BU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – With the number of foreigners dwarfing that of locals in her hometown of Abu Dhabi, Asma al-Muhairi has become increasingly anxious at the prospect of her younger nieces abandoning their full-length black robes in favour of western attire that seems to be everywhere she goes.
But it wasn’t until the 23-year-old marketing worker came face to face with two scantily-clad female foreigners at one of the many luxury shopping malls in the United Arab Emirates that she decided to take action.
“While going to a mall, I saw two ladies wearing … I can’t say even shorts. It was underwear,” said al-Muhairi, whose black abaya — a long garment worn by conservative Gulf women — is offset by a gold Versace watch and egg-shell blue handbag.
“Really, they were not shorts,” she said. “I was standing and thinking: ‘Why is this continuing? Why is it in the mall? I see families. I see kids around.'”
Failing to persuade the mall to intervene, al-Muhairi and another Emirati woman, Hanan al-Rayes, took to Twitter to air their concerns in May…. Read more