Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia doesn’t Request Headscarf for Diplomats or Presidents’ Wives - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Riyadh – Since the formation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, female politicians and presidents’ wives have never been requested to cover their head. Foreign visitors are not forced to follow the regulations and are entitled to wear any appropriate outfit.

Like other recent female Western visitors, US First Lady Melania Trump did not cover her hair upon arrival in the kingdom.

Yet, since British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit two months ago, Western media had been controversial about the head scarf. They debated whether she will wear the veil or not. Back then, observers saw this as an attempt to shift focus from the actual purpose of the visit.

A brief review of history shows that prominent female politicians who previously visited Saudi Arabia didn’t have to cover their head.

Late Princess of Wales Diana Spencer visited the Kingdom in 1986 with her husband Prince Charles and didn’t wear the veil.

A series of diplomats and politicians visited Saudi Arabia after that, like former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Former First Lady Laura Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all opted not to do so.

Observers believe this is Western media’s effort to diminish the importance of the visit to the region. The media would rather discuss such a small issue rather than seriously tackle the major political event.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir was quoted as telling media on Thursday that America’s First Lady won’t be required to dress conservatively or tone down her usual high-fashion look, which often includes bold colors, stiletto heels and the occasional low neckline.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube