29 Sep, '06


Lust, originally uploaded by malyousif.

I shot this in Dubai during the Gitex ’98 exhibition and I still love it. Look at the expression of the guy at the back. For the guy’s point of view, click here.

Happy Friday!

Again, sorry for not posting something “fresh” as my camera is still in the shop. Which is really frustrating me.

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Comments (86)

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  1. Sunrunner says:

    What a fabulous shot Mahmood. I love the way the guy in the back is, though visible, slightly out of focus, faded. Lost.

    Do women in Dubai walk really around in shirts like that in public? How, when did that come to pass? And if they do, what an amazing sight it must be, to see women like her sharing public space with women who are completely covered. There is a link from my blog to an amazing series of photos shot in Tehran which depicts some of the tension between women in this regard.

  2. Esra'a says:

    Do women in Dubai walk really around in shirts like that in public? How, when did that come to pass? And if they do, what an amazing sight it must be, to see women like her sharing public space with women who are completely covered.

    Yes, in fact I don’t see a lot of women who are covered in Dubai unless I’m in an obviously more conservative area. It’s the same with women in Bahrain. I have a shot of a woman wearing very revealing clothes window-shopping next to a woman completely covered with a Burkka.

    I recommend you read this article if you’re like to understand the usage of the abaya in the Gulf –

  3. M says:

    Has Frances seen this photo? Nice to know the old ticker is still going strong.

  4. Sunrunner says:

    In tank tops, really?

    Esra, I lived in KSA in the 90s, but I never went to Dubai. And I am well aware of the politics of abaya fashion (and the throw it over pajamas to go to the supermarket trick, as well). In fact, many western women made a political statement by going out and buying the cheapest and least attractive abaya they could find (I chose the coolest, which for me was one made of silk and basically had no sleeves – very airy, and very unfashionable!).

    What struck me about the photo of the woman in Dubai was the fact that she is wearing a TANK TOP, ie, no sleeves, which even in places like Jordan, Egypt, Syria has become much more rare (if at all anymore except at western resorts?), though I remember traveling in those countries in the late 70s and early 80s when women (who could) wore pretty much what they wanted, and such an outfit was not uncommon.

    So, when did it become “allowable” for women to go sleeveless, sans abaya, in Dubai?

  5. Johnster says:

    Interestingly, bahrain used to be far more liberal in what women could wear. A young Bahraini female colleague of mine tells me that he aunts all used to wear mini skirts! In fact, this colleague started to wear the hejab and her parents were quite shocked!

    Anyway Mahmood, lovely photo – the combination of a piercing, a tasteful tatoo and a toned body has always been a winner for me!

  6. Esra'a says:

    A lot of women wear tank tops or sleeveless dresses and you will especially see them in malls, etc. A lot of women also wear revealing clothes in public beaches but that depends on where you choose to go. You really have to be smart about what you wear and where you should wear it. I personally would never walk around in a tank top in my little village which is conservative, but when I go to large malls it’s normal for me (and many other women) to walk around freely in such clothes.

    Wear sleeveless shirts in Bahrain at your own risk, that’s my theory. But the answer is yes, it’s allowed, and you will see them often depending on your hang-out places.

  7. Ibn says:

    So, when did it become “allowable” for women to go sleeveless, sans abaya, in Dubai?

    *sigh* Its always been like that, Sunrunner. You dont become top tourist and capitalist business hub of the Near East by instituting ridiculous dress codes.

    The difference between Tehran/KSA and Dubai, is like the difference between a desert cactus stem and a newborn’s ass.


  8. Sunrunner says:

    Good for Dubai! Tehran was like that up til 1979. I saw mini-skirts pretty routinely there in the mid-70s. Though, I never saw sleeveless (just very very short sleeves) on the street. And bikinis at the Caspian sea right along with women wading into the water in chadors.

    I went to Bahrain twice in the 90s and never saw sleeveless, though admitedly I wasn’t there that long either time and probably didn’t know the best places to hang out being a dumb tourist and all.

    But you have to admit that most of the images that one gets of Dubai is of really over the top architecture, so I never thought about what people actually wear!

    Esra’a — I know what you mean by dressing smart. Whenever I am in the middle east I make a point (as a very fair american) to dress very conservatively, and will not hesitate to don a full hijab if it will make my life easier.

  9. can we talk now says:

    yes, you have to dress smart in Bahrain. That means you dress differently in the souq from the beach from the mall to a party.
    We wore short skirts when we were teenagers and our aunts did it as well. I have pics of my mum in sleeveless. she wears an abaya now, but not everywhere. By the way what is the deal with sleeveless? are arms really such a turn-on to men?

