Thursday, September 24, 2009

My UAE look isn't very UAE (unless you are a rockin' Grandma)

I like overhead abayas and I just can't get away with wearing them in Canada (Canadian non-muslims think I look like some alien Beduoin-foreigner LOL, or they just get weirded out by them too much---and since I also think shoulder styles are more than perfectly halal...). So I asked Aalia to help me find one here. What I like best about them is they are airy underneath (so less sticky and hot), and no men follow you in them. I am serrious. We had an unexpected experiment that supported my theory. I have always loved Shaikha Sabeela of Bahrain's shiny satiny overheads. Anyways, women that aren't grandmothers here in UAE don't generally wear them. Foreigners definately don't wear them. Saudi women from the Nejd and near the Rub Al Khali, as well as Saudi grandmothers and teachers, do. Older generation Emiratis do. These two groups wear the open style abaya-raas, with a khaleeji thobe, or Emirati house dress (or party jalibiyia for special occasions) underneath. I wear my maxi dresses (pink and green) and a plain black shayla (with tonnes of chest coverage---down to my mid rib-cage to prevent flashing anyone if my abaya blows open) underneath. To wear my way, first I put on my underclothes (if I was wearing a modest jalbiyia I wouldn't need to style my shayla with as much chest coverage but in a maxi I do), then I put on my half niqab around my head not necessarily pulled up to my mouth yet (I have yet to buy a really nice flip one---I only have Saudi string styles). Then I put on the overhead. I like to pin it on the inside, on the shayla, on both sides of (above) my temple, for extra security, but you totally don't have to. My overhead from Madinat al Zayed is shiny satiny fabric so it can slip. Then I can pin some jewelry on my head for pretty look under the folds of the overhead (but I don't do that for walking around where lots of men are), and pull my half niqab up so it covers my face. I accessorize with a trendy purse and girly shoes. I like this look because it is so simple. And I have the excuse to buy pretty jalibiyias rather than abayas (which my husband would like). And it has the added bonus of being a deterent for men (I don't get mall stalkers while shopping when in an overhead and my face covered.). I intend to add a tassel-close to the collar bone height of the abaya-ras to make carrying my purse easier.
Typically though, the grandmothers either wear a band niqab or a gold birqa, like in the pic above (only no braids and hair sticking out). And only typically beggars (and religious pious Egyptian sisters but more commonly beggars) wear the overhead abayas here that are of a closed style. The open style is more local (though not of my age group). My maxi, stylish purse and shoes, give it a younger air. Somehow, because of all the fabric, I feel very high fashion, rather than dowdy.

21 comments:

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

I like!

Aïsha said...

I love! I wear this kind of jilbab but it's closed and we have differents styles (uae, saudi, egyptian, algerian...). In France, all the muslimas who wear this style are young.

Sharm said...

please join us at world united bloggers ..

we need you to show people how is hishma is very good

zanjabil said...

You go girl! I would wear an overhead abaya too if I didn't live in the US...plus I think it just isn't that practical for driving, getting in and out of a car, shopping, and dealing with children.

Modest Deen Hijabs and More said...

Very very beautiful!

Grandma's got it covered lol

Amatullaah said...

As Salaamu 'alaikum waRahmatullaahi waBarakaatuhu. Oh, that's cute! I love it, maasha' Allaah.

Umm Kadhim said...

beautiful!

CairoGirl said...

Assalamu Alaikum~
Correction, the younger religious women in Egypt- French, Canadian, British, Egyptian and Americans wear the overhead. The beggars do not i assure they wear the large Somali style with a flip style. If you walk into any markaz or religious school this is what you will see. and the beggars outside are wearing something totally different.

wasalam~
CairoGirl

p.s. enjoy ur trip and post photos :)

Umm Ibrahim said...

really youd fit in perfect here in the Eastern Provinces...Im no where near the Nejd (okay maybe like 4 hrs from Riyadh) but even here...in the "liberal" EP...the majority of Saudi women...even young women wear an overhead! Its very very common.

c'mon ova...

ummmalaak said...

On that last abaya, you suppose they hike it up somehow so the sleaves don't drag? Or is it just a runway style? Temptingly simple construction...

Pixie said...

Stacye aka Fahima: Me too!, lol, but obviously.

Pixie said...

Aisha: That's nice to know.

Pixie said...

Shamr: I have no idea what United bloggers is.

Pixie said...

Zanjabil: I had no prob;ems getting in or out of a car and the open style is VERY practical for shopping, but dealing with toddlers, no, because they pull on it, and also try and also try to rip off one's niqab.

Pixie said...

Modest Deen Hijabs & More: LOL.

Pixie said...

Amatullah: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullahi wabarakto. Jazakallah kheir.

Pixie said...

Um Kadhim: Jazzakallah kheir.

Pixie said...

Cairo Girl: Please don't correct me when you are obviously misreading my post---no offense intended. I am not talking about styles in Egypt I am talking about styles in UAE. I KNOW pious young women of all ethnicities wear overheads in Europe, Egypt, and KSA. But in UAE, only beggars AND pious Egyptian women (not to be mistaken with the beggars because they are usually with their maharam while the beggars aren't) wear the closed styles. The older Emirati generation wear the open overheads with Emirati house dresses under them. InshaAllah, hope that makes sense!!!!

Pixie said...

Um Ibrihim: Yeah, in KSA overhead is totally common, all generations, but not in certain group. For example, my sister in law wears a very modest plain black shoulder abaya and a gashwa instead, with like, a modest coloured but still still designer handbag. And then modest footwear (no giant heels).

LOL, nooooo wayyyyyyyyYYYYYY!!!!! I'd never move to the East. Too much shi'a influence there. My husband would never ever let us. I don't mind the people, but some bid'as annoy me to the point I feel uncomfortable praying with some people, and then I just feel rude, being in their house, but praying all by myself, just to make sure my salah is correct. And unlike most Sunni sisters, I am a very historical person, and I am very honest in the way I study (I don't have a bias---my husband also does not---his bestfriend in the states was a nice shia dude and my friend C is a shia but has no differences in her salat or anything else) but I get SOOOOO annoyed by anyone (Sunni too---some sufis and some just pure cultural crap gets passed off as "islamic") who won't correct a mistake when they have evidence for the truth, and have absolutely no reason for why they are doing what they are doing (even when you ask them for one).

I think it is because my non-muslim family are all very into debating and history, lol.

But the east is waaaaay too "Islamically" politically off for me. In Saudi there is this fear the Shia in the east will try and takeover the oil control, and thus Mecca and Medina. LOL, but the government of course denies such fears, because as you know, being there, censor, censor, censor, lol. But I totally understand. The shia everywhere else in the country ARE treated like crap (even if they are the shia without innovations in their salat or adhan or shahada), When you treat a people bad and unfairly, you are going to get some kind of unrest.

Pixie said...

Umm Malak: It doesn't have long arms. That is the length of the abaya. You are supposed to hold it closed and then it lifts and the front so that it doesn't drag.

Alice said...

assalam alaikum

I wear abaya ras in the UAE- i'm a foreigner :P A lot of young Emirati girls in my husband's family wear abaya ras too. I often see young local women in abaya rass in Dubai malls and here in Fujairah.

Even though at times I find it ugly (not as feminine or elegant as a shoulder abaya) at the same time only abaya ras gives me a real feeling of being dressed like a princess lol