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Mideast Smoking
07/19/2010
ABC
AP0719102330-7
AP-APTN-2330: Mideast Smoking Monday, 19 July 2010 STORY:Mideast Smoking- REPLAY Gaza's Hamas rulers ban women from smoking water pipes in cafes LENGTH: 02:56 FIRST RUN: 1130 RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only TYPE: Arabic/Natsound SOURCE: AP TELEVISION STORY NUMBER: 651729 DATELINE: Various - 18/19 July 2010 LENGTH: 02:56 AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY SHOTLIST Gaza City, Gaza Strip - 18 July 2010 1. Various back shots of woman smoking water pipe at cafe 2. Various of man and woman smoking a water pipe at a cafe 3. Close up of ceramic tobacco bowl on water pipe 4. Various of man smoking water pipe 5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ashraf, No surname given, Gaza resident: "For women, if they want to smoke the water pipe it's free and has absolute freedom, but it should not be the government or any other party to ban the water pipe. This is a personal freedom and water pipe is the same as tobacco. If they want to ban it, then cigarettes must be banned as well. I'm not for this decision." 6. Cafe worker arranging water pipes on table 7. Cafe worker preparing water pipes Gaza City, Gaza Strip - 19 July 2010 8. Establishing shot of Hamas police spokesman Ayman Batneeji 9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ayman Batneeji, Hamas police spokesman: "The government's recent decision to bar women from smoking water pipes on the Gaza beach, particularly in open spaces, is due to the fact it is incompatible with the inherited habits of the Palestinian people and also meant to prevent the transfer of this habit onto future generations and children." Ramallah, West Bank - 19 July 2010 10. Sign reading 'Centre for Defence of Liberties & Civil Rights, 'Hurryyat" 11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Helmi Araj, Executive Director of "Hurryyat" Centre for Defence of Liberties & Civil Rights: "This is a dangerous decision, it is an encroachment on public freedoms, an encroachment on Palestinian citizens and particularly on Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip. This is against the Palestinian law and international human rights laws. This step by the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip is not the first step. Prior to this, a series of procedures and arbitrary decisions have been taken by the Hamas government; like imposing veils on schoolgirls in the Gaza Strip." 12. Araj at table STORYLINE Gaza's Hamas rulers have banned women from smoking water pipes in cafes, sending plainclothes agents through popular beachside spots on Sunday to enforce the edict. Already under pressure to cover up and even barred from riding motorbikes, some of Gaza's women are grumbling at the new decree. "Everything forbidden becomes desirable," said one defiant 29-year-old who refused to go on camera. The water pipe restrictions are the latest move by the Islamic militant group to gradually enforce a strict Muslim life code on Gazans - many of whom are conservative Muslims themselves and not entirely opposed. But the secular minority feels the crunch. Many residents pile into beach cafes in the evenings to puff on water pipes well into the early hours of the morning. Islamic law does not ban women from smoking the traditional tobacco-infused pipes, but many consider it a cultural taboo. Hamas, which overran the territory three years ago, frequently mixes its strict interpretation of Islamic law with conservative Gaza tradition. Over the weekend, the two dovetailed to produce the smoking ban. Many residents are deeply sensitive to any effort by Hamas to infringe on leisure activities in the territory, which already are limited. "This is a personal freedom and water pipe is the same as tobacco. If they want to ban it, then cigarettes must be banned as well. I'm not for this decision," said Gaza resident and smoker Ashraf. A three-year-long blockade by Israel and Egypt has depressed the economy, limiting options in entertainment and practically every other facet of life available to Gaza's 1.5 (m) million people. But Hamas police spokesman Ayman Batneiji claimed the recent ban "is incompatible with the inherited habits of the Palestinian people and also meant to prevent the transfer of this habit onto future generations and children." However, some women were seen smoking hookahs on Sunday, despite the ban. Helmi Araj, Executive Director of "Hurryyat" Centre for Defence of Liberties & Civil Rights, called the ban "a dangerous decision" and "an encroachment on public freedoms." "This is against the Palestinian law and international human rights laws," he said from his office in the West Bank town of Ramallah. But many in Gaza see the water pipe as inappropriate for women because of its sexual connotation and because it looks crass to smoke, said Palestinian anthropologist Ali Qleibo. It's a sentiment shared in conservative Saudi Arabia, where both sexes are banned from smoking hookahs. It's frowned upon in Egypt, too, although women frequently smoke in trendy restaurants out of view of the general public. Women in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan openly smoke water pipes. Gaza's Hamas rulers have backed down in the past when they sense resistance to its harsh rules. A ban on men working in ladies hair salons was never enforced, and a demand that female lawyers cover their hair before they enter courtrooms was quietly rescinded. But Hamas has successfully banned women from riding motorbikes. Last year the group swooped down on moonshiners, banned foreigners from bringing alcohol into Gaza and ordered shopkeepers to take down scantly clad mannequins. Plainclothes officers frequently stop couples walking in the streets, demanding to see marriage licenses. Some residents say they have been interrogated, even beaten, on suspicion they are gay or had extramarital sex. Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: infoaparchive.com (ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. APTN APEX 07-19-10 1940EDT
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