First Lady Michelle Obama chose not to wear a veil during her visit with President Obama to Saudi Arabia Wednesday.
Good for her. We don’t’ cover our women here in the United States. Unlike in Saudi Arabia, American women are first class citizens. I’m glad she made the point.
The Saudis also made their point, ostentatiously refusing to shake her hand in the receiving line. Apparently, Saudi men are not supposed to touch women to whom they are not related. So, many of them just nodded to her after shaking Obama’s hand. The new King Salman apparently didn’t acknowledge her at all.
But according to the White House, exceptions to the rule have been made for officials like Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, and Angela Merkel.
We get plenty of lectures about not respecting other people’s cultures, but we often do our best. The Saudi leaders arrive here dressed in their pajamas and make our presidents walk along with theirs holding hands like a pair of little girls, as is the Saudi custom. The Saudis should have shown some respect themselves, and shook the first lady’s hand if they were going to go through a receiving line.