Women here in Saudi Arabia are very cautious about having their photos taken. In fact, at most weddings, where women only are in attendance, guests are not allowed inside with cameras or cell phones equipped with cameras and must check them at the door. There is strict segregation of the sexes here – men have their own separate function. The “NO Cameras Allowed” policy is to ensure that photos are not taken of women who are not properly covered. The reason for this lies in the fear that another man could see a woman’s face, hair, neck, arms, legs, or cleavage. Men have blackmailed women in this country when the men have somehow gotten their hands on photos of a woman who is not properly covered. This can bring disgrace on the woman and her family, since a woman’s beauty is only for her husband to see. There are now strict laws protecting women from scumbag men who blackmail women like this, however the woman can still get in trouble if she was in any way responsible for the man getting the photos of her in the first place.
The woman in this photo is out in public and is more than properly covered – and yes, I did ask her permission to take this photo! I find it fascinating to see women dressed like this – wearing their glasses outside their veil (called niqab). It just strikes me as peculiar. Whenever I go to the mall or other places out in public, I see many women who look just like this. I have always wanted a photo of a woman wearing glasses like this and she was kind enough to grant my wish. We had chatted briefly inside a shop and I worked up the nerve to ask her, and she said okay. So, thank you, Eyeglass Woman, wherever you are!
About This Blog, and About Me: Susie of Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is KSA's 2nd largest city and is located on its west coast, right on the Red Sea. I moved here in 2007 with my Saudi hubby and teenage son. This journal reflects the things that I see here, life through my eyes, my lens.
Please be sure to also visit my other blog, SUSIE'S BIG ADVENTURE, which relates my experiences, thoughts, and observations about living in Saudi Arabia.
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