ادم سأل حوا: بتحبيني يا مرا
جاوبته حوا: ليش في غيرك يا خرا
Adam Sa’al Howaa’: Bit’hebeene ya mara?
Jawabat Howaa’: Laysh fi ghayrak ya khara?
“Adam asked Eve: Do you love me, woman?”
“Eve answered: Why? Is there anyone besides you, stupid?”
The informant is one of my family members who was raised in Lebanon by parents who spent the entirety of their lives there and gained an understanding of jokes that are told within households and gatherings.
The informant described this joke as “A very old joke told traditionally in men gathering as it’s too rude to be said in front of women out of respect” conveying that this was usually told in the public eye, yet not in front of women as it is seen as a ‘male joke’. She also stated that “They use this type of short funny jokes when men gather and drink Arak, the traditional Lebanese alcoholic drink” It is usually said by men that are older in age when choosing to discuss topics besides work and family as that was seen as “bad territory” when around family.
This type of male joke in Lebanese culture is most likely said in these environments to state dominance, however, in this instance, the joke refers to ‘Adam’ being the joke, therefore they are laughing at their own gender conveying that they feel safe in the space that they are in together and have developed a close bond. It is because of the irony in the story as the Christian religion encapsulates a large majority of the Lebanese population, therefore, using this type of humour allows the men to feel more connected culturally and see each other as a family. The story of Adam and Eve is most likely brought up to highlight the intimacy that a family might have with one another. However, this may be an allusion to arranged marriages as Lebanon and other arab countries have been known to use their children as transactions between businesses therefore the ‘inevitable relationship’ of Adam and Eve might have alluded to their forced marriages.