8.13.2008

Arabic Style, Part 1: Hijabs

One thing that has intrigued me quite a bit while living in the Middle East is the "hijab style" that is so prevalent. There are almost as many styles of hijabs as there are women in the Middle East, at least in Jordan, so I thought I would give you a little sampling.

First of all, you must know that style is very important in the Middle East, especially for women. Society is definitely based on a class system, and the richer you look, the more respect you get.

In addition to the hijab (the hair/neck-covering veil), there is also the nikob (which fully covers your face except your eyes--even Jordanians call them "ninjas"), but I don't have any pictures of that.

The hijab itself can be wrapped several different ways. Most people use a stretchy spandex under-hijab thing, which I can only describe as like one leg from spandex bicycling shorts. This is worn underneath the hijab to keep all of the hair in.

On top of this spandex thing is wrapped a scarf, in any shade or color. Jordanians especially like glittery things and bling blings, and I have seen people who have a hijab to match every outfit.



My favorite hijab, however, is the double-spandex white one. My Jordanian friends dressed me up in hijabs once, and it was miserable. There was so much fabric on my head, and I could never wrap it right, and they had to stick a bunch of pins in to keep it together.

Not very efficient or comfortable, in my opinion.

But then, one day, I was in the girl's restroom in the library and I saw a double-spandexed hijabed woman take off her hijab and put it back on. I was shocked. The over-hijab was just like the under-hijab, made of white spandex, but it was just like a bigger pant leg. While other girls were un-pinning and re-wrapping their hijabs, she took hers off and put it back on in less than 30 seconds.

I was sold.

So, although I never will, if I had to wear a hijab I would definitely choose the white-spandex kind. It is so much more efficient!



3 comments:

The Paradox said...

Wow-it seems like it would be roasting in those!

molly474 said...

Check out the South-east Asian recent style of hijab..it's ready made spandex 2-in-1 which takes like 3 seconds to wear! It's even quicker than tying hair into a ponytail:) And it's cooling too. Women here has 1 hijab for every dress. Come to Malaysia and you'll see it for yourself;)

Yusri said...
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