My Experience in Yemen Wearing the Veil

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[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]

She writes:

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.

life in yemen

Credit Image: Francesco Veronesi on Flickr

Read more from My Experience in Yemen Wearing the Veil at The Bohemian and The Bulbul