SHAFAQNA – Dammam University has launched a campaign against colorful abayas after a number of girls were caught without the customary black outer covering mandatory in educational institutions.
Supervisors at Dammam University confirmed that the campaign against the wearing of colored abayas had begun in all their colleges. They pointed out that although colored abayas are easily available in the market, female students are required to abide by the rule of wearing black as a sign of respect to the educational environment.
Female students also said that supervisors and security employees had begun implementing the campaign since last week and that any girl found in violation of the rule would be penalized. They also said that they had been warned that all violations would be documented and filed. They were also expected to abide by the instructions which authorities say promote modesty in dress and appearance.
Meanwhile, workers in abaya markets said that officials have inspected shops selling colored abayas. They said that designers have also been asked to strictly abide by the set abaya designs and colors to avoid punitive action.
Sellers and store owners said instructions issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stated the importance of abiding by abaya designs.
A social researcher, Mohammad Al-Zahrani said that there is wide-ranging debate on the issue of the abaya. “The Permanent Committee for Scientific Research and Iftaa stated about 14 years ago that the abaya should conform to Shariah dress which promotes modesty,” he stated.