Jun 6, 2010

Double Lives.... Saudi Style...

On Thursday morning, I  got my children all dressed up, and my husband and I decided to go to the mall to do a bit of retail therapy. We chose Faisalya Mall, as there are some shops there that I needed. After walking around a bit we ended up at the Harvey Nichols Cafeteria. We were seated, and I was kinda happy to be somewhere where smoking wasn't permitted. (the mall is a no-smoking mall). Anyway when we were seated,  I started to smell that all too familiar cigarette smoke. I got annoyed and asked the waiter why someone would be smoking here. He told me he really couldn't stop people. I replied that it was in fact his job, and that I would love to be the one to stop people to stop smoking if needed. Anyway, my husband gave me his look; the look that says just ignore it, and let us eat without incident. I shut my mouth. Then I started hearing some music being played, I didn't mind, it was kinda nice to have it. I looked towards the source of the music, and I see these three ladies (They were in their late 20's) playing music, and smoking, and just acting like children (You will find that many lades here don't act their age- some often remind me of my annoying teenage years). I stared at them, and loudly told the waiter that he need do his job and ensure that people do not smoke in the restaurant, as I have 2 babies here with me, and as non-smokers we had the rights to be somewhere without that poison. They didn't even bat an eye, and I was 300% sure they heard me. I asked the waiter to move us to another table, and once there, it was out of site out of mind. Anyway let me give you a quick description of these ladies, they were sitting there not covering their hair (I don't judge that, as I myself usually remove my head covering as well), they were all made up... actually let me skip this part, as  it really isn't too important. One at a time the ladies got up (5 minutes after one another), and sashayed there way to the washroom (the whole hip swinging left to right, MAJORLY fake walk). They were in there for a while, and my husband starts laughng and asks me if there is an exit through the washroom, and  replied.. Nope. Anyway he paid the bill, and ran to the lower floor to pick up some perfumes he wanted. I took my time and let my daughter finished. And all of a sudden 3 girls come out of the washroom, only this time they were fully covered. Two of them had their eyes showing, where the other had her entire face showing. If I saw them outside I would have never guessed they were teh same girls that were all done up, with their hair all done, smoking and listening to music. They looked like typical Saudi girls clad in their 3bayas. And at the point it hit me, these girls have to have 2 personalities. One for their families, and one which is more attune to who they really are. I am so happy my parents allowed me to be me, and always encouraged me to be me. It must be terribly hard and at times all too time consuming switching between personalities. But I guess in this society its all too normal, as this is what they have been seeing all their lives.


Picture Source: http://signup.zorpia.com/shaloosh/photo/12882173.f841c5/pimping+the+3baya

14 comments:

  1. Where are the muttawwa when you need em!

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  2. lol... From what I have seen lately (it wasn't the case a few years ago).. they barely go to that mall (or to Mamlaka at that), and probably never enter the restaurants in either mall.. so I guess people know this and let [a bit too] loose. lol... Btw.. I never added this to the post, but I made the exact same comment to my husband :)

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  3. Hahahaha gmta! I have only been to Faisaliya once and that was to take my son to the rides downstairs. I have stopped going to Mamlaka because I feel uncomfortable with the women there. I can see that the women look at each other inappropriately (if you know what I mean). Maybe I'm too sensitive but I sometimes wonder why some of the women walk around with their niqabs still on...or maybe its because they fear the evil eye

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  4. Mamlaka.. women's floor... I HATE GOING THERE! And YES they are looking at you inappropriately, there are many hmmm.. ladies who r into ladies there, and it gets nerve wrecking just knowing you are being looked at in that way. Another reason they stare is to size you up, see what ur wearing, etc. Some women actually get made up at the salon before they go there! As for the rides... Faisaliya was once a great place for kids, but I find it to be too much like a dungeon, and like to take my daughter to the brighter sunlit plays to have fun... il7amdlilah if there is one thing we are good at here, its LOTS of kids play places in most malls.. each bigger and better then the other :)

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  5. Lol oh god sis your not the only one to see this once me and my white english (non muslim) friend was on a plane together to emirates with two of her emirati friends that are sisters, these girls were wearing a mini skirt, makeup had their hair all done, like people dress in england you know, anyways they got up when the plane was about to land got into the toilet, one by one, came out with abayah hijab and niqaab, started siting next to my friend and she was like "excuse me my friend is sitting here" , imagine her shock when she learnt it was them , their family probably proud of them for not being influenced by the west etc
    so sad
    xx
    naz

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  6. That is exactly why I didn't take off my abayah or hijab when I used to go there! I barely wanted to take off my niqab but the signs say niqab isn't allowed. Both the women and men here seem to have a problem with staring but the women go overboard with it. And the way they dress is like they are trying to out-do each other in being the most beautiful. I never liked to go there alone. I was touched on my back once with something that felt like a "signal" from one of the women in the hall leading to the musallah. That was my last time there! I doubt I'll be going to Faisaliya either. I like Othaim Mall in Hayy Al-Naseem for shopping and children's rides.

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  7. that is so interesting, as a non muslim, I don't have restrictions on what I wear etc. However I don't smoke and can smell smoke on people from a distance.

    Who do these girls think they are fooling?

    Gill in Canada

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  8. pathetic yet sad. We have girls like this at my uni here in usa. I just feel sorry for them. for the way they were raised for the way they must feel about themselves and for their futures.

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  9. I just came back from having lunch with my famiy at Faisalia today. We were going to the observation tower but my kids got invited somewhere so we left.

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  10. hi first time in your blog
    mashallah
    about this girls who switch their personality, let me tell you that this doesn't hapen only there, here in Egypt is very common to see girls on the train when they are going to the universities in Alexandria or Cairo, when they just take the train you see them weare modest and full covered, as soon they arrive to the city where they are studing you will not recognoise them because they change their clothes wearing the latest fashion, full make up and of course with out hijab, and talking with alot not only one guys, but when they are about to back again to their family then they change again to their modest clothes

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  11. really? ladies into ladies??? I'm totally shocked...I'm used to being stared at so maybe I don't notice things as much anymore, but I'm rewinding back to every time I ever visited the ladies floor in Mamlaka...

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  12. It really is a shame that people here cannot just be themselves without having others judge them for being too this or too that. This post made me sad for the girls, even though they were being inconsiderate by smoking.

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  13. Asalam Alaykum, I KNOW this is so crazy about Saudi. You know we just got back from vacation and my husband refused to let me wear an abaya or niqab and as soon as we got in Saudi he forced me to wear it. I WAS SO MAD, I mean maybe this is why they are this way this country is so weird lol.

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  14. tsk tsk! their families r to blame! if they were so proud of their smoking and loud noises why do they need to hide their rebelious ways..cowards! im not from saudi, but im guessing u were in a families section, right? so dont they think they'll be seen by men? i hate smoking and I hate it more when a woman smokes it makes her look vulgar, but who am i to judge, i just hate the idea of someone smoking and getting innocent people around to be second hand smokers and its not fair!

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