Christina/ November 13, 2009/ Culture

Risky flirt on the Africa Boulevard” that’s the title of an report by three authors from the German political magazine “Spiegel” that describes Arabic party-nights. What’s inside is a description of typical party-nights in three different Arabic (well Teheran is rather Persian) cities: Teheran, Cairo and Damascus. One night is touched at a time. It ends in Teheran at 5 o’clock where it had been started at 8 pm.

Alcohol is being drunken, drugs are being taken and people kiss each other. “So what?” I wonder. So what is so special about it anyway? Is anybody surprised that people get drunk in Teheran even though the vice squad is everywhere? Did you expect that women in Cairo older than 30 years are supposed to be virgins? Did you know that young people in Damascus with different religious beliefs are going out together?

Not knowing what the authors intended in the first place I ask you to consider these facts:

  • The article presents a minority the so called”Jeunesse dorée” of the Arabic countries. Young people, basically from well off families. Only such people can afford to go out anyway. Mostly their parents are not too conservative otherwise a girl like “Laila” would not be able to go out alone to a party.
  • Assume, we would be out one night with German teenagers, let’s say in Berlin or Hamburg. Would that be a different experience? Isn’t that where the reports on drunken kids and a high crime inclination.
  • I have been living abroad myself for a year. I went out almost every night. With jordanian friends. None of them did ever take drugs or drank excessively.

Whoever reads this article should keep the proportions and relations in mind. Young people like this do exist in every country. But there is no such thing as THE teenager who is symbolic for a whole generation or society. When I celebrated New Year’s Eve in Pune (India) last year I spent the evening in an alledgedly expensive private club. There I spotted young women zipping Whisky straight out of a bottle. Does that entitle me to judge the Indian society by this example?

The article “From carpet to carpet” shows that it can be done better.

Clubbing tips from the article:

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