Fi al-Khaleej: Clothing


So I have been in Qatar a whole week and am getting acclimated. So far Alhamdullilah its been good. Qatar is such an multinational place that you don’t feel stifled by one culture/set of rules, well most of the time.

After being in Developing Middle East countries being here is a somewhat refreshing change in many ways. For one thing there is Air conditioning Everywhere! but that is a must since it’s like 105 every blessed day. I thought I was going to melt the first few days, but I think the body is getting used to it. I guess it doesn’t help that you kinda have to cover up more here than you would in the states but that’s the breaks… So many thoughts have been running through my mind as I sort out how I feel about all of this, I don’t know where to begin… I feel like I should try to write about this anyway, just to remember if nothing else.

ok here are some major themes:
clothing- I definitely broke out my cultural clothing when I got here. Unlike that Yemen heat which was dry Qatar’s seems to be humid to me at least, or maybe it’s because it’s so intense. I sweat really easily, so all of my clothing has to be washed each time I wear it, which will be a bit cumbersome if I don’t plan ahead. AC is lovely but you go from extreme cold to extreme heat several times a day, and that messes with my body temperature regulation.

Jeans are a total wash, I wore some the other day and was soaking with sweat. I brought too many pairs though… oh well. I want to get an abaya, but the really nice ones are pretty expensive, I don’t think it’s wise to drop $400 bucks on one item of clothing that I probably won’t wear in the US. Sigh.

Although I, as a foreigner,  am not held to the standards of modesty as Qatari women here are, I still try to cover up more than I would back home.  Right now, I am dealing with fitting long sleeve shirts under short ones, wondering if I brought enough long, flowing, breathable shirts.

It’s true Qatar has most of the shops that I know and love in Europe and the US- Zara, Mango, Bershka, Marks and Spencer, the Gap, Banana Republic and even a Pimkie among others. Too bad Sephora does not sell makeup for my skin shade. Too bad everything costs way more than it does back home. I wonder if it has to do with importing all of this stuff, or if it’s just because Qataris are pretty well off… sigh…. the woman who took our ID pictures had Burberry stationary, and it looked pretty fresh to be fake… who knew Burberry made trash cans!…lol.

I met my first sub-Saharan African hijabi my (ex)roomate (this is another post entirely… I think i will have to title it things that are a hot mess about Qatar, but that will have to wait) is from Nigeria and a very sweet girl MashAllah. Actually most of the girls that I have met really are wonderful people… actually most of the girls here, even the Bosnians, Mauritanians, Sudanese, Eritreans, Somalis etc. are hijabis… not weird, but something to note I guess.

As for me, I am rocking the dress that I bought in Yemen (not an abaya btw), along with a Bouba that was given to me as a gift a while back, a caftan like dress that was a gift from a Qatari a few years back and a lot of my thigh length shirts. I decided to reserve my djellabah for Friday— This Friday at least, I will go to Ju’muah– Friday prayers, it will be interesting to see how much of the Khutbah I understand.

Ok, It’s almost 3 am, time to go lights out!.


2 thoughts on “Fi al-Khaleej: Clothing

  1. Y.S.

    Enjoy! Wow, yes the heat is definately an adjustment…the thing about sweating is that even if you wear cotton or linen, it doens’t completely resolve it…i’m sure you’ll figure out what works for you in due time.
    I think the price ranges are more due to the wealth of Qatari than imports…that must be hard.
    Let us know how the khutbah and everything else goes.

  2. gazelledusahara

    Adjustment isn’t even the right word, this heat is turning my world upside down. Today I went to Jumuah which is like a 5 minute walk, but it was noon and the sun was melting me…lol… even though I had an umbrella…lol… IA I will be accustomed to it soon.

    Yeah the prices must be because these people are so rich, but really, it’s crazy how not cheap everything is… that will take some gettting used to as well.

    As for the Qutbah, ‘ala alasifa we did not make it, my friend had a rough morning so we reached barely in time for the prayer. next week I’A will be better, and I will have some Arabic classes under my belt to boot.

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