Unveiling the mask: Representation of women on Dubai (United Arab Emirates) television
Author: Lootah-Hessah-Abdullah Date: 1999 Institution: Ohio-University (0167) Subject:Religion Language: English
Abstract: This research explores the various level of meanings embedded in the images represented of women, television anchors in particular, on Dubai (UAE) TV. Approaches taken to decipher these images are grounded in the methodologies of interpretations, especially those coming from Arab/Islamic traditions. Arab/Islamic interpretation, (Ibn Arabi in particular), negotiates various aspects of concern to this research. This approach negotiates, or rather negates, the move used by most current Arab scholars to utilize Western methodological approaches in the Arab regions and argues that every tradition has its own ways of understanding and articulation of meanings. Globalization, centrality of vision, the concept of “simulacra” (Baudriallard), and how they cross all boundaries of cultures and places are addressed in this research, especially as they are related to the construction of images of women in modern media institutions. The feminine position in Islam and how it is understood and articulated, especially in the tradition of intellectual Islam, is a primary focus in this research. Vision centrality in the modern West is addressed in this research in order to negotiate how the issue of "veiling" is understood within this centrality. Colonialism and its new, more sophisticated outcome, neo-colonialism, are some of the elements addressed in this research in order to understand how modern mass media institutions in the Arab regions, taking the West as their model and point of reference, construct images of women as well as articulating their relationships to Arab cultures. The finding of this research reveals that images of women on Dubai TV are loaded with western, rather than Arab/Islamic, codes. The female body on Dubai TV is treated as material, objectified, and presented as a site of gaze.