Feature

The new black

The week's news at a glance.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Saudi women have begun decorating their full–body coverings, or abayas, with colorful patterns. Abayas are traditionally black, which means that in the oppressive Saudi heat they are stifling. “Nothing in Islam imposes black on us,” said Manal al–Sharif, an editor at al–Madina newspaper. “I decided to make a brown abaya for myself.” Other women are even more daring. In cosmopolitan cities such as Jeddah, colorful abayas are being decorated with crystal beads and jewelry. Even those women who wear black head coverings that show only their eyes are dressing up: They have taken to wearing colored contact lenses and heavy mascara.

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