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July 12th, 2011
Contestant No. 2
Introduction

“An unexpectedly poignant documentary…. Suspenseful and thought-provoking”
–Jerusalem Post

“A heartbreaking doc…. What we see is a profoundly bitter confrontation
between the individual
and the community.”
–Globe and Mail

How far can one young woman push a conservative culture? Duah Fares is an Arab-Israeli teenager and member of the Druze minority, a religious sect living predominantly in Israel, Syria and Lebanon. She longs to be an international superstar like Angelina Jolie.

But when she changes her name to Angelina and sets her sights on the Miss Israel pageant, her tight-knit religious community balks. Miss Israel requires a bathing suit competition, but to appear that way in public would disgrace her family and even put her in danger from those who would rather see her dead than see the community dishonored.

Contestant No. 2 follows Fares and her family as they navigate the boundaries of traditional values while she tries to achieve her dream.

This episode of WIDE ANGLE is the U.S. television premiere of the theatrical film Lady Kul el Arab.

  • Tomasz

    Greetings:
    This is proof that there is no religion among the Jews in Israel. It is a purely secular state palying religion on TV, to curry favour with the faithful outside of Israel monopolizing on the sentiments of a Jewish return to Israel.
    The state of Israel as it is known today and as it was known during the ancient times when the Prophets of Allah; namely Judah, Jerimiah, Zakiriah, David, Solomon(Peace be upon all of them) was a rebelious state fraught with tribalism against the religious who had a country named Judah to the south of Israel.
    The Modern country of Israel is known to have been founded by seculars, namely theodor Herzl.

    As regards the Arabs, they are being trained to “break barriers” by the western media, regardless of whether those bariers are rightly placed.
    To put the idea in the form of a slogan, they are being taught that they “have the right” instead of must do what’s right.

  • Joe

    Although I appreciate Tomasz’s “implied” theme of religious tolerance, it appears that your logic and facts are a bit misguided. First, as we all know, tolerance includes the notion that one person cannot represent the thoughts, feelings, and intentions, for an entire nation. It appears that you are implying that Duah Fares is a mouthpiece for Israel cf. “This is proof that there is no religion among the Jews in Israel.” Without belaboring the point, this reference is self-discrediting.
    The Herzl argument, suffers from an equally discrediting part vs. whole logical fallacy. Moreover, the implied proposition that Palestine is a state proper- or by extension “should be” is equally absurd. Palestine was never a state- a casual historical reference to the Ottoman Empire would clear this factual error.
    I understand the issue of marginalization, viz. western media bias, and would encourage a thoughtful response. However, it must be noted that the Wideangle program has not yet been broadcast. As such, I withhold judgment until the facts surrounding Duah Fares are aired on Wednesday July 29th, 2009.
    In sum, let’s celebrate truth & tolerance with that “oh, too often” discarded & messy notion of “the facts.”

  • Bernice Greenberg

    How anyone expect the elusive quest for peace to be a reality in a world where ‘different’ means ‘hate’ and hate means violence and war against ‘different’?

  • Tomasz

    Greetings:
    What is this rubbish talk about differences and being different being what’s hated?

    It doesn’t matter if you are black African or White Anglo-saxon, what matters is if you are one of the people who promotes right and forbids wrong.

    Promoting what is right is not the same as promiting ‘rights’. You have the ‘right’ to curse and swear if you want, but is it right to curse and swear? No it is not.

    It is not a matter of hating differences, it is a matter of detesting what it wrong.
    It is a sin and a crime against humanity to raise children in a sexualized and materialistic culture and lifestyle.
    But they are being routinely taught that they ‘have the right’ instead of must do what’s right.

    As regards women, they are continuously defeating themselves. They talk about women being respected and treated with equity, while at the same time wearing mini skirts and shirts with necklines that leave nothing unknown. If feminists really want to practice feminism, then dress as Muslim women do. You will be showing the world that you do not want to be assessed based on looks but what ideas you have to convey.

    To tell you the truth about Israel and Palestine, it doesn’t matter whether Palestine was a nation before 1900 or not. What matters is that the Arabs that inhabited it and have real ties to that land have been evicted and made to suffer by NON-SEMITE white people.
    There is plenty of talk about being anti-semitic. The fact is that the Jews who inhabit Israel today are not semites. The real semites are the Arabs, the Arabs are the real semites.
    The real anti-semites, then, are the ones who curse the Arabs and call for them to be nuked by Israel.

  • The Archives

    Though we live with modern thoughts and ideologies, yet one must not overstep the cultural boundaries of those that provides most of the support whether emotionally, socially and security.

    No doubt to aspire to achieve what traditional people are against speaks out of your modernization but it can have a backlash effect on you when all the support you rely on is removed.

    In the long run, possibly years of objection by your arabic brethren, what do you see yourself as? Are you able to withstand it to participate in a beauty contest that you may not win? Coupled with ‘permanent’ rejections and for radical religious, even mortally chastised according to their strict religious code.

    So, it is not merely parental objection but, the whole community will be involved whether you succeed of fail in the pageant. Modernization is not about breaking traditions, but how you progress in future.

    Make the right decision that you may progress ahead. With education and experience, you have a brighter future.

  • Sonet

    I can see where this lady’s coming from. It doesn’t really matter what her ‘culture’ or ‘community’ means. She’s not rejecting or opposing any of it, or doing this for anyone else. I think she was just trying something she felt she wanted to try. She looked at something and went: “yeah.. I can do that.. I’m going for it.” -In the end though, regardless what everyone thinks, it’s really going to be just her and the mirror, and regrets of what could have been. For that, I admire her.

