14
Oct

postedbyYousef

We had a conversation early on, and the phrase “Women shouldn’t be allowed to travel alone” was said and then followed with harsh remarks about women who do travel alone. (remarks towards the women and their families). I want to discuss this.

But first I want to say that I won’t be getting into what Islam had to say about it, I don’t know what was said, and I don’t want to get into how many “exits” are available for such a rule. That being said, I want to say a few things of what I think of that phrase:

1-First of all, I think we shouldn’t be conditioned by what people think is acceptable.

2-I think that nowadays people are being selective as to which rule they follow and which rule to skip when it comes to religion.

3-I think if a woman ever had to travel alone, it is up to her, and her husband/parents. And it is not right to judge a woman’s morals or her relatives’s solely by their decision to have the woman travel alone.

4-I have a problem with the “shouldn’t be allowed” part, because I think people should be convinced rather than forced. Or else why bother?

Ok, now that I’ve said these 4 points, I wanna also say that I partially agree with that phrase.. However, what I don’t agree with is the judging part. When I was abroad, I’ve seen many girls who were studying abroad by themselves, without any family member, and some of them were far more worthy of respect than many of the girls who aren’t “allowed to travel alone”.

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 at 12:25 am

49 Responses to “Women Shouldn’t Travel Alone”

  1. um-mit3ib says:

    weeeh ta3aaalll shooofny wana asafer broo7y;p ahabel smela 3alayy… ahabel;p a3aref kilshay mashala tabarak el ra7man… w osal il 6ayara bidon lat6eer 3annnyyyy… eee walaaa;p

    shfeena mansafer bro7na? sh7alatnaaa

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  2. shopa says:

    Many of the reasons of those who agree with this statment are “this will give the girl the freedom to do thing she shouldn’t”—> a girl who wants to do anything will do it regardless of where she is….They also say “what would people say about her?”–> sorry but why would I care about what people say? they will talk trash regardless as well so I might as well travel and have fun….I even was once told that no guy would marry me for that…I replied saying why would I want to marry a guy like that anyways?

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  3. MiYaFuSHi says:

    Omg ppl still think like that?? Cough cough ghbaaaar.

    Let me just say, I have traveled alone, with friends, and even with male colleagues, and to be honest I’ve never had any problems or done any ‘bad’ things.

    Actually I have had more problems in Kuwait, where some guys think girls are a game, even taking bets as to who can ‘get’ her. Stalking her for years on end and causing problems. Turning her friends against her. Even going so far as to ask for her hand in marriage. Yes all the above happened to me.

    I just got back from a trip alone to Thailand and Bangkok. Nothing like that happened. I went shopping, sightseeing, and on tours. That’s it!

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  4. 1001Nights says:

    I really resent the notion that all women need to be watched 24-7 or else they’d behave loosely. Why do some Kuwaiti men perceive their women as such savages?

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  5. MHMD says:

    I didn’t fully understand the last part, student girls abroad more respect worthy than girls who “weren’t allowed to travel? kindly clearify.

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  6. bint aldeira says:

    if u care about ur sister or wife u would be afraid to let her ride a taxi alone with a stranger , or stay in a hotel room alone even with a sister or friend. u trust her but u dont trust others . we r not discussing the islamic point of view which is suitable for any time or place, but what we r observing clearly here in our society that most ,not all, people who are pretending to be so religious and talking about how religious they are, are really really far from it in every aspect in life.

    mostly people would think wearing hijab is a green light to do everything .since the appearence would reflect a different story…

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  7. bint aldeira says:

    mhmd: yousef said FAR more worthy of respect .

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  8. Yousef says:

    What I meant by saying: “and some of them were far more worthy of respect than many of the girls who aren’t “allowed to travel alone”

    Is that I know of girls who travel alone and are respect worthy while other girls who aren’t allowed to travel alone and yet have bad reputations. This was meant to further emphasize my point; how silly it is to judge a person by whether they travel with their family or alone.

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  9. erzulie says:

    I agree with the first four women. I’m actually a bit miffed at this post of yours. Since when do women have to be carefully watched and observed, as if they’re bound to commit wrongdoings? That just shows a lack of trust and abundant insecurities from the observer him/herself.

