by Amalia

I would like to invite Prof. Brown to conduct an ethnographic study on Middle Eastern cultures which revolve around the word "eib", "عيب". This Arabic word, in its root, means "flaw", and yet the word in its daily usage, refers to shame. You are told, "eib", as in, shame on you, for doing so and so. Usually, the word "eib" is accompanied with a sentence about what people would think. One’s life is centred on what others think, the flaw which you might be presenting, and the shame which emerges from it. The root of many problems in Arab society are not oppression of women, nor is it dictatorship, etc. It is of us oppressing ourselves with this constant shaming process. We are always told to not reveal our flaws, to always care about what people think – of what we do, how we dress, how we behave, etc. We fear stigma, because we engage in stigmatizing each other.

I always love to read the comments on TED talk. This one is the comment for Brene Brown’s talk about shame. This is a very interesting insight about Arab society and I do think that we have such approach too in Asian/Indonesian society.