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why appearances matter in Saudi...chile dem ooman yah no easy

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  • why appearances matter in Saudi...chile dem ooman yah no easy

    Why appearances matter in Saudi
    By Bethany Bell
    BBC News, Riyadh


    The 24-year reign of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, who died this week, saw many changes for women, including widespread higher education and job opportunities. But in many other aspects of life restrictions remain.


    Women are not allowed to vote or drive a car in Saudi Arabia

    "Saudi Arabia: the land of black gold and the land of black ghosts," a friend of mine once joked.

    He was referring, of course, to oil - the source of Saudi riches - and to Saudi women, shrouded from head to toe in their long, black abaya robes.

    But itt would be a mistake to assume that ll abayas are just shapeless black coverings. Saudi women take great care of their appearance - even when their faces are fully veiled - and the style is all in the details.

    "I had this abaya designed specially for me," a professional Saudi woman told me.

    The sleeves and hem of her figure-hugging garment were heavily embroidered with black beading, and the robe did not fasten all the way to the ground, daringley revealing glimpses of her tight green jeans .

    " Isn't that a bit risque ?" I asked.

    She shrugged. "Yes," she said. "It all depends where you are going. Sometimes when I wear this abaya, people think I'm not a Saudi."

    Earlier she had told me she was divorced and was looking for a second husband.

    Appearing in public without being properly covered up can get women - Saudis and foreigners alike - into trouble with the religious police.

    I used to live in Saudi Arabia when I was a teenager in the 1980s and my friends and I hardly ever had to cover up.

    But then, as now, there was usually strict segregation between men and women in Saudi circles.

    My mother and I would be invited to lavish, women-only parties, often as the only Western guests. Scores of women would arrive to eat, chat and belly dance the night away.

    Many were exquisitely dressed in the latest fashions from France or Italy - short skirts and plunging necklines.

    Their abayas were hung outside in the hallway, ready for the journey home.

    Back then there were hardly any public places where women could meet and socialise outside the home. So, on my return to Saudi Arabia, I was intrigued to find that things are changing.


    The glittering Mamlaka shopping mall in Riyadh has an entire floor just for ladies, filled with stores selling designer goods. All the sales assistants are women.

    In a coffee shop, Fatima, a pharmacist in her thirties, sat drinking tea with two friends.

    All three were wearing abayas, but were bareheaded, their thick black hair falling over their shoulders.

    "I love this place," she said. "It reminds me of Philadelphia. The great thing is we can come here alone."

    "Are you married?" I asked.

    "No," she said. "I want to get married but the trouble is that modern Saudi men don't respect their women like the older generation did. They're losing their traditions."

    A large sign saying: "Exclusively ladies only, please remove your face cover for security purposes," was displayed prominently in the cafe.

    "That's to stop men from dressing up in veils and sneaking in here," they told me. "People always want to do what's forbidden."


    But in the Saks Fifth Avenue department store I did meet several women with covered faces.

    "Why don't you take off your veils?" I asked.

    "We come from conservative families," one of them called Manal said, "and we are worried about the security cameras here. Someone might abuse the pictures."

    "Do you feel happier buying your clothes from women?" I asked.

    "Actually, for make-up I prefer the male sales assistants," Manal said. "I put the lipstick colours on my hand and ask if it suits me. The men give me good advice."

    Emboldened by this suggestion, I left the ladies-only floor and went downstairs, wrapping my veil tightly round my hair.

    An Arab man was presiding over the make-up counter.

    I tried out some lipstick on my hand and held it out to him. "Do you think this colour suits me?" I asked.

    "You have the face of a model," he told me. "The colour suits you perfectly."

    There was no doubt about it. The man was flirting with me.

    I suddenly understood why Manal preferred buying her make-up from male shop assistants.

    Later that night, my colleague Hala and I went off to see how young Saudi men spend their free time.

    We were shown the way to a kind of night club, with no alcohol, no music and no women .

    "Excuse me, no ladies allowed," said the doorman.

    "We're journalists," said Hala. "We just want to do one interview and then we'll go."

    The manager arrived and let us in.

    Inside we did our interview and were treated with great civility and respect.

    No one remarked on the strangeness of our presence in this male-only preserve.

    No one that is, until we walked out.

    A group of young men, just coming in at the door, stared at us in outrage and we scuttled away.

    Certain boundaries just cannot be crossed - even with the protection of a veil.
    u so fake, even China denied mekking u

  • #2
    Re: why appearances matter in Saudi...chile dem ooman yah no easy

    [img]http://rds.yahoo.com/S=96062852/K=saudi+women/v=2/SID=e/l=IVI/SIG=12r1p1vjq/EXP=1123543583/*-http%3A//cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9804/02/hajj.women/saudis.jpg[/img]

    No offence, one day my little one and I were in a store and one of these fine dressing lady showed up...

    My son was so excited, he jumped turn to me screaming " mom there is a Ninja in Maxi, I am happy I came with you"

    I was so embarassed, I turned and walked right towards the exit.
    I am too Blessed to be stressed

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: why appearances matter in Saudi...chile dem ooman yah no easy

      [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img]
      [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img]

      ~~~~Waaaaaiiiiiieeeeee~~~~ yaaago kill mi eeen yah!
      Mi chanjj man, man nuh chanjj mi.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: why appearances matter in Saudi...chile dem ooman yah no easy

        Should Islamic veils be removed?

        The chairman of the Council of Mosques and Imams has advised Muslim women to remove their headscarves to avoid faith hate attacks.
        Dr Zaki Badawi said that in the current climate, the hijab might invite harm, whereas they had been designed to identify women as Muslim and thus protect them from molestation.

        The Metropolitan Police have said that faith hate crimes increased six-fold in the three weeks after the 7 July bombings in London.

        But a Muslim women's group, the Assembly for the Protection of the Hijab, said wearing the traditional Islamic scarf was a duty and compromising was giving in to violence.

        READ MORE HERE!!!
        Mi chanjj man, man nuh chanjj mi.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: why appearances matter in Saudi...chile dem ooman yah no easy

          Originally posted by Style Diva:
          [qb] [img]http://rds.yahoo.com/S=96062852/K=saudi+women/v=2/SID=e/l=IVI/SIG=12r1p1vjq/EXP=1123543583/*-http%3A//cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9804/02/hajj.women/saudis.jpg[/img]

          No offence, one day my little one and I were in a store and one of these fine dressing lady showed up...

          My son was so excited, he jumped turn to me screaming " mom there is a Ninja in Maxi, I am happy I came with you"

          I was so embarassed, I turned and walked right towards the exit. [/qb]
          [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img] outta di mout of babes fi real...
          u so fake, even China denied mekking u

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: why appearances matter in Saudi...chile dem ooman yah no easy

            I like the style and should I ever live there, I would willingly wear this also...to go swimming:

            ""Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt" (Col. 4:6).

            Comment

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