Only Men

Even though this isn’t a great shot (from a moving car in the evening), I thought it was interesting, upon closer examination, that this popular chicken restaurant is filled with customers – who are all men.  Women would be easy to spot – they would be covered in black from head to toe.  The bottom level is for take out and the top level is for dine in.  Generally family restaurants here have separate entrances and eating areas for families and for single men.  This restaurant does not, so women usually stay out.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Buildings, Culture, Food, Life, Middle East, Photo, Saudi Arabia, Tradition and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Only Men

  1. aylarox says:

    one of my favorites! 🙂 i love their garlic sauce.

  2. Ranford says:

    I used to stay in Jeddah till 1995. Came across your blog while scouring the web for pictures of the places I could remember.

    Al Baik is an awesome restaurant for broast chicken, and we used to go there often, but back then it was more of a take-away restaurant, and the eating area was generally minimal compared to the waiting area where people would wait for thier number, to collect their food.

    Had gone there a couple of times as a family with my mum included…and there never was a problem, so long as she was in her “abaya”. Although, your right, in that it is the male-folk who must do the ordering 😉

    Have you been to Saudia City? Its kinda like a mall, with so many different shops on a single block…they had awesome shawarma!

  3. Hi Marahm and Betty!
    I have actually gone inside two restaurants here so far that had no separate family section or entrance. My husband sat me down at a table away from the other men customers but where he could still see me and went up to the counter to order and brought back our food. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or anything, but I just wonder if a Muttawa had come along, what might have happened. I am not afraid of them.
    If two women were to go in without a male escort? I don’t think that would ever happen. They might be asked to go to another restaurant with separate facilities. I’m sure the restaurant doesn’t want to get into any trouble either.
    BTW, My husband always does the ordering – women are not really supposed to speak to other men.

  4. bettyx1138 says:

    what would happen if a women went in there w/ her husband?

    what would happen if a 2 women went in w/out a male escort and just ordered food and sat down at ate it?

  5. Marahm says:

    This is the sort of thing that earns the scorn of women- Arab women as well as expat women. While we can accept the “separate but equal” implication in separate entrances for men and women, we cannot abide an entire restaurant devoted to the entertainment and nourishment of men to the exclusion of women.

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