effectively done through media including movies. This is why I do not recommend Israeli queer films depicting the Middle East.

This sign was placed on the edge of the main stage at Outside the Frame: Queers for Palestine Film Festival in San Francisco 

albaharuland  asked:

Hi! I wanted to ask about fantasy world building based on a mix of cultures, even if those cultures are totally different. For example, a country that has an architecture based on egyptian and arab art, or one that is a mix between indian and russian architecture. I dont know if that would be appropiation or offensive, or how to avoid it or doing it in a respectful way. Also if there is a problem only using the art part and having a different made up traditions/lore (thanks for your time!)

On Combining Cultures Respectfully, Art, and Architecture

“Does it make sense within the world”

Avatar: the Last Airbender mixes Inuit and Japanese culture. Is this any form of sensical in the modern world? Sort of, with how there’s a language link between Siberia and the Canadian Arctic. Does it make sense within the confines of A:tLA? Absolutely yes.

I’m not against the concept of cultural blending. It just has to be sensical within the world itself. They might not be neighbours in the real world, but if you end up with a culture that’s “ocean-heavy Arctic on top of Asia”, then Inuit+ Japan makes tons of sense. But had it been even “continental Arctic”, then the Inuit influence would’ve barely made any sense at all, because they’re really not a continental people.

-Mod Lesya

Like mixed-race characters, blending real-world cultures in fantasy isn’t prima facie a problem, but you’d better make sure it makes sense within the world you’re constructing.  Lots of times authors fall prey to the “Rule of Cool” and just throw in things they think are neat without thinking about how they could have reasonably got there.

In the cases you mentioned, there are some historiocultural overlaps between Indian and Russian cultures (for instance, similar building materials, similar types of timbers in temperate parts of India and southern Russia, very deep cultural roots shared between Slavic and certain Indic cultures, etc.) that would give you a foundation to build on.  Other times shared cultural aspects have a common but non-native root—for instance the Russian onion dome and characteristic Indian Taj Mahal-style dome may have a shared origin in Islamic and Middle Eastern architecture.  Islamic culture is native to neither India nor Russia, but it touched and influenced both areas extensively.

Similar constraints hold for Egyptian and Arab art and architecture.  They used similar building materials but produced different results because the culture and artistic preferences were historically different, but we know that Arab culture strongly influenced Egyptian art and architecture in the Islamic period (think going from pyramids to Graeco-Roman amphitheaters to mosques and minarets, but all made out of limestone, mud brick, and very little wood).  Saladin Ahmed’s fantasy novel(s) feature an Islamic/Middle Eastern-influenced culture built on top of a dead Ancient Egypt-analogue [Nikhil’s note: I’m reading this right now and it’s awesome and you should too].

But regardless of the cultural influence, the material culture stays similar in place—in some Indo-Russian hybrid you might be looking at imported marble and precious stones for those buildings whose patrons could afford it, provided they have access to those materials either through production or trade, but for poorer constructions you’re looking at local building materials—so maybe thatch and half-timber framing and wattle-and-daub in Indo-Russia, or stone and mud brick in a desert environment like Arabegypt.  Art and architecture are functions of culture, and culture as a primitive exercise arises from the local environment, since it’s only once you get to the level of at least an organized economic community that outside trade starts to be a significant factor, which would facilitate creating art and architecture that would be exotic to the local environment.

-Mod Nikhil

Quick geography lesson for yall

Arab   ≠ Middle Eastern

The Middle East looks like this 

The Arab world looks like this

Iran and Afghanistan are Persian countries, not Arab. Yes some Iranian or Afghan people speak Arabic, but this doesn’t make them Arab unless they come from an Arab country. Not every country in West Asia/North Africa that you hear about on the news is a Middle Eastern country. Arabs, Kurds, Turks, and Persians are all different ethnic groups in the Middle East. The Middle East may or may not include other countries that aren’t shown in that particular map depending on who you ask because it’s a geographic term.  Arab refers to countries that are a part of the Arab League, which is defined politically as well as culturally and linguistically, so only certain countries are members.

