Although she was ready to give
herself to me, I abstained
and did not accept the temptation Satan offered.
She came unveiled in the night,
illuminated by her face,
night put aside its shadowy
veils as well.
Each one of her glances
could cause hearts to turn over.
But I clung to the divine precept
that condemns lust and reined in
the capricious horses of my passion
so that my instinct would not rebel against chastity.
And so I passed the night with her
like a thirsty little camel
whose muzzle keeps it from nursing.
by Ibn Faraj (10th Century)
Poems of Arab Andalusia
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Once I went out with her when the
shelter of night and her cape
let me mingle the fire of my breath
with the fire of her flaming cheeks.
I clasped her as a miser clasps
his treasure, and bound her tightly
with the cords of my arms
lest she escape like a gazelle.
But my chastity did not permit me
to kiss her mouth
and my heart remained huddled
over its embers.
You may well marvel at one
who feels his entrails on fire
yet complains of thirst
while holding the quenching water
in his throat.
Ṣafwān ibn Idrīs in the late 12th century fairly burns the page with desire in his poem -Poems of Arab Andalusia
Powerless, defenceless grey mice, which is often the image that the West has of Arab women. Most will be about them, rarely talked with them. Now Arabs speak for themselves, let their lives speak for themselves. In portraits and reportage tells Karim El-Gawhary of living in the dark ages of dictatorship, during the riots and in the Arab world today.
Karim El-Gawhary questioned stereotypes. It’s not about whitewash things. Magdoulin, a young Libyan women’s rights activist, says: “It is important that we in , and not what we to have his head. “This book is about why what Arab women in the head have.