Sunday, September 20, 2015

Shopping for Eid Abayas and/ or dresses in Oman versus the same in Canada

The other day we went out for brunch at D'Arcy's in Shatti, Al Qurum, as we are wont to do on days where I stayed up all night and thus have no desire whatsoever to cook (anything, at all, even eggs or pancakes). While we were there I saw the cutest yellow tweed abaya in the mall where D'Arcy's is, and almost bought it on spot. It was Kooki & Zee, like 100 OMR, and I could probably even justify the purchase to myself saying, Eid Al Adha is coming. Tweed and me go together, well, like tweed and Chanel 2.55's, and I could already see myself styling it. However, I already had made myself at the tailor an abaya for Eid.
Online, this Endemage blush beauty was calling to me. Can't you just see how casually wearable, and yet how easy to dress up it would be?
 Or this funky Aywa dress, with Dama6 clutch, I saw on Haute Arabia's online shop... I could be so funky in that, especially with my new hair cut...

And in the mall in Shatti, these two lovely creations from Hala Bajunaid's label were on the rack, calling my name almost. How classic are they? So beautiful, so wearable. And only, like 60 omr.

Of course, in Oman, you don't have to spend that much on an Eid abaya or dress. You can go to the souq and get dresses for 10-20 OMR that are nice enough. Or get an abaya tailored, just choose your fabric, usually 4 meters, like 1.5-6 omr a meter, and then pay anywhere from 3-15 omr to get it done up at the tailor (some tailors charge more if you aren't just doing sewing work, like 25-50 if there's some handwork). That's what I did. That's what we do in Oman.

My husband's family, they usually buy new clothes, at least two new dresses, and one abaya, and a pair of shoes, for the ladies, 3 new dishdashas for the husband and boys, new hats and musayr for the boys and husband, occasionally fancy schmancy stuff like daggers and rifles and swords because we are a traditional lot. Plus us women get ourselves' henna'ed up. For girls they usually get 2 new outfits, one fancy, one traditional, and usually 2 sets of new play clothes.

Which makes me go, what the hell? Sometimes, at least. It is great when the kids need new clothes but when they have a dozen nice things already hanging in the closet I dislike to buy myself or them anything new.

Because I remember when I was living in Canada and I saved for a month just to buy (and not so nice usually) abaya from online and get like, maybe a shoe or purse or ring to match with it, and that was that. I could afford this because I didn't have kids. I was like, the fashionable one, lol. That was because I knew women who could barely afford a new scarf or like 1 abaya a year.

So buying so much new stuff when there is perfectly fine clothing in wardrobe hanging, reminds me about life in the Gulf.

Relatives say Islam says to wear new clothes for Eid, but I remember, it also says, your best. Your best might not be new.

I am the last person on earth that says Muslims shouldn't spend their money (after all, in Islam, we can't take it with us) or dress beautifully (as Islam says "Allah is beautiful and loves Beauty"). I mean, I probably WILL go back to buy those abayas, Kooki & Zee, and Hala, and Endemage if I can afford to justify that purchase.

But this isn't Eid al Fitr, this is Eid al Adha, and I remember that Allah asked Ibrahim to give up his son, and that boy, to offer up his life. And if I am to wear new or my best, I remember also that the Messenger of Allah told all women to go out to the Eid prayer, even if they had to borrow a jilbab (abaya) from others. So that reminds me of the women in Canada who can't really afford even one abaya a year (so why should I have multiple new fancy ones when I have a perfectly good one that's fine), and places even poorer, where feeding their children, let alone clothing them, is a greater issue?

Eid is a time for Muslims to celebrate, and I am not intending this post to be a downer AT ALL, so in fact, as I am wishing you all a happy, safe and peaceful Eid filled with beauty, know that I think this about myself.  I want always to be a stylish, beautiful, fashionable woman (let's face it, that's how I am, I have a girly personality that expresses itself artistically in clothes and makeup and interior design etc) but I hope I don't even forget the most beautiful thing to Allah, on this holiday that is about sacrifice for the sake of Allah, even those sacrifices, God doesn't require of us in the end, is humility and generousity. The rest of the year, I might have those in short supply, but abaya shopping (which I love to do!) reminded me of that this year.

So thanks to Kooki & Z, Hala, and Nadia and Lubna, whose beautiful creations, reminded me of the beautiful women I knew from a life I lived before I came here, who need something pretty once and a while.  I remember, when I first moved here, and I was robbed, and then I lent someone money who never paid me back, and I met the girls I now fondly refer to as the Shatti girls? Well, they kept trying to buy me designer abayas and take me out for dinner at fancy restaurants, well, because to them, I was the most alone and impoverished person they had personally known, which is LOL right, because, I didn't grow up a poor girl at all. So if you can afford to buy three sets of nice new designer clothes, maybe you can look up a random masjid on a map in Europe or North America, and send some simple but practical (and not a hundred years old in style) abayas to those Mosques to give away to women who need them? Because I knew women who LITERALLY wore table cloths from Walmart on their heads because they couldn't afford a nice scarf, when it came to buying modest clothes for themselves, or buying their kids school clothes and paying rent.

That'd be nice.

EID MUBARAK OMAN, may the meaning of Eid Al Adha touch your heart, and see y'all after the holidays.


A. said...

I live in the Emirates. I don't buy any new clothes for al Eid, because I buy throughout the year when necessary. Sometimes we get children new traditional clothes for Eid if they need. It is not a must in our family to get everything new just because others do and say it's a tradition. A nice video relevant to the message in your post

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

A. A nice video thanks I'd never seen it before.

Ayat Fatimah said...

I read your post. Every year I purchase trendy Eid abayas and accessories for myself and my friends. I also know some masjid and Mosques where I donate some accessories and scarfs which they give to needy women. It's a good thought to give or send abayas to as there are many needy women. I will try to giveaways abayas on this Eid with my friends. Thanks for sharing.