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Shopping in Saudi October 20, 2006

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
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Every night during Ramadan the malls of Khobar are filled with black hoardes of women in search for the latest in fashion. The opening hours are due to Ramadan a little different than normally. Many shops are open between 1pm til 4pm and then open again around 8-8.30 pm and stays open until 2am.  This basically beacuse people just don’t go shopping during the day when fasting. Seems many people are up most of the night and sleep many hours during the day. In any case, the malls are packed with families, women in black, men in white thobs and a myriad of jumping and screaming kids going completly shopping mad. Well  mainly the women that is. The men are sitting and standing around in the malls loaded with bags and looking after the children…while the women are blocking every aisle possible in the shops. I went kinda mad yesterday cus some of them doesn’t seem to see where they are going due to niqabs (the face cover) and bump into you again and again and walk in irrational ways (or is it just how we women are?).  

I must give some serious credit to the Saudi men though. I can’t see thousands of Swedish men put up with these kind of shopping trips mainly aimed for the pleasure of the females. They don’t have to endure this once or twice a year but it seems several times a week (during Ramadan at least).

When we hear about the fact that woman aren’t allowed to drive here we naturally feel it is something negative for the women living here but I find it is just as negative for a lot of the men. They have to drive everywhere all the time if they don’t have a driver or if the wife doesn’t want to take a taxi. A stressful task if the back is full of screaming kids and you just came home from work (I would assume). The ban on women driving gives the men a lot of extra stress and work that could have been avoided if their wives drove.

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