Thursday, April 21, 2011

One-strap backpacks all over again

The English-language newspapers here are so full of gems of amusement that I really should start keeping track, in order to share them with you. There was one last week that made me smile. The same storm system that hit us while we were camping went on to blast Al Ain the next day. The wind blew down a tent market and downed power lines and other infrastructure across the city. There was a quote in the article from a member of the police forces that said something like, "We are doing our best to respond to residents' needs and take care of the problems they call in, but we are very overwhelmed and so far we have unfortunately been able to respond to only 90% of incidents." Seriously, this past week I've smiled every time I've thought about this poor beleaguered police captain striving for 100% achievement and falling just short. Dude, 90% is AWESOME.

That was in the Gulf News. Today I read a great letter to the editor in The National, about the lack of modesty on the UAE's college campuses. Here's an excerpt:

"The modest garment of a Muslim woman covers from head to toe, leaving the face, hands and wrists showing. But some girls have corrupted the meaning of modesty to suit themselves. When walking on campus, I see open abayas, tight T-shirts and jeans, and sheer leggings that clearly outline body shape. Some young women have boys' haircuts and wear outfits that make it difficult to distinguish their gender. The most troubling part in this daily drama is that some students fail to cover their chests with their abayas."

Wow, did that ever take me back to my days at the BYU. Change a few of the finer details, put in Mormon for Muslim, and there you go: it's one-strap backpacks all over again!


AmandaStretch said...

Ah, the one strap backpacks. What a silly brouhaha that was. There is something to be said for pushing the lines of modesty, but then there are some things that are just too ridiculous.

Jill said...

As I read this, I saw the picture for your post about literary heroines who end up with the wrong man. I don't want to leave a comment on such an old post, but I want to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Professor Baer. He is one of my favorite characters ever. I was so happy when they ended up together. Laurie leaves a long trail of saliva when he kisses.

That is all

Nemesis said...

OOoooooh, one-strap backpacks. Do not Even. Get me. Started.

Liz Johnson said...

I still have PTSD nightmares from that one-strap backpack fiasco. I am proud to say that I never moved my strap from between my bosoms, NOT ONCE! TAKE THAT, ESTABLISHMENT!!!!

Bridget said...

My mom wrote me an email to ask what was all the fuss about one-strap backpacks. Perhaps this should have been in the original post.

At the BYU from about 1999 to 2001, the single most controversial thing to do (until it was unseated by NCMO) was for a girl to wear a backpack with one strap. It ran across her chest much like a seatbelt would, and was sometimes referred to as "the great divider." People (mostly morons who wrote into the Daily Universe opinion page - can you see where I stand on this issue?) said that one-strap backpacks emphasized a girl's bosoms and thus were immodest.

I am not making any of this up.

Bridget said...

(Jill, Professor Baer WHAT??? I am all for the lonely foreign academic getting the girl, but in this case, it was just wrong. Laurie was so right for Jo! Even with the sloppy kisses!)

Jen said...

Tee strap backbacks.

I'll SEE your one-strap-backpacks, and I'll RAISE YOU one freshman-bishop-donning-a-rabbit-puppet-to-discuss-NCMO.

Sarah Familia said...

HAHAHA! This brings back so many lovely memories. In case we ever get homesick for BYU . . .

And I love how much Mormon and Muslim culture alays have in common. It's the little things that really matter, isn't it?


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