The Saudi Sisterhood

sisterhood-aThe Saudi Sisterhood.  What is it exactly?  Here is my own take and definition which I open up for your comments and discussion.  Due to the segregation which is practiced in the Kingdom I believe that it does in turn lead to additional closeness in relationships among women.  The enforced segregation brings women together of all ages frequently and at times for extended periods.  It is most typical for gatherings to be among relatives both immediate and extended family and since many Saudi families are large families, even a family gathering can quickly number in the 100’s.  That’s not to say that Saudis, both male and female, do not have friends who are not relatives such as colleagues, classmates or neighbors.


However I have noticed that the relationships among women in Saudi Arabia seem in some ways to have closer bonds than those of women from other countries and cultures.  The women in Saudi Arabia are naturally much more at ease and comfortable in the presence of women for long periods of time.  They will share together, laugh together, cry together even dance together.  At some gatherings where there might be music, it’s not unusual for the women to dance together with women playing the part of the man to put a smaugh on her head.  This is done in good fun and not meant to be interpreted in any inappropriate way.


For those of us from different cultures and more accustomed to mixed functions it may feel awkward to be with a group of women for hours on end and routinely.   But for the women of Saudi Arabia, this is their Sisterhood which they respect, enjoy and cherish.  Perhaps due to the segregation and/or the Saudi family values and traditions, these women will watch out for each other, support each other and be there for each other.  This is a lot like in the Western world with a woman and her best friend(s) but it seems in the Saudi culture those numbers are easily quadrupled.


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