    I don’t think this has anything to do with religion. This is rooted in basic human decency and morality. Regardless of gender, if a male or female is well brought up, he/she is less susceptible to doing wrong because of his/her moral conscious whether it is based in his/her religious or moral beliefs which is basically the same thing in the end.

    If this post was meant to rouse a few eyebrows from the ladies, then you’ve accomplished your goal. But frankly, I think it let the tire out of your lovely blog’s somewhat frank wheels since the topic is downright immature and sourced in apprehensive machismo.

    But thank you for your honesty nonetheless.

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  10. :::ShoSho::: says:

    Hmm, well I travel alone with my 3 kids.. I have done it several times.. I am never scared and I don’t feel men are a protection anyways.. if something is gonna happen, it IS going to happen.. Man being there or not.. I don’t get when some women say “I can’t fo this without a man” or “We cannot go there without a man”??!!
    I also believe I have a tongue so I can use it if I get lost or something lol.. as for people judging me, if I cared about that generally in my life (not just the traveling), then I won’t be able to live and do what I want..

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  11. Yousef says:

    erzulie I too agree with the first four women (+ bint aldeira which I agree with the most). and I agree with you as well and believe that decency and virtue are intrinsic parts of the personality and that if a man/woman is God fearing he/she doesn’t need to be observed constantly.

    Having said that, I am surprised by your tone towards the end of your comment as you seem to be accusing me of the very same behavior I criticized. Please do go back and read my post again as I think I was reasonably clear with how I feel.

    And no I have no remote interest in raising eyebrows from the ladies; I find that neither pleasing nor remotely gratifying.

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  12. luqman says:

    i believe we should grow up our daughters in a way that unfortunately if they left alone in the world by any means they should not feel fear of men or women,she should strong enough to help her and defend her,normally i obsereve which situation my wife can handle and which not? and encouraging her to handle what she can not by leading her, Life&death no one knows and if she has to live after alone with kids what type of mother she will be and how she will secure family.

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  13. erzulie says:

    Then you should’ve ended the title of your post with a question mark and not make it seem like a statement. This “traveling alone” situation is a circumstantial one; you cannot generalize the facts or outcome based on gender alone because that’s not the only factor that decides how the person might behave when given that freedom to be.

    Now having said that – and correct me if I’m wrong here – I’d think that your “partial agreement” with the topic might be traced to what you’ve witnessed/knew of when studying/living abroad. I too have known women who carried themselves extremely well while overseas while others got a little bit loosey-goosey, so to speak. However, I don’t think the critical factor is their gender: it’s their own upbringing – or lack thereof – that led up to a wonderful or woeful experience with the latter being known to all.

    Like everything else, bad stories are more popular than pleasant ones. This applies to almost everything, like marriage for instance. Whoever had anyone come up to them and say, “I hear that so-and-so are very happy in their marriage.” All we hear of are dramatic, negative tales of strangers’ lives.

    There’s one thing I’d like to add here and I don’t want to include only Kuwaiti women but all women in general because throughout history, women always had the shoddy end of the stick. If a diligent Kuwaiti female student abroad came across this post of yours, I’d bet that she’d feel let down and a tad bit frustrated since your post touches upon one of the most disappointing double standards that women are facing especially in this past decade or so of ours. No one here is stupid. We all know of the question mark that appears on people’s faces when they hear the phrase “Darsa bara.” I just never thought that this issue would actually be an issue here (read: this blog) nor would I have imagined that the negative portion would be highlighted more than the good. Then again, that happens in everyday life.

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  14. FAH-Buzberry says:

    Hmm nice topic.. I think it’s up to her. If she can travel alone then let her travel alone.

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  15. Yousef says:

    erzulie I imagine it would be very hurtful for a girl to come back to Kuwait and hear the term “darsa barra” like some form of insult when all she was doing was following her ambition with the blessing of her family no less. I feel this is unfair to the Kuwaiti girls who studied abroad. Having said that, the reason why I would rather have the women in my family travel with one of us men, is simply coz I would like to be there if someone needed me. It is a preference and not a condition, or a rule. Last but not least I had to read your comment several times, eyes wide open, in an effort to figure out how in the world I was so severely misunderstood.

