Bahraini Mother Defends Country's First Sex Shop

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Bahrain, the tiny 33-island nation in the Persian Gulf, occasionally shows hints of being one of the Middle East's more liberal societies. But everything has a limit. So when mother-of-three Khadija Ahmed opened the country's first sex shop, she probably should have expected some trouble with law enforcement. Writing in the United Arab Emirates-based Arabian Business, Elsa Baxter reports:

The female owner of Bahrain’s first sex shop has appeared in court accused of insulting a Customs officer during an argument over the import of sex aids and games. Khadija Ahmed denied the charge at Lower Criminal Court on Monday and the case was adjourned to September 15, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News. The mother-of-three told the paper her shop is a legitimate business that also helps save marriages by putting excitement back into couple’s lives.

... Ahmed opened Khadija Fashion House in 2008 selling lingerie, sex aids and games to a loyal and increasing customer base. She has faced issues with Customs officials over some of the products she tried to import that they said were not authorised. "The products I sell don't go against Islam. There is nothing that prohibits married couples from enjoying their sex lives, or preventing them from having a happy marriage," she told the paper.

Cairo-based blogger Issandr El Amrani quips, "Bahrain's first sex shop owner appears in court: Married mother of three says her business halal - I agree!" (Halal means permissible under Islamic law.) Here's Khadjia Ahmed puttering around her store, photographed by Adam Jan for Getty Images:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.