    I own abayas but i wear them when someone dies(!) Otherwise to the corner supermarket I’ll wear sleeveless, no problem. Even tho’ they don’t suit. if it’s hot, it’s hot..what can you do??
    the university, however, is another world. People talk about a fashion show, it is a joke. the only fashion there is the arty make-up hte covered-up girls wear, eye shadow and glossy lipstick ready to go to a party. but the clothes? sooo conservative.. so uniform-like, it is depressing, hardly any individuality..
    A friend of mine has daughters who are not covered but quite conservative, but are being peer-pressured to wear an abaya. the religious girls don’t talk to them and give them looks and sometinmes pass them booklets about the hijab. So much that they feel uncomfortable even though their clothes are not provocative and just look normal in the rest of the world.
    Ohter than thos who truly believe in th ehijab, some girls cover up because of 1) peer pressure, 2) an exhausted wardrobe due to poverty, 3) family pressure, 4) worry about reputation, 5) looking for a husband and 6) something to hide behind. etc. etc.
    But if you want to dress in sleeveless, or whatever, that is ok. thank god!! We are not KSA or Iran.
    The day they start telling us what to wear is the day I leave the country. Sadly, I am in the minority..

    Mahmood, what were you doing at the exhibition? did you not look suspicious jumping back and forth taking photos? did you gat a chance to see the exhibits?

  10. Esra'a says:

    By the way what is the deal with sleeveless? are arms really such a turn-on to men?

    Why does this have to be about men?

    Women can wear whatever makes them comfortable, so long as it’s not slutty. Sleeveless is not slutty. In a country like Bahrain where it’s hot enough to feel your skin melt off, we should be able to wear sleeveless shirts wherever it is appropriate to do so.

    This is the message it sends: We are burning in this scorching weather and would like to get some air. Don’t like it? Kindly fuck off.

    This is the message it does not send: Look at me, men! Hit on me!

    Unless you make it obvious that the latter is what you’re looking for.

    Some men will harrass you no matter what you wear. There are heaps of sore losers who are too bored with their witless existences, and making you feel uncomfortable is what they wake up to do every morning. Some women enjoy it. Most don’t. Men shouldn’t get the idea that we exist merely to amuse them.

    If I am wearing a sleeveless shirt in a place that’s appropriate I expect to be left alone. And if someone decides to say something ill-mannered I have no problem scratching their car to make up for it. I’ve done it before and I will certainly do it again when given the chance.

  11. H says:

    I guess it not really wanting to dress less conservatively, but to maintain your right to wear what ever you like.

  12. mahmood says:

    Mahmood, what were you doing at the exhibition? did you not look suspicious jumping back and forth taking photos? did you gat a chance to see the exhibits?

    We were exhibiting, Avid equipment and I was manning the stand. I just bought a new video camera (the Sony PC1E I think) and was testing it shooting everything in sight, and making sure that it is obvious so if someone objects, I remove their shot. Fortunately no one did, and every one was aware of them being shot.

    This particular lady was passing from right-to-left and I was in the middle. Quite a fortunate position I think, as I just followed her through with the good pan.

  13. mahmood says:

    Esra’a I’m with you. But in this community, if you dress provocatively, expect some stares (of disgust if the culprit is guinessed, or lust if it is a man – regardless of age)

    I’ve seen those stares when I’m walking in a mall with one of my daughters, and they dress conservatively for this area, that I want to walk up to the culprit and punch their lights out. Normally a stare back from me would send them back to their rock.

    I must admit that on the other hand if I see a gorgeous woman I do stare, but then I catch myself and slap myself mentally and walk on! I’m only human, and I’m not dead 🙂

  14. can we talk now says:

    “Why does this have to be about men?

    Women can wear whatever makes them comfortable, so long as it’s not slutty”

    1) it doesn’t have to be about men. they just happen to be the loudest ao far and sadly some of them can see an advantage to defanging half of the world’s population and eliminating a lot of competition, improving their chances of success. sign of insecurity, if you ask me.

    2) the problem is this. If you talk to even some of the covered up women, the will agree with your statement. the problem is in the definition of “slutty”. For example, when you talk to people about th euniversity and they use words words like “slutty” and “fashion” and “immoral”, etc, their lines are so in a different place than yours. And who is to say what is slutty anyway? to some people, wearing make-up is slutty. to some, showing your knees is slutty, to some showing your boobs is slutty, and to a few others showing your face is slutty.
    and what about guys, what is a slutty guy? does he do his eyebrows? wear tight pants? wear shorts? wear a see-through thobe? leer and ogle? drink alcohol? shave his beard? talk to women? not pray? use bad language? do drugs? have affairs? or marry more than one wife?
    That is why people should not be told what to wear or how to live by someone else’s standards, they have brains and they should decide what is proper for them by themselves.
    If people had more positive constructive fun things to do, and they were living comfortably, they would probably have less time to worry about what others were wearing
    except for taking a moment to quietly appreciate when someone stunningly beautiful passes by, female or male…

  15. milter says:

    What a great shot!

