Saturday, December 21, 2019

Guests of the Sheik An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village Essay

Guests of the Sheik 1. You are Fatima, a middle-aged, middle-class woman in El Nahra, Iraq in 1954. You have met an American woman for the first time in your life, and have come to know her pretty well. But you just cannot understand how she can be happy living according to the American customs she has described to you. Construct Fatima’s argument for why the customs of Iraq, especially as they relate to gender roles and gender relationships, are vastly superior to those of the United States. It is difficult for Fatima to comprehend the American way of living especially from a woman’s perspective. She sincerely believes that her way is better. For an Arabic woman, particularly in the rural Iraq in 1950’s, marriage is the only goal and†¦show more content†¦Otherwise, it leaves a woman with no means for existence. Also, these women had a different point of view in regards to the sexual life. They learn to love and be passionate about their husbands. Passion is important to them since they don’t spend much time with their husbands otherwise. That was probably not the case with most American women in the 1950’s when husbands and wives didn’t even share a bed. And, finally, Fatima is shocked to learn that some older women in American culture get sent to the retirement centers away from their families (p. 185). First of all, lives of Iraqi women are centered on their womenfolk. Fatima feels sorry that Elizabeth is so far from her mother and all on her own in a foreign country. And then, the older age is the deserved age for Iraqi women when, after life hard work, they â€Å"enjoy the repose and respect as members of their children’s households.† (p. 185) Mothers pick wives for their sons. And, as in case of Laila’s friend, they can really spoil lives of their daughters-in-law if they choose to. â€Å"In spite of the relative obscurity in which these women lived† they had an incredible influence on men, their husbands and especially their sons. (p. 56) So, Fatima genially feels sorry for Elizabeth with her inferior American customs. 2. Although veiling and the seclusionShow MoreRelatedGuests of the Sheik: Ethnography of an Iraqi Village805 Words   |  4 PagesGuests of the Sheik: Ethnography of an Iraqi Village Written in the late 1950’s this is ethnography of a small village El Nahra, in Iraq. Elizabeth Fernea, the author, is the new wife of an anthropologist, who joins her husband in Iraq to do his graduate work. As an American woman, Elizabeth eventually chooses to integrate herself into tribal society by donning the traditional abayah (what we know as a burka), avoiding being seen by unfamiliar men. She lives and eats and works as the womenRead More Elizabeth Fernea’s Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village2540 Words   |  11 PagesYou arrive at a village, and in this calm environment, one starts to hear echo. -- Yannick Noah The writings of various ethnographers and anthropologists are intended to inform and educate the reader by imparting awareness and understanding of unexplored cultures. The value of such a work is directly related to the author’s familiarity with the culture. For instance, an individual intimately acquainted with a situation have different insights, but also different biases than an outsiderRead MoreDifferent Culture in Guest of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea777 Words   |  3 Pagesnot easy to accept or agree with other people’s culture. The ethnography, â€Å"Guests of the Sheik†, written by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea really captures what it is like to live and to be immersed into another culture. Ethnography is â€Å"comprised of the writings of the anthropologist, detailing the life ways of a particular culture, investigated by means of direct fieldwork† (Arenson, and Miller-Thayer 1). Elizabeth Fernea lived in a small village of El Nahra in southern Iraq for two years to gather dataRead MoreGuest of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnok Fernea814 Words   |  3 Pagesare more to it. There are many different types of marriages. In an ethnography called, Guest of the Sheik, by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, she talks about her experiences in a small rural village of El Nahra in southern Iraq. Ethnography is â€Å"comprised of the writings of the anthropologist, detailing the life ways of a particular culture, investigated by means of direct fieldwork† (1). As she gets accepted by the women of the villages, she gets a more inclusive view of the culture. Elizabeth FerneaRead MoreGuests of the Sheik2095 Words   |  9 PagesGuests of the Sheik 10/27/10 Anthropology Ciara Schultz Out of all the many countries in the world, each one is unique and individualistic with many exclusive qualities to each one. Many times, the countries get compared to the Western civilization of the United States. The book Guests of the Sheik is just that, but more. An American woman, (Elizabeth Fernea) travels to a completely foreign land, not known at all to her and experiences the culture first hand. She is at first willing, sinceRead MoreGuests of the Sheik Essay1544 Words   |  7 PagesEthnocentrism: The Cultural Differences between Western and Middle Eastern Cultures Through its ethnocentric tales and family based beliefs, Elizabeth Warnock Fernea’s Guests of the Sheik suggests that to find the true representation of Islamic culture, one must leave ethnocentrism behind. Not only will we discuss ethnocentrism and the cultural differences between Western and Middle Eastern societies, we will also take a look at the women of El Nahra and family within the differing

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