A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Hijab Fashion, Shami Style

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 26, 2007

In one of those weird indications of the ways in which globalism disrespects national boundaries, I received a sweetly funny cartoon by email from a friend in … Israel. Well, in Israel for the moment, but like me a Damascene in spirit.

This cartoon categorization of hijab styles may be too Damascus – focused for people who have not lived there to appreciate it – I would have changed the “on the Syrian street” because even Syrians from other cities may not get the references. Also, I would have put more focus on the hijab chic styles – there are as many variations as there are variations on more conservative hijab interpretations, and its a pity to miss out on seeing the full range.

However – I am gifted with neither artistic skills nor the creative inspiration that inspired this cartoon, so please read my comments as “wouldn’t it be nice to add x and y” rather than critiques.



CFW commented that she had found the creator of this lovely cartoon – Puppeteer, a Syrian blogger in Damascus. The cartoon can be seen in situ at her post Islamic … Syria? Thank you, CFW!


23 Responses to “Hijab Fashion, Shami Style”

  1. inpursuitofjustice said

    I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sietske said

    Where did you get that picture? It’s great!And I agree, they are a little stingy with the muhajababes.

  3. intlxpatr said

    When I lived in Jordan, they had these fabulous headbands from traditional woven fabrics, usually with a glint of metallic, worn over the scarf. I guess it is a very very old and traditional fashion, but it had flair and drama, and made women look good.

  4. Welcome, In Pursuit of Justice! I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog!

    Sietske, I received it as an email attachment – I don’t know the author, although from the ‘insider’s’ perspective and the spelling wahhabe for wahhabi I suspect the creator is a Damascene. If I find out the name of the creator, I will let you know – I’m curious to see the other cartoons he/she has done!

    Ya khalti, the headbands sound beautiful, but I can’t quite visualize them. Do you have any old photos that you could post?

  5. cfw said

    found your author!


  6. […] I was trying to find an example of a traditional Jordanian head-dress so I could show Little Diamond but instead I found this blog Arabesque Rhapsody and her beautiful article on everyday Palestinian […]

  7. LOL

  8. smile93 said

    Heehe. I live in Syria and..the hijab cartoon is so true. 😀

  9. lala said

    LOL i love the descriptions i live in bahrain and honestly all these loks i can relate to here on our streets too !
    although we have a few that wear abayas that could be categorized now according to abaya detail and there is supposedly a trend in “beehive- style hijabs” !!! no idea where that came from .. amy winehouse?!? thanx for the cartoon its cute !

  10. Very sad that sisters all over the world are disrespected like this – we are all creations of Allah! Please be careful with this type of mockery. Ignorant people already make fun of us – please don’t side with them.

  11. Dear Sister,

    I’m not sure where you live, but in fact one of the things I love most about Syria and Lebanon is the wide variety of women’s interpretation of modest dress.

    I personally prefer abayas because they are simpler (and of course because as a New Yorker I am partial to black). But I love the color and variety – and the wonderful rich individuality – of pious women’s dress here. What you see as disrespect, I see as the witty commentary of a local – a young woman who grew up _within_ this culture. As a Syrian, she is not comfortable with Saudi dress – and nor is she comfortable with upper-class Abu Roumaneh women’s total disregard for modesty – except in their maids.

    I don’t think she’s ignorant at all – I think she is using humor to open up a discussion about sincerity in religious practice.

  12. phoenyx said

    aSalaam Alaikum, sister. Thank you for sharing this lovely illustration with us.

  13. w 3aleikum al-salaam, Phoenyx! You are most welcome! As I’ve said above, I love the illustration both for its gentle humor and for the way it portrays the rich variety of modest dress. There is a great deal of freedom in what people in the US often think of as “restrictive” clothing – room for style, and more importantly, room for women’s individual interpretations of how to live their faith.

  14. I am from Indonesia.. It hurts to see the truth… “Veiled Indonesian Maid”

  15. Dear Tia – This is a painful image to see, but remember that Puppeteer is using her work to encourage people to ask questions about the “types” she portrays.

    Also, I don’t know about Syria, but I do know that the Indonesian government has been very good about protecting Indonesians hired to work in Lebanon. It does not let Indonesians work as maids in Lebanon, because it does not believe they will be well-treated. Lebanese wishing to hire Indonesians for work in Lebanon must interview at the embassy in Beirut.

  16. mehwish said

    slaaaaaaaaaamz… omg.. im soooooooo da chique hijaaabi…lol.. love it.. thats such a true picture of hijaab in 2das society…which is a gr8 shame… big up brother…

  17. Zainab said


  18. lolo said

    asslam alaikom

    you have to respect muslims

    it is not funny at all. religious behaviours is not for fun because it is from God WHO all of us should respect

    dont ever think to have fun with religions allah in all arround

  19. w 3aleikom al-salam lolo. You are quite right: we all need to respect one another’s religions, and I am very happy to have Christian, Jewish, and Muslim readers (not to mention those of other religions, and those who are not particularly religious!).

    My understanding is that Puppeteer drew this not out of any disrespect, but to spark self-reflection among Damascene Muslims (and anyone else who has wondered about the rich variety of hijabs there and elswhere). It is important to think carefully about the difference between thoughtful reflection – and the possibilities for growth that this brings – and disrespect.

  20. Omar Vasquez said

    Assalamu alaikum

    I couldn’t help stop laughing when I saw those cartoons. Awesome! It really does provide a snapshot of the variety of hijab (and non-hijab) styles on the streets of Damascus today. Many of those could be seen when I was studying in Syria back in 1995 while others are relatively new.

    I believe the intention of the person who drew them was not to mock the hijab but rather to generate some discussion. My wife who wears hijab found them amusing too. However, it is also understandable that some may find the drawings offensive for various reasons, so we should exercise caution in how the cartoons are presented / distributed.

  21. Umm Carter said

    I dig the toon but I worry about the way the maid was depicted. It seems to show some bias that they are goofy and ignorant possibly. I can’t dig that. I figure if a person moves half a world away from their home they have to be pretty determined. And to navigate a new culture and country takes wits. I do like that the author/artist notices a broad range though. lol I don’t get the trade mark glare but then here its very rare to see a muslum, let alone a hijabi. The glares are most often from parents of military personnel not a salfi or wahabi….doesn’t the word wahabi make you think wasabi? lol

  22. inkspot said

    Hi… It,s quite amazing hoe women,s dresscode is alwayas catches men,s attention with or without hijaab… the drawings reflect different styles while facial expressins reflect what? b why is the facial expression of both Mini qubeisya and qubeisya are frownny and scared??? and saudi hijabb jumping to be made like ninja alyhough it is only nikaab

  23. meteopress.cz

    Hijab Fashion, Shami Style « A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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