While there are many who will say the hijab (head cover) is required of muslim women, there are those who will say it is a choice. The point of this post is oriented more towards an expat woman who has come to Saudi Arabia, whether as a dependent or to work herself, is non-Muslim and she is curious about the hijab. Not only is she curious, but she is sensitive to the culture and customs of Saudi Arabia. If she decides there are circumstances where it is appropriate for her to wear one herself, she wants to make sure she wears it right.
I learned myself as one who had never worn a hijab before that when an occasion was appropriate to wear one, it was not a “graceful” or easy feat for me to put on a “Saudi style” hijab that looked seemly and not about to fall right off my head. I tried various styles during this learning curve procedure. Because I was not comfortable with the Saudi style which is long and flowing but covering the hair, I started instead with an easy pull on hijab as illustrated in the photo.
However I was told in no uncertain terms that was not a suitable style of hijab for a respected woman married to a Saudi to wear. The style was favored by too many housemaids or third-world female workers in the Kingdom. Saudi females advised me the style was to conspicuous for a western to wear.
Okay, so I was back to square one again that I wanted to dress appropriately with hijab when it was warranted, feel comfortable that I wouldn’t disgrace myself or Saudi family by having it fall off yet remained unconfident in “wrapping and draping” a hijab that would stay in place, even if using a dozen pins to keep it in place. At that particular time, I was presented with a “Kuwait style” as a gift. As you can see by the photo, it is also a one piece, put on over-the-head type of hijjab but styled to more closely resemble a long draping hijab. I felt it did look more elegant but I still had difficulties with it either falling beneath my eyes or shifting too far toward the upper part of the head revealing too much hair.
But all things come together with time and practice. Now I am confident if I need to wear a hijab and know that I have multiple choices and style on how to wear one.
And for those who also are curious or learning how to wear a hijab gracefully and appropriately, this video is an excellent tutorial.
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