In Lebanon, a single, middle-aged woman deals with the effect societal opposition to interfaith marriage has had on her life, while a young couple vows to sustain their love in the face of this opposition.
Lama and Fouad are very much in love. He is Christian and she is Muslim. Will their love survive in a society that will not allow them to marry across the religious divide?
Marita, a woman in her mid-forties, has never forgotten her first and only true love - a forbidden love that blossomed during the Lebanese civil war.
In Algeria, a hair salon becomes a haven for women constrained by the societal traditions they are forced to live by. The Beauty Salon is one of the few social spheres in Algeria where women can discuss their lives freely. Here we meet Lila, who was prevented from marrying the man she loved because his mother disapproved of her smoking, of her western dress, and of the fact that Lila had visited Paris. LOVE AND MARRIAGE traces the customers' (and hair dressers') lives; lives that have been embroiled by tradition and rebellion.
"[ARAB DIARIES] presents a rare critical insight into contemporary life in the Arab world. The quality of sound and cinematography of this series is superb. The films contain a rich source of information on a culture that is often guarded from the west. It dares to bring up strong issues without imposing judgment on the values discussed. The series is a good example of how much more we have to learn about the Middle East – the films managed to raise an eyebrow once or twice, even though I spent almost 20 years in that region. Highly recommended to all kinds of libraries, especially academic libraries with undergraduate studies related to culture, anthropology, or Middle Eastern studies, as well as libraries with internship programs in the Middle East."—Educational Media Reviews Online
2001 Middle Eastern Studies Association Film Festival