Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Girls of Riyadh or Sex and the Saudi

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today's show with Rajaa Alsanea, the twenty-something author of The Girls of Riyadh who might turn out to be the Betty Friedan of Saudi Arabia, was really eye-opening. Who knew what goes on behind those veils? I was fascinated by the fleeting remark she made about Saudi Arabia being basically a society made up of Bedouin tribes that got rich all of a sudden and hasn't yet had the time to rid itself of its tribal ways. She reminded me of my own immigrant background, growing up in an Old-World southern Italian family only one generation removed from hanging out the sheets to prove the bride is a virgin. What also struck me was how earnest she was, speaking her truth out of a clear sense of social responsibility, quite in contrast with that saucy devil-may-care narrator of hers.

Today's program provides the perfect opportunity to introduce an upcoming Here on Earth new media series we're all really excited about. It's called Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates, and the first program - Heavy Metal Islam - will be broadcast on Thursday, September 25. Mark Levine, a scholar/musician who wrote the book by the same name, will be the primary guest, but we're hoping to get a lot of other voices - preferably Muslim -into the program and we're hoping for help from our friends. All suggestions and ideas for how to make this program and its successors really hot are most welcome.