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  16. Intlxpatr says:

    LLOOLL, Yousef, you blog long enough you are going to step in it now and then. You opened up a sensitive topic.

    I’ve travelled alone since I was 16, going back and forth to schools, etc. I have never had a problem. Part of life is learning how to behave so you don’t have problems. Honestly, most of the time I end up having to take care of my husband, rather than him taking care of me!

    The idea that women need your protection is sort of sweet – and sort of outdated. Look around. We are doing just fine.

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  17. madry-shakw says:

    It Depends on the purpose i guess..! tafreg law bnaya ray7a m3a rfejat’ha 3shan she wanna have fun.. oo bnaya ray7a tadres!

    Bas 9a7 mafroo’6 they dont judge 3la lebnaya nafs’ha!.. yemken tkoon ehya gad eltheQa welmas2ooleya!..=)

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  18. Emancipation says:

    I totally find men who “want to be there for women in case they needed them” insecure. You can only feel secure and masculine when you treat women as minors. Get over it. Women can do much better than men. Women, in kuwait too, stand on an equal footing with MEN these days. I feel sorry for kuwaiti girls who studies abroad and have someone from their family accompanying them. Those girls come from families with insecure men.

    Try to update your lifestyle. you are so oldfashinioned.

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  19. who cares:) says:

    I totallly agree with erzulie and this is such an old argument that I thought no longer exists…

    Thank GOD I am not raised in such downgrading rag3eeeyeen famlies that say such things !! I am SO LUCKY :) That my brothers,dad, husband , cousins, friends never thought such things :)

    Frankly I realized that people that say such things are ones that played alot around with other girls and had experiences 😉 so its all based on your own experiences !

    Bas sara7a SHA7’BARI “Darsa BARA !!! ” issue :) stereotype ! :) Very Qadeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeema ! at least in my social circle 😉

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  20. Yousef says:

    Intlxpatr lol I know. I just wish that people would read what I had to say about the issues I’m trying to discuss rather than just lashing out about things I didn’t say.. trying to put a face on their struggles at my expence.

    Oh well I guess you’re right. It’s bound to happen every once in a while :)

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  21. Yousef says:

    madry-shakw yeah I guess.. but I think in both cases they shouldn’t be judged or subjected to what society think is the right thing to do.

    Emancipation I agree with this statement “Women, in kuwait too, stand on an equal footing with MEN these days”

    who cares:) You are indeed lucky, some girls don’t have that.

    “Frankly I realized that people that say such things are ones that played alot around with other girls and had experiences so its all based on your own experiences”

    lol at the implications. But you know what? I don’t judge as harshly as you do.. so I KNOW that my circle of people are luckier than yours 😉

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  22. Wa6n_3Mri says:

    OH its about time you brought that topic up! ok.. I had this conversation with my mom weeks ago. And we we’re going back and forth, back and forth on why I can’t study abroad “ALONE” after I graduate from univ. ?!

    So.. If memory serves… These were her exact words: “Hahahaha itakhayilaaaiiin??!!” lol
    Then she said: “ana arou7 ma3ach”
    I said: @@ shnu trou7een ma3ay? bnroou7 soug sharg i7na?!! lol
    Mom said: ” ana o uboch inrou7 ma3ach” (btka7ilha ykoun!) lol
    I said: @@ ana wntay wbooii?!! laish bnta’3ada b LENOTRE?! LOL

    So everytime she says no! I simply bring up the fact that she went abroad with her friend! to the States for a whole yr! even though her father was up-tight lol (sorry gramps! God bless your soul) that’s not fair! I WANT THE EXPRIENCE! lol so now.. shes kinda coming along on the whole concept! b3dain she backs up! lol
    Offf 7adai ishta6aaayt I’M PACKING MY BAGS FOR BOSTON! lol
    So do u guys know a good “cargo company” ?! loOl

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  23. who cares:) says:

    BTW i think you misunderstood by saying above and “lol at implication” ….i was not referring to YOU personally and not judging anyone.

    The people I KNOW (not judging) that say such things are unfortunately ones that had negative experiences!

