There are 3 questions I get asked all the time: how I was treated as a woman in the middle east, did I feel safe AND “did you have to cover up the whole time”.
I hope I’ve done a good job clarifying, go to this post to see my answers to all 3 of those questions if you haven’t already. (We went to the public beach on this trip & there were girls in thong bikinis & topless tanning, so I think people are comfortable doing whatever they please.)
For me, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to act like I’ve been there before & I know what the fuck I’m doing. There’s something powerful in that. Also, for any destination, isn’t it fun to fit in? Wear what they wear. I think it makes you appear well traveled, like you know what you’re doing in you life. So that was my goal this trip. I stuck to coverage. When I was living there, I pushed this boundary w my cut off shorts & dresses all the time, because I was bored of being covered & it was HOT AF. Being that I was just visiting, I had a different approach this time.
The theme: BLACK BLACK BLACK. If this is the color of your wardrobe, you’re in luck! I like bright colors, florals, sparkles, drama – so I had to go shopping. An abaya & burka are black, so that’s the colors you’ll see a lot of when you’re out. I asked someone why black? Why not beautiful colors + design on the abaya? I was told the original purpose of the abaya was to avoid attention. Bright florals & colors will do the opposite, drawing attention to the people wearing them. So black is the theme!
The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is terrible & true isn’t it? I remember miserable days/years in different jobs, & man did time drag. But, of course, when you’re having fun & enjoying all the parts of your life, time goes quick! So, would you rather a boring yet long life or short yet exciting life? Ha! Nothing like that awful question to wake you up on a Thursday morning.
I’m back from Dubai! Long story short, it was fun & it went fast. Which in this case is better than the alternative.
Everyone that followed along on my Instagram Stories, thank you! That was fun to create. If you missed it, I left a lot of the stories in my “highlights” section. Click on my Instagram profile & right below the bio you’ll see the circle for Dubai & Bahrain with the stories while I was there.
If you’ve been reading for awhile you likely know this trip was a big step for me. Last time I was in Dubai I left in a rush & didn’t exactly leave every relationship in it’s best place. And that feeling strengthened even while I was back in the States, especially when Wafiq decided he was going to stay & begin the immigration process. Needless to say my relationships weren’t in tip top shape across the pond.
Last year, I decided to skip the trip Wafiq took home for that very reason, I wasn’t ready to walk back into my past OR the lions den.
This year I was ready. Wafiq & I are both comfortable & confident in the choices we’ve made in the past & knowing we’re in control of the choices were going to make in the future – I felt like there was nothing to fear anymore. No judgment or conversation or threat or whatever was going to hurt me. And I don’t mean to paint the picture as if everyone was going to do just that, but when you’re struggling & feeling weak & not confident with yourself – it’s hard to defend decisions in front of anyone. And we lived in that space for awhile so I had to protect myself. But this time I was ready.
Right when we arrived, I felt like I was living in Dubai yesterday, but better. And more comfortable. Everyone was excited to see us. The first days were filled with food. Family. Friends. Kids. And Food. I definitely did not have a chance to pick up my phone & document anything. But because those first days were easy, I immediately knew the rest of the trip would be too.
I have some exciting news! Or at least I consider it exciting… I’m heading back to Dubai! This time, I’m not moving there & simply going for a visit – like a normal person.
Last time I was in Dubai, I remember literally telling Wafiq “I’m never ever. Never. Ever. Coming back to this fucking place.” Harsh, I know. And I told everyone that! I hated the thought of ever going back. Being able to say that out loud & having made it through the experience – felt amazing. I felt stuck when I was in Dubai, by my own stubbornness, for so long that when I finally got out of it, I felt like I made it! And there was no going back. Literally.
The experience was way harder on me than I expected & by the time I had my plane ticket in hand to come back to the States, I was extremely excited for America! But, two years later I can say I’m actually excited to go back. Mostly because so much has changed since then. Personally & professionally. Also, I’m not moving there so I know I’m not stuck, merely a tourist. And shiiiii, I lived there for almost 2 years! There are parts & memories I miss.
Did You Know? As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making Islam the world’s second-largest religious tradition after Christianity. ( v i a ) Heads up – Muslims come in all shapes/ forms/ colors/ backgrounds/ beliefs/ families/ countries/ parents/ lifestyles. They do not all wear a hijab or thobe or a […]
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