Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saudi Fashion Show

We're up to Wednesday now of our 2nd week in Saudi.

Brian and I went on the "Local Exhibits Tour" which meant we took a tour of the Saudi Aramco Oil Exhibit - basically their science museum about oil. It was fairly interesting, but I couldn't hear/understand the guide very well so just took off on my own and read the descriptions of things. It's a very educational exhibit with a lot of hand's on items. I was impressed!

They also had this really cool looking wall that was made out of tile. With their perspective on the globe!

After visiting the museum we quickly stopped by Well #7, which is now known as Prosperity Well since it's the first well that they hit oil in back in the late 40's I believe. It's no longer in use.

There was a nice park, but for some reason, even though we were on a tour, it was locked up that day. Oh well! You can also see some modern oil storage facilities in the background.

That evening we went to the Fashion Show...
Originally this was just supposed to be for women and when it was opened to men as well I assumed that meant the women would be totally covered and it wouldn't be as interesting. Wrong!

My mother-in-law and I went and didn't get great seats, but the room wasn't that big so we could see much better than these photos show.

I did learn some interesting facts along the way...

There were 5 regions, each represented with a traditional dance, then women showing the traditional costumes of the area, then a wedding dress/ceremony at the end.

This girl was walking very slowly on a pair of wooden stools that her attendants were placing in front of her one at a time.

The dress that you see from pictures of Saudi with the men in long white robes and the red and white checked head covering is actually the traditional dress only of the central area of the country, where the capital, Riyadh, is.

But this is actually the traditional dress for the Eastern Province, where we were. It's kind of a white t-shirt and then a long "kilt" for lack of a better word. But it's more like of a piece of plaid flannel wrapped around like a skirt.

These boys were hilarious, by the way. They totally stole the show with their exuberance!

This is the women's dress from the Eastern Province. The abayas are brightly colored (many others were black with beading) and the design is down the front center only.

I believe these were fancier dresses from the Eastern Province.

This was the wedding dress from the Eastern Province and they then did a pre-wedding ceremony where the bride sat on the ground and was painted with henna (they didn't actually do this part) while the attendants waved a cloth over her head and pronounced blessings.

The lady in the center of this picture is Munira Al Ashgar. All the costumes for the fashion show (which lasted 2 hours!) were from her private collection. The fashion show was a fundraiser for a school for handicapped children. This lady is a serious philanthropist and quite a fun person to be around as well! (she was the tour guide for our orphanage visit)

At the end all the models got up on stage, here are just the guys, but I think there were close to a hundred. The models were all students from a local high school or women from the community women's group (inside the camp) who helped put the show on as a fundraiser.

And... This is one of my favorite things that I saw there, Coke in Arabic!

Two days left in our trip!


  1. Anonymous6:26 AM

    Krista, thanks for this-- I learned a lot even though I already had heard about it. :) Allison

  2. :) Really cool experience!

  3. I love looking at traditional Middle Eastern clothing, it is just so beautiful and puts our denim and tshirts to shame. I have a friend from Afghanistan and the clothing she and her family wear for ceremonies is just gorgeous.


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