  • Amo Eiscre et Scire

    It is a fundamentally obscure and blatantly obtuse societal bias that allows us to attempt the convolution and distortion of morality through the projection of our own quotidian societal norms. See, the prominant and yet abstract flaw in both the affirmative and rebutble of this debate is that morals are born from within society, not from within each single individual. If one is to consider conflict of Duah Fahres, one must recognize the global pluralism that exists among us, and the resulting societal conflicts that come with it.

    The question “what is right,” is formidably encountered throughout this discussion, and although I would like to concur with a select conclusion above, I cannot but help present the question, “why is right, right.” Lighteningly, when one asks this question, they enter an envrironment that is both uneasy and yet soothing all at once, this is the environment of the objective philosopher. It is easy to confuse this environment with one of another question like “what” “who” “how” “where” “when,” however all of these questions look far too close to the surface of the issue. Thus, the question “why” embodies the best tool to consider a situation like that of Duah Fahres and the beauty contest of Israel.

    As two final topics of consideration, I present the following statements:

    First, Why could it be wrong for women to wear ‘tight,’ or ‘revealing’ clothing. Could it because we are too sensitive to the human body? Could it be because of religion, and the biases therein? Or is it perhaps because of the social bias that whereing ‘revealing,’ clothing is indicative of a poor moral character, or of perhaps a low internal self- esteem.

    My second, and final comment is for Tomasz, and what I have to say is that, 1. The routine teaching people that they “have the right,” is not wrong, it is flawed and simply needs the moral augmentation of what you, yourself described as, “what is right,” which as I described above will always be biased. On that note, I would endeavour to present you with the question, “what is feminism?” and more importantly “why does the concept exist?” Consider freedom, consider expressionism, consider natural beauty and consider the difference between dressing to ‘flaunt’ and dressing independant of other’s views. Lastly, consider the art of the admiration of the human body, in famous structures such as Maichelangello’s “Finger of God” painting in the vatican, and his “Statue of David,” where the nude human body is considered a work of art, not a sexualized, immoral pollution of humanity, as pornography is considered today. Remember, it is all in the objective experience.

  • Aviv

    Shalom/Salaam,

    I would like to respond to Tomasz’s remark about “non-semitc” white people being the founders of the State of Israel, and the claim that Arabs are the “real” semites. It would be a blatant and painful disregard of fact to allow such a statement to stand uncontested.

    Roughly 50% of Israel’s Jewish population is made up of Sefardic and Mizrahi (or Eastern) Jews. They have dwelt amongst Arabs/Muslims for generations, essentially since the advent of Islam. You are correct that the founding visionaries behind the Modern State of Israel were Western and Eastern European Jews for the most part. However, you simply omitted the fact that during the rise of Arab Nationalism and the creation of the State of Israel, the Arab countries amongst which these Jews lived(Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, etc.) forced them out of the homes and birthplaces where they had been deeply rooted. It was only natural that when the refuge of a Jewish State was provided as an option, these Jews took the opportunity to find a safe haven.

    While this is a far too complex issue to deal with on a forum such as this, I would like to point out that being a “real” semite is not solely connected to being an Arab, and that there are plenty of Jews and Israelis who are just as “semitic” in their physical appearance, bloodline, and historical narrative as many Arabs.

    Finally, the definition of a semite is one that is not easily elucidated. To imply that it is based only on physical appearance or race is a distortion and inaccurate.

  • Sighphi

    More proof that religions should really be a backup to the way you live not how you are supposed to live. This girl was denied something she wanted to do with her life. That’s evil.

  • marie

    This film is heartbreaking to me. It is unfortunate so many people waste their time worrying about the rules of their religion that they never have the opportunity to experience the grace, love, freedom. I strongly believe these were blessings God intended us to share with one another, certainly not killing someone over a swimsuit.

  • Joanne

    Why a story on one selfish young Arab woman? The real story about Israel and the Arab world is the gross injustice being perpetrated against the Palestinians by the Israel government and Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories. The “heroine” of this story (Duah Fares) says at the very end “It hurts to lose what is yours.” Well, the Palestinians have lost their land, their homes, their livelihoods… and, for many, their very lives. It’s an important story that urgently needs to be told. This story, on the other hand — about a young woman who lost her chance to be a famous beauty queen — hardly compares.

  • Leigh

    I really enjoyed this documentary and especially liked Du’ah. What a strong, courageous woman, and what a great family. Her father’s sentiments brought tears to my eyes.

    I hope to see more of this girl–but hope she’ll keep her real name.

  • Hadass

    Yes, Aviv, so true – Semites are the descendents of Shem – which would include a wide variety of bloodlines – both Arab and Jew…In fact, many people shudder to think that Arabs are ALSO in fact, Hebrews – as Abraham was the the first Hebrew, so then, are ALL the descendents of Abraham –
    I just finished watching this presentation – I agree with the statement that one must be allowed to choose the direction of one’s life, but indeed, the freedom to choose does not always result in the doing the right thing. I as a whole think beauty pageants in general are foolish, and not a very good judge of what is truly important insofar as judging a women’s intelligence or character, however, I was heartbroken to see this young girl’s dreams shattered by the same community whose assassination attempt goaded her into returning to face the entire Druze council members, who succeeded in making her feel guilty and ashamed, as though her attempt to break free of her subservient existence was all about them, and not about a 17 year-old’s deepest desires to succeed – while the three would-be-assassins, one of whom was her uncle, were touted as righteous defenders of her family’s “honour”. Shame shame shame, Druze community – take heart Duah, we know who you are now, and may all of your righteous hopes and dreams come to pass…You’ll always be a beauty queen in my eyes – you handles yourself with strength and dignity, poise and maturity. I know 30 year-old women who couldn’t have handled what you have with so much integrity. I am proud of you, and you are a wonderful example of righteousness and beauty rolled into one…

  • Judy Bell

    What a brave young woman, I cannot imagine the fear and risks she took to do this, only to better herself.