    Now, this photo doesn’t say anything about her religion, but I assume she’s a Muslim.

    I’m normally very anti-religious, but a lady like that could make me subscribe to Islam right on the spot (though my wife would probably object very hard).

    Like you can appreciate the beauty of a painting or a scenery, I think you should also be able to appreciate the sight of a beautiful women and it shouldn’t automatically be labeled “male chauvinism”. I’ve been told that some very old men instinctively follow beautiful women with their eyes, allthough they don’t quite know why.

    And, somehow, I think women feel the same way about men.

  16. Dana says:

    sorry to dissapoint you milter, but she is probably Hindu. She looks indian to me.

  17. milter says:


    To be honest, I was a bit in doubt 😉

    Well, if she is a Hindu, I would be prepared to convert to Hinduism.

    On the other hand, do you know if they have the same problems with a non-Hindu man marrying a Hindu women, like in Islam?

  18. Dana says:

    well most of my Hindu friends usually have problems marrying other Hindus. Because it is not only about being Hindu, it’s much more specific than that. Some follow the caste system more strictly than others. One of my friends can only marry someone with the same last name as hers as long they are not related directly. I guess marrying a non-Hindu would be a bit problematic!

    I do not claim to know anything about the Hindu culture, all my information came from observing my friends, so anyone can feel free to correct me 🙂

  19. milter says:


    I’m afraid you are just confirming my suspicion 🙁

    I’ve come to the conclusion that living by the rules of any religion, regardless of how “peaceful and respectful of others” it calls itself, in the end it invariably means limiting one’s choises.

    Well, she’d probably consider me a dirty, old man anyway, so I guess I’ll have to be content with just dreaming.

  20. can we talk now says:

    wouldn’t it be great if anyone could be with anyone, and the only criteria was our feelings and our prejudgements..
    would the world be a better place? or would we have chaos??

    aah to dream..

  21. Anonymous says:

    If this woman was wearing a sary , I doubt anyone would notice her.

  22. Sadek says:

    More power to you.
    And God created beauty to be admired. As for the young lady, she’s good looking……full stop, and about her being Indian, or Arab or European should be a matter of indifference.

  23. Esra'a says:

    Precisely, Sadek. I don’t think it matters who she is. Her physical look doesn’t represent Islam, Arabs, Hindus, Indians, whatever she is. It’s a face which many people find attractive, it would make no sense to analyze the identity behind it at first stare. God didn’t create her based on what or who she is, because her identity could easily change anyways.

  24. MOONDOG says:

    i traveled around this world twice…ME women are the most BEAUTIFUL in the world….no wonder ME men cover them up…their beuty would TEMPT an ANGEL

  25. billT says:

    I have a good friend who married a guy 15 years younger than her. Funny thing is that when she catches me looking at a young woman she says (seriously) I’m thinking abour robbing the cradle.

    Do middle eastern women have the same double standard about age?

  26. Ibn says:

    Precisely, Sadek. I don’t think it matters who she is. Her physical look doesn’t represent Islam, Arabs, Hindus, Indians, whatever she is.

    The truth is, she could be Gulf Arab, Persian, or Indian. (ethnically). There has been enough intermingling for any of those to be possible. If I had to bet, I would personally say Indian…

    …why doesnt someone fly over there and ask her? ….. 🙂


  27. mahmood says:

    My my… let me put everyone’s mind at rest:

    The young lady is Lebanese. I chatted with her briefly at the stand but didn’t (or can’t) remember her name. Obviously I can’t say what religion she is, nor do I particularly care.

    The lady is gorgeous, top to bottom. Shall I see if I can fish the video out and put up a vlog in her honour?

  28. Esra'a says:

    Do you think she would actually approve of that?

  29. Ibn says:

    Uh..mahmood! Of course you must fish up that Vlog! ..uhh…. we would want to…uhhh…you know…..see the Gitex convention…and uhh….we want to see all the new electronics being represented at her stand!…yeah…

    😉 hehehhe


  30. Dana says:

    i would personally be somewhat disturbed if a pic of mine was on a blog somewhere on the internet under the headline of LUST with hundreds of strangers “admiring” me without my consent.

    So i think a Vlog would be be pushing it.

  31. Anonymous says:

    lol, it seems that you got alotta fans on this picture, Mahmood.

    hehe .. funny comments

  32. Esra'a says:

    “admiring” me without my consent.

