Posted by: sel3 | August 27, 2007

Sabah… a love story

During the weekend I watched the movie Sabah. It tells the story of a Syrian family moved to Canada and how they are trying to fit in the community there, the eldest brother “Majid” is taking care of the family and is trying to keep it a conservative one according to the “Arabic traditions”. Meanwhile, his sister “Sabah”, a 40 year old single veiled woman, falls in love with a Canadian guy “Stephen”, which puts her in a dilemma, her family can’t know about her love and obviously the relation won’t work, but still she loves him and don’t want to lose him.

The main topic of the movie is the relation between Sabah and Stephen, there are other side stories like the arranged marriage and the Arabic community being a Macho one, where males are dominant, and have the right to do any thing without being held accountable for it, while the females, on the other hand, are not granted such freedom, and most of the time they are forced to things they wouldn’t choose if they were free to choose.

Now regarding the relation of Sabah and Stephen I really don’t know where I stand, looking at it religion-wise it is not allowed and not possible for a Muslim woman to marry a non Muslim.

Cultural-wise it is quite different, mainly the Arabic culture is based on Islam, so such relation is quite not possible, yet the culture itself changes due to many factors, for the family of Sabah, for example, it is mainly because they are introduced to a different culture in which the relation only depends on the two parts of it and how they are getting along. but the relation is still strange.

Looking at the relation itself, you see a couple who make a good match, in love with each other and there is not a reason, relation-wise, to separate them form each other.

Macho-wise, this is not what her macho brother arranged for her! So it shouldn’t work.

I still don’t know what I think about it, but what do you think?


  1. to be honest i didnt watch the movie but i heard about it through my friends and they said it was good.
    im not sure i can anwer ur question but thank u for the review

  2. I haven’t seen the movie.

    But, speaking of the topic itself, Muslim women are not allowed to marry non Muslim men because it is feared that the man would overwhelm the woman and would convert her to become a non Muslim.

    There is an enormous amount of factors to take into account when two people are in love. The fact is that whatever love is present in the beginning of the relationship will soon evolve into a different sort of love. From flirtatious to hot, pasisonate and sexual, all the way to feelings of security and belonging and companionship, love takes a great transformation through a couple’s life.

    People these days mistakingly think that love would remain the same forever, which leads to a lot of arguments and disappointments. There are a ton of other factors to be considered other than love, and it is up to the couple to think it through without interference of the family, but still with regards to them, because in the end marrying two people inevitably marries the two whole families.

    At least for some portion of their lives.

  3. I haven’t seen the movie either, but looks interesting and frustrating, because it reminds me of the kind of unfair culture we live in.
    yes love doesn’t last forever… by the way who said that? that’s not completely true… troubles rise, well trouble are everywhere and all couples will have them.

    if it was up to me i’d prefer to handle the problems rising from a mix marriage than from a prearranged marriage which i think should become a crime…

  4. I recently wrote the post about the film, regarding how they handles this issue,,which is absolute propaganda crap:

  5. Cat, I think it was good, I’m not sure, it was controversial a little bit.

    KJ, thank you for taking the time to comment, a Muslim lady marrying a non Muslim is not allowed in Islam for the reason you said, now for this couple it wasn’t religion that govern their decision, it was her family, and her love.

    Things change and so does people, but if the relation is built on respect and understanding love should eventually, I think, evolve to something more mature, so maybe it evolves in order for it to last.

    Wonders, if you have the chance watch the movie and let me know what you think of it, it is interesting I think. Our culture is not unfair, but there are some things in it that are outdated and should change, and prearranged marriage should become a crime, I agree.

    Yazan, you have a very good review of the movie I think I agree with you, there is a lot of bad interpretation of religion and ignorance about the Arabic culture in the movie, and frankly speaking I didn’t get the message that the movie is trying to convey, it kinda made mixed feelings inside of me. thank you.

  6. relationSHIP.

  7. The film is great,as for the religious part,it is not shown as it should be for this kind of family,as sabah wears a suiming suit,and her hijab is not 100 percent as muslims should wear it,also her wearings,and as we see that they are a closed family there is a contradiction between what she said and what she did,she must be open minded due to her acting and way of living.anyway the film overall story is great and it shown that whatever we are love can make the needed exceptions,and steven is perfect.

  8. Ive never watched it but i am going thru the same thing she did. but in stephans shoes. my man for 1year is Arabic. we live in canada. his family is back home in africa. His father called out of the blue and told him hes married. Im just extremely upset, I am pregnant. tough situation, I dont know what to do. Its killin me. hes trying to change his fathers mind etc. but his father arranged everything already. its tearing us apart but we dont want to let each other go. its tough. i dont wish this pain upon anyone to be in my shoes right now.

    • hold on to him… true love never dies even if tradition and culture are in your way…he chose to be with you.. and there is an unborn child waiting to see the light… i’m gona pray for you…

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