their collections also tended to be larger and contained more western-based pornography.However, if they had to use a computer in a public place, such as an internet café, their collections were centred on what they could fit on their mobile phone or flash drive, andmostly came from Arab-based sources.Although only around twenty percent of people have access to the internet in theMiddle East, the growing plethora of internet cafes has allowed a greater number of people to access the internet then ever before.
The media of any society showcases their constructed values concerning ideals, taboos, and otherness; in the case of pornography, itoften touches upon a culture’s most controversial and transgressive topics. By examiningthe pornography of, and about
the Middle East, we gain access into a sphere thatnormally remains hidden. So, what is the internet being used for? According to GoogleTrends, Egyptians regularly google the word “sex” more than any other nationality, nomean feat considering the limited number of users
. Indeed, it has been hypothesized that
Western nations are just as fascinated with the idea of “Middle Eastern” or “Arab” sex; I found quite afew pornographic sites specifically geared toward a western audience featuring topics like “Arab StreetHookers” or “Saudi Submissive Mistresses”. My personal favorite however, was a site that featured pharaonic fantasies and featured the actors in period costumes. It would be of considerable interest to do acomparison of western sourced “arab” pornography versus middle eastern sourced “arab” pornography.Regardless of audience however, I was disturbed at just what level the “arab” or “muslim” women weresexually fetishized. The phrase “Muslim women” in Google Images brought up pictures of naked yet veiledwomen; a similar result did not occur when I googled Jewish or Christian women.
Moreover, Google Arabic was the number one language to search for the term “sex”. It is interesting tonote that the users used the English word “sex” (sometimes transliterated as سك ) rather than the Arabicterm “سنج”. When using the term “سنج”, Egypt ranked 5
, with the metropolitan areas of Alexandria, Cairoand Giza all being in the top ten cities searching for the term. See Reuters, “Sex, Nazi, burrito and Viagra:Who Googles what?”(October 17, 2007)
(accessed March 11, 2008) and GoogleTrends, “Trend History Sex” (March 11
(accessed March 11, 2008),and Google Trends, “Trend History سنج”.
(accessedMarch 11, 2008).