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Forum > Middle East > What to wear in the Middle East
#0 What to wear in the Middle East Sat 23 Dec 06 19:49:00
lyracyst
Eugene
United States of America
Hello everybody.....

Next summer I will be traveling overland from Turkey to Egypt, through Turkey,
Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt. In preparation, I have attempted
to research what clothing females should wear when traveling in those countries.
To make a long story short.... I have heard a lot of different things. Most
sources agree that jeans and t-shirt are not ok in Syria, but they are ok in
Istanbul. But there is a great debate about weather or not a headscarf must be
worn in Jordan. I hear so many different things that I don't know what to
beleive.

Also, I have heard that a woman will not be allowed to cross the Turkey/Syria
border (via Antakya) unless she is wearing the traditional long overcoat (Jelbab
?) and a head/throat covering (abaya ?)

I am hoping that some natives of middle eastern countries and experienced
travelers in the area could help me out :)

Thank you !

-- Lyra
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#1 What to wear in the Middle East Sat 23 Dec 06 19:59:43
liorvol
LJUBLJANA
Slovenia
Hej,

I am no expert about Syria and Lebanon, but about Palestine and Egypt, it's ok
if you go around with jeans and t-shirt but keep them long and forget about any
kind of cleavage (spelling?). The weather in the summer usually makes it normal
for women to have t-shirts, so that's ok. People also understand that tourists
are dressing diffrently. In the Sinai shore it's the norm.

A few exception though - In the old city of Jerusalem, in the the muslim quarter
of Cairo, and perhaps in small Palestinians villages, wear a long sleeves shirt.
No need to hide your face or anything, but don't attract un-wanted attention.

And were you briefed about what to say in the Jordanian-Palestinian border?

Lior.
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#2 What to wear in the Middle East Sat 23 Dec 06 20:10:42
ooo
Singapore
Singapore
no expert but i was there(turkey n syria) last month..

just wear loose covered clothing with appropriate neckline. jeans are fine. if
you discover you have brought the wrong clothing, dont worry as you can buy
everything in the souqs :)

you do not need to wear headscarf but you might feel better bringing one along
so that when you enter certain mosques you can use your own (those that require
usually have some scarves for borrowing, its also useful to bring a bag to
contain your shoes to minimize wastage of plastic bags) 



Also, I have heard that a woman will not be allowed to cross the Turkey/Syria
border (via Antakya) unless she is wearing the traditional long overcoat
(Jelbab
?) and a head/throat covering (abaya ?)

---> not true at all! i crossed exactly wearing sneakers, jeans and pullover :) 
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#3 What to wear in the Middle East Sat 23 Dec 06 20:12:15
noammeir
Kiryat Haim
Israel
and just for the record, it is called israel.... not palestine...
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#4 What to wear in the Middle East Sat 23 Dec 06 20:22:25
viva4ever
Damascus
Syria
HI lyra ...
all the informations you have are wrong .. in syria you are free to wear what
ever you want and there is nomatter what evever you drew on ...
and you can watch the syrian satillite channel to see what the famle wearing ..
in syria there are alote of athnis ... librial .. there are muslim and
chrestians and you are free to wearing t-shirt and jeans and alote of the syrian
girls wearing that 
you can come and see .... 
last thing whene you arrive here don't forget to call me to host you and take
you around damascus ...... wellcome in advance waitting for you     .
                                                                                
                      Ahmed
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#5 What to wear in the Middle East Sat 23 Dec 06 20:25:13
pumpkin
Ankara
Turkey
i should say i find such questions pathetic, since the issue has been covered
many times before. i am a female turk and i crossed the Turkey/Syria border with
a snowcoat, jeans and a pair of winter shoes since i went there in winter. if it
was summer be sure i would have worn a t shirt and shorts!
in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon either, havent experienced any sort of harassment
towards non veiled people. the women in these countries are mixed, there are
people who wear headsacrf and there are people who dont. there were plenty of
arab girls who wore much more extravagant things than i in the cafes. never
heard about that jelbab or abaya thing....  though i may say you can enter a
mosque with a simple headsarf in Turkey but in Syria you have to cover your
entire body. never worry. if they find your clothing inappropriate, you will be
given some sort of an overcoat and a scarf for your visit. 
still i might say that we waited for hours and hours for the passports of the
americans in the group to be signed. beware.
pumpkin
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#6 What to wear in the Middle East Sun 24 Dec 06 3:01:32
bushra
İstanbul
Turkey
as an istanbuller I can assure you that you can wear whatever you wish or how
you feel comfortable. no restrictions at all. we are a very homogenous society,
you can see people wearing scarf as well as mini skirts. so dont worry just
enjoy!

busra
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