abaya stores in egypt

They are banned in France, mandated in Saudi Arabia and a fashion statement in Indonesia. Veils for Muslim women come in all sizes, shapes and colors — and with terminology that can mean different things in different places.

Like many Emirati women however, Alyoha wears a full-length black gown called an abaya over her clothes and a black veil, known as shailah over her hair when she’s out and about. This means only a handful of close friends and family members ever see her full outfit (normally at a private home or ladies-only event) but this doesn’t stop her shopping.

“For us to feel good, we like to know we look good under our abayas,” she said. “I remember a foreign teacher asking us once if we just wore pyjamas, and I was like ‘no way!’”

Wearing beautiful and colourful clothes makes me happy

Shoes, which she can show off publicly while wearing her abaya are Hassan’s big passion; her collection includes two pairs of Christian Louboutin heels, Manolo Blahnik satin flats and some Christian Dior crystal-studded trainers (sneakers).

But her clothes, although only seen by a handful of people, are very important to her. “Wearing beautiful and colourful clothes makes me happy,” she said.

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