Woman in burka with kid in Dubai

Mommy, is that you?

Before I moved to Dubai, I had never seen a covered woman. Maybe a head scarf here and there (and to be honest, living in Portugal most of my life, barely even that) – but it was in the UAE that I saw a fully covered lady for the first time. No visible face, no legs or almost feet, just hands and a black wavy cloth.

One of the things that always amazed me observing women under burkas in Dubai was how their kids would recognize them. If you go to a mall, for example, you’ll see groups of ladies (often wives of the same man) with easily 2 or 3 kids each. Commonly accompanied by nannies too. When these ladies come together, how do their kids know which one is their Mother? Is it the shoes? Little details in the burka like embroideries and crystals? The purse? That would explain the admiration Emirati ladies tend to have with fashionable purses…

Or maybe it’s just a matter of instinct.

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