8 Things Banned in the Middle East You Might Not Have Heard of

Published June 19th, 2017 - 17:57 GMT

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Whether it’s your hairstyle, the name of your baby, what you wear or how you move, here are 8 weird things banned around the Middle East you might not have heard of.

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This is not quite the haircut you should walk around with in Iran. Spiky haircuts have been banned along with those considered “homosexual” and associated with “devil worshipping”. What exactly that means is not entirely clear. But any shop who cuts hairs in these styles will be punished and their license revoked.
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Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8This is not quite the haircut you should walk around with in Iran. Spiky haircuts have been banned along with those considered “homosexual” and associated with “devil worshipping”. What exactly that means is not entirely clear. But any shop who cuts hairs in these styles will be punished and their license revoked.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Marcel Jancovic)

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An Egyptian newborn called Mark? In the future, the baby’s parents might face trouble. The Egyptian parliamentary committee is about to discuss a ban on Western names with a punishment of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $278. The reason: these names are difficult to pronounce and estrange Egyptians from their “true identity”.
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Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8An Egyptian newborn called Mark? In the future, the baby’s parents might face trouble. The Egyptian parliamentary committee is about to discuss a ban on Western names with a punishment of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $278. The reason: these names are difficult to pronounce and estrange Egyptians from their “true identity”.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Wong Yu Liang)

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Don’t shoot a selfie with your Iranian football champion or soon he might not be your champion anymore. The Iranian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee has forbidden football players to take selfies with their female fans during a match in Australia in 2016, as fans there do not follow Iran’s dress codes.
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Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8Don’t shoot a selfie with your Iranian football champion or soon he might not be your champion anymore. The Iranian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee has forbidden football players to take selfies with their female fans during a match in Australia in 2016, as fans there do not follow Iran’s dress codes.

(Source: AFP)

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In Iran, it might be advisable not to wear yellow trousers with black dots. Iran international goalkeeper Sosha Makani, who had done exactly that, faced a six-month suspension for “inappropriate” conduct.
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Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8In Iran, it might be advisable not to wear yellow trousers with black dots. Iran international goalkeeper Sosha Makani, who had done exactly that, faced a six-month suspension for “inappropriate” conduct.

(Source: File photo)

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These dudes are considered too Western to be sold in Saudi Arabia according to a decree issued by the Saudi police. However, the decree only applies to selling and does not include confiscating pets. According to locals, it has also not been enforced yet.
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Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8These dudes are considered too Western to be sold in Saudi Arabia according to a decree issued by the Saudi police. However, the decree only applies to selling and does not include confiscating pets. According to locals, it has also not been enforced yet.

(Source: Shutterstock)

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Crossing the red line on February 14 in Saudi Arabia has not been a good idea until recently. Shops were asked to remove anything red for a few days before Valentine’s day to prevent the celebration of what is considered non-Muslim and encouraging “immoral relations”. 2017 was the first year during which red things were permitted again.
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8Crossing the red line on February 14 in Saudi Arabia has not been a good idea until recently. Shops were asked to remove anything red for a few days before Valentine’s day to prevent the celebration of what is considered non-Muslim and encouraging “immoral relations”. 2017 was the first year during which red things were permitted again.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Shmeliova Natalia)

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In Dubai, such outbreaks of happiness are only allowed in licensed clubs or privacy. If you dance in the street or listen to loud music in public, you are accused of “indecent and provocative” behavior. So don’t move and stay silent whilst going about your day.
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Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8In Dubai, such outbreaks of happiness are only allowed in licensed clubs or privacy. If you dance in the street or listen to loud music in public, you are accused of “indecent and provocative” behavior. So don’t move and stay silent whilst going about your day.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Anatoliy Cherkas)

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Want to study music in Saudi Arabia? There are three options: teach yourself, find a private tutor or leave the country. In any public institution, music is forbidden. There are no music classes in schools or universities. The reason being, that in the opinion of some, music is forbidden according to religion.
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Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8Want to study music in Saudi Arabia? There are three options: teach yourself, find a private tutor or leave the country. In any public institution, music is forbidden. There are no music classes in schools or universities. The reason being, that in the opinion of some, music is forbidden according to religion.

