I’ll never forget my Iraqi neighbor and his niqabi wife (official name for the face veil). All the women in his family had their heads covered but none of them liked that he made his new bride put a curtain over her face. Like a good nosy American, I asked him over dinner why he requires her to lower the face drapes.
“She is my gift. I don’t want other men seeing the gold that belongs to me.”
In my humble experience, this has been the common rationale for making women dress like bay windows in the Arab world. Granted, some women choose this on their own but in the cases where they're being forced, that's when it's a little 'shady'.
Now it seems the face-veil is getting an Extremist Makeover. Say goodbye to the blasé veils of yesteryear, 2013 has brought in fashions that tout 'sheek' (or chic) for her sheikh and sensibility for the souk.
Gold your fancy? How about covering your face with it! Nothing says ‘Spoiled Princess’ like obstructing your view with the metal and gold veils coming out of Saudi.
We’ve all seen these poor ninjas trying to eat pasta in the mall food court. What a drag. Not anymore, my linguini loving ladies. Now there’s the zipper veil- a stylish face cloth with a shiny zipper that’ll crack open that curtain anytime you need to sneak a snack or slurp spaghetti. And when a husband is tired of all the perverts gazing at his treasure housing a Big Mac, he can tell her to zip it.. literally. Or when the broad won't stop yappin!
Almost every Arab friend I have does not support these face masks. ‘Brett this is un-Islamic and worse, it has gotta suck being that poor woman.’ It’s kind of a relief to hear that I wasn’t the only one thinking that these gals had it rough.
Unlike minerals like gold or sapphire, women have souls and feelings. Shouldn’t the goal be to make them feel treasured rather than something under a jeweler’s glass?
I never got the guts to ask the newlywed Niqabi how she felt about the 'sealed' deal because quickly after our awkward meal, my neighbor then took me out for hookah. Already adorned in his fly silver necklace and gaudy swatch, he took me down to his Mercedes, WHICH WAS COVERED.
As he proceeded to take off the car ‘veil’, I had to bite my tongue. We cruised the town pimping his ride and the moment was so wet with hypocrisy, I had to dry my face off with his bright blue, fuzzy dashboard cover.
Ladies, do what you want. It's your head -- not 'in' your head for a change. But I gotta tell you overlording hubbies, if your cherished treasure rocks in to the mall with a zipped up, metallic veil on and orders a Sloppy Joe, we're all gonna be staring. No one would want to miss that golden opportunity.
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