Settling the Aladdin discourse

Can all the misinformed Americans and Brits pipe down for a second? I’m rolling out the historical carpet from the perspective of someone who’s actually grown up in the Middle East and why none of this matters.

I heard Aladdin or as I knew it, as ‘The Magic Lamp of Alaa el-Din’. It is one of the most popular tales from the region, next to Sindbad, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and but guess what?

It’s a trainwreck of a tale, so is Disney’s adaptation. Why? Because it makes no sense, culturally or historically. Why? It’s not authentic. It’s not actually a real part of the stories Schehrezade/Shahrazad told to King Shahrayar in One Thousand and One Nights.

It was added in by a European translator, Antoine Galland, then later accepted as part of canon.

BRIEF HISTORY LESSON:

One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of folktales presented in a story-within-a-story context. King Shahrayar of Persia’s wife cheated on him, he then had her and her lover put to death, but her infidelity drove him mad with paranoia. He decided to marry every virgin in the kingdom them put her to death come morning so she wouldn’t have the chance to cheat on him.

Alas, he ran out of virgins, all except for his grand-vizier’s daughter Shahrazad. She agreed to marry the king, assuring her father she had a plan. After their wedding night, Shahrazad began the distraction plot to end all plots. She asked the king if he wanted to hear a story and spent the whole night entertaining him with it, making sure to end with the start of another tale. Once he’s ask “What happened?” she’d tell him, “Wait for tomorrow,” and restart the same process.

She kept him on the episodic hook for a thousand and one nights, spinning so many tales and retelling many until she finally ran out. But, by the time she did, they had developed a good relationship, had children, and he no longer cared about his kill-come-sunrise rule, and they lived happily ever after.

So, why is Aladdin a trainwreck? For starters, it’s set in CHINA. And China is for some reason ruled by a sultan. Sultans are the titles of Ottoman kings, as in Turks. Aladdin is recruited by a sorcerer/Jafar from the Maghreb, which is typically used to refer to Morocco (literally called El Maghreb in Arabic) or all of NA sans Egypt. The Princess is called Badroulbadour not Jasmine, and while she has an Old Arabic name ‘badr al badour / full moon of full moons’, she is described as being from the FAR EAST. She was never an Arab, neither was Aladdin!

Can you tell this was made up by a confused foreigner?

So, we have a Turkish king in China, Aladdin is Chinese, Jafar is Moroccan and Jasmine is Japanese. It’s the same in the Disney movie. The style of the characters and background in Disney’s Aladdin is unmistakably an Persian-Indian fusion with some Ottoman sprinkled in. The concept of a genie/djinni is literally the only Arab part of the tale.


1. Jasmine’s headpiece/tiara, appearance, and pet tiger point to Indian. But she wears harem pants/şalvar, which are Turkish (Indian version shalwar).

Actually, she’s a toned-down version of a belly-dancer. Belly dancing is practiced from Egypt to Lebanon to Persia and India, it was spread by the Ottomans.


2. The Sultan is styled like a merge between a Sikh maharajah (Indian) and a sultan (Turkish).

3. The magic carpet is also an Indian concept (Prince Husain, son of the Sultan of the Indies in OTaON retrieves a magic carpet from India.)

4. The sultan’s palace is based on the Taj Mahal

5. The Genie/djinni is the lone Arabic concept.

Here’s what lots of Westerners don’t get. All of these cultures have bled on one another. From the Maghreb to Egypt, to the Levant, to Turkey, to the Arabian Peninsula, to Iraq, to Persia and India we all share so many traits because of trade, history or, you guessed it, invasion. Cultural exchange is pretty common, I grew up with a lot of Persian stories, Indian products and Bollywood movies in theatres, leftover Turkish culture and food from Ottomans, Arab culture from prior invasions, interaction and language, and so, so many Lebanese pop stars.