    Religion needs to stop being a crutch for keeping people under control.

    We “all” on this planet earth need to start treating each other as equals.

    FYI..I am really tired of women being killed in the name of “honor”. There is absolutely no honor associated with women being murdered simply because they do not “obey”.

    Good luck to you Duah….

  • paddy

    Joanne said it well – there are far more important things to document than the pouting, self centered immaturity of yet another young Miley Cyrus / Britney Spears / Angelina Jolie wanna-be. Seems the youth everywhere are enthralled by the lifestyles of the rich and useless – how sad.

  • DS

    Joanne, I’m with you. In the wide angle lens (for anyone not a western brain-washed couch potato), Duah reads like a typical Western individualistic youth-worshipper, so self-centered as to see/feel herself a victim when deprived of her “rights” to have what she “wants”, without any thought for the effect of her almighty “self” on others. As proof, she shows no remorse for costing her family $1000 for the trip to Thailand, and $5000 for dropping out of one beauty pageant for another, nor for her father landing in jail trying to steal money to cover her expense. As Tomasz says, “rights” and doing what’s right for community are not the same thing.

  • SKR

    Does anyone know what Duah is doing now? What happened to her after the film and after she was coerced out of the Miss Israel contest? Is she still modeling? Does her family still encourage her dreams of a glamorous career as a model? Where is she now?

  • klm_denver

    Good luck to you Duah. Please keep your name. What are you doing now???

  • courtney

    Joanne, were you never a 17 year old with a voice and hopes and dreams of your own? Duah is human just like the rest of us, she should have the opportunity to forge her own future (as selfish as those dreams may seem to you) it still is her right. I was awed by her courage and admire her strength. I wish you the best Duah.

  • HD

    Immature – wearing a swimsuit in a contest, maybe. but a community willing to destory a family over it -thats just pure hate, not religion.

  • Queenie

    My heart goes out to Duah and her family. I certainly cannot presume to speak for the Supreme Being, but as a human being I am horrified that men continue abuse women in the name of family honor and that their so called “moral” society allows such atrocities. How can wearing a bathing suit be a killing offense?

    TOMASZ you are quite a judgmental fellow. If the tables were turned and YOU were a woman, I wonder how convicted you would be in your paternalistic view of right and wrong.

    JOANNE this story is about a brave young woman, selfish if you like, but an individual who should have the right to choose her own path. There have been many programs dealing with the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. Religion, power and politics….that My Dear is why the world is in such turmoil.

  • JDowns

    To deny a woman, or a man their dreams, under the guise of religion makes me wonder the foundation of that religion. What God or benevolant being would require that of its children? Thats not faith, its slavery.

    Thank you Duah for your courage and strength.

  • Sarah Farkas

    I felt very conflicted about what I saw in this film. On the one hand, I felt very sorry for Duah, for the intense controversy and threats she had to put up with just for trying to make her dreams come true. On the other hand, I felt really saddened to see yet another example of a young person being lured away from their traditional values by the promise of fame, fortune and a glamorous “Hollywood” lifestyle very few will obtain. I don’t believe most youth who chase these dreams of instant international celebrity think very deeply (if at all) about why it is they want to attain that life. Nor do they contemplate if that life is even healthy for their mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. They simply see an entertainer being glamorized in the media as the height of human achievement and want to become that. While we can condemn the harsh threats made against Duah by her relative & some members of her community, we should also take a look at the direction of media’s effect on the world’s youth, and ask ourselves what can we can do to encourage young people to do something more positive & constructive with their lives.

  • Andrew

    Yes there are alot more important issues in that region… but this was the denial of an individuals right to do what she wanted. We all have done things others didn’t believe in, be it small or large. The religious views restrict Duah and others like her to grow and evolve into the world community. You have to look past that it was just a beauty pageant.. it could have been her writings or stand for woman’s rights. We have to open our eyes and realize every human on this planet is given a right and opportunity to live there life in their own way. I wish i could tell Duah how great she was and there are many people who are on her side.

  • Nikki

    I adore you Duah, keep going for your dreams and NEVER give up… Afterall, this is YOUR life!

  • Rob Moitoza

    The men who ruined Duah’s dream are nothing but cowards and bullies. There is nothing holy or religious about men who bully others. These men will go to Hell for their selfish and cowardly actions against women.

  • John

    While I agree that this story pales in comparison to doing a story on a much more important subject, (the fate of the Palestinian people) I believe the director/producers of this documentary wanted to shed light on a different social subject within the state of Israel (among other nations). Western [values] (or the lack therof) are spreading to nations throughout the world at a breakneck pace. Although Israel is a free and democratic society, some ethnic and religious minorities within are not truely free to do and live as they choose. This is true even in America, or Canada, or European nations. Whether or not Duah participates in the beauty pagent is inconsequential. Even though this seems like a blow to her, it may open the door for opportunities she never even considered/imagined. The larger issue, is how religion (or religious beliefs) control peoples lives, starts wars, influence politics etc. I am not an advocate of religion, nor am I an atheist. I think most religions teach good, proper, and decent morals and values. However, there has to be balance and moderation as with anything else. It is admirable that Duah parents support her, but I think she would have a better future by getting an education before entering beauty pagents. Thank God for PBS :)

  • Chris

    Being an American, I began watching this episode of Wide Angle expecting to feel sorry for this young woman as the story of her quest to fulfill her dream unfolded. But, as the credits rolled I found myself perplexed.