(Source: Shutterstock)

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1

This is not quite the haircut you should walk around with in Iran. Spiky haircuts have been banned along with those considered “homosexual” and associated with “devil worshipping”. What exactly that means is not entirely clear. But any shop who cuts hairs in these styles will be punished and their license revoked.

Image 1 of 8This is not quite the haircut you should walk around with in Iran. Spiky haircuts have been banned along with those considered “homosexual” and associated with “devil worshipping”. What exactly that means is not entirely clear. But any shop who cuts hairs in these styles will be punished and their license revoked.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Marcel Jancovic)

2

An Egyptian newborn called Mark? In the future, the baby’s parents might face trouble. The Egyptian parliamentary committee is about to discuss a ban on Western names with a punishment of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $278. The reason: these names are difficult to pronounce and estrange Egyptians from their “true identity”.

Image 2 of 8An Egyptian newborn called Mark? In the future, the baby’s parents might face trouble. The Egyptian parliamentary committee is about to discuss a ban on Western names with a punishment of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $278. The reason: these names are difficult to pronounce and estrange Egyptians from their “true identity”.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Wong Yu Liang)

3

Don’t shoot a selfie with your Iranian football champion or soon he might not be your champion anymore. The Iranian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee has forbidden football players to take selfies with their female fans during a match in Australia in 2016, as fans there do not follow Iran’s dress codes.

Image 3 of 8Don’t shoot a selfie with your Iranian football champion or soon he might not be your champion anymore. The Iranian Football Federation’s disciplinary committee has forbidden football players to take selfies with their female fans during a match in Australia in 2016, as fans there do not follow Iran’s dress codes.

(Source: AFP)

4

In Iran, it might be advisable not to wear yellow trousers with black dots. Iran international goalkeeper Sosha Makani, who had done exactly that, faced a six-month suspension for “inappropriate” conduct.

Image 4 of 8In Iran, it might be advisable not to wear yellow trousers with black dots. Iran international goalkeeper Sosha Makani, who had done exactly that, faced a six-month suspension for “inappropriate” conduct.

(Source: File photo)

5

These dudes are considered too Western to be sold in Saudi Arabia according to a decree issued by the Saudi police. However, the decree only applies to selling and does not include confiscating pets. According to locals, it has also not been enforced yet.

Image 5 of 8These dudes are considered too Western to be sold in Saudi Arabia according to a decree issued by the Saudi police. However, the decree only applies to selling and does not include confiscating pets. According to locals, it has also not been enforced yet.

(Source: Shutterstock)

6

Crossing the red line on February 14 in Saudi Arabia has not been a good idea until recently. Shops were asked to remove anything red for a few days before Valentine’s day to prevent the celebration of what is considered non-Muslim and encouraging “immoral relations”. 2017 was the first year during which red things were permitted again.

Image 6 of 8Crossing the red line on February 14 in Saudi Arabia has not been a good idea until recently. Shops were asked to remove anything red for a few days before Valentine’s day to prevent the celebration of what is considered non-Muslim and encouraging “immoral relations”. 2017 was the first year during which red things were permitted again.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Shmeliova Natalia)

7

In Dubai, such outbreaks of happiness are only allowed in licensed clubs or privacy. If you dance in the street or listen to loud music in public, you are accused of “indecent and provocative” behavior. So don’t move and stay silent whilst going about your day.

Image 7 of 8In Dubai, such outbreaks of happiness are only allowed in licensed clubs or privacy. If you dance in the street or listen to loud music in public, you are accused of “indecent and provocative” behavior. So don’t move and stay silent whilst going about your day.

(Source: Shutterstock/ Anatoliy Cherkas)

8

Want to study music in Saudi Arabia? There are three options: teach yourself, find a private tutor or leave the country. In any public institution, music is forbidden. There are no music classes in schools or universities. The reason being, that in the opinion of some, music is forbidden according to religion.

Image 8 of 8Want to study music in Saudi Arabia? There are three options: teach yourself, find a private tutor or leave the country. In any public institution, music is forbidden. There are no music classes in schools or universities. The reason being, that in the opinion of some, music is forbidden according to religion.

(Source: Shutterstock)

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