My friend’s grandmother wore a niqab and so it was hard for men to know whether she was married or not. She used to to walk along the streets of Rabat not displaying any obvious sign of interest for the curious men. Only one man observed that the hood of her garment was carefully folded inside out. It cought his interest and, as he returned home, the man confessed to his mother.
Because of the clothing covering her entire body, leaving uncovered just her eyes, the man wasn’t sure whether she was married or not, so it rested on the shoulders of his mother to continue the investigation. She started following the girl as a modern day private investigator. She would follow her to the hamam to spy on her beauty, and she would ask her various incognito favors, to find out how helpful she was. At one point, she ‘accidentally’ spilled a bit of clean water on her clothes, to check on her reactions – would she respond with kindness?
When all information was collected, the boy’s mother went to see the mother of the girl, and introduce herself and her son.
This story reminded me of a friend that had applied for a prestigious diplomacy programme in the UK. She had sent her application and, as the deadline of an official response came, she received a call from the university. Someone made a mistake and lost one of the papers she had sent. The application was now incomplete because of this mistake, nevertheless she would have to apply again. Although usually outspoken, M remained calm and asked for details. She was obviously upset, but she handled it elegantly. After a few minutes into the conversation, the voice that brought the bad news told her thanks, she just had her last interview, and she passed.