    I dont mean that anyone that says such actually “played around” etc…

    I know that many say such things due to cultural reasons (7achara) or religious reasons you name it not necessarily that they “played around”…

    “lol at the implications. But you know what? I don’t judge as harshly as you do.. so I KNOW that my circle of people are luckier than yours ”

    Look at who is judging now? 😉

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  24. Yousef says:

    who cares:) What you said in here:

    ” I realized that people that say such things are ones that played alot around with other girls and had experiences so its all based on your own experiences !”

    is very clear dear.

    You can’t just turn 180 degrees and say:

    “I know that many say such things due to cultural reasons (7achara) or religious reasons you name it not necessarily that they “played around”…”

    You’re contradicting yourself here. Either that, or you have seriously mis expressed yourself on your first comment.

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  25. N says:

    I will comment based on an idea I got above that girls who travel abroad alone may not as behaved or “5osh banat” as ones in Kuwait, (not that you said that Yousef). But I need to clarify something. I personally studied in Kuwait for a couple of years and continued the rest abroad. I saw all what I can see in Kuwait and abroad. You have all sorts of influences in and out of Kuwait. I personally believe that people (boys and girls) should be exposed and aware of the temptations and choices that a person might have a hard time choosing between at some time in life from a young age, and educated about the implications that might arise based on the choices taken. Il kharab mawjoood in kan barra aw da5il il kuwait. I think that traveling alone is not what spoils a person, rather it just brings out the real personality of a person. A person might be in disguise in Kuwait because of the nature of the country, but if he/she were to do something, they will sooner or later, in or out of Kuwait. Yes, there are girls and boys that get way out of hand abroad, but believe me, suppression is not the solution to taming them. Its the exposure, awareness and most importantly self confidence and belief. Alla ya7fithna oo yastir 3alaina inshalla.

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  26. Wa6n_3Mri says:

    (A standing ovation for “N”) Well said! :)

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  27. Yousef says:

    N, “Il kharab mawjoood in kan barra aw da5il il kuwait. I think that traveling alone is not what spoils a person, rather it just brings out the real personality of a person.”

    I couldn’t have said it any better. very well said!

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  28. Marzouq says:

    You poured oil into the flame.. in my opinion I think that a girl should be trusted to grow up and move forward in life.. certain areas are dangerous and women should avoid but that is a matter of judgement.

    The total banning is ridiculous and shouldn’t be followed because it helps some girls grow up, and people who judge are idiots most of the time..

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  29. DUNE says:

    mayjooz el bint etsafer ebroo7ha mo bs bil deen 7ita ka 3adat o taqaleed o 6ab3an hathi sarat old fashion.
    lakin ana ashoof enna el ghala6 kilah 3ala riyayeel el kuwait coz majmoo3a chibeerah mo kilihom ma3indihom ghariyah wala ekhafoon 3ala 7areemhom. elmathroof enik ta36i ethiqa lil bint lakin 3ainik 3alaiha 3ala 6ool. hatha el kalam lil riyayeel bs o mo ay rayal coz now adays qillah saraw el riyayeel

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  30. Eve's Heart says:

    well, usually my parents don’t let me travel alone, but once they were forced -by a situation- to let me go by my self, and every thing went okey, and i don’t see any harm on that, though every parent/husband has the right to let a woman in their family travel alone of not, but he can absolutely not force other people to think or act the same.
    in my case i wouldn’t judge any one by that, i’m very picky with people i deal with, and people i talk to, plus i don’t give judgments based on one situation !!!!!

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  31. mk says:

    ta5aluf….damkum ma tir,6on 7ag women intaw(guys) la itsafroon ibroo7kum….tinarfazt 9ij im seriously annoyed! and your stance against the statement was not strong enough…..you basically said that you don’t agree with it but then you said you did

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  32. mk says:

    dune….go back to the stone age….mahma shiftaw it,6iloon mit5alfeen….i feel bad for this country…..as long as ppl who think like u do are still in it….mi7na shayfeen shay zain

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  33. DUNE says:

    Ana gilt before hatha el kalam ma ma yin6ibiq 3ala kil eriyayeel Hal ayam… el eslam lama gal lazim ma7ram sar now takhalof fa now el 7al ena etgolon 7ag rabkom Hal tashree3 ghala6 coz it’s an old fashion so hathi kanat gabil 1430 sina fa u have to change it coz e7na 7areemna ghair 7areemkom gabil o riyayelna aqal rijoolah mn gabil fa lazm ensawi update lil sharee3a coz e3wair wizwair shayfinha takhalof

