Saudi Arabia/UAE/GCC: Not Quite the Taliban


I watched a documentary today called “Not Quite the Taliban.”  I think the title is misleading in regards to what the documentary is about but I did find myself immersed in this 1 hour and nine minute long documentary.

The documentary is produced by Fadi Hindash, a Jordanian national who was born and raised in Dubai.  His documentary addresses the paradoxes of Arab Muslims who either live in moderate Arab countries or have adapted some Western ways.  He questions the dichotomy between the cultures and customs of East and West.  He challenges why some Arab Muslims will take on or accept parts of Western culture and not others.  

Towards the end of the documentary, Hindash reveals that he is gay and talks about the implications this has on him, his family and life.  He talks about meeting with a traditional Saudi man who is in his 40’s, has more than one wife yet hired Hindash for sex.  Hindash, who admitted he felt nervous about the encounter, asked the Saudi for a drink, and was refused because that was against the religion.  This is one of the many examples the documentary reveals about the contradictions between culture and religion.

Since his completion of “Not Quite the Taliban” Hindash has made his home in the Netherlands and continues to work on other productions.  This link leads to an interview Hindash provided to Satellite Voices.

“Not Quite the Taliban” poses an interesting and different perspective on the ability to mix culture and religion with the impact of Western influence.  However, one personal observation is that while the film addresses the topic of homosexuality (among others), I do not agree that homosexuality is an influence of Western culture.  What do YOU think?


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