The Not-So-Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie

I really wanted to compile an online list of all the Syrian adages I’ve heard, English and Arabic with a short explaination as to its common usage (and I will, inshAllah, when I finish my exams) so I googled Syrian adages to you know, see if anyone’s been there done that.

It came up with this:

Search Results

  1. Adages – Google Books Result

    by Desiderius Erasmus – 1992 – Fiction – 479 pages
    It was a man called Cilhicon who gave rise to the adage, a native of Miletus  After the island of Samos had been betrayed by Cillicon, a Syrian by name
  2. Straight From Syria: a Thong With a Mobile-Phone Holder – Global 

     – 1:39am

    For a lot of obvious reasons, one wouldn’t assume that Syria knows much about sexy underthings. – 40k – Cached – Similar pages

Ummm… not really what I was looking for. But very interesting. 

After some virtual leafing (hehe pun!!) on Amazon, I can’t really dispute any of the author’s claims. On one of my previous visits to Syria, I think I was 10 or something, my aunt took us PJ shopping in the old souks, and the lingerie displays were… well, very interesting. My brothers and I were agape. Serious, jaw-dropped, bug-eyed agape-ness going on. They were colorful and musical and shiny and utilized all sorts of materials (leaves à la Eve, anyone?) in the making and were very imaginative. 

More recently, a bride-to-be cousin and I went trousseau hunting and found one particular gem with ‘Boos Al Wawa’ embedded in rhinestones on its derriere.

They aren’t very secret though. Quite the opposite, in fact. They’re more a ‘in yow face, hung proudly in the Syrian breeze’ statement, if anything. And the belly dancing costumes? LOL. Achh, ya Syria. Nonstop entertainment, I swear.



Filed under Cultural Observations, Humor, Only in Syria, Syria

12 responses to “The Not-So-Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie

  1. AH, it’s similar here. Thing is, sometimes it’s a DUDE selling this stuff, I mean how awkward? “No miss, this bra is too small for you, let me get you the D cup” bleck.

  2. In Karachi, we have Sunday and Friday bazaars, where a huge tent is set up and traders come in to sell their goods at a bargain price. A few men would spread out a blanket on the ground and sell secondhand lingerie from know-knows-where. I never saw anyone buy from them, ever.

  3. Sometimes, Mona? I have never saw a woman selling lingerie here!

  4. Mona – agreed with Umm Travis.. sometimes?? More like all times. I tried bra shopping here once. I got as far as one (male) studying my chest critically while the other (male) approached me with a measuring tape before it was dream the HELL on guy!! Since then I’ve been depending on parents’ and relatives’ trips to Canada to get me some. But I’m in serious need and have no idea what to do!!!

    Nadia – secondhand underwear?! I have no problem with flea market hunting, especially for accessories (belts, bags, jewelry) – you come across some seriously wicked finds! But underwear? The line has just been crossed!

    Umm Travis – LOOL!!

  5. I started to comment and then changed my mind.. 😉


  6. Good move, ATW. Very wise of you 😉

  7. I said sometimes because I’ve seen salesgirls in a few shops and I didn’t want to generalize, but yea it’s mostly pervy dudes.

  8. Serious? You’ve actually seen one? I’d gotten the idea that it was somehow socially unacceptable for girls to work the lingerie scene.. unless they were posing lol.
    ps. pervy guys creep the hell out of me. This one time I was at a tiny, teeny hijab store and he was unfolding a hijab so I could see it, and his arm ‘accidentally’ touched my bum. I’m like kkk, could be an accident? Then he’s folding the damn thing up and there goes that accidental arm again on my chest!!! I’d just recently gotten to Syria and was so flustered I didn’t say anything because I was scared he’d deny it and I wouldn’t know what to do. So I left the store crying and took a gazillion showers when I got home instead. Bastard.
    Every time I think back I cringe, and not because of what he’d done. I should’ve been stronger and pinned his ass with sexual harassment or indecent conduct or SOMETHING!! God, now I’m pissed. I’ve sworn if it ever happens again though, which thankfully it hasn’t, I won’t just shut up and put up with it.
    SubhanAllah, I never thought I’d be one to shut up about it. In fact I was very vocal about what a woman should do. KK, I’m going to shutup now, before I totally lose it and go hurt some innocent person….

  9. Speaking of pervy guys, I encountered one such Pakistani man on my flight to Manila several years ago. He was seated behind me, and while the lights were dimmed and a boring movie was silently playing away, I felt like he was stroking my arm from behind. We were both seated near the window. I was half asleep and ignored it first. But when he touched my arm the second time around, I got up, turned around, and told him how perverted his act was, in a voice loud enough to wake up a lot of the sleeping passengers. I continued scolding him for I don’t know how long, until my Mom took over, followed by a few male passengers. That guy literally sank into his seat, so embarrassed that he only got up 8 hours later to get off the flight, probably that too when everyone has left.

    So yes, you shouldn’t just be quiet during such encounters. I believe that’s why Islam encourages women to always travel accompanied by a male companion because of these perverts.

  10. Bleck! Sorry that happened S&S pervs are everywhere. Last night I got an obscene phone call from a saudi number! CRINGE!

  11. Salaam Alaikum,

    I’m really happy to add “Boos al wawa” to my Arabic vocabularly. If I saw those pants, I would buy them.

    P.S Thanks for your awesome comment on my blog. I’ve only heard my husband refer to Damascenes as “Shami”, so it was cool to hear it from another source!

  12. Nadia – Good for you!! InshAllah I will too if it ever happens again, God forbid!! *shudder*

    Mona – Ewww!! Speaking of obscene calls… this guy’s been phoning me nonstop – from a different number each time! Next time he calls I’m putting one of my brothers to good use – loool. My friend tells me it works. They bug off.

    Safiya – LOL. Well, they weren’t exactly pants… but glad I could help increase your Arabic vocab 😉 I’m glad you like my comments, cause sometimes I seriously get carried away! Okay, well not sometimes.. most times is more accurate. =D

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