Modesty

In Arab culture modesty is perceived as a positive trait and particularly pertains to women. Although dress codes and customs vary from country to country, the majority of women are required to cover themselves differently than in the Western world. For example, in Saudi Arabia, women usually wear niqabs in public, which cover most of the face. In other countries, women wear burkas, which cover the entire body from head to toe. And in other countries, women wear hijabs, which only cover the hair. In some modern Arab countries, such as Qatar, women and men wear modest, western-style clothing.

Algerians in traditional costumes
Algerians in traditional costumes. Source: Yves Jalabert from Région parisienne, France (Au revoir et à bientot) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Women of Arabic speaking backgrounds in Australia may dress in ways that uphold the traditional value of modesty, depending on their ethnic, religious and family backgrounds. In general, women of the Islamic faith adopt dress codes and wear either the hijab, the burka and less commonly, the niqabs. Women of Christian Arabic backgrounds in Australia wear western clothing, similarly to Christian Arabic women in urbanised centres across the Arab world.