Image 1 of 14: Because your place or my place is really your parent’s place. No one wants their parents asking how they like their ‘foul’ in the morning.
Image 1 of 14: Save yourself the tip-toeing trauma: Prying parents and gandering grandparents make the Middle East a warzone for relationships and many end up undercover. Instead of sneaking around vigilant peers, stay solo and save yourself the grief, hard work and hassle!
Image 1 of 14: The more the merrier! Because your date might turn into a group effort: your romantic rendezvous is likely to transform into a friend fest in the social family-oriented Middle East. Keep the dozen male cousins and yourself at home this year!
Image 1 of 14: Because you can take a break from the only relationship that really matters in your life - with your hair removal specialist! Men, (and Arab women!) keep those beards untrimmed and ladies, revel in the lack of wax!
Image 1 of 14: Save some money and eat some Kanafe guilt-free! Or, if you’re in the savoury zone, make the most of the Middle East’s delivery McDonalds - no one is around to judge!
Image 1 of 14: Tacky kitsch on VDay is SO overdone and garish in the Middle East that it is entirely acceptable to develop an allergy to Cupid’s cycle. Save yourself a red-induced headache by skipping the festivities altogether.
Image 1 of 14: Because car-necking is out the window! No flashbacks to 1950s U.S. and car make-out sessions please - keep it private and classy by not acting like lovesick teenagers. No jail time either - bonus!
Image 1 of 14: Because you get to make a political anti-West statement out of boycotting V Day, Arab-style!
Image 1 of 14: PDA is not socially acceptable anywhere but in the Middle East it may be social suicide. If you spend VDay on the sofa, solo, no nausea-inducing couples swapping saliva will kill your vibe! Despite all the hype, hysteria and rabid romance, holding hands over a candlelit dinner wasn’t an option in the first place for Arabian amore!
Image 1 of 14: Because getting a room is easier said than done: nipping off for a dirty weekend is hard work in the Middle East - in some places, unmarried couples must present all sorts of paperwork to hotels to prove their matrimony. Is it worth all the slinking sheep-faced through hotel lobbies?
Image 1 of 14: Because here a ladies night on VDay does not have the same air of desperation or pity about it-- (alcohol and sleepovers are probably not an option) since even lovers will likely keep it on the down-low and hide out in their social friend sets on this day like any other.
Image 1 of 14: Save yourself the sinning! The flowers, chocolates and gifts will go so much farther on Mother’s day-- a more popular, legitimately endorsed celebration in the region where for Muslims at least the mother takes you one step closer to heaven...
Image 1 of 14: Because men don't need to act like they know what they're doing in the kitchen in order to treat their lovely ladies on the day. Don’t strain yourself trying to cook (men) when you know you’re used to Mom doing it anyway. (refer to #12 again)
Image 1 of 14: Keeping it kosher: Cause the lovers’ day is haram for many and NO FUN without booze (alcohol is hard to come by in some desert spots).
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and the Middle East -- where passions run high at the best of times -- a hotbed of news and political drama-- turns up the heat as it goes violently mad for the love-fest. Arabs have been channeling their pent up over-sentimentalism, sensitivities and emotions into this global love affair for the better part of the last month now. Denizens of Arabia are going mushy over all things heart and red, rapidly turning desert planes into strawberry fields, and driven to distraction by tacky gifts. But this star-crossed day is also leaving some women running for the sand dunes and chocolate (dodging the heart-shaped ones) to ease the pain of being single -- arguably a condition even more wretched or a curse in these conservative societies than elsewhere.
For many, Valentine’s Day might as well be called “Single Awareness Day”, a dreaded day often greeted with long faces and lots of tears. But don’t fret; while for everywhere else Valentine’s is an open celebration of love, in the ME it's quite a different story. For those in a relationship, V Day can turn into a source of stress and distress, rending being in love more hazardous than it is rapturous. This "singles' slideshow" will flip the myth of being loved-up on February 14 on its head --offering bachelors, bachelorettes, spinsters, widows and divorcees from the Levant to the Maghreb a new perspective: 14 compelling reasons why being single on Valentine’s Day- and any other day for that matter - rocks!!! Not a painful reminder of being 'All by (your)self' but a welcome relief from the drama that accompanies the lovers' haven.