    I found myself asking, “what was this girl thinking?”. Duah was not a transplant or foreigner to the Druze culture. She grew up in it. She had to have known that competing for the Miss Israel title was going to be in direct conflict with her family’s, and presumably her, religious values. To top it off, she seems willing to back out on the commitment to a pageant that doesn’t conflict with her religion, expose her family to threats and embarrassment, cost them $5000 they don’t have, cause her father to commit crimes to pay for it all, and for what? Political equality for all woman in her country, the cause of peace around the world, better working conditions for her parents? No, a bigger Beauty Pageant!!! Oh, and did I mention she almost gets killed?

    Somehow the goal just doesn’t measure up to the sacrifices involved. This is considered strength and courage? I consider it at the very least, the misguided thoughts of a girl who has not quite matured just yet.

  • Henry

    One of the most interesting Wide Angles I have seen. I loved the drama between individual desires and community conventions. It showed the best in people: her commitment to following through with her dream and her fathers devotion to her. But also some of the worst: peoples willingness to kill others. A truly fascinating story with a very realistic ending that I think really drives home the somber truth that no matter how willful one person may be, sometimes the world of people in all their ruthlessness and indifference can crush that. Sad, but true.

  • ProudAtheistWoman

    I cried when I watched this. Sure, in America being a beauty queen seems superficial and materialistic but just as a person dreams to be a lawyer or an athlete or a journalist so too should those girls with dreams of becoming famous beauty queens have their dreams respected. Dreams–no matter how superficial they are–are nothing to scoff at. And that’s just in America. But this Druze girl, Duah, has the same dream yet in her case it is a step toward modern thinking in a society built on fear and control through small religious factions. It’s high time women stopped obeying the male voice in society as if they were cattle. Wearing a bikini is only ’sexual’ if a man has twisted thoughts when looking at a woman. Therefore the only reason Duah is forbade to wear a swim suit is so that these male voices in society don’t get aroused, they just hide their shame by using religion as an excuse. Women are punished because men can’t control their urges. Had I been in this situation, I would’ve been murdered for seeing it through to the end for sure. What better way to die than to die standing up for my rights with defiance, pride, and dignity? I wish Duah all the best and I’m glad she wore the bathing suit defiantly at the end of the pageant. I’m not patriotic by any means but seeing this makes me glad to have been born in America where you can at least *think* you have freedom! :)

  • David Moore

    Reading the comments that always end with “who are the real descendents of the region” just laments the total chaos surrounding this young girls attempt at a meaningful lifestyle for her. Religions and cultures will not prosper without Ideology. Recognition of values can only enhance worldwide viewpoints. The Druze are such a cultures that seems to still adhere to dark ages. I hope we continue to keep track of all the Duah’s in the world because hope and dreams need to be manifested and cultivated. This is the only way to advance a culture.

  • DS

    Courtney, were you never a 17 year old who respected parents even though you disagreed with them at the time? Duah’s father told her he did not want her to drop out of the 1st pagent which cost $5000. She left a note for her tutor and dropped out anyway, then went to Thailand to the tune of another $1000. Then when her father steals to cover Duah’s debt she’s left him with and lands in jail, Duah still is only concerned about herself. Duah’s mother does not want her wearing a modernistic “bathing suit” in public, but Duah argues with her continuously, intent on having her own way. Obviously, Duah was without a father for 10 years, and has learned to push her mother around. Her father’s return after 10 years means nothing, because like a “divorced” parent he is more concerned about pleasing Duah than teaching her self-discipline. Judy Bell’s egalitarianism is nothing but Western propaganda for enslaving youth and everyone to their passions (vice). Self-service is psychological sickness in need of spiritual healing.

  • Stephanie

    Such a brave girl both in her attempt to follow her dream and then to face coming back to a place that she could be killed for her dream and letting the dream go for her family.

    I’d like to know how she is now. The contests were in 2006 almost four years ago.

    I wish her well and peace.

  • Tomorrows world

    We come into this world naked and that is the way we will leave this world. I find it so sad that in between there are people so afraid of the human body that they judge people by what they show. It is not only the Druze but the Christians and in their fear they create the perversion that creeps into a society when things become forbidden by “man” not by god.

    We as “humans” have so many fears that have been made by those wishing to control others it is a shame on those wishing to control and those being controlled not knowing what is happening to them.

    I hope someday that the only Faith left is that of love for one another and peace exists on this planet Earth. There would be no wars if it were not for the hate created through religion and the I’m right you are wrong attitude. Everyone has opinion and everyone’s opinion is right for them.

    Let us all find a place for love in our hearts instead of hate and understanding instead of intolerance.

  • JN

    I saw the documentary last night. I felt conflicted. On the one hand, I wanted Duah to have the freedom to pursue her dreams. But, on the other hand, when I saw the trouble it caused, her father returning prison, setting her family back $1000 for a trip to Thailand, a potential $5000 to drop out of the Miss Israel pageant, a murder attempt on her life by the men in the community, I slowly came to the conclusion that one must learn that while it is good to have dreams, all dreams are not attainable. Furthermore, if she has to choose between her life and being a beauty queen, I believe that one’s LIFE should supersede that particular dream.
    We must also be suspicious of the notion that everything Western is “better” than those cultures that are not. She is a Druze and her culture and identity must be respected.

