Friday, August 10, 2012

Lebanese Singer Yara Taken To Police Station For Smoking On Ramadan

Here's one of those 'good grief' stories that are aplenty in the Middle East.

It's Ramadan across the Muslim world and people are expected to honor the rules and regulations even if non-Muslim. I guess if they have to suffer a month of daytime deprivation so should everyone else. So Christian Lebanese singer Yara is in Algeria for some music festival and she lights up in a taxi. Not pot, just plain old tobacco. Algerian taxi driver tells her to snuff it out, Yara refuses, so off they go to the police station where she is reprimanded for not showing respect and reverence for Muslims during a religious holiday she does not celebrate. She is also told she can not smoke in public during the day during Ramadan.

Although reports differ, those traveling are exempt from fasting, smoking and drinking, and apparently the Muslim performers there took advantage of that. Perhaps that's why Yara lit up, or maybe she just felt that since she's Christian she shouldn't be subject to Ramadan restrictions. I suppose it would all depend on how devout you are whether you decide to take advantage of the exemption. Some Olympians did, others did not.

After the driver asked her to stop smoking, since it was his taxi, she probably should have just complied. But driving her to the police station- how ludicrous is that, although I'm not at all surprised. She's lucky they didn't fine her, or throw her in jail.

When in Rome, as they say.

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