I am blogging from Dubai, United Arab Emirates giving my point of view, as an American in a Middle Eastern city. It was a very interesting place to see the personal life style and the “uniqueness of individuals” in the area. The city is between Saudi Arabia to the South, and Iran to the North.
The lifeblood of Dubai’s culture is Islam, which inspires almost every aspect of the city’s daily life, from the traditional white robe, or dishdasha, worn by men and the black head-to-toe abaya worn by women. There are 5,000 mosque in Dubai, making it the centerpiece of neighbourhoods, because Muslims men are required to go to a mosque 5 times a day to pray, where as the women are not required to visit the mosque daily.
Architect’s from all over the world come to Dubai to try to design a building more spectacular than the next. You really have to see the buildings in person to comprehend their beauty.
This is the only city I know on earth that gives you a Ferrari, when you buy a high-end condo or a mini cooper when you buy a moderate condo. I say condo’s, because that is 99.9 per cent of the housing in Dubai. You will find that all houses have a wall round the courtyard so Muslim women can go outside without having their head covered. It was pointed out that the walls are called privacy walls and not security walls.
Since, I have given you an over view of Dubai, I now want to turn to fashion in the United Arab Emirates.The Quran states that women must dress modestly and cover themselves. Men are also told that they should not lustfully look at a women, and to cast their glances down. Some Muslin men also wear a head covering as a means of showing their modesty and respect for their religion. The words of the Quran is up for interpretation in many of the Arabian Peninsula. Since, there are different coverings used, I will discuss the most used in the Middle East.
Some countries and regions allow for simple designs to be embroidered on abayas, but they are most commonly black and very simple. Light materials such as thin cotton, crêpe, silk, and other colors of abaya can be worn as long as they do not attract unnecessary attention to the women.
By wearing the hijab, Muslim women hope to communicate their political and social alliance with their country of origin and challenges the prejudice of Western discourses toward the Arabic-speaking world. Many Western feminist present hijab-wearing women as oppressed or silenced. I must say I felt the same way before visiting the United Arab Emirate. I now see that this tradition goes all the way back to BC, and is a part of their religion and should be respected.
While some women might choose not to wear the hijab, most muslin women agree that it is a women’s choice whether or not to wear the hijab. Many Muslim and Arab women who choose not to wear the hijab are often staunch advocates of a women’s right to choose to veil.
Some Muslims argue that D&G is exploiting the hijab by reducing it to a fashion statement to financially benefit from the profitable market. The line is available at stores in the Middle East and in selected stores in London, Paris, Milan, and Munich.
I hope this post will enlighten you a little more about Middle Eastern religious dress, that is now more in the forefront than every before. Check out this website that states what the Qur’an has to say about women’s Muslim clothing. I found it very enlightening.
See ya in two weeks!
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