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(hâr`əm) [Arabic], term applied to women's apartments in a Muslim household. In the ancient Arab world women enjoyed a certain amount of freedom. However, with the advent of Islam, the veiling and seclusion of women into harems became more common. The most famous harem, that of the sultans of Turkey, dates from the 15th cent. and included the old and new palaces on Seraglio Point, Constantinople. It was abolished with the downfall (1909) of Abd al-Hamid II. The sultan's harem often contained several hundred women, all subject to the control of the sultan's mother and guarded by eunuchs. In India the harem is called a purdah or zenana; in Iran, andarun. Although the harem rapidly and largely disappeared in the 20th cent., there nevertheless are still some in existence in the more remote areas of the Muslim world.


See N. M. Penzer, The Harem (1937); D. Van Ess, Fatima and Her Sisters (1961).



the women’s quarters in a wealthy Muslim household; also, in a figurative sense, its inhabitants—the wives and concubines of the master of the house. Large harems of rulers, the wealthy, and dignitaries in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and other countries were guarded by eunuchs. Men (other than husbands and sons) were barred from the harems. Beginning in the 1920’s the harem virtually disappeared as a result of the ban on multiple marriages (for example, in Turkey in 1926), the introduction of equal social rights for women, economic and cultural progress, and the growth of the democratic movement, including the women’s movement.


, hareem
a group of female animals of the same species that are the mates of a single male
References in periodicals archive ?
It is located about 7km from the Hail al Hareem village along the road leading to Jebel Abiyadh or the White Mountains.'
is located about 7 km from the village of Hail Al Hareem, along the road
Salih, 39, was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court in December 2011 after admitting conspiracy to evade customs duty and Hareem, of Hickory Close, Woodway Park, received two years and four months for the same offence.
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Left to right: Roxbury dress pounds 200, Tina sparkle top pounds 75 and Huxley hareem trousers pounds 95, Florrie dress pounds 225, all from Monsoon
Sara beat Neha Adnan Khan 6-1, 6-1, Urooj defeated Nida Butt 6-3, 6-4, Uroosa overpowered Hareem Bhaghat 6-4, 6-4 and Maheen beat Mahrukh Khan 6-3, 6-0.
TOWCESTER: 12.25 Furze Hill, 1.00 My Les, 1.35 Master Overseer, 2.10 Hareem, 2.45 Love Of Tara, 3.20 Satindra, 3.50 She's On The Case.
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JAMIE SPENCER boosted his claim to the Flat jockeys' title when Hareem landed the 1m6f maiden.
If, however, King Kev had really, really wanted to punish the striker who's currently scoring even less than Julian Clary in a hareem or Gary Neville in a Manchester disco, perhaps he should have sent the Liverpool scallywag to Scottish club Hearts.
A world record was set at the London saleroom of Sotheby's, the fine art auctioneers, recently, with the sale of a 19th century Orientalist watercolour depicting two girls gathering flowers in the walled garden of a hareem. The painting, dated 1871, is the work of London-born John Frederick Lewis who, in 1837 at the age of 32, set out on a trip that was to change the course of his career.
Hareem Farooq is among the A list stars of our entertainment industry.