Naeem Mohaiemen on Sun, 25 May 2008 21:54:30 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Gimme Some Of That Desert Love

"It seems that an Arab man can now get on the cover of a romance novel in
the United States almost more easily than he can get past airport security:
According to the Chicago Tribune, the sales of sheik-themed romance novels
have quadrupled in the years since the terrorist attacks in New York and
Washington. Up to 20 of these novels per year, with titles like Expecting
the Sheikh's Baby, The Sheikh's Virgin, and The Sheik and the Bride Who Said
No, go through print runs of 100,000 copies or more. Typically, these
stories feature a white American or British heroine who travels to a
fictional Arab country (messy real-life politics aren't welcome in the world
of romance fiction), becomes involved with an Arab prince through accident
and/or circumstance, and ultimately marries him. Some of these sheiks* are
polished business magnates, while others hark back to the Valentino-style
desert Bedouin of yore. But they all have a few things in common: All of
them are rich and powerful, all of them are irresistibly sexy, and all of
them are dangerous."

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