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I heard such extremely harsh words for the first time in my life. Al-Khatib indicated that Al-Labadi has been subjected to various types of threats and warnings, such as the threat of arresting her mother, sister and aunt, in an attempt to extract a confession from her. Then we will arrest you in the West Bank, keep you under surveillance and prevent you from travelling to Jordan. Al-Labadi also revealed to Al-Khatib that several interrogators took turns interrogating her, including a colonel named Raul and another named Faham, who claimed to be Syrian and lived for a while in the Maghreb, in addition to other interrogators.

However, those two, in particular, treated her very poorly, while excessively insulting and threatening her. They gave me foul smelling and dirty nightgowns, and the walls were rough concrete that was hard to lean on. I slept on a thin mattress without a blanket, nor a pillow.

The light was on for 24 hours a day and it was annoying to look at. The room was windowless and lacked natural ventilation. The humidity was high, and the toilet was broken and without water, the smell was horrible. They refused and put me in a cell next to a disturbing interrogation room. I could hear the screams of detainees and interrogators. They seemed willing to intimidate, humiliate and abase me.

Sex in the Middle East

Outside, some male prison guards and a female warden stand at the toilet door, hearing the sound of water. I felt afraid every time I took a shower that someone can open the door at any moment.

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The cell opposite the yard was entirely covered with plastic and lacked natural ventilation. The humidity was high and there is no air conditioner. Cockroaches, ants and insects are in very large quantities inside the cell, and the food was disgusting. I waited for about two hours inside the prisoner transport vehicle.

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After that, they told me that I had a court session, and they took me to Megiddo prison where I stayed for three days. The room was very cold. I asked for a cover, and they only gave me a sheet and a thin mattress without a cover or a pillow. Afterwards, I was returned to Petah Tikva, to be investigated again. By then, I was shocked because they informed me that the investigation was over and that I was to be transferred to Al-Damun.

Al-Labadi divulged that she was kept inside the prisoner transport vehicle, with the air conditioning set to a high temperature, while the investigators came down to complete the procedures. However, they did not interrogate me at the last six days. I have lost my sense of humanity, because they were not human beings. I told the interrogator that the psychological torture exerted upon me is greater and harsher than the physical one, and he answered me that he was aware of it. Hearing the stories of the occupation from the outside is not living to experiencing them by yourself.

On 24 September, Al-Labadi was issued with a five-month administrative detention order. In protest, she announced an open hunger strike, amid attempts by Al-Damun Prison Intelligence Department and its officers to persuade her to renounce it.

In ruined Kabul, rival bands of mujahidin are fighting like rabid dogs over the remnants of the city. In this apocalyptic world, a man lies comatose on a mattress in a bare room of his house. His wife kneels next to him, fingering her prayer beads and talking to him. She recalls episodes of her life. Her voice, timid and hesitating at first, affirms itself. She finally lets bitter words, crazy words, holed up far too long, escape from her inner self.

She heckles Allah and his Hell, insults men and their never-ending wars, curses her warrior husband, a hero vanquished by his male pride, his religious obscurantism, his hate of the other, and goes as far as to reveal her most inner thoughts and secrets. In doing so, she frees herself from the marital, social and religious oppressions she has been enduring the whole of her life. Once quietly praying, now she screams.

Once living in silence and self- sacrificing abnegation, she emerges now as a human being, a woman. The adaptation to the screen was a significant challenge, given that it is a tragic huis clos taking place in the sick room, which The Woman we never learn any of the characters' names only occasionally leaves.

The book is a monologue by a woman to a dying man. Its delivery is straightforward: the voice speaks as if the woman is writing. Translating this narrative to the screen was something else, and the challenge depended on the choice of a very special actress whose theatrical talent would allow her to embody the role of The Woman on whom the whole film so critically depends.

Rahimi chose the young Iranian actress, Golshifteh Farahani.

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Born in Iran after the revolution, she knows what it means to live in a phallocratic society. This was not a sine qua non pre-condition for the part, but it was certainly an asset. She was the leading woman character in Ridley Scott's Body of Lies At first, Rahimi hesitated to cast Farahani in the part of The Woman because of her physical beauty. Indeed, she is beautiful, and in the film she even makes wearing the chadri the "tent" that covers some Afghan women from head to toe look elegant!

In the continuous face-to- face with the spectator, Farahani demonstrates the majesty and flame worthy of an ancient Greek tragedienne. Within the four walls of the room, Farahani's voice and face do wonders.

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In a searing, provocative, and passionate performance, she gives a star performance of a kind rarely seen anymore. Revealing the ambiguities of her character with a liberating and disconcerting sweetness, she carries her difficult role to a level of truth which seems impossible to achieve. All by herself, she anchors this story at the heart of reality, offering the birth of her free speech to the twilight world that required her silence.

The Aunt Hassina Burgan , a wise old prostitute, presides over a bordello whose ambiance is like a feminine calm in the middle of the storm. Inside its walls are all the things men don't understand. In this role, Burgan's acting is on the mark, conveying calm and wisdom.

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Nothing much can be said about Hamidreza Javdan, The Husband, except that he remains perfectly still, except for the heart pulse in his jugular and his slow breathing, for practically the entire film, probably a first in the annals of film! Most of the film was shot in Morocco, with some outdoor scenes filmed on location in Kabul under the pretext of filming fighting quails, one of Afghan men favorite pastimes. Since most of the film is interior shots, where space is limited, Rahimi was keen to have a camera in constant motion: with few exceptions, the camera is always kept moving, in order to offset the threat of staginess in The Woman's monologues.

The soundtrack consists of metallophone sounds mixed with string instruments or perhaps electronic keyboarding. In Patience Stone, Rahimi breaks all of the Afghan taboos — social, cultural, sexual and religious. In this respect, he also becomes the Patience Stone, gathering and reinventing the pains and hopes of the martyrs, of all the Afghan women of the shadows, in order to give them a memory, their struggles forever synonymous with truth and freedom. In a country like Afghanistan, in order for an oppressed woman to finally speak, Rahimi first had to paralyze the oppression of the system.

As such, The Husband symbolizes this whole patriarchal, repressive system, which is now paralyzed and injured. And because of it, The Woman can finally blossom and flourish, and she becomes intensely symbolic: "The voice that emerges from my throat, it is the voice buried for thousands of years.


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Those who do not know how to make love, make war MagyarRose 12 March Became an instant favorite. It does not matter what country this takes place in, and that it's never named. Often the enemy is easily indistinct. Those little girls were precious, running in the street, in the cellar wile bombs are going off. Been there. Been around men like that too.


  • Confessions of a Middle Eastern Whore, page 1.
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Loved the colors of Golshifteh Farahani's clothes, and the way they billowed magnificently about her. One of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Her spirit shines through. The sex, better said as rape, is more spoken and little shown. There is one frame of Eros though, love making, you'd see in a Fine Arts Museum.