Monday, April 30, 2007
Please read the article below.
By Alexandra Steigrad
Sun Apr 29, 9:49 PM ET
Muslim women in France regain virginity in clinics
PARIS (Reuters) -- Sitting in a cafe near the Champs Elysees, the 26-year-old French-born woman of Algerian descent looks like any other Parisian. But two months ago, she did something none of her friends have done.
She had her hymen re-sewn, technically making her a virgin again.
"I'm glad I had it done," said the woman, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. "I wanted to reconstruct part of my life, to reconstruct myself so that I could feel better about myself."
This 30-minute outpatient procedure, called "hymenoplasty" and costing between 1,500 and 3,000 euros ($2,000-$4,000), is increasingly popular among young women of North African descent in France.
No exact figures exist to say how many such operations are done, but the woman's surgeon says he gets three to five queries and performs one to three hymenoplasties each week. Demand has been rising for the past three or four years.
Doctor Marc Abecassis, whose office is near the chic Champs Elysees, sees the rise in religion among France's five million Muslims fuelling this trend. His patients are between 18 and 45 years old, Muslim, born both in France and in North Africa.
"Many of my patients are caught between two worlds," said Abecassis. They have had sex already but are expected to be virgins at marriage according to a custom that he called "cultural and traditional, with enormous family pressure."
For this woman, the decision to have the surgery came after she broke up with a boyfriend who had pressured her into having sex. Unable to cope with breaking family tradition, she felt a hymenoplasty would help put her life back together again.
Another of Abecassis' patients, a 22-year-old Algerian immigrant who asked to be called Karima, said most young women had the operation to respect their culture or family tradition, not for religious reasons.
In fact, neither woman is a practicing Muslim. They dress, speak and act like other young Parisians, but are also part of a growing silent group of women who juggle traditional Muslim and modern French values.
All the women who spoke to Reuters did so condition that their identities not be revealed.
DON'T DISAPPOINT THE FIANCE
Karima also lost her virginity to an ex-boyfriend. She plans to marry soon and her fiance expects her to be a virgin. So last month, she commuted in from an eastern suburb of Paris, where she lives with her parents, and had the surgery.
The next day she was back at work. "I don't want to disappoint my fiance," she said, adjusting her glasses and brushing her highlighted brown hair from her face. "I wouldn't have had the surgery if I hadn't met him."
A leading Muslim spokesman said Islam says bride and groom should be virgins before marriage, but did not take a clear stand for or against hymenoplasties.
"If someone committed a sin, the essential thing is to repent," said Lhaj Thami Breze, head of the Union of French Islamic Organizations.
For many doctors, resewing the hymen goes against their ideals of sexual freedom and personal liberty.
"The surgery is an attack on women's dignity," said Professor Jacques Lansac, president of The National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians of France. "We will not take part in a market that places value on the quality of a woman -- if she's good or not. It is an attack on women's liberty."
He also argued that any doctor who performed these operations at state hospitals violated France's legal separation of church and state.
The church-state issue flared up in 2004 when France passed a law banning religious garb, notably headscarves, from state primary and secondary schools.
Since then, Abecassis said, some Muslims in France have been putting much more emphasis on certain customs as a way of expressing their identity. "Today it's the two 'V's' -- veil and virginity," he said. "It's a social phenomenon."
Surprisingly, French social security reimburses some of the cost of the operation in cases of rape or trauma. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, the claim is a fraud," he added.
Still, Abecassis defended the operations and said he helped patients who could not pay his 2,500 euro fee. "This surgery gives them another chance," he said. "It's a rehabilitation. For many, it's the only solution."
ANOTHER PATIENT AWAITS
Sitting in the same cafe, a 19-year-old Moroccan studying in Paris who asked to be called Amel spoke just before her first consultation with Abecassis.
"I dated a boy when I was 15 and I didn't even realize what had happened," she said, referring to her first and only sexual experience. "I didn't understand what I did."
Her parents introduced her to a young man earlier this year, and they plan to wed when she returns to Morocco in June. But he would not accept a non-virgin, so she needs the operation soon.
Amel is scraping together the monthly allowance sent by her parents and emptying her savings account to pay for it. Two friends back home will lend her the remaining 1,000 euros.
"If my mother ever found out about this, she would have a mental breakdown," Amel said. "I don't want to have this surgery, but I don't have any choice."
END OF THE ARTICLE
That guy definitely had sex before ....thats how they would find out and decide whether a girl is still a virgin or not by judging whether her hymen is well intact or not once the man performs the "dukhul" (arabic for intercourse). However, what the hell is this tradition if it just remained as tradition???? In islam, both men and women are punished equally for committing fornication, i.e. zina. If they are unmarried couple and are caught practising zina, the shariah court will decide that they get 100 canes each. And if they are adulterers, they get stoned to death. However, Islam also preaches forgiveness through unconditional repenting.
By the way, not all non-virgin women are that "loose" during penetration. The vaginal muscles will get intact after a long rest and through practising the right exercise that increases the tightness of it. Nevertheless, there are some women who are unfortunate enough to lose the muscle flexibility once the "damage" has been done.