It’s actually pretty smart to amass a cast from different parts of the Near, Middle and South East, so to include everyone who likely grew up with Shahrazad and her many, many tales.

If there’s anyone you should have a problem with, it’s Will Smith as the genie. It’s pretty transparent how you all ignored how this is the second time a black man plays the genie (first on Once Upon A Time) but sling hate at Naomi Scott for being Indian.

Oh, and Disney fucked up by blaring Arabian Nights at the start and end of the movie, because One Thousand and One Nights is NOT called Arabian Nights. It’s called Alf Leyla w Leyla - literally ‘A Thousand Nights and One’.

It’s a collection of Persian, Indian, Egyptian, Arabic, Mesopotamian and Jewish folklore that was compiled in Arabic.

Aladdin is being played by the Egyptian Mena Massoud, Jasmine is by the Indian Naomi Scott and the rest of the cultures involved should be cast.

Oh, and to all people saying Naomi is ‘too light’ and ‘half-whitewashing’. Take your racial purity and stick it up your nose. Middle Eastern, Indian and North African girls come in all shades, even if both sets of grandparents are native to the region.

PS. Avan Jogia is seriously out there saying him playing Aladdin would have ‘been wrong’ because ‘he should be Middle Eastern’ but he had no problem playing King Tut, who is EGYPTIAN? As in Middle Eastern??

Quit your virtue-signaling, Rami Malek is still the only Egyptian to ever play one in Western media.

Anyway, POINT MADE.

Originally posted by gameraboy

you know what we don't see nearly enough of? Arab appreciation posts

So this is for you, all my Arab folks!

this is for

Arab girls!

Arab boys!

Arab trans girls!

Arab trans boys!

Genderqueer Arabs!

Gay Arabs!

Lesbian Arabs!

Bisexual Arabs!

Pansexual Arabs!

Asexual Arabs!

Aromantic Arabs!

Disabled Arabs!

Light skinned Arabs!

Dark skinned Arabs!

African Arabs!

Middle Eastern Arabs!

Muslim Arabs!

Christian Arabs!

Jewish Arabs!

Atheist Arabs!

All Arabs!

May we rise above the misogyny, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, injustices, and bigotry that are ever so present in our society.

Feel free to add more positivity to this post

OK but can we talk about Aladdin for a hot minute. 

It’s the only mainstream+popular movie/theatre show that belongs to Arabs. Yet all the roles in the musicals everywhere - England, Australia, America - are going mostly to white actors, with some black/Asian actors. Not a single role in a film with exclusively Arab characters has gone to any Arab actors. There’s the actress who plays Jasmine in the Australian production, Hiba Elchikhe, who may or may not be Arab, I’m not sure. But that’s about it. 

Now that they’re looking to cast people for the live-action remake (I’m fucking sick of all these Disney remakes, but that’s a rant for another time)  - predictably, they’re struggling to find actors. But all the ones in the running, save for Jade from Little Mix who’s half-Arab, are either black, white, or South Asian. 

You’re telling me that in this entire world, there’s not a single Middle Eastern actor/actress suitable for these iconic roles? That’s bullshit. I stayed silent when all the theatre roles went to actors of other ethnicities, but the movie will reach a much wider audience, so it’s arguably more important that they get the right actors. Arabs are possibly one of the least represented ethnic minorities in Hollywood - the only Arab actor I can think of is Rami Malek. Fine, whatever, there aren’t many roles in the entertainment industry for Arabs, I get it. But this is a movie, set in Agrabah, a fictional country loosely based on Baghdad, and it should have Arab actors. 