  • Ray G

    This story broke my heart. Not because there’s anything special about the whole beauty pageant system–I think it’s pretty base and superficial and doesn’t highlight the true, intangible gifts of the young women who participate. But guess what, that’s totally irrlevant. No one person, no group has the right to stand in the way of another person’s dream and their inalienable right to excercise their free will. It doesn’t matter if the group trying to control you has been around since antiquity or not. This religious community is more interested in their own image of so-called honor–although there’s nothing honorable about killing a young girl because she won’t submit to the men who run everything.

    Kudos for her family for supporting her and it’s a shame they had to terrorized by their own family. Pretty pathetic.

    Duah, educate yourself, get out of the Medieval period, and come to America: we’ll let you be whatever you want. You rock!

  • Kevin W. Cwirko

    When I saw this film I have to admit I lost more faith in humanity. Foremost it sickens me to hear self proclaimed religious leaders making decisions for this young lady and threatening her and her family’s lives. Leaders that are all men, scared to lose their power and standing if a woman were to succeed and rise above them with any kind of fortune or fame. A religion which practices death threats to keep the populous in line restricts what you can do or say in my opinion is not a religion at all. It is simply communism. It reminds me of what the Catholic religion went through hundreds of years ago. To survive the years it has adapted and changed to better suet the population and coincides with the advancement of science and culture. These Arabic religions fight change, progression, science, culture, etc. and seem hell-bent on keeping their communities subservient and obedient to ways that should have long past. It is no wonder that their religious leaders have no respect for free nations such as the United States or England. We learn, we adapt, we attempt to rectify the poor decisions made in the past and we try to make changes for the greater good of all the people. It is my belief that no man or woman should have the right to dictate what this young woman should do with her life and her dreams. Suggest perhaps but not force. The conclusion here is inevitable. It has happened all over the world. Oppressing the younger generations with their aspirations for a different lifestyle, a kinder interpretation of their religion, and a fair and honest government has most times led to a civil war. That is what has happened in my country countless times and most often we live in a better place for it. God bless the United States and may you, Duah Fares someday enjoy the freedoms which are so plentiful here that I often forget and take them for granted.

  • DS

    Druze is not Duah’s identity, and therein is her “rub” that puts her at odds with parents, culture and community. Like so many other youth in America, the Modern West, and the Westernized global world, Duah is “self-socialized” by Western media moguls, meaning that she has a MacDonald’s “identity” and doesn’t need her parents, culture or community. She picks and chooses her identity as she sees fit from a “menu” of virtual reality “icons” (images), with resultant destruction of culture and community in exchange for the homogeneity of Western “globalism”, all for the sake of whoring after mammon; the artificial, man-made “god” that results from such atheism. Humans have lived for thousands of years by way of culture and community; but ignorant moderns who worship the false “fountain of youth” think they can live without that which sustained all their ancestors. Ref: springerlink.com/content/v8416262r0434m25/

  • itwirl

    I just want to know what Duha doing now – is she beginning to act? She should, she has so much potential. This documentary introduced her to the world and I just hope something breaks for her.

  • Andy Boyter

    First I would like to comend Miss Fares on seeking her dreams, whatever and wherever they lead here. I think she has a great future ahead. I give her great respect for what she did to stand up for her rights as a person. I pray everything works out for her and her family, I also would like to say her father showed great courage for her, and was willing to do anything to see his baby gets to pursue her dreams. If there is anything I can do to help please send me an e-mail back, I’d love to help her and her family any way possible. – Andy Boyter. Shalom Duah, and Best Wishes to both you and your Family, God Bless !

  • JL

    I feel so sorry for Ms. Fares as a watch all that she has worked for go to waste because of hateful people in her town. This has nothing do with her wearing a swim suit or not valuing her culture;it’s about trying to crush her for having goals outside the community. She needed to do that competition as it would have given her a chance to gain international fame and work to help her family, since they are constantly struggling. Those people( if you can call them that) who tried to stop her are just failures who want to see someone else’s dreams go down the drain. They are just jealous because she is pursuing her ambitions and becoming successful, when they have failed and are stuck in their little village. I have seen this way too many times in my life were someone tries to go to college, get a better job, or just travel and others bend over backwards to keep them from achieving their goals.

  • Rahim

    What a sick mentality this community has, to dabble in the lives of others and try to control them through some false sense of self-righteousness. The girl wanted to better her life, to escape that oppressive little jerkwater of a town and all the community can do is try to stop her. If any of them had anything positive in their lives maybe they wouldn’t be so filled with bitterness that they relished the chance to quash the dreams of a young person. That is why the Middle East is the nightmare it is today. So glad that my ancestors had the intelligence to leave that godforsaken place behind.

  • Steve Kuban

    I’m so thankful that our Creator speaks to each of us, individually and at the deepest level, in His own unique way. I was deep asleep when I awoke suddenly (around 2:40am) and felt led to arise and turn on the TV (which happened to come on showing the PBS broadcast of this show). I watched Miss Duah Fare’s intriguing experience with fascination. This film captured the pathos and ethos beautifully, from many angles: Miss Fares’, her parents, the man helping her in the pageant, the concerned Druze leaders, etc. While it seemed to me that the intentions of most in the film were sincere, unfortunately (no surprise) each of us humans tend to see things in our own light, and instead of rejoicing in the dreams of others, showing tolerance and looking forward to what marvelous things might benefit mankind through those dreams, we instead allow our differing myopic convictions to bring about unfortunate tensions and manipulations, such as those clearly revealed in this movie. Thank you to PBS. Thank you to the director. Thank you DUAH! After watching and weeping through this documentary I have clearly heard what I believe the Lord wanted me to hear.

