A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day* (*Wish Not Valid in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia or Where Prohibited by Law)

Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers, and I hope all of you are able to spend it with a loved one. (If you have no significant other, I hope you meet one today.) This offer does not apply, at least officially, to readers in those Middle Eastern or other countries which have already banned Valentine's day. At last count this includes Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. In Saudi Arabia the religious police in the past have even banned the color red at this time of year. They insist it's a Christian holiday (hey, Saint Valentine) and red is its symbol.

I hope those of you young lovers (and us older ones too) who can, will celebrate and enjoy yourselves publicly with your loved one where public demonstrations of affection are still legal.

If you're somewhere where it's not, I guess you will just have to find some way to celebrate in private, behind closed doors.

Use your imagination. I'm sure you'll manage to think of something.

1 comment:

kefteji said...

I think you'll appreciate the Grand Mufti of Tunisia's response to those who called on banning the holiday here in Tunisia. As long as this holiday is dedicated to love, may Tunisians celebrate it and may it be an occasion to put an end to hate, which has settled in the country and which divides the people."

http://www.kapitalis.com/societe/14486-tunisie-le-mufti-de-la-republique-autorise-la-fete-de-la-saint-valentin.html