Irina Bernebring Journiette

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Tag: abaya

120323–Abaya Fashion!

At Jenadria Festival.

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120317–The Only Girl in the World ?

Björn and I was fortunate enough to be invited along side the Ambassador and his senior adviser for lunch with the minister of culture and information the other day. One might say it was a small gathering to celebrate the end of the ten day long book fair. Greeted as a success the mood was jolly. I sat with a hand full of women in the women section during the pre-lunch speech, all prominent scholars and professors. (The network for Saudi prominent women is actually quite impressive, but of course, also quite exclusive, the all seem to know each other quite well. Perhaps they can also serve as a lesson to us, women of the “westerland,” and our ability to constantly work against and not towards each other.) Anyway. All seemed to be like a typical Saudi event, mostly men, some women, until it was time for lunch. At the VIP – seating I sat down to dine at a table with 50 guests, 49 men and I. The absence of women not as noticeable as the presence of one–me, yours truly–abaya wearing of course, but refusing the hijab, seated across two members of the “haiia,”–mutawwah. And it was, truly astonishing. Me, Haram in my every being, sat there and shared a meal, with all the men. The debate surrounding the lack of women in public space and the oddity in excluding all the prominent female members of society and including me will be left for a later stage. Now I just felt the amaze of being the only girl in the world.

101223 – The night before Christmas

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;”

Spent the day before Christmas having “high tea” at the Globe, again the contrast are striking. This oasis of luxury on top of the world in Riyadh. (I’m actually wearing a very nice dress under my Abaya.)

100817 – Tystnaden

Jag uppdaterar inte så ofta. Jag har inte något speciellt att säga. Omger mig med tystnaden. Förbereder mig för mitt förestående äventyr. Hjälper mamma att förbereda sig inför sitt. Känslor = nervös, förväntansfull. Vi går nattliga promenader och reflekterar om framtiden. I dag tittade mamma på abaya online. En lång dräkt hon kommer att vara tvungen att använda i det offentliga rummet i Riyadh. Det är skrämmande. Fientligheten mot västvärlden, det som de anse oss symbolisera. Usch. Fientligheten som finns omkring oss är det mest obehagliga. Ser Lena Sundströms dokumentär om den svenska rasismen. Hon är fantastiskt imponerande. Lyckas på det minst okomplicerade sätt belysa fientligheten som finns här, mitt i den Skånska myllan, mitt ibland oss. Jag vet inte om fientligheten i Riyadh är värst. Kanske är den värst här. Jag omger mig med tystnaden och avskärmar mig från fientligheten. Tystnaden är skön, avslappnande, säker. Omvärlden känns skrämmande.