Hello, I am the student in the photograph. I just wanted to make it clear that when Mrs. Udell had to wear black and carry a marriage license was when she was living in SAUDI ARABIA, NOT during her time spent in Lebanon... hope that clears things up!
Hello, While I agree with the author's overall point about how Americans need to change there perception about Southern Lebanon, I take issue with some of the author's observations about southern Lebanon. I am a married American woman (not Lebanese at all) who lives in Tyre and have lived here since last December. I live here with my American husband who's a humanitarian aid worker and our two young kids. When asked, we tell people we are American and usually they say "welcome" and tell us about their relatives in the US. And this includes people who support Hezbollah. I have also worked for humanitarian aid agencies here and am a freelance journalist. I have single foreign women friends who freely work here. Not one of us is required to "wear black outside, cover our heads, and carry a marriage licence" when we travel. Many of us drive. About half the drivers in Tyre are Lebanese women--of all religious backgrounds. I've seen women drivers all over the country. I have friends from all religious backgrounds and even some who support Hezbollah, which is seen as a party that stands up for the rights of the traditionally politically and economically marginalised Shia Muslim population. Also-- All women here can shop for lingerie. It's freely available in all sections of town, including predominantly Shia Muslim areas. There are numerous restaurants here in every sectin of town-- including the Shia Muslim section that I live in -- that serves alchohol. I have traveled throughout the South even up to the Israeli border. Many women do wear headscarves. Many don't. Those that wear them and those that don't are even friends with each other and can be part of the same family. See my blog www.theharbins.info/julieblog for more insight into life here.
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