    There’s something hilarious about this line.

  33. Anonymous says:

    “i’m sorry ms. may i admire you? no? oh okay”

  34. Ibn says:

    “i’m sorry ms. may i admire you? no? oh okay”

    LOL! 🙂 Ahh, women…


  35. Hehehehe says:

    Huh? What’s all this about short sleeves? I thought he was just admiring her tattoo?

  36. jasra jedi says:

    Ibn ..

    If men in the Middle east knew how to really admire a woman, then no problem with the vlog. Unfortunately, sexuality and sensuality are topics that our boys have a hard time with generally. You are either a ‘ho or the virgin mary in our part of the world ..

  37. Ash says:

    Sluttiness is in the eye and mind of the beholder. Traditional Amazon Indian women spend their lives wearing little more than a beaded string about their waists but no one in their right mind could describe them as “slutty”. Conversely, last year I heard a British journalist in Riyadh describe travelling by car with two Saudi men, one of whom pointed to a woman pedestrian entirely covered by voluminous black robes. The guy started ranting about how she was walking “provocatively” and was clearly a disgusting slut. Go figure! Needless to say, the British journalist was staggered that a woman who closely resembled a marquee tent could be considered to be sexually provocative.

    Anyways … the woman in the photograph is beautiful, and the world is mad.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how you can go around taking pictures of women and posting them with sleazy comments here and on flickr. Doesn’t your wife mind? What will your kids say? Dad’s a perv?

  39. mahmood says:

    No, on both counts.

    Obviously you are though, as your mind singly and directly went to the pervy side of things, rather than just appreciate beauty.

  40. Dana says:

    well with all due respect Mahmood, but the word Lust does not imply appreciating beauty solely, according to good old Mr. Webster.

  41. mahmood says:

    Dana, no disrespect to you or the lady in the picutre; but would you please look at the gentleman in the picture and tell me what you think? Again, this is no disrespect to the gentleman either, but that is what it says to me, hence the title. The young lady in this context is insignificant but the emotion portrayed is.

  42. Dana says:

    I guess i got carried away and you do have a point. I think putting myself in her shoes I would not like it if my image was online under a suggestive headline. Just sayin.

  43. tooners says:

    billT – from my own personal experience, a lot of ppl DO have probs w/ women marrying younger men here in the ME. my hubby is younger than me and i have only found one other couple that has done the same, and he’s married to a foreigner as well.

    in most cases you find women marrying men that are 20 some years older than them… and i hate to say it, but it’s usually for money. maybe not in all cases, but from what i’ve seen, it is.

    and i will add, that it does bring up some interesting conversations… most girls/women, and men included, don’t say a lot to me about it, but they talk about it behind my back or make stupid little remards here and there to me. personally, i wanna tell them to get w/ the program! 😉 there’s nothing wrong w/ robbing the cradle!! 😉 😉 tell your friend to try it, she might like it… hehehe

  44. Esra'a says:

    tell your friend to try it, she might like it… hehehe

    Haha. It’s like walking in Cher’s footsteps.

  45. johnster says:

    Tooners, take heart, i have some friends, she is 33 he’s 25 and they started dating when he was 23.

    Nope, the real problem is if your girlfriend is a stunning 5’10 and you’re shorter!

  46. tooners says:

    Esra…. Cher??? maybe like 15 years ago… i think she pioneered it – glory be to cher! 😉

  47. can we talk now says:


    “but would you please look at the gentleman in the picture and tell me what you think?”

    He probably wouldn’t be jumping up and down for joy right about now either, with his picture there!!! couldn’t he sue?

    Even worse for his wife, if he’s got one!! not for much longer, probably..

  48. Sadek says:

    “Even worse for his wife, if he’s got one!! not for much longer, probably.. ”
    Oh please, even my wife would have no problem if I had that stare looking at this attractive young lady. As I said, beauty is to be admired. Don’t kid yourself, we are all wired that way. Anyway, how many of us men have not stared with lust, to paraphrase ex-US President Carter (in his case it was in his heart) – and he was RELIGIOUS.

  49. mahmood says:

    tooners, you make it sound like you’re 15 years older that your husband which I know it’s not true, probably a couple of months, if not days!

    can we talk now purleeeze! that marriage wouldn’t be worth having if something like this would destroy it. And women do have the same lustful feelings too, or haven’t you seen a woman drooling on the likes of Johnny Depp, George Clooney (or Mahmood Al-Yousif? please? pretty please?! :lol:) The essence of it is that it is a normal human trait, it turns ugly though when obsession kicks in and that is a no no.

  50. Ibn says:

    Jasra Jedi,

    Unfortunately, sexuality and sensuality are topics that our boys have a hard time with generally. You are either a ‘ho or the virgin mary in our part of the world ..

