Rumble: A woman arriving at Jeddah airport

An extract from CarpetBlog, an excellent blog by a lady living in Turkey.

She describes what happened when arriving at Jeddah Airport (Saudi Arabia):

Carpet blogger's pictureThis place looks normal on the outside, but it so clearly is not. Social codes and cues for women are impossible to interpret without assistance. Where can we go? What can we do? What do we do if we run into trouble? What kind of trouble could we run into? Will we be able to recognize the trouble when it comes our way?

Some trouble is screamingly obvious. We recognized it immediately when we arrived in Jeddah at midnight, after our passport was taken away.

"Where is your brother?" snapped passport control.
"I'm sorry. What?"
"Your brother. He is picking you up?"
"Uh, no. The hotel is picking me up."
"Not acceptable."

Like a naughty child, we were told to sit next to half-naked Nigerian hajis while arrangements were made to accommodate a rogue foreign woman without a brother. Our resentment brewed, but remained unexpressed. The problem resolved itself, with no intervention from us, and we departed the arrivals hall two hours later, with our brother, the hotel driver.

More on The Road about emancipation and Saudi Arabia

Picture courtesy CarpetBlog.


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