My Experience in Yemen Wearing the Veil
[For several years Lebanese writer Mira Baz lived in Yemen, a country beset by poverty, terrorism, and a strict form of Islam. What was it like being a woman? At Yemen Journey, Baz recounts the time she donned a veil and headed into the streets.--Mona]
I stepped out in my new skin. I was completely veiled like a Yemeni woman, except for the gloves – it was unbearably hot already. I could have worn shorts and a tank top beneath the balto, but I was too nervous, so I wore my regular clothes underneath. Except for my Lebanese Arabic when I spoke, nobody would have been able to guess who I was or that I wasn’t Yemeni.
My heart was pounding. I didn’t expect to be so nervous. I felt like a Yemeni woman might feel if she left home without a veil, I guess. Being veiled can be quite uncomfortable. I had to keep adjusting the scarf around my face. The face veil dug into my eyes. I couldn’t see clearly when I covered my eyes. I was cut off from my environment.