Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Saudi Women Only Hotel, Oy!

And this is progress??? The kicker - note the source of the news story: The BBC! LOL! Saudis Open Hotel for Women Only Tehran, 20 March 2008 (CHN Foreign Desk) : The Middle Easts first women-only hotel has opened in Saudi Arabia. It will cater primarily to businesswomen, who work completely covered from head to toe in public and have to observe strict segregation. The hotel, in Riyadh, has 25 rooms and boasts fine dining and conference facilities, as well as a range of health and beauty treatments. [Beauty treatments? Why bother when no one but your brother (yech) or your huband (double yech) can see you? Har!] Its executive director said the response to the idea of a hotel just for women had been overwhelming. [Overwhelming response. Yeah, right. Maybe from Madjob's wives seeking a get-away from Iran???] The Luthan Hotel & Spa is owned by a group of 20 Saudi princesses and businesswomen. It hopes to attract expatriates from the nearby diplomatic quarter [fat chance!] as well as local women. It is the first spa hotel in the kingdom available to women all the time - pools in other hotels are only open to women on certain fixed days or hours. Saudi Arabia, where the doctrine of Islam known as Wahhabism is applied, strictly enforces the separation of the sexes in public. Women are prevented from mixing with men other than relatives, from driving cars and from employment in many jobs. They are required to cover themselves in Islamic dress [rather like what Mrs. Leticia Addams wore, all black, all the time, except she didn't wear a veil] when in public. Our correspondent Frances Harrison says it is a huge bonus that inside the hotel they can move around uncovered as if they were at home. Luthan Hotel & Spa executive director Lorraine Coutinho said: "Inside this physical structure, we are all women. We even have bell-women. [Bell-women? Do they undergo a gynecological examination to ensure that they are, indeed, female?] We are women-owned, women-managed and women-run." The inauguration of the hotel was attended by Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, secretary general of the Supreme Commission for Tourism. Saudi tourism officials who attended the launch have encouraged other women to invest in similar hotels across the kingdom. Source: BBC

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