Saturday, May 31, 2008

Unique to the Middle East

The sign above Megan reads, "Prayer Room." This was in the local mall. Muslims are encouraged to pray 5 times a day. Thus, the call to prayer. Depending on the devotion of the particular Muslim, they will or will not pray in public places, such as the local shopping mall.

Muslim men traditionally wear a light covered robe-like clothing called dishdasha. On their heads, the men wear a hijab. The color of the hijab is typically a fashion/cultural preference, with many Saudi Arabian men preferring to wear a red and white checkered hijab.

Muslim women traditionally cover their entire bodies in a dark robe-like clothing called an abaat. This is done to symbolize modesty. Many Muslims choose for themselves how covered they wish to be, with some preferring to even cover their faces, leaving only slits for their eyes to show or wearing a light veil over their entire face. The facial covering, however, is not related to religious beliefs and is more of a cultural preference.

Per religious custom, Muslims do not eat pork. Thus, the local grocery store has a pork shop specifically for non-Muslims.