In time for the new school year, Qatar University has introduced a dress code prohibiting tight, revealing clothing and casual wear like sweatpants and Bermuda shorts, according to local media reports.
The policy, which has been greeted with mixed reaction, was sent to students in an email, with the Arabic speakers being told that tight, form-fitting abayas would also not be permitted, the Peninsula reports.
- Clothes with inappropriate text or images
- Visible tattoos
- Fad hair styles like dreadlocks and the unnatural coloring of hair
Students have also been asked to “exercise restraint” when using perfume and make-up and to keep it “in good taste.”
The new policy has been greeted with satisfaction from some and concern from others that the restrictions could spread to academia.
The Peninsula reports:
“This didn’t come as a surprise to me. Many students have been asking for a strict dress code, especially for Qatari girls,” a student from the Collage of Arts and Science, who didn’t want to be identified, said. She said that as some girls are “dressed up like they have come to the Oscars, you can’t help but be distracted”…
(But) “If the university is willing to stifle individuality in personal appearance and dressing, will they impose similar restrictions on the types of research you can do and the creativity of students? Will certain subjects-themes-topics be banned due to their inappropriateness?” (Maria Hardman, an American citizen who came to QU to study Masters in Gulf Studies), asks.
Dress code is a sensitive subject in a country as diverse as Qatar. An informal modesty campaign launched over the summer, for example, sparked a firestorm of debate about the definition of appropriate clothing here.
Here’s the email in both Arabic and English:
Credit: Photo courtesy of QU’s Facebook page