18plusntrcollector replied to your photoset “Some of my Favourite Animated Black Women/Girls – [click on each pic…”

I’m okay with this except the Egyptian they weren’t and arent black. They are closer to middle eastern.

yeahhh..no. ancient Egypt like modern Egypt was incredibly diverse in terms of the physiognomy of its inhabitants, they came in all shades and complexions ranging from dark to light. in other words, there were ancient Egyptians who would be classified as black in today’s society and those that wouldn’t. look at this picture of Queen Kemsit, wife of Menuhotep, being attended to by her lighter-skinned maids, for example:

and modern black Egyptians do exist, so you’re wrong in that respect too:

genetic studies have also revealed that the Arab conquest and other foreign influences hardly changed the gene pool of the country with only 10-15% of the population showing any admixture…

also black ”middle eastern” ppl (i don’t really like that term, besides it’s a geopolitical classification and not a racial one) do also exist!

…the moral of the story is you should probably just stick to posting hentai instead of commenting on things you clearly don’t know…

You know who always gets left out of conversations about diversity?

Arabs. Even on shows like Glee where they cover everything from physical / mental disabilities to sexual orientation to religion to every race under the sun - they ain’t got no Arab. Greys Anatomy: credited for being diverse and crossing racial barriers. Features Asians, Latinos, African Americans, but no Arabs. When you’re filling out a survey or your SATs and you get to the part about crossing off your race and ethnicity - do you know who the “other” box is for? Arabs. I’ve only once filled out one that had “middle eastern” on there and I almost cried.

Unless a movie or a show needs a bomb dropped Arabs do not exist in any other context in our media and as a result, society. Idk man. I brought this up to a non Arab friend recently and she was like shit I didn’t even notice. It’s as if all these “advances” in “diversity” aren’t made for us. They’ve never included us. It’s like we’re a whole separate genre of POC.

anonymous asked:

If Middle Eastern people talking about our own lack of representation and erasure makes you "so tired" then maybe you should go the fuck to sleep then. If this movie was about any other group of people there would be absolutely no controversy and no one would be putting that group down by saying "it's just a children's movie who cares." Representation is either important or it's not. Pick a side. If you're unable to see that then you're not as smart as you think you are.

I mean that’s not at all what happened tysm for trying though.

Aladdin is a Disney movie that literally mashes up all stereotypes of ‘brown/middle eastern’ people and serves them up in a cartoon. There’s south Asian cultural aspects in a movie that’s apparently supposed to mirror places like Egypt and morocco. They mixed so many desi facets with so called 'Arab’ culture to produce a stupid little cartoon and it’s silly for Arabs to be like 'this is for Arabs only )): ’ when south Asian people already face the ugliest kind of racism in the Arab world (are literally performing slave labour all over the Arab world/are abused, kidnapped, killed etc) and when the garbage movie itself features more south Asian shit than Arab stuff.

Like. The conversation itself is pointless because why would you want to *claim* Aladdin in the first place–but like, to throw desi people under the bus as Arabs always do is just incomprehensible lolololol

Middle Eastern Al-Ghuls, anyone? I think we’re not getting enough and I mean that very seriously.

They are Middle Eastern a fact of which has been confirmed, and portrayed, in every single comic canon containing them. Their Middle-Eastern ancestry is one of the few things about them that has never changed in comic canon and they’ve have always had features that match that…

Ra’s:

Talia:

Nyssa:

Damian Wayne:

Something of which that has been retained in all of their animated appearances:

They all have very, very, Middle Eastern features: dark hair, tan skin, narrow noses, slightly slanted eyelids. And yet in every live-action adaptation the Al-Ghul family has not been portrayed by Middle Eastern/Arabic actors and in most cases they don’t even look the slightest bit Middle Eastern. Let’s examine this further…

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy:

Out of the four Al-Ghuls we get two of them. Ra’s and Talia. Ra’s makes his appearances in Batman Begins and Dark Knight Rises. Talia makes her only appearance in the last film of the trilogy.

