FAQ: Do you have to dress differently?

When we were in the States last month, there were several questions that we got asked over and over again.  In our fall newsletter we answered some of them (Are you fluent? Do you feel safe?  How’s your support?), but wanted to answer the rest here.

I know the picture in many minds when the Middle East comes up is of women wearing head coverings.  Many of the Muslims in Lebanon do cover to varying degrees – from just her hair and ears to a full body and face cover.  Because there is a large “Christian” population, it is very normal and acceptable to see women without a head covering (Although many Christian women still cover their heads in church).  Not only that, there is a large Western and secular influence, so it is also not uncommon to see girls walking around town in spaghetti straps and short skirts (or less!).

Dress is often used as a sign of one’s values.  So as a God-fearing Christian, I do my best to dress modestly by the standards of the culture around me.  Which means here in Beirut, I don’t dress too differently from how I would dress in the States.  One of the biggest differences is I don’t wear shorts.  But pants, knee-length skirts, T-shirts, sleeveless shirts are all fine.

Beirutis generally are a little more dressed up than we would be at home, which has been a fun adjustment to see Caleb go through (he is thoroughly Arizonan… shorts and flip flops to church or a wedding… why not??  A shock to my system when I moved to AZ, for sure… but that’s beside the point…)



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