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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 is rapidly disappearing 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 ?
northeastern side of the village of Hail Al Hareem, in the southern
The Al Faqa'a Cave is located about 500m on the northeastern side of the village of Hail al Hareem.
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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.
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
science disciplines, three female students topped the science group with Hareem Nisar of Hitec School and College for Girls, Taxila standing first by obtaining 1018 marks, Nimra Sadiq of Air Base Inter College Mushaf, Sargodha Cantt standing second and Mahnoor Amin of Hitec School and College for Girls, Taxila clinching third position by securing 1016 and 1015 marks respectively.
EMBRACE this season's traveller trend - volcanic ash permitting - with this paisley print silk pair of hareem pants from Warehouse pounds 45.
A statement issued by four Iraqi MP's, Mosul Osama Najafi, Ezadeen Dola, Amin Farjan Chichow, and Hareem Qado, against the existence of Peshmerga forces in Mosul, said that the Peshmerga is considered a militia and operates in these cities without the central government's permission.
It's just such a calming, relaxing form of meditation, almost," Laurel Modic of the Hareem Shar'eem troupe said before a rehearsal at the Slovenian Society Home in Euclid, Ohio.
Monee Madrigale, Tim Marcroft, Rebecca Marcus, Elaine Marrocco, Hannah Martin, Rachel Matagora, Michelle Maujean, Shannon McCormick, Matthew McGlade, Ambrose McJunkin, Michael McKern, Devin McManus, Kendra McWilliams, Lauren Melevin, Haley Meshnik, Rachel Modee, Saraphina Monaco, Dustin Moore, Samuel Moulton, Richard Murphy, Stefani Newman, Jessica Niles, Hanne Nilsen, Jungho Noh, Ashley Nored, Natalie Norris, Thomas Oakes, Angelica O'Brien, Kevin O'Brien, Tegan O'Brien, Ikaika Paakaula, Samantha Pabst, Adam Palodichuk, Hareem Park, Hyun Sung Park, Danielle Parks, Britta Patton, Marie Peroutka, Steven Perritt, Tyler Pickering, Sarah Pritchard, Kelsey Provo, Jacob Purkapile,
The novel will amply satisfy the Western fascination with what are considered to be culturally specific traits of Arab society: polygyny, the institution of the hareem, the obsession with sons, co-wives' curses and their bizarre expiations, which in this case include hair-raising climbs into one of the great pyramids.
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.