My World: Segregated Elevators

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Ok, I realize that posting photos of elevator doors is really not very exciting, but these are the first segregated elevators that I have ever seen in my life, so I thought you might find it interesting too. In Saudi Arabia there is strict segregation of the sexes. There is no social interaction between men and women at all.  Just to give you an idea, at doctor’s offices and hospitals, there are usually waiting rooms for men and separate ones for women. Restaurants have family sections and family entrances, and then separate ones for single men.
These elevators are clearly marked for use by men only or women only. They are located in a hotel in Madinah – a hotel that caters to Hajjis, persons who are performing the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Hajjis can be booked into a room with other Hajjis they do not personally know (men and women are accommodated in separate rooms, of course), similar to the pensions or youth hostels in Europe. We saw a two bedroom unit with six twin beds stuffed into one room and four in the other, as well as a thin piece of wood nailed over the door’s strike plate, so that the door would not lock. Plus, of course, plenty of disclaimers from the management were posted all over warning that theft of personal property was not their problem.
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Take a peek at other people’s lives from all over the world by visiting That’s My World!

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About SusieOfArabia

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

18 Responses to My World: Segregated Elevators

  1. Vamsee says:

    Wow! I am shocked at the extent of segregation. Thanks for posting this and giving us a window into your world

  2. Erin says:

    fascinating post as always…and just another tidbit about life there.
    thank you for sharing your world…always so interesting.

  3. Hi Sharon – So glad you liked the post – thanks for letting me know!

    Hi Lakshmi – You’ve got one up on me – I had NEVER thought about it before! (until I saw it with my own eyes)

    Hi Babooshka – Thanks so much – it makes me feel good when people let me know they are interested in this culture too!

  4. Hi Dina – I do understand the elevator thing here, especially during Hajj when there are millions more people in the country. I have been in other elevators inside the Kingdom and they have not been segregated, so I think maybe it was just a Hajj time thing. I don’t think you have to worry – I don’t think there are too many ultra-Orthodox out there following my blog! LOL!

    Hi PJ –
    No other religions are allowed here in Saudi Arabia. But some people have snuck in little reminders of the Christmas holidays or handmake something symbolic. My son and I are really homesick this year – we plan to sing some Christmas carols and listen to some holiday music (thank goodness for the internet!), but we have no tree or other decorations, which I always had when we lived in the states. We moved here from the Miami-Ft Lauderdale area, by the way – spent 15 years there. I am invited to a holiday party on Christmas Eve, where there will be a bunch of ex-pat women in attendance, and we’ll be having a gift exchange – so I am excited about that. My poor son is disappointed that he can’t come with me, since there is no mixing allowed between the sexes socially. We will go shopping on Christmas Day and I will buy him something special – he loves to shop and there is not much else to do here sadly.
    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  5. babooshka says:

    Your blog is a never ending source of fascination education. In context of the text the elevator doors are a powerful image.

  6. lakshmi says:

    I have heard about it..but never thought about it a bit too seriously..thanks for sharing..

  7. Hi Geogypsy – There are many things here that I dont’ understand, although I honestly can understand this one about the elevators. I can remember being alone on an elevator when it stopped and a lone man got on, and depending on his size or demeanor, there were times when I felt uncomfortable. Thankfully nothing untoward ever happened to me, but I have heard of women being assaulted on elevators before. But half the time, there was an security guard type employee manning the women’s elevators, so that part didn’t make sense to me. Oh well…

    Hi Robert – Thanks for commenting. I find the world a very fascinating place – there’s always an education to be had.

    Hi Chrome3D – To Westerners, I’m sure it’s puzzling. But please read my explanation above to GeoGypsy – it might shed some light.

    Hi BritGal – Thanks so much – and Happy Holidays to you too!

    Hi MagicEye – Appreciate your stopping by and commenting. Thanks.

  8. It never occurred to me that elevators would need to be segregated. Fascinating.

  9. PJ says:

    Do you get to celebrate Christmas in any way Susie?

  10. Oh wow. But yeah, they have a point. It can get crowded in an elevator. I hope the ultra-Orthodox here in Jerusalem do not see your post and adopt the idea. 😉
    Good catch, Susie.

  11. magiceye says:

    ways of the world!
    thank you for the interesting peek

  12. Absolutely fascinating and quite an eyeopener! Merry Christmas.

  13. chrome3d says:

    That is truly puzzling, but if that´s the way they want it then so be it.

  14. Another testament to the value of traveling. We see the world through new eyes.

  15. Geogypsy says:

    No doubt an adventure you are on. Hard for me to understand this concept. Yet I’m glad you share this different culture.

  16. Hi Fishing Guy and Ewok!
    Thanks for stopping by. That’s what I love about participating in MyWorld – it’s really enlightening about what life is like in other parts of the world. I was shocked when I first saw the signs myself, and I’ve been here over a year now!

  17. ewok1993 says:

    This is what my world is for to educate us about your world. Thank you.

    Happy holidays.

  18. Fishing Guy says:

    Susie: How strange to see that sort of thing. I would have never believed it without the photos.

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