Returning after a long hiatus with a new Daily Fashion Fix post. In his week’s installment, I decided to take another stab at restyling a modest look since moving abroad. That said, my new country of residence, Qatar is no different than many other countries across the Middle East.
Here, modest dress applies to women AND men. Those who practice Islam, particularly the native Qatari people, often dress in traditional full-cover garments called thobes (for men) and abayas + sheilas (for women) .. For non-Qatari residents (like myself) or for visitors passing through
The rule is to cover from knees to shoulders, w/ arms covered preferably to the elbow (but a t-shirt length is passible when outside of work or government buildings) .. Yall, this is DEF a shift from my nudist / bodycon wearing, free-spirit self who loves to push boundaries! ... It's not easy, but I think I'm making it work LOL!
Also, in addition to a quick convo about modesty, I also wanted to talk a bit about these images and the duality of my new city.
As you can see, the location for this week’s post is not glamorous. And that’s exactly why I was drawn to it. This month in honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share content that talks about the other side of this expat experience. From my Instagram alone, I’m sure you’ve already seen lots of photos of beautiful hotels, pools, food, and parties ...
I’ve already made some really great friends here and I’ve have some amazing times thus far, but I also want to share the other side ... The story of expats from other countries working really hard, yet clearly not living the same type of life experiences my friends and I are. While it’s easy to post beautiful photos, I also want to share what’s real. As a black woman, as a Caribbean woman, I myself have had experiences here that were not always positive due to stereotyping and assumptions of class, poverty, etc, based solely on the dark complexion my skin and the history of blackness here.
Clearly said? I want to be able to share authentic experiences of people of color who are in these spaces. It would be inauthentic to myself or the people I’m sharing this journey with, you my online fam, if I chose not to talk about these issues and strictly showed Insta-worthy vacation shots for however long I'm here ... Now, don’t get me wrong, I like those things .. Love them actually. However, it would be irresponsible of me to not acknowledge the huge population here whose labor is the backbone of this society, making this “fancy” lifestyle possible for a very select few. I feel it’s my duty to shine a light on them.
In short, the art direction of this week’s photos were to show this dichotomy .. To show the contradiction .. To show and the beauty against the gritty.
Ok fam, that's all for now. I hope you loved today’s fashion post! ... PS: If you liked the photos, you’ll LOVE the fun lookbook video I put together to celebrate this week’s style! ... Check it out below and let me know what you think!
UPDATE! - For full details on my trip to the Bin Jelmood Museum, which discusses the history of the Arabic slave trade her in Qatar as well as modern manifestations of slavery and indentured work ... Tap HERE!
‘Till then, as always ... The Journey Continues!