Saudis enter 19th century with colorful, fashionable abayas

posted at 12:01 pm on May 28, 2007 by Allahpundit

Don’t laugh — they’re chipping away here at the state’s misogynist edifice, whether they mean to or not. And thanks to western awareness of Wahhabist practices after 9/11, the royals have to think twice before cracking down.

Subversion, baby!

The change is most striking in Jiddah, the kingdom’s most cosmopolitan city, where many young women now wear their head scarves around their shoulders and leave their abayas open to reveal pants and T-shirts. Medical students here often forgo the abaya altogether, frequenting malls and coffee shops in brightly colored head scarves and white knee-length lab coats over jeans.

Abayas with patches of fluorescent color, floral patterns, animal prints, embroidery and even zodiac signs have started to show up in other cities as well, prompting clerics to criticize the trend and reiterate that abayas were meant to deflect attention, not attract it

Today, abayas are often stylish, personalized wraps that women enjoy being seen in, said Thana Addas, an abaya designer. Addas’s creations, many made with material from international fashion houses such as Roberto Cavalli, Burberry and Fendi and decorated with Swarovski crystals, can sell for more than $1,000.

Many conservatives see the new abaya as sinful, and orthodox clerics have issued fatwas, or edicts, decreeing that the robes must be dark, loose and shapeless.

Well, I guess it’s okay to laugh at this part:

At a mall on fashionable Tahlia Street recently, a line of young men trailed three fully covered young women wearing the niqab, or face veil, with slits that exposed only their eyes. The women, who had stopped to look at cellphone accessories, wore tight black abayas, green and blue contact lenses, heavy mascara and eyeliner, and strong perfume.

Who knows? In another hundred years, they might be allowed to drive.

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Baby steps. Gotta start somewhere. Long journey/First step. Add cliche here.

Tony737 on May 28, 2007 at 12:11 PM

Strong perfume? Those women were just asking for it.

CookeyD on May 28, 2007 at 12:19 PM

At a mall on fashionable Tahlia Street recently, a line of young men trailed three fully covered young women wearing the niqab, or face veil, with slits that exposed only their eyes. The women, who had stopped to look at cellphone accessories, wore tight black abayas, green and blue contact lenses, heavy mascara and eyeliner, and strong perfume.

“Like uncovered meat to flies”!

Kralizec on May 28, 2007 at 12:28 PM

Hmmmm…..so does the open season on uncovered meat apply to beautifully covered meat as well?

Kid from Brooklyn on May 28, 2007 at 12:35 PM

At a mall on fashionable Tahlia Street recently, a line of young men trailed three fully covered young women wearing the niqab, or face veil, with slits that exposed only their eyes.

The Sands of Passion have done it again. I mean (someone whisper off camera) What?!!

- The Cat

MirCat on May 28, 2007 at 1:09 PM

wore tight black abayas, green and blue contact lenses, heavy mascara and eyeliner, and strong perfume.

What a bunch of hos!

RW Wacko on May 28, 2007 at 1:19 PM

Funny but sad.

SouthernGent on May 28, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Somehow I doubt that back in the 1980s, the WaPo printed any puff-pieces about fashion trends among the black women of South Africa. (“See, apartheid ain’t so bad, the black women get to wear these nifty clothes!”) Yet when it comes to Saudi Arabia, instead of relentless attacks on the system – which is a thousand times worse for Saudi women than apartheid was for South African blacks – we get nonsense like this. Makes one wonder if the Saudis are buying a lot of advertising in the Post.

Lehuster on May 28, 2007 at 1:49 PM

So would they lock ‘em inside a burning building if they were not wearing their colorful abayas? Probably.

Sorry for the Off Topic, but the President just awarded a medal to the Tuskegee Airman, a long overdue and well deserved award. But what is Robert Byrd doing there? He was one of those who thought blacks couldn’t DRIVE let alone FLY! Perhaps he’s had a change of heart. (And I don’t mean an artificial heart!) Dubya had to help the old guy to his feet. I remember Dems joking about Reagan’s age, but they keep on voting for the old sheeted one.

Tony737 on May 28, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Does the perfume smell like meat?

TBinSTL on May 28, 2007 at 2:23 PM

Don’t these morons understand that the more you hide things the more tantalizing they become?

Frustrated desires are more volcanic than ones expressed.

I’m waiting for a head scarf that acccurately mimicks the woman’s hidden hair photorealistically.

By the Rene Magritte Fashion House?

(“This is Not a Head of Hair” designs.)

Time for Muslim women to implode these imbecilic strictures.

profitsbeard on May 28, 2007 at 6:01 PM

After reading Hirsi Ali’s book, Infidel, I was left with the impression a major factor in her disillusionment with the more strict aspects of Islam was her introduction to romance novels. Although the colored head scarfs in this story might seem trivial but they are expressions of human nature which Islam wants to suppress. Perhaps we should surreptiously sneak some Barbara Cartland romances to these young women.

Bill C on May 28, 2007 at 7:43 PM

This is when linking to the printable version just doesn’t do the story justice. The picture attached to the original turns out to be — wait for it — a slide show.

JM Hanes on May 29, 2007 at 1:20 AM

Who knows? In another hundred years, they might be allowed to drive.

But only because men will be teleporting.

flipflop on May 29, 2007 at 6:51 AM

**tight black abayas**, mmmmm just the thought sends me into a wild frenzy.

Alden Pyle on May 29, 2007 at 7:10 AM