سبحان من في الهيئة

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(The title of this post translates (we hope) as 'In Praise of the Body')
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"I really love sucking a man’s cock." While Catherine Millet's opening line might not be note-worthy in a Western magazine, this time these words do not appear in a Western magazine. What makes those words worth mentioning this time is not their content, but their locale. Millet's piece is published in what might seem the most unlikely of places; they appear in the inaugural issue of Jasad, a magazine dedicated to artistic, literary, scientific and political explorations of the human body and published in Arabic in Beirut, by a woman.
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Joumana Haddad is braving some violently turbulent waters. Lebanon is not alone in the struggle between secular and fundamentalist Islam, and in many places fundamentalist Islam has gained ground in ways that threaten Haddad and beseige her target audience. In a statement on the journal's home page she characterizes the repressive forces like this:

"So, come on, let’s list these zealous factions, together. There’s the faction that demands conservatism, fervent - in appearance only, yes, but with the height of all malice - about the concepts of chastity, modesty, and purity. These people are zealous on preserving the hymens of the eye, the nose, the ear, the throat, of language, the imagination and of dreams, and all sorts of other similarly unnecessary necessities. These fragile and sensitive membranes apparently keep, all by themselves, the honor of our traditions safe from the mire, from affront, from insult and from scandal; and the zealots of this faction are intent on protecting them from the threat of being torn by any kind of obscene ‘penetration.’"
  Joumana Haddad
But Joumana Haddad is not intimidated by zealots. She does not cower before the misogynistic might of mullahs. She strives, she stands, and she speaks. This renaissance woman speaks seven languages, has written several volumes of poetry to critical acclaim, and is about to add a PhD to her long and impressive list of accomplishments . In her spare time, she has put together this magazine ("The Body" in English) to celebrate the human body in every imaginable way. Jasad aims to view the body through the lenses of art, literature, erotica, science, and social commentary. In a world where the body is hidden in shame and guilt, Haddad's newest project reveals and celebrates it in a way unwelcome by many in the region. Others though will welcome the magazine and what it represents: a challenge to fundamentalism and puritanical repression. Jasad's is a voice of power and freedom, of beauty and lust, the word made flesh and the flesh made word. Share/Save