    JJ, being an Arab myself, I am intimately familiar with the polarized attitude some Arab males have of their female counterparts.

    But I think the solution out of it is to simply say, “so what?”

    I remember being at a sheesha bar a couple months back with some friends. There was a belly dancer who would come out and teasingly shake-her-booty (and it was a nice booty!) to ear drum piercing music amid the cloudy atmosphere of all the sheesha smoke… sometimes she would also go to random tables and pull an unsuspecting victim’s arm (usually male) to come and dance with her, much to the victims’ polite hand-shaking reluctance, his friends utter laughter and pushing him out to dance, and much to the crowds’ amusement at the entire affair. (Yes, I was a “victim” once too… 🙂 )

    And it was on one such nights that one of our Arab-female friends commented saying “I wish I could do that”. I said why dont you take classes? She said “oh I already know how to bellydance! But if I did, all those guys would think im a ho.”

    I said something to the effect that its too bad those same people who are on their knees clapping and having a blast can stop you from having a good time.

    Now I dont know if that got to her. I hope it did. All I know is that 2 hours later practically everyone was on the dance floor tearing it up! The beer/sheesha concoctions probably helped.

    Maybe thats the solution to Midde-Eastern freedom?…Double Apple Sheeshas?…


  51. mahmood says:

    Either that or just get laid, that will release a LOT of pent up fury and the lot of them will just ‘get with the program’ as someone succinctly put it above!

    At the moment you can SEE the tension between any male and female who are not used to talking to each other, being strangers etc etc. That needs to be removed and avenues made for people to just talk to each other without automatically thinking of sex or sexual contexts all the time.

    Of course to aid these platonic relationships, we have higher education institutes in Bahrain actively segregating the sexes, and ensuring that women are portrayed as simple chattels by requiring them to acquiesce to the roles designed for them by society. Unfortunately, and from what I have seen and heard, it is these young women themselves who police and require this treatment.

  52. tooners says:


    days… nah…. years 🙂 but not by 15…. close, but no enchilada! 😉 thanks for the nice compliment though! 🙂

  53. Anonymous says:

    Ibn, give me the name of the bar fast. Drink + Shisa + Belly Dancer = Heaven

  54. can we talk now says:

    “Unfortunately, and from what I have seen and heard, it is these young women themselves who police and require this treatment.”

    I remember reading on a student website a girl (probably from a village) who had bumped into her male cousin in the library on campus and he came over to say hello, just a two minute conversation. well, one of her friends came over and said you sholdn’t talk to him, you will ruin your reputation. she said but he’s my cousin. to which the other girl responded “but everybody else doesn’t know that..”
    i was so shocked.
    and worse, some of the people who responded agreed.
    I felt like there’s a parallel world that i know nothing about..

  55. mahmood says:

    Parallel world indeed… From your experience though, just looking at this situation from 5 years ago and now, where do you think this is heading? Better or worse? And why?

  56. can we talk now says:

    I think that as the villages and the cities get more intertwined, things are becoming more conservative on the surface, but it is mostly superficial. The most liberal two generations however were definitely the ones who went abroad for university. The first one was intellectual, the second over-political, and not always open-minded.

    Our country was such a great place to belong to, and if we had not had such a long break between parliaments, we would be in such a better place now. both politically and socially.

    Now we have too many people who don’t know and think that they know.. and think their truth is the truth. and the danger is always worse when religion comes into it because enter the belief that they must be your shephard. never mind whethre you want to be led..

    I think about my kids and I don’t know if this will be a good place for them to be.. but i don’t want to emigrate ..i love this place

  57. Ex UoB student says:

    well, one of her friends came over and said you sholdn’t talk to him, you will ruin your reputation.

    Happens all the time in local universities in Bahrain (most notably UoB). It’s rather ironic that whilst people are engaging in a bloody fight for equality in this part of the world, there are women who are strongly pro sex-segregation, special treatment of women, and “women-as-a-forbidden-fruit”.

    What’s even more ironic is that these so called “friends” that say “you shouldn’t talk to guys, they’ll ruin your reputation” are the ones spreading rumors and lies when you don’t “adhere to their teachings”.

  58. can we talk now says:

    “What’s even more ironic is that these so called “friends” that say “you shouldn’t talk to guys, they’ll ruin your reputation” are the ones spreading rumors and lies when you don’t “adhere to their teachings”. ”

    I think that is because the students who go to uni here (esp. in uob) rarely have the opportunity to meet with other people from other cultures to broaden their minds and they never get to realize that there is not only one truth and one way of doing things and one moral compass.

