Saudi Gazette publishes Saudi-focused essay by Andersen ’12, Tatro ’14

Anthropology major Devin Tatro ’14 talks with Saudi men at a desert farm in the Eastern Province during a Short Term trip last spring to Saudi Arabia led by Dana Professor of Anthropology Loring Danforth. Photo: Ana Bisaillon ’12.

The English-speaking Saudi Gazette newspaper publishes “Bridging the Cultural Gap,” an account of the Bates Short Term trip to Saudi Arabia written by Casey Andersen ’12 and Devin Tatro ’14 and featuring photos by Leena Nasser ’12.

Led by Dana Professor of Anthropology Loring Danforth and facilitated by Saudi citizen Nasser, the trip was ambitious in scope, the authors write.

“We dreamt of towering sand dunes, camels and palm trees, but we also wanted to learn about other, more important, aspects of the Saudi society: the medical, legal, economic and political systems.”

Getting answers meant near-constant conversation: with street vendors, artists, performers, NGO and business leaders, students, journalists, and women and men, young and old.

At a mosque, the students asked the Imam’s daughter about wearing her veil, or niqab. Didn’t it make women feel self-conscious?

“If I didn’t cover and wear my niqab that’s when I would feel self-conscious,” she explained.

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