Thursday, December 01, 2005


I went out yesterday with a dear friend of mine who wears the hijab. She’s also one of the most elegant women I know. However, she was in black from head to toe. And all of a sudden I felt suffocated and remembered the Taliban blue burgaas and I also remembered that I’ll be going to Riyadh soon and I too will be covered in a mono color. And then I realized or perhaps imagined that the men (from the Taliban or the Haya’ah in Saudi Arabia) that are or were appointed to ensure that women are not individually dressed are probably the lowest ranking ones, those who have been made to believe that they have the biggest roles in saving women’s chastity via their uniform while the higher ranking officers were/are enjoying the powers which count, the power which brings loads of money into their greedy pockets and which allows them to get away with murder.

So, in my next trip to the Kingdome, dare I break the Wahabi mono-color dress code? Or will I fear that my individuality will be translated into a sinful desire to attract men?

so is it kingdome or kingdom?
Wow. The law really requires full covering and in a single color? Are any colors forbidden? Very interesting... and sad.
What are you planning to do? red Abayya?

unknown entity,
No its not a law to wear a black abbaya & black hijjab & black veil, but it is encouraged there were even posters to show what is good Islamic women wear in the Universities (showing that a tight abbaya is not correct)

la i am thinking of wearing a skirt suit+hijab just like any muhajaba woman would wear to work in Kuwait.

1- many ppl wear multi colored 3abayas... some even with a japanese twist

2- many westerners dont even wear 3abayas anymore

3- some of my friends dont even wear a 3abaya, just a long shirt (knee length) and a tarha.. and u know how headscarfs are optional in jeddah

the fact that this isnt portrayed in the media isn't our fault - as citizens, its Ayad Madani's (the minister of media)
you know!...I passed thru Saudi once, about seven years ago, on a road trip to Dubai...that ended up being the last time I ever set foot in that sorry-a** place. it was like being in the zoo!!!...feel sorry for how closed minded they are. Why does the woman have to cover up in uncomfortable clothes? Why can't men just control themselves and just NOT LOOK at what they might think is wrong? Isn’t that the prophet's teaching? How would they feel if they had to wear that thing they put on horses, so that they would only look strait!! I think that would be fare!!

1st time i went to Jeddah, i didn't have an abbaya with me, and out of respect to the country's culture, i wore the Hijab and i did not mind it one bit.

However, i learned quickly it is more appropriate, especially in the male dominated business environment, to be conservative (i.e. to be in a hijab + abbaya).

For example, why do you wear an abbaya?

I've seen Kuwaiti women, wearing their hijab & normal day clothes (i.e. no abbaya) in Saudi and honestly, i also was looking at them for being different.

While in Jeddah i want to observe the local culture, but when in Riyadh, i just want to be invisible cuz those hayaa officers are scary and i am a stranger there and wouldn't have the gutts (nor power) to tell them buzz off or else..

Foreigners get away without scrutiny because they look like foreigners, and i don't.

Moreover, i know its a matter of choice my catch-22, or else i wouldn't be contemplating breaking the code :)

love ya!
i have to add that ofcourse not all Saudis are like that, and jeddah isn't nearly that's actually pretty cool there.

Yes, it would be nice if men can observe their own decency and NOT look, but i am fond of the Kingdom, and i do not like calling any one or any country any names.
no i didn't mean to call it a name or anything, i was just implying that i was observing a state that was very different with amazement.
I wear it to respect my father and mother's wishes.. and not to be bombed by fanatics from geseem or 07

Speaking of Hay2a.. last time I actually had a dialogue with them was around 6 or 7 years ago... they cussed me out and I reported them to dwaan al7asaba and was asked whether I would want him to be lashed for "hatk 3arth" or something

another time I was shopping and he was yelling at me so I simply ignored him... and he just got tired and left...

