Advertisement

Working with Families, Infants, and Young Children from the Middle East

  • Youssef HrarEmail author
  • Muhammad Farhan
Chapter

Abstract

The Middle East can be understood as a mosaic of religious, cultures, ethnicities, and cultural practices. This chapter focuses on issues in the perinatal period and early childhood for families that practice Islam and who may embrace traditional Islamic beliefs. The taboo of consanguineous marriage, that is common in many other cultures, does not apply to the marriage between cousins. Women are often subordinated to male relatives or their husband when they marry. There is an emphasis on purity and cleanliness to avoid negative outcomes of the pregnancy and avoiding forbidden practices and respecting taboos. A number of protective devices are employed by women and used with young children to protect against evil spirits or djinns, evil angels, and the evil eye. Families may consult the traditional healer or marabout, as well as using modern medical practices concurrently. Muslim families may face increased prejudice in many industrialized countries and may fear expressing their beliefs openly or adhere to traditional practices. Parents often believe that adverse events are already written in the book of life and may accept them as the will of Allah, rather than attributing them to parents or caregivers. Religious practices and traditional remedies have a protective value for families facing adversities like migration, refugee status, and the turmoil observed in many areas of the Middle East. Some commonly observed culture-bound syndromes are described.

Keywords

Patriarchalism Arranged marriage Consanguineous marriage Islamic teachings Haram practices Qur’an teachings Letter Female modesty Circumcision Djinns Evil angels Worried Marabout 

References

  1. Al-Issa, I. E. (2000). Al-Junūn: Mental illness in the Islamic world. Madison: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bilu, Y. (2001). The woman who wanted to be her father: A case analysis of Dybbuk-Possession in a Hasidic Community. In Women, gender, religion: A reader (pp. 331–345). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bittles, A. H. (2001). Consanguinity and its relevance to clinical genetics. Clinical Genetics, 60(2), 89–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bittles, A. H., & Black, M. L. (2010). Consanguinity, human evolution, and complex diseases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(Suppl. 1), 1779–1786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bragazzi, N. L., & Del Puente, G. (2012). Panic attacks and possession by djinns: Lessons from ethnopsychiatry. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 5, 185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Camelin, S. (1997). Divination magie pouvoirs to Yemen. Croyance aux djinns et possession in the Hadramaout. [Magical power for divination in Yemen. Belief in djinns and possession in Hadramaout]. Quaderni di Studi Arabi, 13, 159-180.Google Scholar
  7. DeLoache, J. (2000). A world of babies. Imagined childcare guides for seven societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Drieskens, B. (2008). Living with Djinns. Understanding and dealing the invisible in Cairo. London: Saki Books.Google Scholar
  9. Dwairy, M. A. (2006). Counseling and psychotherapy with Arabs and Muslims: A culturally sensitive approach. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gatrad, A. R. (1994). Attitudes and beliefs of Muslim mothers towards pregnancy and infancy. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 71(2), 170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ghassemzadeh, H., Mojtabai, R., Khamseh, A., Ebrahimkhani, N., Issazadegan, A. A., & Saif-Nobakht, Z. (2002). Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder in a sample of Iranian patients. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 48(1), 20–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Green, K. E., & Smith, D. E. (2007). Change and continuity: Childbirth and parenting across three generations of women in the United Arab Emirates. Child: Health Care and Development, 37, 266–274.Google Scholar
  13. Green, K., Broome, H., & Mirabella, J. (2006). Postnatal depression among mothers in the United Arab Emirates: Socio-cultural and physical factors. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 11(4), 425–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Inhorn, M. C., & Serour, G. I. (2011). Islam, medicine, and Arab-Muslim refugee health in America after 9/11. The Lancet, 378(9794), 935–943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Karadaĝ, F., Oguzhanoglu, N. K., Özdel, O., Ateşci, F. Ç., & Amuk, T. (2006). OCD symptoms in a sample of Turkish patients: A phenomenological picture. Depression and Anxiety, 23(3), 145–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Karmi, G. (2005). Women, Islam and patriarchalism. Women and Islam: Images and realities.Google Scholar
  17. Lawrence, P., & Rozmus, C. (2001). Culturally sensitive care of the Muslim patient. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 12(3), 228–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lebling, R. (2010). Legends of fire spirits. Jinn and genies from Arabia to Zanzibar. London: IB Tauris & Co.Google Scholar
  19. Lim, A., Hoek, H. W., & Blom, J. D. (2015). The attribution of psychotic symptoms to jinn in Islamic patients. Transcultural Psychiatry, 52(1), 18–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McKenna, K. M., & Shankar, R. T. (2009). The practice of prelacteal feeding to newborns among Hindu and Muslim families. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 54(1), 78–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mortazavi, S. (2006). The Iranian family in a context of cultural diversity. In J. Georgas, J. W. Berry, F. J. R. van de Vijver, C. Kagitcibasi, & Y. H. Poortinga (Eds.), Families across cultures. A 30 nation study (pp. 378–385). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nahas, V., & Amasheh, N. (1999). Culture care meanings and experiences of postpartum depression among Jordanian Australian women: A transcultural study. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 10(1), 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Qureshi, B. (2012). Transcultural medicine: Dealing with patients from different cultures. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.Google Scholar
  24. Razak, A. L. A., & Latif, A. (2014). Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Its what and how from an Islamic perspective. Global Journal Al-Thaqafah, 4(1), 7–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Reitmanova, S., & Gustafson, D. L. (2008). “They can’t understand it”: Maternity health and care needs of immigrant Muslim women in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 12(1), 101–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shahawy, S., Deshpande, N. A., & Nour, N. M. (2015). Cross-cultural obstetric and gynecologic care of Muslim patients. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 126(5), 969–973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shaikh, U., & Ahmed, O. (2006). Islam and infant feeding. Breastfeeding Medicine, 1(3), 164–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Somer, E. (2006). Culture-bound dissociation: A comparative analysis. Psychiatric Clinics, 29(1), 213–226.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Vedder, P., Sam, D. L., & Liebkind, K. (2007). The acculturation and adaptation of Turkish adolescents in North-Western Europe. Applied Developmental Science, 11(3), 126–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Warnock Fernea, E. (Ed.). (1995). Children in the Muslim Middle East (pp. 3–16). Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.International ServicesTexas Childrens HospitalHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryTruman Medical Centers, University of Missouri Kansas CityKansas CityUSA

Personalised recommendations