Strange Middle Eastern Products

Thembi of What Would Thembi Do? blog went to the Persian Gulf (specifically Doha, Qatar) and blogged about it - one of the interesting things she found and photographed was this shelf of dubious products in a store the Old Souq Waqif.

Buttock Enlarging cream? Virginity Soap? Someone got a sense of humor there ... Link


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Actually, in Islam there is no rule stating that you cannot combine meat and dairy. It is true there are similarities between "kosher" and "halal", but they are not the same thing. Each has different rules, with some overlap or similarities, obviously for instance forbidding pork and observing certain rules when slaughtering animals.
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The commentator on the cheeseteak is a Muslim and a Philadelphian so she meant haram in both senses!

You may also like to know that this store also sold herbs and spices that had the same goals as these products, but they just didnt make for much of a photo...
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I did not know about the breast-enlarging creams (although I'm not surprised, given the obsession in the USA) --- but I don't get out much.

The buttock-enlarging cream plays on the same sort of obsession, of course. If one reads an unexpurgated copy of Arabian Nights stories, there are lengthy descriptions of the enormous & well-rounded bum-cakes of attractive characters, both female and male.

As for the cheesesteak... I'm vegetarian for medical reasons, so I wouldn't really know good from bad. But one commentator (on the site, not on Neatorama) correctly pointed out that the best name for the cheesesteak pictured would be "haram." Translated as "forbidden," it's basically the same as "trayf" or "not kosher," and for the same reason: it combines meat & dairy in the same meal. (Of course, the commentator may also have been remarking on its unappetizing appearance. I'm not sure.) In my college days, I assisted a LOT of Somalian students with their English, and quite a few of them "discovered" the Philly cheesesteak experience and loved it! I guess they weren't very observant of the "halal" (kosher) laws, or simply hadn't been told. They all drew the line at eating pork, though.
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