An angry Afghan

I had quite a crazy time mailing out my latest orders…but I shall not get into it right now. In the meantime,  I did want to share something which happened last evening, which obviously, ticked me off.

After I mailed everything out I had a good hour and a half to wait until the compound shuttle could pick me up and since taking a taxi by my wee self back to the compound was pretty much out of the question for sanity, safety and monetary reasons I decided to kill the time by getting a snack & coffee (Thai Pad -one perk to life in KSA is GOOD Thai food, though the restaurants tend to be staffed by creepy dudes), pray my maghreb and Isha’a salaats and walk around a bit (I needed some new hejab pins).

After the first two I walked down to the Indian/Pakistani suq area as I was told I had a good chance of finding hejab pins there (Saudi women don’t use pins-usually) and although I did’nt spend to much time there, I did find a 3 pack of nice, big straight pins with big colored balls on the end (like quilting pins but longer) and oogled all the fabrics but I scurried my little chador wearing butt outta there because the atmosphere was decidedly hostile towards women—like I walked into the area and literally every man came out, stared me down and called me into their shops to check out what they had. Strange, really strange.

anyway, I then crossed the street to go and poke around this huge 5 riyal shop which was not too far from the Indian suq area. I figured, hey, I can kill time in there, easily…

As I’m walking to the Five Riyal shop I notice this very tall, very Afghan (I reckon Pashtoon) looking man walking towards me, He had on the poofy sort of woolen hat they wear (Pakol?) a thick shawl draped over one shoulder and a Shalvar Kameese sort of an outfit. He was very fair and had brown/reddish hair and a big beard.  Anyway he gave me such a crazy, creepy look…like cold steely eyes boring onto your soul sort of a look. Quite unnerving. Not once did he look down or appear to have any hayah by averting his eyes from me. It seemed to take forever for us to finally pass each other. As I came closer to him,I began to hear him saying something to me in Dari which I couldnt really understand (his accent was very strange and Dari while almost like Farsi does have it’s differences, and besides, anytime I hear an Afghan speakDari I’m usually left confused anyway) and then suddenly he said, right as we passed each other (which by the way, he passed way too close! Like invading personal space-close) ASTAAAA-GHHHHHHH-FFFFFFIRRRRR-AAAAAAALLLLLAAAAAAAH. Really LOUD, AND REALLY ENUNCIATING every single syllable (like when you do something wrong and a know-it-all Muslim woman at an American masjid  scolds you by saying astaghfirallah sister! astaghfirallah!) ! That enunciated outburst surprised me so I sort of jumped and gave him a “what the hell!!” sort of look.

It’s obvious that he was not saying astaghfirallah because he was staring me down, now lowering his eyes and not having any haya (modesty) but because I, person of the female gender that I am, was walking down the street, obviously to him, I’m such an abomination to God because there I was, a woman out by herself, all covered up, behaving modestly and walking down the street. How dare I do such a thing! God forgive me!

*shakes head*…sigh…

Being here has become an on-going educational experience for me…an education in how much women are despised and treated in much of the world – and really, truely, it’s not  Saudi men which are the main problem-though they do have issues which Saudi society does need to address, it’s some of these uneducated male workers who come here from Asia which cause much of these problems. They bring their backwards, unedu-ma-cated, feudalistic viewpoints of women with them to the Gulf and then treat random women whom they don’t even know like they treat their wives and daughters back home ! Really I’m not a huge feminist, at least NOT in the western sense at least but since coming here I think I want to become one!

And at some point in time I must post about the problems which all the shops closing for salaat times causes…especially if your a woman! Because when everything closes the streets get flooded with men who take up every available place to sit outside of the shops,  which leaves women having to stand around, being oogles like pieces of meat. this is why the women waiting outside for the shops to reopen tend to huddle up-Saudi, Filipino, Indian, Western…doesnt matter. There is safety in numbers!


7 thoughts on “An angry Afghan

  1. Sometimes it makes me afraid to visit there. I heard and read a lot of this kind of story, Muslim men regards Muslim women as a 2nd class citizen especially in the middle east. Living almost 36 years of my life in a place where I can easily go anywhere I wish alone, provided that it is a public places, I just can’t imagine such treatment from a stranger.

  2. Kinda reminds me of this one guy when I did my hajj, alhumdooleluh. We were at the place where you throw the stones and I was being pushed from behind and was falling, as I fell I touched this guy in front of me, he turned around and gave me the nastiest, most evil look I’ve ever seen because I, a woman, had accidentally touched him. He could’ve cared less that I was falling or in danger in any way.

  3. This is why my hubby says he would take a job in certain Gulf states, but not KSA. He hears stories like this and it makes him scared to bring his wife and daughter to a place like this.
    It will nice when your son is a little older and can protect you from the creeps. I have also met some great Saudis (and Afghans too), so obviously the stereotype doesn’t apply to every citizen.

