Cosmo hits newsstands in the Middle East
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STORY CORRECTION When we originally aired this story, Marketplace said the magazine would be available in Saudi Arabia. The magazine will in fact be available in UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Lebanon.
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: For months now, we’ve been talking about the unrest that’s spread across the Middle East and North Africa. The people of the region have risen up wanting the same freedoms other people around the world enjoy. But those kinds of freedoms include a lot of things people there haven’t seen before or have only heard about. So today, women in the Middle East are getting their first look at their own version of the magazine, Cosmopolitan, Cosmo.
The BBC’s Katy Watson reports from Dubai.
KATY WATSON: Women played a major role in many of the protests across the Arab world. In Egypt and Tunisia, for example, they’ve been demanding greater political and cultural freedoms. But does that mean women in the region are ready for a magazine like Cosmo — that writes freely about men, relationships and even sex?
Kerrie Simon is editor of Cosmopolitan here in Dubai — she says they are:
KERRIE SIMON: Women today in the Middle East are just so much more sure of who they are and their rights within their own home. You know, their rights to enjoy a relationship, their rights within a relationship and more confident in who they are.
The magazine will be sold across the region. Now countries like Lebanon are very liberal. But Cosmo will also be sold on newsstands in Saudi Arabia — a country where men and women can’t even mix together in public.
The first issue of the magazine will feature an article on ’10 ways to get him to notice you.’ A watered down alternative to what you may find in European and US editions perhaps. But nonetheless likely to appeal to girls across the region.
In Dubai I’m the BBC’s Katy Watson for Marketplace.
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