    I think that the more you interact with different people, the more you become open-minded. which is supposed to be part of the uni experience. it’s a shame but the ones who study in Bhrn are denied that advantage. until then, they think everybody different is wrong.

    you are ex-uob, what do you think? how did you find it? did you stay there long? how long ago was it?

  59. naseeha says:

    mahmood, you took her picture and posted it on the net without her permission? Man, that is soooo cheeky and ignorant.

  60. mahmood says:

    We seem to have had this discussion before. The law states that if a photograph is taken in public, it is not against the law. Otherwise, no newspaper or magazine or television station would be able to publish any pictures or video in their publications.

    Just imagine you taking a picture of a demonstration, would you go to each and every person in that demonstration which could number in the hundreds of thousands so that you can take their permission to publish?

    Of course not.

    If you are in a public domain, expect your picture to be taken and published, end of story. If you don’t want your picture to be taken even by chance, then stay at home or hang a sign around your neck telling people not to take your picture.

    Think, please, before you expose your own ignorance.

    And people, it’s a picture for goodness’ sake, calm down and enjoy it!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Oh great! I’m going to hang around Seef Mall this weekend and take loads of random picture of different women and post them all into a flickr set! =D

  62. You Is Stupid. says:

    Ok, pipe it down chachi. Seriously guys, this is pretty lame. If you are out in public, any picture taken of you (even in stealth) is fair game. Whether Mahmood or anyone else wants to post this on their website is their own business. He can tattoo the damn thing on his forehead for all I care. I cannot believe how ignorant some of these posts are. Commenting about the title of the post, the content, etc. You guys really need to chill out.

    Amazing some of the ignorance I see around here.

    “Ma’am, I was wondering about 2 things: (a) will you let me take you picture and (b) can I post it on my website oh please oh please oh pretty please”. Are you kidding me? You don’t want you picture to be taken? Wear a f-ing hijab or stay in your house all day. End of f-ing story.

    Hilarious. Cheeky and ignorant? What a tool.

  63. can we talk now says:

    If you are in a public domain, expect your picture to be taken and published, end of story. If you don’t want your picture to be taken even by chance, then stay at home or hang a sign around your neck telling people not to take your picture.

    But Mahmood, didn’t some guys get into trouble for taking photos of girls on their mobiles and posting them?

    We were talking about dressing appropriately in diferent places before. I mean if I were on a beach in a swimsuit or in a gym in scanty clothes and in weird positions that are perfectly natural in the place, presumably that would be ok. what if someone then takes photos and posts, then that’s ok? that can’t be right.

    why should you have to stay home to get some privacy? In some countries, recording a conversation without the other party’s permission is inadmissable evidence, isn’t this the same?

    I can understand photos of public figures and celebrities being fair game, because it is part of the package they have signed up for, but normal people should have the right to privacy without having to stay at home, I think..
    I don’t really know, and I’m not referring to the photo on top of this page, I’m just trying to understand where the lines are..

    as for the last post, I think it too rude to respond to

  64. Will says:

    I would say that privacy requires being alone or exclusive like private property. When you are in public you are in public and there isnt much difference between being looked at and being photographed.

    Here in a Canadian town of about 20000 I cant buy a loaf of bread without having my picture taken, probably several times.

    Privacy? What privacy? Didnt I just see the King of Bahrain’s back yard? Isnt the NSA listening to my phone calls and reading my mail?

  65. can we talk now says:


    Recent cases have demonstrated that if someone with a telephoto lens takes a picture of another person engaged in a private act (even from some distance), without their consent, the subsequent disclosure of the photograph may amount to a breach of confidence – in the same way as if that person had found or stolen a diary in which the act was recounted and proceeded to publish it.

    I found this at

    and it doesn’t really define what a private act is, it could be anything you consider to be private. and it doesn’t specify that you have to be in a private place, you could be doing something private (I don’t know, picking one’s nose could be private? no?) in a public place

    on tv yesterday, there was an episode of celebrity wifeswap and the guy who is a really famous tv presenter actually picked his nose and then ate his findings. today, they interviewed him on a ladies talk show and he said it has been scientifically proven that it i s very good for you. they kicked him off the show!

    Sorry, i know i was rambling but i can’t get his picture out of my head

    anyway, back to the topic. I’m not convinced you shouldn’t be allowed to buy your bread in peace and anonymity

    p.s. do you have snow on the ground everywhere yet?

  66. Wow says:

    you know, i started paying attention to your post for once. then you refer to celebrity wifeswap and all I heard was blah blah blah. Classic.

  67. can we talk now says:

    the only not so nice thing about blogs is that they allow some people the opportunity to be rude when talking to others and completely do away with good manners in a way that they would probably not do if they were having a face to face conversation with them.