  4. aahhhhm what a jerk, that’s all i have to say, as i’ve already cluttered your comments section with a similar story . Such an idiot, u shoulda kicked him in the shins! And said, “good that your asking forgiveness for the way your are looking at me! good job brother” Okay, now i’m just getting excited and living out my fantasies on your comments section….

    • Loooooooooool, doostam…ur divooneh. yah, right…I wish! I probably would have done so but the dude kind of made me jump as I wasnt expecting a big, long drawn out…ASTAGHFIRALLAH…
      LOL… hey keep living out those fantasies…

      p.s. ur post on the Sohan is yummy..oh man, i LOVE Sohan…alas, it’s insanely hard to get, esp outside of Iran. Is the Herati Sohan similar to Qom Sohan?

  5. I think it goes along with the law that a Moslem woman isn’t allowed to harm/hit/push/overpower a Moslem man. All the laws are designed to uphold the rights of the man, not women. The most ridiculous to me is when a women is raped, she is held guilty unless their were four men eye witnesses. It’s almost as though everything is designed for the man to win no matter what. Now, of course, there are mitigating factors like the attitude of the family one is born into and the country. A long time ago I read a book called Sultana. I’m sure you have heard of it. One of the stories recalled was was Sultana or one of her friends was suddenly divorced the night before by her husband or they had had a terrible fight. When she woke up in the morning, she was suddenly aware of total silence in the huge house. Not even the sound of servants. In her experience of life, and the fight or announcement of divorce the night before, her first reaction was that she was being set up for arrest. To be arrested for being alone with a man who wasn’t illegal. Now, that is an interesting paradigm and difference between cultures. The first thing she did was call her sister and tell her bring over as many people as she could so she wouldn’t be alone. As she told it in the book, this was a usual ploy of men to get rid of wives. They would arrange it so she was alone in the house and then they would have a delivery boy or contractor or someone show up and find her. Then, out of the blue, the husband would suddenly show up with four witnesses so they could see his wife alone, and hopefully uncovered or in bed with the illegal man in her presence. Sounds totally sinister but in the book she made it sound as though this was something that happened quite often when a man wanted out. So, why am I telling you this story? Goes along with the original uncomfortable feeling from the Pashtoon man’s attitude. When I want you to be seen and to do something for me I’ll let you know and until then go back to your place. But remember that I’m in charge and you are under my thumb. And, all the laws are against you, too, so you can’t complain. I’m not being negative but just talking about the situation from my viewpoint. Somewhere in the evolution of Islam, someone pulled a bait and switch on the role of women. It’s going to take a fight – a revolution in some countries to change. It’s something that is deeply ingrained in the entire cultural paradigm and needs to be addressed. It could start with the idea that women are responsible for the beginning of evil. That just isn’t so. Satan made the first step to fall from grace and heaven…not women. And, the other thing I see is lipservice is paid to quoting that women are respected, etc…put action is needed. Hope I haven’t gone too far here but just my feelings.

    • Well, Im Muslim and I’ve never heard of any “rules”: forbidding a Muslim woman from overpowering a Muslim man. i’m curious where youve heard this? Both men and women are supposed to treat each other with utmost respect and interact with those they are unrelated to with utmost modesty. Obviously having some phreako say something rude to me is not and should never be the norm. Frankly…I would have kicked him or screamed at him had he not surprised me with the outburst.

      Also I disagree about the statement that during some point in the history of Islam the role of women was changed. First you need to seperate culture or the faith. These individuals who do these things while they might indeed SAY they are Muslim, they might pray, they might fast but in their hearts they are NOT Muslim and never will be Muslim because they do not respect women. All Muslims are expected to follow the sunnah of the prophet Mohammed SAWS, the sunnah is basically like what he did, what he said after he sneezed, how he ate, how he treated others and he ALWAYS treated the women around him with utmost cordiality. I have several books about the women of the sahabah and the women he married and there was never a time that he let anyone mistreat a woman whether she be young or old! And thats from the sunnah of the prophet which we are ALL supposed to follow, so if some silly, uneducated, low-class looser thinks women are an abomination to mankind and God then really…he just aint a Muslim as he’s ignoring much of his faith!
      Thats what we like to call…cultural Muslims…just like there is half-arsed “cultural” hejab, there is half-arsed “cultural” Muslims…

      Also, be wary of the Princess serials of which Sultana is one, it’s been discussed in many circles how inaccurate those books are and that they were possibly falsified. In one of my courses when I was doing my Masters we actually discussed books which are presumed authentic but are indeed fakes (this was for a library collections management course) and several students brought this series up.
      I suggest you do some research into that book.

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