Fi al-Khaleej: Clothing

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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!.

shwaya bi-alingleezia (a little in English)

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لا استظيع ان اكتب كثير ولكن اريد ان اقول بعض من الشياء التي تشعربها الان
فإن هذا برنمج ليس سهل وعندنا واجب كثير و انا فعلاً تبعنة كل الوقت.
ممكن انا اشعر بالغربة؟ و لكن هذا غير ممكن فإني في امريكا!
اريد امي

ok, that’s enough of that…. I just wanted to note that

1. I have decided that one of my neighbors is a werewolf, (I hate dorm life..lol… not really lol). Only a hairy scary monster can shed that much and not clean up after herself.

2. I hate cliques.

3. I hate small talk.لا اهتم باي شيء عن حياتك بصورة خاصة

I mean that as respectfully as possible.

4. I hate the grading. When I say where I went to grad school there is a look of i don’t what the hell it is, almost like their trying to hide their disdain. then when I say that I also did undergrad at Wellesley, now we’re happy. eyes light up and banners wail… b.s. … all of it. Clearly I’m not stupid….lol… am I?

5. I hate it when giving their educational background people don’t mention where they did undergrad cause it was not an ivy league school or some ish like that, but they do nothing but talk about their grad school, not the school in particular, just the continual mention of their affiliation with it…. b.s. all of it. be proud of who you are. Its the person, not the name that’s important.

6. I hate school, and writing full sentences and meeting corny people, and dining hall food, and only listening to Arabic news (how many more Youseff Qaradawi interviews can I watch, bbc arabic and NancyAjram can I listen to….lol…..)

two of my favorite songs 🙂

7. I hate chicks who throw themselves at dudes in the first few weeks of a freaking summer program. Damn decorum please. I also hate chicks who were never taught to wash their hands (or never heeded that lesson).

8. I love the fact that I still have tomatoes 🙂

ok, back to my mountain of work. let’s see if I can be down by oh, 2 or so 😦