  68. Will says:

    Apparently the CCTV salesmen, insurance companies, police associations and departments of homeland security have convinced enough people that we need to give up our privacy so we can buy our bread in peace. I dont expect any privacy when I am out in public but I would be pissed off if someone took a picture of me through a window of my house.

    Sorry, i know i was rambling but i can’t get his picture out of my head

    Thats why you should be carefull what you look at. I am much happier with recollections of the image above.

  69. Will says:

    My father said that you shouldnt judge something’s use by it’s abuse.

  70. can we talk now says:

    understood. I wouldn’t have thought that the Canadian dept of homeland security would be so visibly active. Is this just since 911?

    We don’t have strict security like that here, but people are still very conscious outdoors, and sometimes indoors, because of how they appear to other people. Here, the country is so small, and being an island the local population is not transitory (as opposed to th elarge expat population) so everywhere you go you bump into people who you know, or prople who know who you are even if you don’t know them, who your family is, their history, etc. It’s kind of like an unglamorous Hollywood!!

    That’s why it’s great to go abroad, one of the first things that hit me whenever I’m abroad, in a good way, is the anonymity.. we don’t get that at home, even if we’re not rich and famous. It feels great to be a nobody.

  71. billT says:

    Not the least bit worried about taking or haven my picture taken in public.

    Will. In the US under the new Real ID, the Division of Motor Vehicles will require applicants to show a photo ID, a proof of social security number, a document registering date of birth, and a proof of name and address. These documents, along with proof that applicants are in the U.S. legally, will then be verified through a system of linked databases.

    I’ll be 60 next year and all I was worried about before was being able to pass the vision test but now I will have to prove where I live and my memory is failing fast. 🙂 At least I can still see beauty. Thanks Mahmood.

    tooners do you think if I date a 45 year old I will be robbing the cradle? 35 sounds ok too. 🙂 25 might give me a headache or a heart attack though.

    Heres a picture of me with a 19 year old. My daughter of course while we were visiting my lawyers on the mainland after Steve the American threatened me.

    I think its nice to put a face to people whe talk to.


  72. mahmood says:

    can we talk now you raise several points, all of which have been addressed in various forums about privacy; let me just say that the “rules” generally are: if the intention of taking the picture is to extort, demean or otherwise injure that person, then that should not be allowed. If the picture is taken in a place where the establishment itself forbids it, then it should not be allowed. I know for certain that the management of the malls here (Seef specifically) do not allow it, hence you shouldn’t do it unless you get direct permission from them. If the beach you are going to or the hotel or the swimming pool disallows taking photographs, then don’t do it. If you need to use an unreasonable telephoto lens to take the picture of people, the in most probabilities that picture’s intent is malicious and it shouldn’t be allowed.

    If the picture is taken in a “free” public space however, it most definitely should be allowed. And even all of the above is open to other interpretations.

    My take on this is just be decent and reasonable, and if the subject tells you that they don’t want their picture being taken, respect that. If they tell you to delete that picture, then do so in their presence immediately. No questions asked. If the picture is published and you find that the subject objects, then remove it. You don’t have to do any of the above of course, but it is the decent thing to do.

    Now onto the Photographer’s Rights. Here is one of the hits I got from a simple google search:

    A Stand for Photographer’s Rights

    The right to take photographs in the United States is being challenged more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples have included photographing industrial plants, bridges, buildings, trains, and bus stations. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.

    Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well-being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has an established history of contributing to improvements in civil rights, curbing abusive child labor practices, and providing important information to crime investigators. Photography has not contributed to a decline in public safety or economic vitality in the United States. When people think back on the acts of domestic terrorism that have occurred over the last twenty years, none have depended on or even involved photography. Restrictions on photography would not have prevented any of these acts. Furthermore, the increase in people carrying small digital and cell phone cameras has resulted in the prevention of crimes and the apprehension of criminals.

    As the flyer states, there are not very many legal restrictions on what can be photographed when in public view. Most attempts at restricting photography are done by lower-level security and law enforcement officials acting way beyond their authority. Note that neither the Patriot Act nor the Homeland Security Act have any provisions that restrict photography. Similarly, some businesses have a history of abusing the rights of photographers under the guise of protecting their trade secrets. These claims are almost always meritless because entities are required to keep trade secrets from public view if they want to protect them.
    The Photographer’s Rights

    You can go to the page linked above to download a flyer explaining these rights in more details.

    The rule I adopt however is use your common sense and be aware of the environment you are taking pictures in, and any precedent set for that environment.

  73. mahmood says:

    billT: I finally got some pictures developed from our trip to the mainland. Thanks Steve the American, we really enjoyed the trip so please threaten me again.

