Birthday with Burkas: Initial impressions of Riyadh

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Last week I spent my 48th birthday in a Saudi Arabian mall wearing an abaya.  Several weeks ago, I speculated Should I go to Saudi Arabia? mainly because I didn’t want to spend a ton of money to sit in a hotel while Scott went to his conference.And indeed I didn’t stray far from my hotel.  However, the 4 Seasons Riyadh connects to Kingdom Centre, a huge upscale mall, and even though I obeyed the rule that women can't be unaccompanied outside, because malls are indoors, women are free to be dr … [Read more...]

Buying My Burka (or Abaya)

I leave for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday and need a burka.  Or abaya.  Burka’s cover everything.Abaya’s cover just the body.Hijabs cover the head, but my friend’s already lent me her supply including one with glittery gold and one with leopard print.Turns out buying an abaya’s more challenging than you would think—especially if you wait until your visa’s approved because you don’t want an extra abaya lying around the house unused.Last week Scott reminded me to get with t … [Read more...]


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