The Veiled Woman

July 28, 2023

One morning, I was in Azerbaijan having breakfast. At another dining table sat a woman in a long black dress, her face covered by a veil with only a very, very small opening for her eyes. As she ate, she had to lift her veil a little bit in order to put food in her mouth and then put her veil down again.  In her black dress, head to toe, with no face, was she meant to be invisible, not to be noticed?

What does this woman feel about hiding, being invisible? Does she feel guilty of something? Does she feel guilty at the possibility of attracting the attention of a passing male that she must cover herself so as not to be noticed?  Is it her choice to be covered like that? How many women in radical Moslem countries have the choice?

With her face covered and only a small opening to put food in her mouth, is she allowed to converse with anyone? Probably not—unless it is her husband or another woman she knows well. She is basically ostracized. It is like being kept in prison in solitary except that she is out in the open. Whoa . . .! I wish I could talk to this woman and ask her how she feels. But no chance. She could be stoned to death for talking to a stranger, especially a foreigner.  

How cruel.

How sad.

How inhuman.

Just sharing,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes