Farah Alhashim, filmmaker, shares her thoughts:


I think I snapped your attention right out of your eyeballs. And made it mine. Just because I wrote three simple letters… S. E. X.

I have no idea what the hell is going on in Beirut and some Arab countries. This continuous obsession into trying to imitate the west and become like their culture or what ever… has gone far!!!
Wake up Arabs. Even America and Europe got over this and stopped slutting up!! I mean, I know rappers who are cleaning up their lyrics, movies that are winning Oscars and they are not about sex… I’m just dropping names here but “Julie and Julia”. “J Edgar”. “Avatar” … and many more //// does it ring a bell?
So winning an academy award, and winning the attention of critics does not revolve about sexy anymore like in 60’s or 70’s where sex was a new hot topic and not a taboo, but I guess we are so late that sex just hit us here and some still think it is a hot topic…
I’m not going to generalize, but I will speak from my own knowledge and tell you one thing. This sexual expression that you dear Arabs is experiencing is passed due. Because it has been already experienced back in 1969… When New York and Every part of the world were in the freedom movement and in a peaceful community that shared everything together, even “semen”… But now things are different and slutting up became a “cliché” except in Beirut Where theater plays, movie makers, TV series writers, party animals, bar owners, graphic designers are competing against each other on which can give the most sluttiest poster or outrageous play that speaks about sex.
A woman who gets naked on her blog is courageous.
A sex cover on a local magazine is considered an artistic revolution.
A song about intercourse and how a guy can knock his girlfriend’s boots out is considered poetry!!
And so on… the list goes on starting from theater plays to movies.
I won’t mention names…
Maybe I’m clueless, but I thought being a great artist lies in the potential of creating something unusual and beautiful that makes people think and wonder and probably change from within…

Why don’t we become the change we want to see in the world!
If those people are trying to be the change they want in the world, then they are probably “Wanna be Whores”. Excuse my French!
What is happening people? What is so special about slutting up, having sex scenes on screen?
I mean why would you wana waste production money, and spend thousands of dollars on a Red Camera or a shoot your film with 35mm, wasting thousands of rolls on failed attempts to create a sex scene!

Dear current director, if you want to arouse the audience and make yourself a “famous” director, just grab your “MiniDV” and light some florescent light, and your good to go…

Don’t pretend it is “art” or it is your “inspiration”. Sex was discovered many years ago… it just like food and water. But I don’t see people talking about water and food and sleeping the same way they talk about sex.

Speaking of “BEIRUT HOTEL”, any clueless person who thinks Beirut, Lebanon is an area in Israel or behind an oasis and bunch of camels running around will probably think that all girls are like this jazzy night singer and our nights are red as her sex night.

And if you try to criticize this type of films, you will be subjected to several criticisms and you will be called; a conservative uncultured and under civilized dumb ass who don’t appreciate art and your backwardness will destroy us like there is no tomorrow.

2 weeks ago, I returned to Beirut. I stayed in my favorite city for an entire 2 weeks, and honestly my first impression toward it was exactly like a husband who just came back from war and his wife was pregnant from another man thinking her husband is dead…

I mean what happened to you dear Beirut?
If I want to use metaphors here, I will probably imagine Beirut, a beautiful woman with a beautiful dark long hair, attractive lips and eyes, sitting in the corner of a deserted old house smelling like cigarettes and holding a vodka bottle in her hand laughing hysterically with a cynical look in her eyes… and looking at me!! : (Oh you are here Farah, I did not expect you would see me like this…)

I don’t even know where to begin dear Beirut, should I start with Hamra Street: Filled with pubs. To me, those pubs are like open coffins… dead zombies sitting and hanging around in the corners of that famous street lighting up their cigarette and finishing their glass. They are emotionless and fearless and carless.
Or should I start with the people who changed drastically? I don’t even know how to begin to describe the amount of shock I had when I exchanged my first words with very close friends of mine… as if they were … stuffed or mummified.

Nothing has changed since the first time I met them, and believe me that’s not a good thing… you come back after months and years and you see them just where you left off… sitting there talking about the same subjects they were talking about 1 or 2 years ago ago… I don’t blame them… but…

Now, the political situation is arising more than ever, depression is within everybody… people are starting their days and ending it… like machines or books stacked in their positions, and doing their part of work then returning home…

It is like they got used to it or they got stoned.
And on top of that, movies and magazine covers, nightclubs’s main theme is sex… as if the hidden message is “Lets have sex and get drunk, We are going to die anyway.”

I don’t care anymore… Do what ever you like, I just said what I think and I’m scared… i’m reallllly really truly extremely scared. Beirut is literally going away from us. And war is not the killer here… it is us.

Have we become so numb?

2 thoughts on “SEX

  1. What to say in response to an opinion that borders on arrogance and lacks even the slightest hint of context ? The sexual revolution you speak of took place in other cultures. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the world doesn’t need to experience them. In Lebanon, as we say “mnetkhabba wara osba3na” when it comes to sexuality. Of course we need to talk about it, we need to get it out in the open, we need to have an honest discourse about it. You might not like it, you might think it’s crude or retarded or way past due, but that’s your opinion, that of a person who lives in another country, in another context, how do you expect to pass judgement on the culture of people you don’t live amongst ? I’m sad to see that you chose to make more of an abundant use of fancy words and metaphors in your post, while remaining so stingy on objective and rational thought. Pity.

  2. On the SEX issue, I agree that we are still living and experiencing this new thing that has emerged suddenly. We need time to get used to it whether we like it or not.
    But whats annoying (to me) is that we are over using it like a kid with a new toy that doesnt let it go until it is broken, defected, or old.
    Everything revolves around SEX
    We are now starting the “Sex Sells” campaigns.

    A product doesnt sell well, let’s add a sexy model and BAM!
    (new examples: “Nahla” teasing campaigns, “Vanilian” posters…)

    and what do u know, maybe local tv station will be playing erotic/porn movies after 12 (Tele Liban would play vintage porn from the 60’s 😛 )

    I’m liking the awareness some channels are providing, but others are broadcasting negligence and stereotypes.
    We are going towards a sexual liberty, but some might ruin it because they take it wrong.

    In movies and shows, we’d better take it easy. We dont want to look like we are the sluts of the middle east. And in reality, we REALLY NEED to take it EASY.

    (i will comment on Hamra’s situation because i dont know Hamra that well)

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