Monday, 20 February 2012

We Must Leave Our Abaya's On When Dining

Not so long ago, whilst settling into a dining cubicle to eat, we got told we must leave our abaya's on, even if we shut the cubicle curtains to ensure privacy.

We were ladies three, the gentleman informing us of the rules was not a local Arab. 
He was very apologetic.

The rational presented by this gentleman had little to do with his belief in the culture nor religion.  Apparently the Bearded Ones have been frequenting the place and he was concerned what would happen should they come back while we were so fully clothed, yet bare.

A recent e-mail doing the rounds indicates it is now possible for Bearded Ones to peek behind the drawn curtains at eateies to check on the patrons.  How is this possible when gender mixing is not allowed and eye aversion is encouraged?

It seems The Powers That Be have been chewing over this issue and are apparently going to deploy civilian men and women to support the Hai'a.  

Someone must have figured out it's not good PR for male BO's to be swooping on Family Sections and the women within them they are highly likely not related to.  It smacks of 'do as I say, not as I do', hence the rational to utilise females for the job.

If Saudi does deploy/hire women as religious enforcers I'm going to have to find another name for the BO's because Female Bearded One just isn't nice, though the acronym F-BO has a 'truth and justice' ring to it, don't you think?

Photo credit:;

Women as PVPV assistants is bound to come with its own logistical issues I'm sure, but I have just one query.

There have been instances when young men have dressed in the black garb to infiltrate women only areas or to meet a young lady for coffee and a chat.  Could an F-BO order another veiled being to unveil if she suspects the voice hailing from beneath the niqab sounds a little deep and manly, even if the owner of The Voice argues she has laringitis? 

I'm no expert but, I gather if a woman chooses to stay covered, she can and there's not a darn thing anyone can do about it. 

This article about a man who had never seen his wifes' face, highlights the fact there are women who never remove their veil for anybody, not even their children. 

It might actually be fun being a Female Promoter of Things Good and Preventer of Things Bad.  It get's you out of the house and you'll have opportunity to meet loads of people whilst peeking.  Though there has been no mention of remuneration I presume there is, if not a pay scale, some form of reward for participation.  One hopes their training will cover the ability to converse civilly and the concept that a kind, smiling approach tends to get better results.

Regardless of the training these women may receive and their role in the establishment,  it is annoying that, should the cubicle curtains be closed for privacy, my friends and I are not, apparently, allowed to relax behind them any way we choose.

Ka Kite,

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