    I’m so sorry for how we humans have messed up what God made in the beginning to be so beautiful and wonderful. Forgive us all. Help us to appreciate the beauty that’s everywhere in God’s creation (including our bodies and independent spirits), and to appreciate those who in history have stood by their convictions and pursue their dreams (often for the benefit of mankind) in the ways they felt compelled to do so, despite all the opposition. May we remember (as Harriet Tubman declared) that “Every great dream begins with a dreamer”, and that within each of us dwells the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. Thank You for those young and old through history who, like Duah Fares, followed their dreams. Thank You to the Creator for the “rare ones”—the Michelangelos, Mozarts, Michael Jacksons, Martin Luthers and Walt Disneys (to name only a few) who pursued their dreams at whatever costs; who by their steadfastness, tenacity and conviction saw things through as far as they could (as did Duah) through to the meaningful (and sometimes bitter) end, and by so doing inspired us all and made the world a better place. Shalom/salam/peace be upon us all. Steve Kuban PS: Thank you to all the contributors who took the effort and time to share these well-thought-out, sincere, articulate, meaningful and insightful comments above. I appreciate the comments expressed, despite some differing points of view. May God’s peace rest upon us all. Shalom/Salam/Peace!

  • Miguel Gomez

    Ever saw the movies Little Miss sunshine? yeah, even insignificant (to others) little women have dreams of becoming something else, of being different and ordinary. Looks like the people from that community sort of forgot in the mist of their intollerance that there’s a far greater and older tradition than the one they so pasionally defend and it’s the one that has to do with the persuit of hapiness which is a universal right of all human beings.

  • Richard Sayer

    It is sad, Freedom is what God has given us. Rules are a creation of man. Tell me if god has created us, why then are we ashamed of our bodies? The human form should be celebrated! Such a beautiful woman should be free to make her own life choices, only guided by her own beliefs. I am proud of Duah, and I hope she pursues her dream. She has my vote!

  • Richard Sayer/ Khoury

    Tomasz? what do you think of Duah’s uncle? Should he be free to kill his own niece? Would that be God’s will? if not who is looked upon as sinning? both? neither? of coarse we all are free to have our own opionin

  • Andy Boyter

    Steve Kuban, that was such a thoughtful and articulate way of expressing what most of us “clear thinking” human beings have embedded within each and every soul. Thank you for the comments from one “free” human being to another.
    — Shalom Brother… Peace be with you all.
    P.S.- Simply Inspirational

    - Andy B.

  • Mike Dodd

    I would like to tell this young women there is a country on the planet that would give her every opportunity to live her life as she wants, its the United States of America, I would sponsor this young woman if she wanted to come over here, hell I would do a sham marriage just on political grounds and I have no attraction to her. Send me a message we will get you out of that hell hole and put you in a place where you can live your life however you want. “All (wo)men are created equal”

  • paddy

    NONSENSE!

    So many people repeat that silly phrase like a mantra – “follow your dream”.

    What if one’s “dream” were to rob a bank?!?!?

    This silly, immature, self centered, young woman SHOULD have been guided by her parents and other elders not to covet fame for its’ own sake but to find some worthwhile endeavour that contributes something tangible – she could “dream” of becoming a doctor or a scientist or even a mother.

    Then, if she invented a new surgical technique or developed a new medicine (or raised children of her own who did) she would might be famous but it would be EARNED.

    Britney Spears is famous – what has she done that is worthwhile or contributed to the betterment of humanity??!?!? NOTHING! Not an honest day’s work in her life nor will she, i expect.

    Too many fall prey to the conditioning of our pop “culture” and repeat like drones its’ tenets – “do what’s good for you”, “it’s all good”, and “follow your dreams”.

  • Jimmy Hobson

    I really feel sorry that she was unable to TRY and compete for a better life. Her life was threatened because she was willing to wear a bathing suit! The amount of Religious control is too high for me personally and I don’t know what I would do in her situation. I bet the men of her Religion can do more than the women are allowed to do and that’s what prompted me to write, I achieve hope she finds a way to achieve her dreams without endangering her, or her families life. That stinks. Jimmy

  • Cherbourg

    HYPOCRISY! HYPOCRISY! HYPOCRISY!
    Hypocrisy permeates the world regardless of the culture or the group. Until misogynistic phony so called religious men are held accountable for their actions and decisions people like Duah will be used to inflict pain, promote ignorance and continue the “FREE PASS EXPRESS TRAIN” for men who want to deflect from their misdeeds. If men were punished for looking at porn, cheating on their wives, secretly going to prostitutes and fornication or adultery I could understand the concerns of the Druze. Bottomline: MEN ARE HYPOCRITES. The God I believe in will HOLD them accountable for their immoral actions. There is nothing immoral with Duah wearing a bathing suit. If a man cannot control his lust it is his fault NOT THE FAULT OF WOMEN. This pageant could have helped Duah gain better opportunities whether furthering her education abroad or an entertainment career. She has a good mother and father. Her father made a mistake. He is not evil. She has the love and support of her family. She has more strength then many American women twice her age who have the luxury of an Ivy League education and a great career. I am in awe of her. If she survived this obstacle so early in life…the sky is the limit for Duah.
    I wish her and her family peace, love and blessings.

  • platynota

    @ paddy # 47: “one’s dream of robbing a bank” is a psychotic fantasy; being famous for your looks and/or personality is not psychotic. Simply because Ms. Fares has beauty and wishes to achieve fame and fortune by that merit alone doesn’t make her aspirations “silly, immature, self-centered”. She may very well have intend to make good things happen if she were famous, but a pretty famous person needn’t be a philanthropist nor a scientist. It is her right to decide what she wishes for her life, and hers alone.