    Bill you’re a cool dood man! And your daughter is very beautiful, if you want to borrow my shovel any time, just let me know, but you can get your own shotgun!

    1. develop pictures? what the hell is that?! 😆

    2. I’m glad you took that threat seriously.

    3. You’re right, the lady in the picture above is gorgeous, even though that her image has created this much controversy, nothing wipes out the simple truth that she is beautiful.

    4. An old Arab saying about the ideal marrying age and the difference between a man’s age and his wife goes like this: an ideal woman would be half the age of the man + 7 years. So that if you’re 60, your ideal wife should be 37; mine would be 29, my son’s would be 14 (he’s 13). I think it’s a brilliant rule that should be put in practice!

  74. Lujayn says:


    I’m curious, was this the threat that Steve made a while back when you mentioned where he works? Did he take it any further? I didnt realize it was so serious that it required you visit a lawyer!! Stay safe, whatever his threat.

  75. tooners says:

    billT – do i think 45 is too young for you??? NO!!! i think 25 could give you a heart attack and maybe get on your nerves a tad, but you’d prob have tons of fun! 😉 if you can handle it! 😉 😉 35 is another good age… actually you’re open to lots of ages… i think.

    age is a matter of mind… don’t ya think? i personally don’t see 60 as old. my mom is 73 and she’s hip and happy…. and i hope when i hit that age that i feel as young as she does. 🙂

  76. billT says:

    Thank you Mahmood although I consider myself more groovy than cool and extremely hot 🙂

    1.Guess I should remember that developing and printing are two different things.

    2.As a good liberal, communist, socialist and being a son of a bitch I had no choice but go see a couple of good friends one of which is a ACLU lawyer and the other practices constitutional law. After spending a day looking at your site and viewing his comments they said I had no problems and being Bush haters did I want them to call the Washington Post to start the ball rolling.

    3.Here in the US it took a bunch of feminist who suposedly manly men hated to really get the ball rolling so women could even semicompete in the work place. Hopefully you have women there who will be willing to take the even more dangerous chance and help women to advance.

    4.Is a nice saying. Do you think Francis will agree to you taking a second wife?


  77. billT says:

    Lujayn. Steve and I had numerous disagreements and when I found out who he worked for I apparently threatened his job for which I apologized since I wasn’t trying to get him in trouble just trying to let him know that his BS wasn’t walking with me. I had no choice but to take it seriously considering Steve was a contract employee of the US government who was logging on from a federal site during working hours and trashing not only Muslims but Americans who didn’t agree with his views. He could have been doing it with the approval of the government which might have involved homeland security.


  78. mahmood says:

    Is a nice saying. Do you think Francis will agree to you taking a second wife?

    Are you kidding, she is practically begging me to go off and marry someone else… just to leave her alone and give her the house! 8)

  79. Sadek says:

    This is turning quite surealistic. We were opining about the beauty of the young lady in the picture, and we now read about threats and lawyers 8) Ladies and Gentlemen – eaaassssy.

  80. M says:


    Steve had numerous disagreements with just about everyone; so what makes you so special that he felt threatened enough to “threaten” you? Just how did you find out where he worked and “apparently threatened his job for which I apologized”? Just curious.

  81. Ibn says:


    Steve had numerous disagreements with just about everyone; so what makes you so special that he felt threatened enough to “threaten” you?

    I seem to remember Steve The Confederate write an entire rant about how he would “f***ing find you, and you will regret it”, or something to that effect, during an exchange with BillT. It wasnt your everyday disagreement.


  82. M says:


    I remember it. Just wondering if billT is just generalizing about what he knew, when he knew it, and how he knew it cause by his own words he felt the need to consult lawyers as well as apologize for “threatening” Steve’s job.

  83. Will says:

    Sorry Mahmood, I know I am feeding the tangent.


    I was surprised that you took the whole thing seriously enough to leave an island paradise like yours to meet a lawyer. After re reading your last post I wonder how severe is the paranoia and witch hunting?

    I suggest a giant US flag and a picture of GW in the front yard, that ought to throw them. Maybe plant some garlic too. 😆

  84. billT says:

    M Like PostNuke, Word Press and most other content manangement systems allow you to see where someone logs on from. Steve loged on to one of my sites so I knew where he was comming from. I apologized because I wasnt trying to cause him to loose his job.

    Will. Garlic sounds good might keep the wild cats out of the yard. A picture of GW will probably bring the wild hogs to rut….


  85. M says:


    Well I guess that explains why Steve the American felt threatened and his strong reaction to your comments. As they say, there is always two sides to every arguement.

    PS: Remind me not to log into your site……again. :grinnod:

  86. Tahoun says:

    I love your style/taste.

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