Report: Saudis Decree Diplomats Must Wear Traditional Garb

Saudi Arabia's minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Ali al-Naimi (C) arrives for the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting, in the Qatari capital Doha, on April 17, 2016. Top energy officials from some 15 countries including Saudi Arabia and Russia are at the Doha talks, amid reports a …

JAFFA, Israel – The Saudi government has reportedly issued a directive banning its diplomats from wearing suits in favor of the traditional garb.

“The authorities have ordered state representatives abroad to strictly wear the traditional Saudi dress whenever they make a public appearance, including media interviews,” Okaz newspaper reported.

A special emphasis was put on wearing a white dress and a white keffiyeh (headscarf) during official events, the paper reported.

The directive, which comes after Saudi representatives were seen wearing business suits, especially when visiting Arab capitals, was met with some criticism on Saudi social media.

“A man’s liberty to choose his clothes supersedes these directives,” Khaled wrote.

Do Majed commented sarcastically: “I’ll open a shop for these clothes, maybe I’ll get lucky.”

Bazaz jumped on the opportunity: “I have these dresses in all sizes and colors.”

Abuomar took the initiative: “If only they make women who represent us abroad wear the Saudi dress and not only men.”

One user said the directive might be exploited by officials, commenting on pictures of outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron preparing to leave office: “Arabs are arrogant and patronizing, the Romans (Westerners) have a simpler demeanor. The result of this directive will be that these officials will hire minions to carry the hems of their dress.”

Badr tweeted: “[Heir to the throne] Mohammed Bin Salman wore a modern, luxurious suit, not the traditional garb, during his latest visits to Europe and the United States.”


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