    To MS. Fares: I wish you and your mother hadn’t needed to concede to the death-threats and oppression of the religious community, as it is the continual aim to force submission to archaic, patriarchal mentalities that so many of us on this planet have encountered, but I feel it was the wisest decision to be made. Perhaps by now, you have won another pageant or chosen another direction in your life. Let not the destroyers of happiness ever ruin what is true to you! In any case, best of love and happiness!

  • Nathan

    There is already enough reality TV rubbish on other networks where I can watch self-centered pretty girls treating everyone around them like trash. Watching it in a foreign language with subtitles doesn’t make this any more enlightening. I expect more from PBS.

  • paddy

    @ Platynota #51,

    perhaps my example of “following one’s dream” by robbing a bank was a bit extreme but it was meant to convey the notion that “following one’s dream” is not commendable in and of itself.

    What if one’s “dream” were to spend 3 years setting up dominoes? What if one did this whilst attending college? What if one’s parents had paid the tuition?

    Not a psychotic fantasy but clearly a waste of time and a massively irresponsible waste of the parents’ financial resources.

    Clear enough?

    You might consider physical beauty a merit but i don’t. I consider it merely a superficial trait.

    As for your wishful thinking that “She may very well have intend to make good things happen if she were famous” i can only say that yeah, George Bush may have only intended good things to happen by invading Iraq ….. now THAT would be fantasy most naive, which you seem to share in regard to the young woman in question.

  • Brandy

    Du’ah has been on my heart since I watched this show yesterday. I hope we get an update on her life soon. I have been very worried about her well-being ever since. I wonder if she is allowed to receive mail??? Or does her community frown upon her for that, as well?! I don’t understand their ways, but I understand the passion within a strong human being, and she should have never been reprimanded for trying to fulfill her dreams.

  • platynota

    @ paddy #53, Your point was already clear, but it’s not realistic to believe (or impose upon) that any certain person will be world-conscious, at any given time, if ever. That’s an ideal many of us work for, but it’s not reality–and biologically and geographically improbable. For instance, few people have the brains and will to endure numerous levels of Calculus; add bad geography or family life and the chances are less probable. Only an example.

    Many, many members of our species simply work and live in a town in which they have little influence outside of their own lives. They live simple lives with no grand schemes. Is it because a person like this doesn’t do something extraordinary that his/her life is superficial? Maybe compared to others who devote their lives to philanthropy but that doesn’t make them wrong or living a fruitless life.

    In communities, such as this girls’, it is quite an “accomplishment” (for individual rights) to defy the old-guard’s mentality, even if it is done by something as “superficial” as being a model on TV in a swimsuit. Her interests may be for herself, but if she were successful it would pave the way for all types of social freedoms. And as it is, I prefer that a society becomes more superficial than one in which the “values” determine that one lives under threat of exile/other or dies under murder for committing “family disgrace”. Who’s more superficial, the murderers making such a big deal about a swimsuit in public or the beauty queen?

    Respect universal, individual life and wishes over culture that changes at the whim of geography and religion. That’s idealistic, but a compassionate one.

  • aj

    I have no interest whatsover in reference to beauty pagaents but in this context its definitely fascinating. And for one thing I wish Duah had not chosen to change her name for the competition. Its a beautiful name! Its a shame that a young woman was strong enough to step outside of the strictures set up for that community(men of course)but its a damn shame, a damn shame that her life was threatened becuase of it. I know its cavalier to say so but I wish she had gone through with the event. But I understand why she did not. I hope she takes the leap and leaves with dreams intact.

  • lili

    what a strong proud woman she is! this film made me smile, laugh, sad and cry! A lot of you are saying that this film was useless and lens could have covered the conflicts instead… but it really was covering the conflicts that are happening there. I don’t believe that she is the only young adult there trying to change something, i believe there are many more of her kind and are desperately trying to have a voice! and no matter where you live we all have the right to reach our dreams!

  • paddy

    @ Platynota #55,

    frankly, it seems to me that you’re intent upon setting up straw men.

    To whit, you seem to suggest that, since not everybody has the ability to understand advanced calculus, nor the financial means to be a philanthropist, then her chosen “dream” to pursue is the next best thing.

    You asked, “Is it because a person like this doesn’t do something extraordinary that his/her life is superficial?”.

    This is a straw man argument.

    I never suggested that only extraordinary pursuits were commendable. What i DID (clearly) convey was that competing in beauty pageants was not. Ialso expressed my disdain for pop stars and celebrity tarts like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. I would also add sporting stars and actors to that list of those who are idolized in our western “culture” and yet produce nothing.

    This young, immature, girl longs to join their ranks.

    She is fully aware that her family cannot afford the 5000 dollar penalty for her quiting the Queen of All the Arabs contest to be available for the Miss Israel contest yet she does so anyway.

    Please, if you can, refute that point without making some diversion to the issue of bathing suits or suffocating patriarchy.

  • david

    well i think those people should mind their own business and duah should try to come to america to fullfill her dream.duah keep you head up to the sky.never give up cause only GOD can judge you!!

  • Andy Boyter

    Dear “Wide – Angle” Producers,

    Please allow those of us who have grown an attachment to the life for whom you displayed on T.V., (Reguarding Duah), a chance to have an “update” for miss Fares, as she seems to have gathered quite the attention on this “chat-board”.
    Thank you all,
    Shalom- Peace be with you all,

    Andy B.

