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The first Arab film nude scene 5, October 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Syria, The Gulf.
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Al Arabiyya has an interesting article (no, really…) on Nihad Alaeddin who is described as acting in the Arab world’s first nudity scene.

“We have to bring sex to the cinema because our audience is frustrated,” she told the New York Times. Good for her.

She first disrobed in a Robin Hood-type file filmed in Syria in the 1970s. Though, according to the article and the longing prose of its author it wasn’t overly salacious.

Profoundly shocking at the time, the scene is hardly considered as a scorching ‘hot’ one by modern standards with frugal glimpses of flesh during a mellow love scene.

I love how he wrote “frugal glimpses”: clearly, he wanted more.

She maintains that she

took off…clothes for a principle…If I wanted to do it for money I could have done it in the dark and made a lot more.

While this might sound like a ponsy artistes justification for smut, I really think that there’s an interesting grain of truth to it. It is surely so profoundly unnatural to – as clerics would prefer – try to strip sex and sexuality out of life and live a sanitized, chaste existence. They are fighting against the grain of human instinct and biology.

Indeed, a brief trip to Dubai or Bahrain to see drunk Saudis wobbling on the dance floor with red wine spilled all down their dishdashas and the legions of prostitutes frequenting hotels suggests that such repression is not working.

The most egregious case of open, obvious prostitution that I’ve ever seen in all my travels across America, Europe and Asia was in the Meridian Hotel in Damascus. At the stroke of 8pm around 20 heavily made-up women trooped into the bar and sat down by themselves. I’ve never seen a sight quite like it. Men would then go and sit down with them and have a 30 second conversation, some would tactfully drop their hotel key card down their cleavage and they would then leave the bar together. How romantic.

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On Dubai’s sex trade 17, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates.
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The Observer has an article sure to whip up the anti-Dubai bashers into a frenzy commenting on the widely known and widely seen prostitution in Dubai. Here are the ‘best’ bits:

It is impossible to estimate accurately the prostitute population of Dubai. The authorities would never give out such figures, and it would be hard to take into account the “casual” or “part-time” sex trade. One recent estimate put the figure at about 30,000 out of a population of about 1.5 million. A similar ratio in Britain would mean a city the size of Glasgow and Leeds combined entirely populated by prostitutes.

Although strictly illegal under United Arab Emirates’ and Islamic law, it is virtually a national pastime.

Cyclone, a notorious whorehouse near the airport, was closed down a few years back, but then it really did go too far – a special area of the vast sex supermarket was dedicated to in-house oral sex.