Yes, they are Saudi…

**I deleted the beginning of this post and the comments about it. I just felt it was for the best.**

I found this random-ish picture of a Saudi couple in Canada up on flickr. I got a chuckle out of the comment and wanted to explain the womans attire a bit.

“‘Im not sure where they’re from, but it’s definitely not Saudi Arabia. The women only wear black robes there.”

my reply; Just to clarify, yes I bet ‘cha bottom dollar they are indeed Saudi. Not least because the husband (I assume) looked quintessentially Saudi but also because its the norm for Saudi women when they go abroad-if they wear abaya abroad to only wear colored abayaat. Also the cut of the abaya complete with the stitched on snaps is quite Saudi in design.

Additionally, its very easy to get colored abaya crepes in Saudi and have colored abayaat made and several chain boutiques sell them off the rack as well. We have a rather huge Saudi student community in my city and you never-ever-ever see the Saudi women (the ones who continue with abaya here) wearing black ones. They solely wear them in colored crepe materials.  When I was in Saudi I asked some friends why this is the case, why dont they wear the black abayaat here and they all said they felt uncomfortable doing that here, they dont want to be targeted or something like that. Also many are also so tired of having zero fashion/abaya/color options that its natural they would want to wear colorful ones here. I’m sure you all remember my own posts where I suddenly felt very fed up with the all black-all the time options, LOL and how I dreampt of wearing bright colors in public.  The few times I got into discussions about this stuff with friends or even just women in a Saudi family that invited us over for lunch or whatever, most couldnt believe I wore abaya here and most of all that I often favored black abayaat as well. They were surprised and didnt think we could do that here.


3 thoughts on “Yes, they are Saudi…

  1. I think in the second comment she was commiserating with you, not saying you were responsible in any way for that guy who yelled at you (what’s the link to OP, btw?). And no, it shouldn’t matter what a woman is or isn’t wearing – she should not be sexually harassed (and this only happens in utopia with perfect people running around, lol). A Muslim man should lower his gaze. For the record I got yelled at while I was doing tawaf, the man asked?/said that I didn’t have any shame because I wasn’t covering my face.

    Query – you said, ‘Generally because I no longer looked like I could be a Saudi woman, the harassment and stalking pretty much stopped.’ Interesting…why is this?- do these men only harass Saudi women, if so, then why? They don’t harass a non-Saudi? Can you elaborate a bit more on this topic, that is, who does and doesn’t get harassed, sexually or otherwise?

    I think the couple is Saudi, her style of abaya is typically Saudi-looking. You are spot on with the reasoning on that. The rare occasions I’ve seen Saudi women wearing black around here is either at night going to a friend’s place and they don’t get out of the car to walk around in ‘public’ or sometimes for a masjid event like Eid or iftar. If you see a woman in niqab wearing black you can almost be sure she is not Saudi…

    I find ‘historical’ women’s dress fascinating, Islamic or otherwise – love the Kuwaiti pic. I’m also intrigued by the argument that niqab/covering the face is a new phenomenon because any old photo or illustration of women pre-colonisation of the middle east show completely covered women. Take Egypt for example, only after the British occupation did the practice of hijab/niqab falter (except for the religious). Since the modern ‘Islamic Awakening’, hijab/niqab has become more prevalent, so it may seem to the uninformed that covering is a ‘new’ phenomenon.

    I like to know your thoughts on the above, Umm Ibrahim…maybe it gives you some inspiration for some new blog posts 🙂

  2. I completely agree regarding both of your comments. First, *traditional* Bahraini overhead abayas always have the middle seam. But maybe they can make modern ones now that don’t, who knows, but I’ve never seen a Bahraini abaya without one.

    I agree with the original sister that there is a huge code of silence around the whole thing of sexual harassment – I often wonder if that is why it continues to go on at such an alarming rate. But yes it shouldn’t matter what she is wearing, as brothers are taught (before us women might I add) in the Qur’an to *****lower their gaze*****. Man I wish more brothers practiced that!

  3. Well I think the women’s role in all this needs to be looked upon as well. There obviously are women in modest attire who throw themselves at men..yes I mean married muhajabah women..mothers of several kids too at that..
    I have had male relatives encountering these types….sooooo there are some pervs out there who try to test the waters with the innocent ones…if its a hit they are in luck…if not they got their few seconds of fun and gropes…
    I strongly agree that “mothers should finally start to teach their sons about the value and importance of their sisters and other women in the family.” But they should also teach the girls about haya and decency..which is rapidly waning in the girls we see today…
    Also the Arabs and Asians (save a few countries) are deeper into it than the really IS the stigma and social problems attached to being born a girl in these societies..

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