  • Nancy Hunter

    Hello
    This story is quite devastating and it is incredible how they have ruined this young womans dream. They think that honor killing is truly an honor. Duah, it is time for you to move to the USA or Canada. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can apply for refugee status at the american embassy in Telaviv or just come here and see weather you like it or not. If you do not have anyone in the USA. Now you have me. My email address is Nancy2314@hotmail.com. It is time for you and your family to leave Israel behind. I know that if your life is or has been in danger, you can apply at the american embassy for a visa to come to America. If you do not have anyone here, you can stay with. Do not let ANYONE interfere with your dreams of success. I truly felt bad for you giving up your dream, knowing that for sure you would have won in Thailand. If you get my email and email me, I will give you my telephone number. I am a 45 year old woman and I live by myself. I STRONGLY feel that you should not give up modeling and strongly feel that you should be as far away as possible from the uncle that plotted to kill you. You need to get out of that environment and pursue your dreams.
    Sincerely,
    Nancy Hunter

  • Alexander O

    Hola Duah,
    I was moved by your story. I am a regular viewer of wide angle and I found the story intriguing.
    Though I know very little of the Druze community, what I have seen has shown me that any society based on the soft male ego or patriarchy will simply not stand for a Woman making a stand for herself in any sense whatsoever.
    Duah, I am so sorry that your efforts were stalled, however I hope you have enough courage left to take the next step and leave Israel and that community so that you can fulfill your dream elsewhere. London, Los Angeles, New York. Anywhere but where you are threatened and held back simply becuase you have the nerve to have your own dreams.
    Take care Duah, Have strength and courage and reach a little farther.
    I think Nancy Hunter’s suggestion was correct.

  • paddy

    “pursue your dreams” over and over again, mindlessly repeated like a mantra of the feel-good, me-first, celebrity idolizing new religion that is supposed western liberal “culture”.

    Sheesh!

  • Mark

    Duha, your name is beautiful, keep it.In the U.S.A our greatest media personality is named a woman named Oprah, and as you know our president is Barack Obama. Your name is distinctive. I’m sorry but.. Angelina is not as distinguished and America knows Duha already. I suggest you contact Oprah, and Tyra. I have mad respect for Marwan. He’s a “Big Popa”.You have a good daddy :)I hope you will always honor him.Start by keeping the name he gave you.Western pop culture is a amoral lot, but it is possible to retain a measure of dignity. But you must see Oprah and Tyra first !and take Nancy Hunter with you.

  • Rocky

    Duha Fares is beautiful and would have won the Miss Israeli paegent had she decided to continue. However, why must young women be made to participate in a swimsuit competition to prove their beauty? Duha proved she is more beautiful by respecting the wishes of her family to withdraw. Although much can be said about paving the way, etc. for other Druze girls to compete, I believe her decision to withdraw in respect of her family despite her personal desires was very courageous. She should be proud of herself. She is more beautiful to me than any girl in the world.

  • Amo Esceri Et Sceri

    ~paddy #58 #63
    Please see my concepts on post #7. Maybe then, will you understand.

  • paddy

    to Amo,

    i read your “concepts” in post #7. How about you try posting some rational, linear thought instead?

    …and if your going to try to impress with fancy latin monikers, at least try to get them right!

    Still no one seems to be able to explain away Duah’s selfishness in regard to the 5000 dollar penalty – or did i miss that somewhere within your mish-mash of “concepts” ?

    Understand that?

  • scott

    Duah, I’m so sorry for the harsh treatment and judgements that you had to go through. You are a very strong woman.

  • fozz

    First, I think this is a great documentary and very telling of how artificially divided humanity really is.

    Unfortunately, the documentary was only part of my enlightenment. Reading the threads and debate that followed was equally compelling.

    It painfully illuminates the societal cost of mindless ideologies and those who blindly preach them.

    Must we really continue to live in a perpetually delusional world where this thing called “religion” serves only as a pretense for pushing “societal”, “communal” and “idealogical” agendas? Not to mention, death, war and hatred?

    Open your eyes people! Religion was created by man, not God! Look inward for “faith”, not to weak minded masses simply looking for social acceptance and affirmation. God help us all:)

  • Mingo

    Am I the only one who caught on to the fact that this movie is not a bona fide documentary. It clearly so states right in the Introduction to “Contestant No. 2″ on the Wide Angle web site: “This episode of WIDE ANGLE is the U.S. television premiere of the theatrical film Lady Kul el Arab.” Get it folks? This is a work of fiction, a dramatization, a story, maybe a docu-drama. As in “not real”.

  • Freedom

    Why a story on one selfish young Arab woman? The real story about Israel and the Arab world is the gross injustice being perpetrated against the Palestinians by the Israel government and Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories. The “heroine” of this story (Duah Fares) says at the very end “It hurts to lose what is yours.” Well, the Palestinians have lost their land, their homes, their livelihoods… and, for many, their very lives. It’s an important story that urgently needs to be told. This story, on the other hand — about a young woman who lost her chance to be a famous beauty queen — hardly compares.

    Selfish? She wants to do something with her life and not sit at home being unhappy her whole life and u call her Selfish?! thats wrong man
    I admit that one person is a part of the whole but the small part needs to be told for the whole to be understood

  • Roxanna

    Thanks for bring such a touching, educational and informative story. Showing once again women repressed by men in their attempts to find their own place in the world.
    It is still about ownership and ownership of w omens limited choices.
    It was a sad ending for this young woman’s ambitions to be squelched by controlling men.It shows clearly we are still in the cave man mentality.

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