The Apocalyptic Hijab: Emirati Mediations of Pious Fashion and Conflict Talk

In: Hawwa
Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University Princeton, NJ United States

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This article examines Emirati public discourse on, and imagination of, gendered pious fashion and conflict talk as animated in the sitcom Shaabiat Al-Cartoon (SAC) and other connected cultural expressions. Through a multimodal analysis, it contributes to discussions of the politics of piety by analyzing the strategic illustration of the UAE’s female fashion sense and use of the linguistic features that move verbal dueling to verbal attack. In this prefabricated orality, the article outlines linguistic forms in mediating gendered conflict talk and animating pious fashion. The paper further argues that a multimodal social semiotic performance that is based on language and apparel can produce powerful effects on the co-production of gendered identities. Additionally, it demonstrates through this analysis how the producers of an episode of SAC, through the use of semiotic cues, attempt to reflect and shape Emirati sociocultural values and idioms on pious gendered clothing and perceptions of religiosity and modernity.

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