Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mauritania's 'wife-fattening' farm

Reading this recent BBC story reminded me of the observations of my old Arabic teacher during his sojourn in Mauritania, learning classical Arabic. He was amazed at what constituted beauty in Mauritanian culture as compared to well-established Western norms - an aesthetic relativity of sorts.
Obesity is so revered among Mauritania's white Moor Arab population that the young girls are sometimes force-fed to obtain a weight the government has described as "life-threatening".

A generation ago, over a third of women in the country were force-fed as children - Mauritania is one of the few African countries where, on average, girls receive more food than boys.

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