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  34. DUNE says:

    Moreover, MK Ana gilt ena el7areem yistahlon ethiqa wil taqdeer coz ohom mo 3abeed 3indina lakin mayjoon etsafer ebroo7ha that’s all hatha eb deenkom etha nisaitoh go back and refresh it again .. Es’al ay Shaikh Deen etha galik ghair Hal kalam Ana ghal6an wa3tithir minkom ya riyayeel nowadays

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  35. Wa6n_3Mri says:

    Ya jama3ah 9alaw 3la elnibi! Ma yswa 3laina hal safrah!! Lol akhaf 3ad elshabab yn3a6oun wayh?! Yama shabab ra7aw barh alone! Jambuzah o im3awreen gloub ahlhum! O yama bnat ra7aw alone made their parents proud, and vice versa ofcourse. Its a DOUBLE STANDARD ISSUE! a9ab3kum mu siwa!

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  36. DUNE says:

    U r right fi shabab efashloon o som3at’hom ezbalah barra lakin Ana niq6iti ena el banat lazim ma7ram lihom bs elshabab malhom ma7ram o fil nihaya kil wa7d ra7 yakhith ethma ebroo7a mo sharroka … Fi nas wayd eghal6on o mi3tarfin lakin 7oriya shakhsiya bs el balwa billi mayi3tirif

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  37. mk says:

    mahma 9ar ako ma7arim….ili bi,3ali6 i,3ali6 wili kafo il thi8a bi,6iloon san3een oo ma ra7 isawoon shay ,3ala6 li2anhum ibroo7hum……a,6minlikum ina il 9bayan ili isafroon ibroo7hum ohum ili i5arbi6oon oo ihabiboon cuz mako a7ad ma3ahum..il banat ili isafroon ibroo7hum nadir ina isawoon shay they wouldnt do law ma3ahum o5oohum ow oboohum….yuba bs la it3amimoon rules 3alaina 3ala kafkum ili itshoofoonha mo kafu thi8a la it5aloonha itsafir oo nafs il shay to the guys….treat all cases personally and individually

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  38. Wa6n_3Mri says:

    wli ma y79ilH ma7ram?! How about “Rifqa a’amenah”?! DUNE??

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  39. DUNE says:

    Ya ma7ram rayal aw 7areem qawa3id ma7ad tikalam 3am el ghala6 hathi eslamik rule mo 3adat or taqaleed

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  40. Shantaram says:

    Well, of course; women should be allowed to travel on their own if that is what’s required of them. And they certainly don’t need permission from a male relative / husband – NOT in 2009, for crying out loud! For the conservative set there are even hotels and inns that they do ” women only ” floors to help their relatives back home feel secure and comfortable about their well being. Imagine students, doctors, lawyers, businesswomen traveling abroad for studies, conferences/ conventions etc; their male relatives in tow!
    Besides this argument is a bit lopsided. No one is asking if men should be traveling alone so why single out women ?! In fact, when your man is out on the road traveling on business to places such as, Dubai, Bahrain or Bangkok who’s to tell he is not up to some hanky panky afterhours? That could pose a clear and present danger to the wife and the family through the importation of venereal infections along with any duty free parfum he’s picked up for the missus, on the flight back home. So give it a rest:this question is a no-brainer.

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  41. DUNE says:

    Shantaram: what you are saying is completely wrong, of course nowadays we are not following the islamik rule regarding let the women to travel alone without (ma7ram) but we have to admit that is wrong to let them travel alone it is agaist the islamik rule.
    for example, you can not nowadays “in 2009” as you said force any woman to ware 7ijab but of course you knew it is an islamik rule…. think about it and compare it with the traveling alone they are same.. i hope you got my point.

    i’ll give you an advice, do not say it is “NOT in 2009” for any of the islamik rules.

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  42. Fee says:

    Im a young Kuwaiti women doing her masters in the UK.

    Once i read your post I was shocked and appalled.

    Then i started to read the comments and “stood right back up” once i read Erzulie’s.

    Thank you Erzulie.

