Inside of a Saudi House and Segregated House Parties

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Although relatively bland and generic on the outside, the inside of a Saudi house is stunning.  Often immaculately decorated with no detail left untouched.  Above are pictures from the house of the woman where I took Arabic classes early in the year.  You will rarely see pictures with people because once inside the house, amongst other women, females remove their hijab and abiya.

Each house has multiple seating rooms allowing for male and female visiting rooms.  One of my favorite memories over the past year was going to a farewell party at a co-workers house.   The gathering was only for the women who worked in our department.  The house was a lovely 4 story mansion on the edge of town.  It had 4 floors, with 1 floor made into an apartment for my co-worker.  Her brother and his family live in the rest of the house.

When we arrived at 10:00pm, most of the guests were not there yet but the music was blaring traditional Arabic tunes and the girls were dancing their hearts out.  Arabic coffee, fresh fruit juice and piles of sweets were passed around. We were in a large rectangle room with couches all around the sides and an open carpeted area for dancing in the middle.

As the rest of the women arrived, they joined in the eating and dancing.  Everyone was dressed to the nines.  Hair and make-up perfectly applied, waltzing on tall & extravagant heals, all wearing beautiful dresses.  The reason the party started so late is so everyone had a chance to rest and get ready after work.  At 1:00am we ate a catered meal and the girls I came with went home completely exhausted but filled with excitement from a fun night.  The others stayed until 2:30 or 3:00am.

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