Essay on The Middle East Meets West

Submitted By Sarah2017
Words: 682
Pages: 3

The Middle East Meets West The Middle East is a region that is very diverse when it comes to religion, ethnic groups, and languages. Similar to what the West is experiencing, the Middle East is currently going through a “cultural war.” Although it used to be that the Middle East was very conservative, these types of views are not as common today. Much of the Middle Eastern world is now turning towards westernization and modernization. Various cultural traditions are being swapped out for western views and opinions. The Middle East is beginning to incorporate western culture into their society. Western influence has been seen in aspects of the Middle Eastern culture such as television, fashion, and internet use. Very conservative countries, such as Saudi Arabia, are strongly against these quickly westernizing cultures because it defies their traditional cultural practices. Other Middle Eastern countries are more open to the rapidly changing beliefs and ideals. Turkey, for example, is the most liberal and secular country in the Middle East. It also has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, as well as also being modern, Muslim, and prosperous. One of the most controversial aspects of culture that is changing is Arab television. Modern soap operas are enraging deeply conservative Arab leaders. A leader from Saudi Arabia has even gone as far as calling for the death of owners of the popular program Gumus. Gumus started as a local show, quickly becoming international. It tells the story of a poor girl who married rich. The part that infuriates some leaders is the cultural taboos that are being broken. Some of these that are seen throughout the show are drinking alcohol, premarital sex, and abortion. It also depicted Muslim couples on an equal level in the workplace. Zeynep Gunay Tan, the director of the soap opera, once quoted,” These types of shows are popular because of real family themes.” Parts of the show depicting couples flirting or kissing are similar to western television, adding to the numerous cultural aspects of the Arab that are westernizing. Out of the many different social views that are continuously becoming more westernized, fashion is upon them. Women in Middle Eastern nations are required to wear some form of the Hijab. In some countries more than others, women must have a large portion of their body covered. In the more conservative nations, it is obligatory to have only the hands and a small section of the face showing. However, other nations, such as Oman, are less strict with their rules of dress. Oman, for the past three years, has been holding the Muscat Fashion Week, which lasts for three days. Every year it gets exceedingly more popular, now bringing in