Mind you, I don't cover my face, half my hair is out and I wear makeup in riyadh.. I'm not saying that theyre arent incidents.. bel3ax, I am apposing aslan mabda2 el hay2a.. l2an bsara7a mala da3ee.. it all began after the seige in Makka 7asbya Allah 3alaihom and things just went downhill from there.. things were completely different in the 70s.. I see my parents pictures, women used to go out in public in Saris (indian women ofcourse) with their tummies showing 3adi..

love you too sheebz :*

LOL.. I wanted to comment on mellos post but changed my mind...

mafeeni 7ail LOL

but just wanted to mention that when he said " i was just implying that i was observing a state that was very different with amazement." it totally cracked me up.. I felt like you were one of those japanese tourists in Tash ma Tash know what catch-22?, that's pretty funny...but yeah you could say so...i was in a state of shock that can not be described!!...i guess i could be compared to those tourists!! a great show!!
hope you had a camera!
loooooooool...that was actually the missing part:P
hello? your phone?! whatever happened to our instinctive urge to bluetooth the absurdities of this society & to get credited too!

malek 3ethr b9ara7a! :p

It's Kingdom :)

And my advice is not to break the monotone color dress code. Whatever individuality you attempt to express in that way in Riyadh especially, might only bring you annoying attention from the Haya'ah. Since you are going to work and need to focus your energies, it isn't worth the hassle IMHO. Really, these guys can be frightening.

I had my own experience with them in Riyadh a loooong time ago. I was in an upscale shopping mall looking at some gorgeous textiles and pillowcases I was enamoured with, planning to take them back to the States as gifts for my US friends. Let's just say, I was unintentionally and unavoidably dressed in a way which would attract attention in Riyadh, but yet was totally and very modestly covered up head to toe. I had no makeup other than lipstick on. Not only did one of those Haya'a guys come up to me and "zeff" me in perfect English akin to my own, but he managed to gather a bunch of his scary comrades to form a search party to "get" me and take me in. He even dressed me down for my neutral lipstick, and talked descriptively in front of the shop men around me about certain parts of my body, which were well covered up under lots of the loose material of my clothing. As I made my way out following the encounter, shopowners kept apologising to me, trying to warn me as I passed through to get out of there, that I was being hunted by the Haya'a posse. They would try to hide me and my male relative in their shops as we tried to get out of the complex, fancy pillowcases be damned. Luckily, we had been killing time shopping while waiting to get on a plane out of the country, so we just headed straight for the airport to wait for the remaining 4 hours once we made it out.

MsB, who swears "Riyadh? Never, ever, again"...
It seems you dont know about the new colorfull chinese kimono style abayas dont you?

GIrl no its in fashion to have a black abaya with be6ana(the inner coat of the abaya) colored and flowered and etc. with a matching hijab which goes the other way around outside colered and inside black ... this new style which has the head band dangling on the side out of the umbrella like 7ijab... you didnt see those??

Well its all done buy the bahrini desinger i forgot her name now i will tell you when i remember, so it in fashion to have colorfull ones now !
Wear green from top to toe, and no one will dare to show disrespect to the color of the flag ;)

And it will also make you part of the green fairy gang ;)
وين قصص المملكة ما شفنا شي بس موضوع العباة
المرة الثانية لبسي عباة الفرس تكون ملونة ومنقطة شنها لون القرش الحوت :)
Islamic fundamentalist hit the fan in the late 70s EVERYWHERE, its not just about the seige.

WOW your story really scared me wala! I don't know what i would have done had i been in your shoes, probably pee in my pants and then call the Embassador.

The abbaya's you mentioned are still black, even with the lining, and there are many designers now who make them too. I have 3 pretty ones, BUT I HATE THEM!

Shosho, those men are anti government and i don't think they'd have loyalty to the flag, however they might respect the color because it is the color very much depicted in Islamic arts and ornaments? I still doubt that though since art would probably also be considered sinful by them.

Insha'Allah, bess lazim mazaji ekoon raye2 and ikoon 3indi wakt :)
Going colors or mono, the Hay'aa guys should arrest you coz yo're hot :P
i think u have to respect the laws of the country ur in, so just do whatever they require

have fun
It doesn't matter anymore, society is falling down anymways, there are no barriers to shameful behavior.
may i call you whenever i need an ego boost?? :*

u r right

Where did THAT come from?
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