Thursday, June 20, 2013

The woman

Firstly, I would like to inform you that I have an exam tomorrow.  On the vocabulary, idioms, and grammar from four chapters.  That's just under 300 words, about 20 idioms, and, well, grammar is rather unquantifiable.  All of this, of course, means that the universe has seen fit to grant me the gift of a live concert half a stone's throw from campus.  "Pleased" would not exactly describe my emotional state at the moment.

Secondly, I would like to share with you some small ponderings on gender relations in Morocco.  Our weekly cultural activity was a brief (and basic) talk on women in Morocco, both past, present, and future.  Interestingly, Spanish and Arabic share a way of talking about gender relations.  The issue is frequently framed in terms of "el papel de la mujer en la sociedad" or "دور المراة في المجتمع" both of which could be rendered "the role of (the) woman in (the) society."  I may be reading entirely too much into this, but I find it intriguing that women - a very large grouping of highly diverse individuals - are condensed into a single entity.  This singular usage is not limited to this particular phrase - during the talk today there were frequent references made to "when the Moroccan woman received all of her rights" and "the time when the Moroccan woman had no say in her marriage."  Similar phrasing appears in Spanish when discussing gender dynamics.  Though I draw no conclusions from this, I do wonder if this linguistic quirk has any influence on the treatment and discussion of the issue.    

After class tomorrow, provided I survive the exam (ان شاء الله), I'll head off with my Moroccan family for what I hope to be at least a somewhat relaxing weekend.  Though I know I'll have to fit homework in there somewhere (I promise, I'll stop complaining soon - summer classes are just so odd).  And maybe a trip to the beach.  That would be nice.  We'll see.

Anyway, laila sa'iida, and may your night sky be as beautiful as mine.

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