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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Third Section The LetKbtutge Herald Lethbridge, Alberta, Friday, April 6, 1973 Pages 25-30 The old and the new among Arab wo- men are symbolized by the veiled matron, at left, and feminist Altaf Essa, at right. No longer is man and By TOM TIEDE Newspaper Enterprise Association family KUWAIT Abdulla Nasser Masoud has had three wives for most of his 62 years. He'd like to add a fourth, which, under Moslem law, is his right, but, alas, the times have passed him by. Women, he says, are very strange today: "They don't want to share the bed any more. So here in the land that created concubines, harems and five-people beds, a new order cometh. Religious law still allows the polygamy of centuries past but social law has intereced- ed. The desert has become too sophisticated for musical chair marriages. Four wives these days are as rare as pork chops in the Casbah. Decay It is, for some, the ultimate cultural decay, like air con- ditioners in tents instead of nubile slaves with fans. Ibe aforementioned Abdul- la, for instance who still lives in the who still, perhaps, remembers the nu- tate slaves says he didn't mind oil derricks, he didn't squawk at the proliferation of cashmere sports jackets, he did not even gripe when paople traded their camels in for Suick Electras but the emancipation of women is tco much: "Once they only wanted security. Now they want equality. The old days here were much better." No doubt the old days in the Middle East were much better for the men. It was not uncommon for a man to accumulate a dozen or more wives, adding and sub- tracting from four, hi his life- time. And, with money, the sit- uation would grow into awe- some proportions. Ottoman sultans created huge reser- voirs of wives, some of whom they saw only rarely. Disapproval The scarem harems large- ly disappeared at the turn of this century. World disapproval and Mid- dle East enlightenment did them in. Since then Asian so-r ciety has allowed only four wives, arid htat now, for sim- ilar reasons, has gone the way of flying carpets and King Farouk. No precise four-wife statis- tics are available for the world's Moslems, but Ku- wait, which keeps a fairly reliable tab on population, has records indicating that only more women are married here than men. And figures aside, says a U.S. Embassy work- er here: "Pick any house and you'll find one man, one wo- man, several kids, and, just like in America, an altogether unworkable democracy." In the first place, say the moderns, Moslem regulations never really encouraged a four-wives policy. Explains Kuwait govern- ment spokesman Hatim Abdu1 Ghani: "The Koran says a man shall have one, two, three or four wives, provid- ing he treats them equally. Then it adds that it is very, very difficult to treat them equally." The spokesman says he per- sonalJy-.doesn't believe any one can treat four wives equally "it's hard with one" thus the law dis- courages. But the scarcity of four- wife marriages in Arabia to- day has nothing to do with Koran interpretation. The fact is, as 25-year-old Arab feminist Altaf Essa puts it: "Our people have grown up. Our elite hove studiedm England and travelled the world. They can no longer think of living in the old way.'' And when the elite here change, the common herd follows. Adds Ms. Essa: "Almost everyone now realizes that four wives was wrong. I can't imagine it ever catching on again." Real love Ms. Essa can, however, imagine how it was before. Her late father, a wealthy Kuwait merchant, had two wives. Says she: "Once I asked him, 'Daddy, why did you marry two And he said that he was forced into first marriage by a fam- Economics expert warns of new monetary turmoil By BOON LEWALD BONN (AP) Ludwig Er- hard, former West German eco- nomics minister and chancellor, warns that Europe's floating currencies might create new monetary turmoil. He said a new monetary or- der can only be achieved if the United States participates. However, he pinpointed the surplus of U.S. dollars in the world and the U.S. trade deficit as problems to be solved. Erhard, widely respected for his shrewd handling of West Germany's post-Second World War business recovery and for his economic expertise, made these points Friday in an inter- view with The Associated Press. Erhard carried out the cur- rency reform in occupied West Germany in 1948, thereby estab- lishing the mark that has devel- oped into one of the world's firmest currencies. He became economics minister when the Bonn government was formed in 1949 and succeeded Konradj Adenauer as chancellor irom 19G3 to 1966. NOT 'FINAL SOLUTION' Erhard said the present joint float of European currencies "may grant the participating countries a certain breathing pause, but will probably not be suffitienl or even usable as a final solution to regain a func- tioning international monetary system." He said it is understandable that the rigid ties between the mark and the dollar were bro- ken but "a new order cannot be achieved without involving the United States." "A purely European solution in the sense of creating a merely Continental monetary union and a special European reserve fund for the countries which run into trouble is prob- lematical even in a theoretical sense, and even less workable in practical he added. Erhard's comments came at the end of the dollar's first week as a floating currency. It closed Friday on a quiet up- swing everywhere but against the West German mark, where it eased a small fraction. The dollar moved from marks Thursday to 2.8250 marks FYiday. Erhard said a precondition for a workable monetary sys- tem