Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our World: Single Males Section at Mall Cafe

Segregation of the sexes is carried to the extreme here in Saudi Arabia. Doctors' waiting rooms have separate seating areas for men and women. Saudi homes have separate entrances for female guests and male guests, as well as separate parlors for men and women for entertaining. Saudis will likely not purchase an existing home if these gender segregation features are not available. Restaurants will generally have separate entrances and seating areas for families and different ones for men who are not accompanied by a female family member. This photo shows the single male's section of a mall coffee shop. This strict application of gender segregation is something I personally do not care for and don't think I will ever get used to.

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8 comments:

sierrasue said...

Wow! Your blog is a learning experrience. I have been to Morocco. A little bit of segregation there but mostly it is just from old habits. Saudia Arabia is extreme.
Did you meet your husband in America?? And is he quite Americanized compared to the normal saudi ??

Gaelyn said...

I couldn't get used to that either. Would you be arrested for joining the single men?

Jerry Mc Kenna said...

Extreme gender segregation is something cannot understand either. It's not only Saudis, extreme Orthodox Jews are no a shade less extreme than the Saudis. Either way it seems unnatural.

Susie of Arabia said...

Hi Jerry - I also feel that gender segregation is very unnatural, especially as it is practiced here. It's got to be one of the things I dislike the most about life here.

Susie of Arabia said...

Unless there were religious police around, I don't think I would be arrested. If I planted myself among the men there in this photo, I think I would either be asked to leave by one of them and told where the family section is, or the men would get up and leave themselves.

Susie of Arabia said...

I did meet my husband in the states when we were both attending the Univ of Arizona. During the 30 years he spent in the states, I felt he was quite "Americanized," however when we came to Saudi Arabia to live in 2007, he slipped right back into his Saudi role quite easily. I wrote about how we met on my other blog Susie's Big Adventure - http://susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-i-met-my-prince.html

Veeds of Arabia said...

In my experience, it was like a Twilight Zone episode where you're sitting a lovely outdoor cafe on Olaya St., look around and all you can see in every directions are men, mostly in traditional Saudi thobe and shemaq...and you wonder: Where did all the women and children go? It's like some mysterious force has removed everyone but adult males. No dogs even, seated peacefully at their master's feet. Occasionally, as in The Magnificent Seven, you see an MBO (Moving Black Object) scurrying for a few meters down a sidewalk and slipping into an SUV, perhaps holding the hand of darling little girl dressed like little girls all over the world ("Hello Kitty" backpack, pink sneakers and matching outfit).

Susie of Arabia said...

It's a sight I don't think I'll ever get used to - just so unnatural...