The Stealth Muhajiba

Muhajiba: One Who Wears the Hijab

I had one of my most, if not THE most embarrassing moments of all my days in the Middle East today.

My work has changed locations and now sweet Hakam picks me up and drops me off as we both travel the same direction at the same time.  ("For Nothing" she always says while shaking her head when I try to thank her.)

Today she was a little late when I saw her car pull into the pickup area by my house, her round face beaming and hand waving in front of her, I jogged over to the car.  I pulled the front car door open and just as it reached the half-way point I saw a tiny hand covered in a black glove reach out and pull the door firmly shut.  When I stooped to look into the car's window there was a woman sitting in the passengers seat, dressed in a heavy black burqa.  The burqa is the most comprehensive of muslim body coverings going from the top of the head to the wrists and the toes - leaving only a small slit for the eyes.  They are not very common in the Levant (Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon) but much more so in the Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, Yemen etc.)  This woman had also chosen to wear an almost opaque black veil over her eyes and black gloves.

That's right, I hadn't seen the woman sitting in the car because her burqa blended in with the car upholstery.

I was mortified.  I got in the backseat and apologized profusely, but neither of them were bothered by the incident in the least.  In fact, in a jovial mix of Arabic and English they make jokes about it with sweeping hand gestures and carried on about all kinds of things until we dropped her off in the middle of town.

When we dropped her friend off Hakam simply said "She is very religious.  Very religious."  But not so much so that I offended her honor and modesty.  Pfew.      



  1. That is pretty funny, luckily it all worked out.

  2. I found your blog from A Daring Adventure comments. I love your blog design, the fonts and the header. Did you design it? If not, who did?

  3. I LOVE your blog's new design. It is so sleek and pretty...

    I love the colors, but most of all I am fathoms deep in love with the incredible font. That has to be the most phenomenal font I think I've ever seen on a blog. LOVE. IT.

  4. Oh dear. Well, in your defense, the muhajiba COULD have waved or said something as you were opening the door. Or your lovely friend could have pointed to the back.

    And yes, your blog design is fantastic.