is that European cur- rencies be genuinely in balance. "Though this is to be the case, proof for this assump- lion cannot easily be shown. It j is possible that a new bot- 1 bed of trouble might flare up in Europe." Erhard said he remains op- posed to relating currencies to drawing rights in the Inter- national Monetary Fund. Kc said this accelerates worldwide inflation. THE LETHBRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB Invites Applications for Membershp Club Opening Sunday, April 1st President Dr. Ed Cairns Hi. 328-3666 Club Manager Club Professional Don lymbumer Ed Engfehardt OUB PHONE NUMBER 32S-2527 F.O BOX 387 "H it is justified to criticize the multiplication of the surfeit of vagabond dollars, the per- haps even larger amounts of money created via the mone- tary fund would contribute even less toward stabilizing the inter- national monetary system. "Tbe problem of the Ameri- can balance-of-payments deficit and the need to absorb the pre- viously mentioned disruptive dollar surplus still remain." LUDWIG ERHARD New map on planet New York Times Service NEW YORK The first de- tailed map of the entire globe of another planet has been com- pleted by cartographers work- ing with a mosaic of photo- graphs of Mars taken by the Mariner 9 spacecraft Since a good map is an im- portant in discovery, a per- spective of that which is known and a perception of that which may be worth knowing, the new topographic map of Mars is considered a milestone in the exploration of the solar system, snows ALL The map- which VMS made available to Uie New York Times, shows lie neighboring planet in ail its newly discov- ered variely the deep grooves radiating from while polar caps; the great expanses of wind- Mown plains, the vast equator- ial chasm, the cratercd lands, the faults, cracks, meandering channels and towing volcanic peaks. The United States Geological Survey's centre o! astro-geol- ogy in Flagstaff, Ariz., produc- ed Ox: map photographs processed by the jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena. Calif. The laboratory, operated by California Institute of Technol- ogy for the National Aeronaut- ics and Space administration, directed the Mariner mission. The map shows the entire roartian surface in a Mercator projection at a scale of one to produced Mars 25 million at the equator, an inch equaling about 400 miles, and in two special polar projec- tions. Other maps are being prepared for an even more de- tailed study of the planet. GRAFFIC ILLUSTRATION' Although described as prelim- inary- the map is a graphic illus- tration of how far man's know- ledge of Mars has advanced since Galileo first studied the planet through his crude tele- scope, since Giovanni Schiatia- relli "discovered" thread canals on Mars in or.H since Percival Lowell affirmed at tfe turn of the canals were the work of crea- ture? alike us in spirit, though not in Until Mariner reached Mars a year ago, man's view of JtaJ planet remained unclear. At its closest approach Mars is about 35 million miles away, and the best telescopes 51 is j possible to sec little more of i's surface than one can see of 1ho moon with IJw unaided Previous maps, drawn fmm these earth based inslrHmrrte. represented more a visim of Mars than tlic reality of ftself. These mams were a sha- dowy blur of light and riarlt revealing onlj tibc broad vari- ations in the planet's aHxvto. the light reflectivity of its sur- face features, and many of them, like Lowell's tend- ed to exist only in the eye of the beholder. ily arrangement. When he saw it was wrong, he then met my mother and married her out of real love.'' Love, it seems, if rather peculiarly, was a motivating factor behcid many of Ara- bia's old polygamist unions. A man married one woman, found her incompatible, tried again, then again to find the lady of his dreams. Often, more's the pity, the man came up with zero four times trying. But if he did succeed in finding one jewel, he often made a special niche for her, against Koran and created the kind of peer rivalry which has led to new women's fights and eld order changes. Says Altaf Essa: "Women here are not so progressive yet as they are in America. But we are no longer walk- ing behind our men, either. As for marriage, the young Kuwaiti girls in particular believe it should be a trust and bind between two people and only two people. Fm not married yet myself but I know I never could share any man with another woman. Not even if I loved him like crazy." One bath a month Yet the past has not been completely wiped out. Just as they may still take baths only once a month because of the historic fear of water short- age, some older generation Moslems hold on to all tradi- tions. Older Kuwaiti women may have sons or daughters study- ing at Yale, but they never go to the with- out their "abaya" So traditional are some Moslems here, actually, that whatever polygamy that ling- ers may be necessary. Bendouin women often be- lieve that going to bed with their husbands every night is an inhuman disgrace, thus they may urge their husbands to branch out. Agrees one woman vistor to this country: "I never be- lieved in polygamy until I got a load of a desert sheep- herder. Was he something downwind. Right or wrong, it would take at leasi four women to survive that fel- low." (Newspaper Enterprise Assn.) DON'T UNDERSELL YOURSELF OUR REPUTATION AND EXPERIENCE IS YOUR GUARANTEE THAT WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK WE WILL GET YOU THE TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR ANTIQUES AND COLLECTABILIA JUAL AUCTION SERVICES Box 1545 Phono 604-428-2596 CRESTON, B.C. 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