Dark-Eyed Beauties

The following is a footnote from Sir Richard Burton’s Arabian Nights:

Arab. “Hur al-Ayn,” lit. (maids) with eyes of lively white and black, applied to the virgins of paradise who will wive with the happy faithful. I retain our vulgar “Houri,” warning the reader that it is a masc. for a fem. (“Huriyah”) in Arab, although accepted in Persian, a genderless speech.

The word houri, which we often use interchangeably with virgin when we talk about the 72 virgins awaiting martyrs in Heaven, is a masculine noun. So don’t be surprised when I post a picture of a man at the end of this blog post.

Wikipedia has a really long entry on the word houri, covering all that ground about whether Muslim men reasonably expect a literal harem of 72 virgins to greet them in Heaven. My feeling is that they don’t, so apparently I agree with Margaret Nydell:

Margaret Nydell states that mainstream Muslims regard this belief about 72 virgins in the same way that mainstream Christians regard the belief that after death they will be issued with wings and a harp, and walk on clouds.[49]

I agree that black irises contrasting with white sclera are beautiful, and I’m happy that I’m not alone in my appreciation. I wonder if having a white sclera was less common a few hundred years ago when more diseases went untreated.

I wasn’t able to find many photos by doing an internet search, probably most because “black eye” means something different in English and for some reason people who have really, really dark eyes like to say they have brown eyes instead of black. Sounds like western prejudice in favor of boring old blue eyes.

So, for aficionados of the dark brown eye, here are a couple photos. I’ll try to post one a week.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Jessica Alba<

Jessica Alba

18 Comments

Filed under arab, arabian, arabic, arabist, books, houris

18 responses to “Dark-Eyed Beauties

  1. lajyseh

    Interesting stuff.
    “Margaret Nydell states that mainstream Muslims regard this belief about 72 virgins in the same way that mainstream Christians regard the belief that after death they will be issued with wings and a harp, and walk on clouds.[49]”
    I can understand the reasoning behind it.
    If you have time, feel free to check out my blog.
    I’ts new so any input is welcome!
    lajyseh.wordpress.com
    Thank-you for the wonderful blog post, I’ll make sure to check it out again next week.
    Lajyseh.

  2. Thanks for visiting, Lajyseh.

  3. Anonymous

    i love johnny depp ***************@@@@@

  4. nubia and lais

    bom eu amo demais o johnny depp e acho todos os sites dele bom demais e lindo quero homenagear o johnny por ele ser lindo e um exelente ator …
    amo vc johnny depp
    lais e nubia …♥♥♥

  5. Vixey

    Yeah I can see why people with “black” coloured iris say they have very dark brown eyes, one because if you look closely they do have various shades of brown that make up thier iris. Also as you said in your article black eye means something very different! Nobody wants it to be taken the wrong way to have people think that you have significant bruising around your eye, like you’ve been in a fight!

  6. January

    Johnny depp is a hottie

  7. Johnny Depp is sooo hottt!!wow the hottest man alive…

  8. nati

    Johnny Depp!!!
    Johnny Depp!!!
    Johnny Depp!!!
    the best….

  9. ellena browks

    eu amo demais ,johnny depp!!!!!!!!
    ele e tudo de bom.e ,é tudo que eu procurava num ator ,para assistir um bom filme.não consigo nem piscar quando ele aparece na tela.
    johnny depp.

  10. OMG!!! Johnny Depp is so sexy I just love he’s dark eyes,I’m Johnny’s biggest fan……..I LOVE JOHNNY DEPP 4 EVER………

  11. Deb Jackson

    Johnny Depp is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Cristina

    Eu adoro JD. Ele é um excelente ator, muito inteligente e sensual. Amo os seus olhos negros, porém o que me deixa completamente louca é aquela boca angelicalmente delineada, ai, ai….. Beijos Mil, Johnny Depp. I love you!!!!!

  13. CrazyAB

    yes people he is sexy. BUT DID YOU EVER STOP TO THINK THAT MAYBE HE HAS A PERSONALITY?! he is a man with feelings and a heart. he is sweet smart and talented and all you freaks care about is the outside. look please try to look at the inside. the outside is amazing and as far as i can possibly know the inside isnt too bad either. Johnny i salute you for everything you do and everything you are.
    My love and best regards to you johnny
    Anna Brim

  14. amir

    I want to say i love johnny.because of his best films.i am AMIR from Iran.

  15. hi…
    Nobody wants it to be taken the wrong way to have people think that you have significant bruising around your eye, like you’ve been in a fight!

    i’m ali from IRAN.

  16. Pingback: 2010 in review | Anonymous Arabist وين الناس

  17. Nar

    Perhaps Ben Barnes is a good example. I don’t think I’ve ever seen blacker eyes on a caucasian. Urban Dictionary describes him as an actor who “may or may not have pupils.” http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/iPhone4/Celebrities/imagepages/image25.htm

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