A Saudi Woman Tells What is the Difference Between Abayah and Hijab


By Fadia Bukhar

     When can you put your scarf off ?


A gorgeous American woman was asking me  When I arrived by R train in Brooklyn where many Saudis live  . Simply, I told her that I can put  my scarf  off now if I want . I said “It is a choice and I’ll be a Muslim even though I did that” .She told me that she never asked her Muslim’s students about their scarfs although she was  wondering all the time about the idea of Hijab  .Since I moved to New York city , it has been thousands of times that people asked me a variety of questions about Hijab .Moreover , it is so odd for them the idea of Abayah – a Saudi women’s custom- and what is the different between them .Although it seems funny that I’m writing about this , I believe it is a significant thing to clarify the difference between Abayah and Hijab .

I was thinking to make it simple as much as I can for  a friend of mine who asked me questions about Hijab and the black long dress . What is the Abayah ?  I told her that Abayh is a traditional Saudi’s custom for women in Saudi Arabia . She nodded while she was telling me that she saw a girl with a long black dress. Then , I told her that it is so strange  to many people that many Saudis women like to wear Abayah .Because I worked as a fashion editor for more than two years  , I know that many  Saudis women spend around 400$ for Abayah every six months  .Simply , Abayah is a one type of divers outfits can be a good thing to wear as  Hijab.

However  , Hijab is more common for Muslims around the world .Hijab is a scarf with  long cover outfits that covers all the body  . I was saying to an American friend that Hijab is so cool since you wear adorable  various scarfs all the time in contrast with a black scarf .

It doesn’t matter what are women wearing because they can provide the world by the great innovations as well researches  .For instance , the Saudi scientist Dr.Hayat Sindi ,who received numerous awards for scientific discoveries and academic excellence , is a profound example that shows Hijab is not a barrier to be a great person  .She got her MBA from Harvard and  she finished her PHD  from Cambridge university . Nowadays , the way how we look  is not important as much as the way how we think, communicate with other people and the way how we provide our world with creative solutions.



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