August 24, 2011
I received a call last Saturday from the Major General of the unit in which I will be working for in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. This is not a military assignment for me, but actually a continuation of my federal government service. He instructed me to bring a couple of black abayas with me. Abayas are a long over garment that is like a robe-like dress. I also needed some hijabs. The Hijab is worn on the head and is an Arab word for curtain or cover. The abaya and hijab are garments that are worn by some women in parts of the Islamic world.
I took my search to the internet. I definitely did not want to have any problems with the religious police there called the matawa The matawa’s purpose is to enforce Islamic dress-codes, and store closures during the prayer time amongst other things. I made a few calls but could not find a store where I could actually visit to try on the garments before I made a purchase. So, since I have a little under a month before my departure, I decided to move forward and purchase two black very conservative abayas online, to get me from the airport in Riyadh to the compound. I figure I would purchase some really decorative abayas once I reach Saudi. So, with an order placed, I can’t wait to try them on when they arrive in the mail in a few days.
All the best,