Since I’ve been in the Middle East, I’ve seen all sorts of varieties of niqab. Here is an example of one style I have often seen on the streets of Cairo.
One of the major goals of niqab is for women to not draw attention to themselves. Despite efforts of draping tons of material from their heads or wearing many many layers in scorching temperatures, it seems like the presence of niqabis is still known in society. Still yet, it is possible to get a sense of their form. One can tell the difference between skinny niqabis, heavy set niqabis, tall niqabis, and short niqabs, top heavy niqabis and, at times, those with wide child bearing hips. I can often tell if a niqabi is young or old, and many times whether she is wealthy or of a lower social economic status. Niqabis still draw a lot of attention. And in certain parts of Cairo, such as Abbas al Akkad street men try to pick niqabis up assuming they are street walkers.
In a long conversation about purdah, seclusion, gender segregation, and niqab, a young woman finally proposed a cloaking device for niqabis. You know, the kind that Frodo had in the lord of the rings.
While we know that the technology has not been developed, two scientists have theorized that cloaking devices are possible. Check the articled out here. There is growing evidence that wealthy women from the Gulf are investing in the development of new technologies, as well as high end clothing lines. Perhaps the technology has already been developed. Maybe next time when you spot that Khaliji princess at the club, she’ll throw on that Frodo cloak so you can’t recognize her….