grocery shopping with a boushiyyah/gashwah

(Saudi woman in a boushiyyah)

Although I always wear your standard, run of the mill niqab when I’m out and about here, I do sometimes like to switch it up and wear my shaylah as a “boushiyyah” (which is when you flip it up and it covers your face, similar to what Emirati’s do, only in reverse, scroll down and you’ll see my little tutorial on how to achieve this style) and I’ve never had a problem wearing my shaylah like this, I can see through the crepe easily and it’s a very easy and covering style.

So I figured I’d try to wear one of my 2 piece niqabs as a tied on boushiyyah while I grocery shopped. I had several reasons for doing this…one, the extra modesty, I kind of like it when the guys here can’t see my eyes because so many of them just don’t have hayaah and they *will* stare a niqabi down, even one with a child by her side!!! Two…just to see how it would go and three…sometimes the regular niqabs give me a headache because you have to tie them snug so they don’t slide down, so sometimes I like wearing my shaylah up as a boushiyyah.

I wore the niqab backwards where the eyeveil was down over my face like the tie-on boushiyyah and the part that would normally go over the face was worn up over the head. You really couldnt tell it was a 2-piece niqab.

I didn’t think the boushiyyah style would pose a shopping problem, they are easy to push up so you can see items in detail and many Saudi women do grocery shop or shop with their shaylah flipped up, covering the face or with their eye veils worn down. All went pretty OK, only problem was I guess the eyeveil on the 2 piece niqab I used wasnt sheer enough as I had a bit of trouble seeing clearly and my face got really sweaty.I had to keep lifting the bottom edge up to look at items. After about 45minutes I got a raging headache because I just could not see clearly enough and my eyes were starting to hurt, I ended up switching the niqab around in a corner.

I think I need to try to find a cotton tie-on boushiyyah, because those are definetly a lot easier to see through. Cotton mesh is easier to see through, in general anyway.

(cotton boushiyya)

Unfortunately, to day I havent been able to find any. Ive gone into shops and asked about whether they have boushiyyah/gashwah and everyone says “nope” and Ive looked around and noone seems to be wearing them either. So…hmmm. I think a black cotton shaylah would be a good stand-in, but unfortunately I havent found any of those either! Maybe the cotton boushiyyahs arent a Saudi thing, I know Alhediya and DesertBoutiaque (both Kuwaiti based) sell them and I believe Aalia in UAE uses them as well.

I might just stick to doing the shaylah worn up as a boushiyyah style for the time being while I continue my hunt for a comfortable tie-on cotton boushiyyah. If anyone in the EP knows where I can get one, please let me know!

**Update, I found and purchased a Saudi style boushiyyah…woohooo!**


6 thoughts on “grocery shopping with a boushiyyah/gashwah

  1. Don’t you think it is sad that you in Saudi and Aalia in UAE have to cover to such a extreme extent because the men can’t behave? To the point, even your eyes must be covered? What is the point of living amongst Muslims but to feel a sense of comfort knowing you will be treated honorably as your faith dictates. With the stories I have heard – I hope Insh’Allah I never leave the states for a Muslim country. Here I can go about in plain old hijab, loose clothes of my choosing without men getting all pervy with me. Amen

    • Well, it’s not so much they can’t behave, it’s just I think some are ignorant about proper behavior out in public and they are extremely immature. But personally that doesnt irk me that much anymore because…each culture is different. In Iran, generally men only stare down a girl who looks obviously non-religious and is dressed very flashy with a lot of hair out and body showing. If your wearing a modest manteau, maghneh/scarf with or without a chador and you look like you’re a proper, religious girl generally men don’t even look at you, so it’s just cultural differences. But I actually do like niqab and would wear it in Iran too, if I could but in Iran niqab a strange thing outside of Qom and the southern “Arab” provinces and Ive always been a very modest person and have always preferred to over-cover to doing the “less is more” sort of thing.
      Anyway, Allah swt knows best!

      fyi, I think though that UAE might be a lot crazier in this regard because at least here we have the mutawwa, who do keep people in line, so men wont go to the extent they would in UAE (according to what Aalia has mentioned) in most cases because there is a good chance a mutawwa will see them and they would get into BIG trouble. In UAE men are pretty much free to do whatever and no one except maybe the police will stop them.

  2. No idea where you can find one but many Saudi women I know have (I don’t know the terms you’re using so this might be the same thing) something similar to a niqab, but it’s two layers and there’s no eye-hole thingy. You just tie it on, same as a niqab, and it covers your whole face and can easily be flipped up. The Saudi women that I know wear an overhead abaya with it though, so you can’t see the flipped part – maybe that’s why you can’t see them wearing it?
    My husband said you could just go into any abaya store and ask them – he said they keep them in the back? I think many shops could just make one for you on the spot pretty easily as well. He is from Qatif and calls it “ghushwiyeh”. He said that “bushiyyah” is correct too so I don’t know why they say they don’t have them? Try abaya shops in any souk and then if they say they don’t have it, then get them to make it – they’d be faster than a shop in a mall I think.

    • jazakhallakhair for the information. the two-layered thing your talking about is the boushiyyah I’m talking about. I have gone into many many many shops in the ladies suq here in Khobar and asked for a gashwah/boushiyyah and everyone said no, they didnt have them and some didnt even know what the heck I was talking about. But, maybe I’ll try again and be more insistant and/or get someone to make one. We have friends in Qatif so I might ask around up there as well.

  3. Make one! Just get a shayla that you can see thru, and tie it on your head length ways. Making special ties for it it no probs, inshallah. It’s basically a fairly fine mesh niqab that goes all the way down.

    Ask some old ladies where you are if all else fails. They either know where to buy one or will just make you one. Older women are a great resource for anything like this.

  4. I used a boushiyyah that I got from Al Heydiah some years ago. It was very comfortable. I also used it as a model and had a couple more made by a tailor in Korea before I went to the UAE. The fabric from Korea was a little heavier but still comfortable. They tied around the head like niqab. I bought more ghashwah than I care to admit in the UAE! I had ties sewed on them, because unlike the Emirati ladies I just couldn’t keep them on easily. I tied them back behind my head,under my bun, not too tightly. I tried elastic also, but it got loose too quickly and the ghashwah started slipping around. The main difficulty is that unless you have a niqab underneath, you can’t just flip them up to see better. I found them generally cooler and more comfortable than niqab, and about like looking through sunglasses, maybe.

Comments are closed.