View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

UAE Education about Cosmetic Surgery Must be Comprehensive

Dr Jeehan Qadir, a leading physician in the UAE, has called for more education to be offered to the public about cosmetic surgery.

“We have an educational department here because unfortunately people in the Gulf are not educated in cosmetic surgery like people outside the Middle East. People in the West are more educated although they do less surgery,” she said in a statement reported in Business Intelligence Middle East (Bi-ME), 22 September 2008.

Regulation of standards and the eradication of incompetent cheats are vital as is education about surgical methods and how one chooses a qualified surgeon.

But before the Emirates fully embraces this multi-billion dollar global industry it is important that the public understanding extends beyond the physical and emotional dimensions of cosmetic surgery to the cultural and spiritual facets.

Many interpreters of Islam (e.g. Central Mosque.Com, Islam Channel, Islam Online) do not permit cosmetic surgery for beautification stating that it is allowed only in cases of deformity or damage. Many outside the faith often wonder why cosmetic surgery is needed or desired by people who cover up but those seeking physical change by surgery are often also seeking emotional enhancement.

One wonders, however, how people seeking physical renewal and the reversal of the effects of aging will maintain face when they undergo surgical changes that they know are contrary to their faith and the religious and cultural values of the United Arab Emirates.

What do you think of the growing desire for cosmetic surgery in the UAE?

If you are positive about it, how can it be reconciled with the Islamic faith?

Should the UAE practice of censoring sites and prohibiting harmful extend to practices such as cosmetic surgery for beautification?

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: “how people…will maintain face when they undergo surgical changes that they know are contrary to their faith.”