    And Yousef, be wise with your words my friend. 😉

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  43. Yousef says:

    Fee

    How you failed to realize that we are on the same page regarding this matter is beyooondd me.. Sorry but I can’t have this discussion with you.. you don’t understand plain english dear.. i mean.. no no.. sorry I just can’t have this type of discussion with people who fail to read simple english words and get the underlying meaning behind such a simple post.

    But I’ll say this one thing:

    You and Erzulie.. and me.. have the same opinion regarding this matter.. but you, dear Fee, chose to interpret what I had to say differently. Sorry but that’s your problem. your issue. I don’t have to deal with it. You do.

    Thanks for rif3ing my thaq6 😛 and emwafega inshallah bil masters :)

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  44. Fee says:

    No need to be harsh dear friend. Its just a discussion. :)

    “I wanna also say that I partially agree with that phrase.. ”

    Hmm…

    Or maybe I just don’t understand your form of so-called pure ” plain english?”

    O Ajma3eeen inshallah! 😉

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  45. Yousef says:

    Fee If it’s a discussion then I should even be harsher 😛 you know why? because you take my words, you choose what focus on and don’t get the whole meaning, and then throw the rest of what I said away.

    I’m going to go all out and explain exactly what I meant with everything:

    1-First of all, I think we shouldn’t be conditioned by what people think is acceptable. (Here i meant that people, as in girls, shouldn’t be conditioned by what other judgmental people think) Ok?

    2-I think that nowadays people are being selective as to which rule they follow and which rule to skip when it comes to religion. (here I was simply saying that judgmental people shouldn’t chose to follow whatever rule they feel like they wanna follow and neglect the rest. I mean why concentrate on the Mehram issue if you’re not going to concentrate on the Hijab issue for example. I don’t like how they’re selective when it comes to which rule they stand by and want to apply)

    3-I think if a woman ever had to travel alone, it is up to her, and her husband/parents. And it is not right to judge a woman’s morals or her relatives’s solely by their decision to have the woman travel alone. (This is such an obvious point I can’t explain it any further)

    4-I have a problem with the “shouldn’t be allowed” part, because I think people should be convinced rather than forced. Or else why bother? (Again, very obvious point.)

    INZAIN. now How could I shock you and appall you with what I said above? I want an answer to this question please.

    Coming back to the part you mentioned in your last comment.

    You said “Once i read your post I was shocked and appalled.

    Then i started to read the comments and “stood right back up” once i read Erzulie’s.”

    Ok, Why would you read her comment and stand right back up, without reading what I had to say in response? Because I explained the “I wanna also say that I partially agree with that phrase.. ” to erzulie with my following comment:

    “I feel this is unfair to the Kuwaiti girls who studied abroad. Having said that, the reason why I would rather have the women in my family travel with one of us men, is simply coz I would like to be there if someone needed me. It is a preference and not a condition, or a rule.”

    fa ya3ny 3ogob halkalam witgoleen I was shocked and appalled….. seriously ya3ny?

    [Reply]

  46. l.k. says:

    in my point of view, I think women can travel alone incase of emergencies, study, work, ya3ni fee hadaf wara (travelling). Or with friends that she trust. As of travelling alone, in my experience, especially if she is cute she will be easily hurassed no matter what, and its only a matter for safety. Cause, you never know what the persons intensions. sOME ppl like challenges and no matter how hard a girl is she can easily be fooled if she was alone, thats in my opinion and I do respect others who do no oppoint me. Thank you.

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  47. Fee says:

    Discussions are about getting your points across; not throwing stones at your enemy.

    You have point there Yousef.

    But do you want to know why i said “choose your words wisely” ?

    Because you didn’t make that point clear ( about partially agreeing) in your original post.

    Either way, I wish you and Mishary well.

    And may your blog flourish.

    [Reply]

  48. […] Read the original: Women Shouldn't Travel Alone « SOME contrast […]

  49. james says:

    It depends on their culture, some beliefs really does not allow women to travel alone. In these modern times however this belief is changing, well, at least here in our country. Personally, I think it won’t be a problem for women to travel alone.
    I have female nurse friends that travel a lot, sometimes alone. It does not concern families and friends, just tell her and wish her to be careful. By the way they let medical alliance worry about their travel needs.

    [Reply]

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