Do I Need to Cover my Hair in Palestine?

IMG_7294Do I Need to Cover my Hair in Palestine? Women who come to the Middle East wonder if they ought to wear a hijab to cover their hair in order to be respectful toward the community. Some people think that Middle Eastern communities are very strict regarding the wearing of the hijab but this is in fact not the case.

It is well known that the majority of the Middle East, including Palestine, are Muslims and that many of them follow Islamic guidelines regarding modesty, fashion, and the hijab. Despite this, not all women in Palestine wear the hijab. This includes women and girls who are Christians but also a large number of Muslims.

You are by no means obliged to cover your hair while you are in Palestine. The only places that you should do so is religious places like mosques. In these places, you will be provided with a cloak that will cover your body and your hair. Some international female visitors choose to wear the hijab but it is by not expected or obligatory.

Even though the hijab is not expected you still should dress modestly, covering the parts of the body that attract attention is important in a society that is more conservative in regards to sexuality than the West and other foreign countries. For example, it is better to not wear a skirt, shorts, or a shirt that reveals cleavage.

If you wear clothing that reveals your arms and legs, it is likely that you will receive a lot of attention. Most international female visitors opt for long trousers or pants, or skirts that reach the ankles, combined with loose-fitting shirts that reach the elbows, although t-shirts are also acceptable. The Dead Sea is an exception as the wearing of bikinis and other Western-style swim wear is acceptable.

It is worth mentioning that Palestinian women enjoy the same freedoms as women around the world such as the right to drive cars, work, study, travel, and own their own businesses. This means that women in Palestine have the freedom to choose whether or not to wear the hijab.

The mix of Christians and Muslims also makes the Palestinian community a more open society. Muslims and Christians celebrate each other’s holidays like Christmas, Eid Al-Fitr, and Eid Al-Adha as friends and neighbors. They work together as equals to make their communities and their nation a good place to raise families and they respect each other’s religious beliefs.

We hope we have dispelled some commonly held beliefs about Palestine and eased the minds of women who feel that will have to drastically change their wardrobe in order to visit us. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about women’s fashion in Palestine.