GUEST POST: STACEY IVERSON
When I have previously travelled to predominantly Muslim countries, these being Egypt and Morocco and even largely followed Hindu India I have always noticed that the women’s role was usually in the home. The men were the ones which were sent to work even if it meant that he would re-locate to a different part of the country limiting access to his children. In Egypt we spoke to porters at the hotel who saw their family for only a few days every 6months which meant him missing out on crucial stages of their young children’s lives.
It was very rare to see women out and about in these countries, however Tunisia was very different.
It was our first day and we decided to stay at the hotel and spend the day by the pool. We picked a spot to sit right where people walked to get to the pool therefore I found it quite interesting to people watch (always fascinating in a foreign country!). I immediately noticed the amount of Tunisian women who were around the pool. They stood out from all of the European tourists who were dressed in skimpy swimwear as they were wearing head to toe swimwear. It wasn’t just a make shift combination of trousers and a long top accompanied with a head scarf, it was a carefully put together rather glamorous outfit which had obviously been brought like that. These outfits just kept appearing even when we re-located to the beach on day 2. Only in Dubai have I previously seen women who are expected to cover themselves up because of religious reasons wearing adapted swimwear and taking part in the ‘normal’ holiday activities for example being at the beach or swimming by the pool. I found it mesmerising and it was great to see so many women being included in valuable family time.
As we ventured out to the local Medina’s many of the clothes shops included a section of these head to toe swimsuits, they came in a variety of colours, prints and styles and were very trendy and glamorous I even saw a women wearing one which was Adidas branded… something which will be rolled out into other countries with a smaller Islamic following? Watch this space….
The outfits looked like this, unfortunately I was unable to get a picture for obvious reasons.
It reminded me a lot of Sex and the City 2 set in Abu Dhabi, the part where Samantha sits by the pool in her bikini and is surrounded in women dressed head to toe.