Having said all that, I am not condoning the practise of the premarital sex. I just think all that bigotry, chauvinism and sexism that occur as a matter of preserving the whole virgin idea is totally tactless. They arent doing it for the sake of the religion. It's more of trying to be kind not to hurt the future groom's ego and inflate it even more once he thinks that his bride is untouched throughout her life and he's the first man ever to "discover" her. What a load of bollocks. Seriously!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The thirteenth Agong, i.e. the Grand Sultan of Malaysia, Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan, a sultan of Terengganu state of Malaysia has been installed, glorified, and officially invested this morning in a full Malay Sultanate Custom Practice at Istana Negara (National Palace), Kuala Lumpur.
It's one of the national traditions that one of the sultans from the 9 sultanate states will be elected as the Grand Sultan, The Yang Di Pertuan Agong to rule the constitutional government, National Ruler of Islam, opening and closing of the Parliament and in general, as the official Ruler of Malaysia for a five year period.
Tuanku Mizan is the second Agong to be crowned and glorified at a younger age below 50 years old (he is 47 this year) after the late Sultan of Perlis, AlMarhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail.
I went to Bandung last week. One of the must-see places there is the Mount Tangkuban Parahu (Sundanese words literally translated as perahu tertangkup in malay or in english a capsized perahu boat or an upturned wooden boat). It is located at the north of bandung, in the west provincial region in Java Island of Indonesia. It is thought to be a dormant volcano but is gradually gaining its active level day by day. We can actually smell the strong, pungent smell of sulfur, which is one of the indications that a volcano is still remaining active. Some whitish and yellowish smokes continuously emitting from that volcano crater too.
Hello people, come and visit this famous volcano in Bandung.
This Tangkuban Parahu volcano is reported to have last erupted back in 1983, that was 24 years ago. In 2005, this area was closed due to a sudden increasing activity and bulding up of gases measured by the Javanese volcanologists as a result of the tectonic activity sensed at the Anak Krakatoa , another active volcano in the southern tip of the Sumatra Island.
* Next update, the blast from the past as tagged by Pugly.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
GNR classic: November Rain. Axl Roses on the piano and Slash doing his classic solo guitar jamming in front of a church in the middle of a desert:
Nirvana classic headbanging Lithium:
Another huge signature Nirvana song: Smells like teen spirit:
Aerosmith:Crying......and then there's alicia silverstone and stephen dorff in it...
Robbie Williams' Rock DJ uncut. You've been warned. This is a VERY VERY CHEEKY and disturbing music video :
Robbie William's first ever solo hit Angel back in 1997. That was the year I first stepped on the British soil. Hello Bradford, loadsa memories....
Come on Robbie, forget that awful RudeBox. Compose yourself, clean up and be the entertainer that you are born to be!!!!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Alhamdulillah, i got promoted to a senior lecturer position under a new PhD graduate scheme. Normally you gotta undergo a PTK 3 before u reach such position. But alhamdulillah, since my university intended to practise a new policy, so here i am unknowingly to myself even, was made a senior. I dont think i am fully eligible for such position knowing that I still owe some papers for publications both for the local as well as the international journals. But alhamdulillah, after a long wait, i.e. 12 months, i think i do deserve it.
At Gunung Mat Chinchang summit, Langkawi Island, last year's aidil fitri, having reached there by the cable car. I was doing my best: I am the king of the world pose. Heck, I looked more like a giantess. But a sexayyy looking giantess indeed.
That was me in summer 2004 with my postdoc-ex-officemate, Ming Fang at Royal Albert Hall (RAH) square:
Inshallah, this May 2007, I shall be there again for my long-awaited graduation ceremony. My college is right opposite to where I stand and RAH has served as the main hall for all the graduation ceremonies albeit becoming wholly-privatised few years back. It is part of the college's tradition as RAH was formerly a very close affiliate for soooo many years. This year too marked the centennial celebration of the college (click here) and I felt so honoured that I am gonna be part of the history by being there. From my humble beginning in the UK where i had my 1st british tertiary education at the University of Bradford in 1997, I have never forgotten my true aspiration to be part of Imperial College. And so, after attaining my 1st degree in Bradford, I moved on a step further and tried my luck by applying to pursue my PhD studies at Imperial. Alhamdulillah, I was accepted and I will never forget those feelings when i first registered myself as a student there. You can imagine a black choir in church singing : "Oh happy day" in the background. How jubilant indeed.
Somehow, I still believe that the saying :"the best thing comes to those who waits" works almost well enough for me. Nevertheless, I have added a few more words to it and now it becomes: "the best thing comes to those who waits with patience, perseverance, prayers and tawakkal".
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
With reference to the picture above, guess which is the fake one? I'd say, both of them are their very own alter ego. While Shah Rukh Khan claimed that he is very much a regular guy in the real life, his fans would still look at him as one of the highest paid actors in Bollywood.
It goes to show that great talents aren't such a waste even if you are not the best looking guy ever graced the Bollywood scenes. I had to admit that i did enjoy many of his movies. Those signature whizzing before laughing, that stutters when he tried to look cute, sleek back combing hair style, eyebrow arching, and those dimples....Lets hope that he'll keep on selecting a good role to maintain his box-office movie ratings and hence, his revered status as one of the living Bollywood legends.