“Oh no!!! How are you going to eat since you wear Niqab” her friend asked in a distressed tone. She said, “Watch me!!!” with a smirk that she could not see. Such situations can be observed in a society such as Saudi Arabia where women are bound to wear niqab (a veil with eye slits). Only courageous women such as one mentioned above will be able to accept this challenge as it is very difficult task. In such societies women prefer to eat at home rather than in a non-segregated atmosphere. But those who do, amongst them, some can be seen to accomplish the task with aplomb while some can be seen to struggle with it. However, despite your level of efficiency, you absolutely do not eat hot noodle soup or an ice cream sundae with niqab!
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, women have proven this thing by inventing new techniques to overcome the problem of eating with niqab in a non-segregated atmosphere. In Philly, USA a woman has stitched (invented more like) a niqab with zip down the front with snaps because she liked to eat in malls and restaurants (in USA people are not segregated). A woman can easily unzip the niqab up to her mouth and can even eat hot noodle soup or an ice cream sundae! It’s a more hands free approach towards niqab. However, most women will not want to wear that contraption since it can make one look like the nemesis of alien vs. predator if not done correctly. A more normal approach is to wear an Egyptian or gulf niqab which flips overhead as it provides more room to eat by being easily swept aside.
When dining in a combined dining room in a restaurant or in a party, the women who wear niqab are observed to align themselves in such a way that when the niqab is swept aside, they still cannot be seen. They either select a table which is in corner and a bit secluded or they sit on a chair which preserves their identity while sweeping the niqab aside. They are seen to keep napkins in their laps in case any morsel drop down while eating. Straws are the lifeline for women who wear niqab. Drinking became so much easier with the use of straws whether it be coffee or any cold drink. But how can you drink coffee with a straw? I can’t understand.
Despite the hardships, wherever a niqab wearing woman is residing, whether it be Saudia or any other part of the world, one thing is for sure is that they are in no way oppressed nor are they forced to wear a niqab except when it’s a law. They are proud to wear it and have become an identity of a Muslimah. Since they are proud of it, they have devised ways to move around the obstacles which come in their path. Be it ignoring the stares or wearing zipper niqab for dining out.
Islamic Values in Saudi Arabia
- Tips for Non-Muslims invited on Iftar during Ramadan
- Celebrating Valentine’s Day in KSA
- High Diversion Rate from Islam to Atheism (No Religion) in Saudi Arabia
- Is it Haram to Celebrate National Day in Saudi Arabia?
- Tips for Expatriates during Ramadan