Scene with woman in national dress, Omdurman, Sudan

Invited to a World Tourism Organisation conference in Bali in 1993, I was refused admission at the door because I was wearing trousers. Not just any old trousers mind you, but a linen trouser suit, the height of fashion at the time, the end result being that I did not attend because I had brought no dresses on the long flight from London!

Now I’m appalled to learn that the well known Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein is to be flogged for wearing trousers in a restaurant in Khartoum. And that women whipped earlier this month included some from theChristian south where the Muslim north’s sharia law does not apply.

Sudan is not high on most people’s lists as a holiday destination, but potential women visitors should take heed. Remember, too, the fate of the British teacher Gillian Gibbons, who was arrested in 2007 for calling a toy bear by the common Arab name of Muhammad.

Is it any wonder that regimes such as that of the Sudanese dictator Oman al-Bashir give Islam a bad name? His punishment should be to be brought to London to see the shortest of shorts being worn this summer. Perhaps he would suffer a heart attack when the world would have one criminal less.
c.Christine Osborne: former editor Two Niles/Sudan Airways flight magazine.Image: Scene in Omdurman, SudanSource:

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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  1. AMA says:

    The blog on Sudan on women being whipped for wearing trousers highlights the ongoing differences between the Moslem and Christian worlds, altho other women fom the Christian south of the country were also whipped earlier–pure misogyny or what ?Have to agree that some of this summers outfits would give the Dictator a heart attack — bring him over ! My granny would probably have had one too in years gone by- but at least we have moved on!

  2. anon says:

    Trying to enter the fashionable night-club 'Checkers' in Sydney in the late 1960's in a pair of evening pants I was not subjected to a beating but was refused admission – when no argument would clear my path, I reluctantly returned home and changed into a shirt and boots…..these did not pass muster either and it was only with great reluctance and for the comfort of my my companions that I was finally permitted to enter……I suppose you could say we have come a long way since those strictly censorious days or have we.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmm ..the Ritz Hotel in London will still not allow in women wearing jeans, even though they may be a designer label costing several hundred pounds.

  4. Anonymous says:

    J'ai été refusé l'entrée au Casino de Juan les Pins, parce que je portais espadrilles – correspondant à mon pantalon – la mode à l'époque!

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