Neither look Middle Eastern in the slightest. Why is that? Because neither actor is Middle Eastern or has Middle Eastern ancestry. Neeson is Irish and played Ra’s with a softened Irish accent. Cotillard is French her father is of Breton ancestry and her mother is of Kabyle ancestry. She portrayed Talia with an accent that was all over the place but never once touched Arab or Middle Eastern. But what about the others?

Arrowverse:

I’m not a big fan of Arrow, and completely stopped watching, because they did a lot of things that I can’t get past. But the show has had three of the four Al-Ghuls: Ra’s, Talia and Nyssa. (Also Nyssa had the most appearances out of them all which makes no sense to me because her comic run was short and she’s pretty unknown.) Anyway, onto the photos…

Ra’s was portrayed by Matt Nable. Nable is from Sydney, Australia. Not much was given on his ancestry.

Nyssa was portrayed by Katrina Law. Law is an actress from South Jersey and not much was given on her ancestry either.

Talia was portrayed by Lexa Doig. Doig is from Toronto, Canada and her mother is Filipina and her father is of Irish and Scottish ancestry.

Even though these actors do look more like their characters do it’s not ok. None of the actors are Arab. The accents they spoke with were vaguely British and Nyssa’s was actually extremely so. (Side characters in Arrow were obviously Middle Eastern and spoke with obvious accents.) And then again this is coming from the show that turned Oliver Queen into Bruce Wayne…

Gotham:

Now I haven’t been watching Gotham anymore neither but I know that has not actually had any of the Al-Ghuls. Officially that is. But I firmly believe that the next episode, These Delicate and Dark Obsessions, will contain their version of Ra’s. In the trailer we see Bruce talking to this man:

And this man, obviously American by his accent, tells Bruce that he’s excited to see him start his training. (Paraphrasing here, of course.) But he also says “I have so much to teach you Bruce.” We all know that Ra’s is one of the many people who trained Bruce. Further analyzing makes me really think that he is indeed their version of Ra’s.

Look at what he’s wearing. Reminds me a lot of Ra’s go-to clothing. Just all black instead of Ra’s go-to jade green. Jade does make an appearance in the trailer when he touches his jade ring to Bruce’s forehead. It also appears that his fortress is in a mountain, or at least underground, perfect place for a Lazarus Pit.

But if this man is indeed Ra’s then that’s another non-Arab version.

Raymond J. Barry is oddly not listed in the episode credits but he was credited in the photo gallery. Not much is in his IMDB bio but he is from Long Island, New York. White-haired, blue-eyed, white man portraying an Arab character is just plain wrong.

How many live-action portrayals is that?

Three.

And none of them are Middle Eastern. They’re all wrong to some degree but having non-Arab actors portray Arab characters is taking it to a whole ‘nother level. It’s disgusting and incredibly racist. Especially when there are perfectly good, and extremely talented, Arab actors out there who can play these characters.

I’m just hoping that if the DCEU movies have any of the Al-Ghuls they cast Middle Eastern actors. Disney is doing it with Aladdin and DC better follow suit!

I mean Aladdin sucks for a lot of reasons, but one thing that annoys me in particular is how heavily it borrows South Asian imagery and passes it off for being “Middle Eastern” or “Arab” or whatever. For example:

  • The entire palace looking exactly like the Taj Mahal, for that matter, all the designs being reminiscent of anything South Asian
  • From what I know the word Sultan isn’t really used in Arabic, and usually refers to a Turkish or Indian king. Even if that’s not the case, the Sultan himself looks more like an Indian Sultan than an Arab king
  • Jasmine having a Bengal Tiger
  • Jasmine’s clothes aren’t really historically accurate from any place lol, but her clothes are closer to something a South Asian would wear than an Arab minus the dupatta
  • This doesn’t really count but I always associated parrots/parakeets with Pakistan lol
  • The name of the country is Agrabah. Agra is the name of the city the Taj Mahal is in
  • Yeah, so in conclusion I hate Aladdin