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Retro Middle East The Rise And Fall Of The Miniskirt

Retro Middle East The Rise And Fall Of The Miniskirt
Tempting Tehran
This photo, from the 1960s, could be from any beach scene in the Western world, with a beautiful woman holding a seductive pose spread over a shiny sports car. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, women, if at the beach at all, will be draped from head to toe in black and, at most fashionable, might brave the burkini.
Egypt's girls in swimwear of the '60s were less camera shy than today's conservative Cairenes.

Immodest Iran

Believe it or not, this care-free scene showcasing student-abandon was all too familiar on college campuses prior to the Ayatollah’s crackdown. This Tehran snapshot of stylish students from the early 70's, shows girls with plenty of leg on show and not a hijab in sight. Until the Ayatollah had his wicked way, work hard, play hard.

School girls in Arabia

Iraqi students from the‘70s during Iraq’s educational ‘Golden Age’ in which school enrollment reached 100% and illiteracy dropped, shows schoolgirls sporting skirts above the knee. Iraq is now attempting an education overhaul following the US pullout, but female students will most likely be covering a bit more skin.

Syria's obstacle-defying girl

Silvana Shaheen was a Syrian hurdler that didn’t think twice about representing her country with knees exposed and hair aloft. In the early ‘70’s, this Homs native scored the national prize for both 400m and 100m hurdles multiple times.


Before the rise and fall of the Russians, the Afghans had their own airline complete with stewardesses rockin’ high heels and bare calves. Kandahar International Airport was hopping and the local ladies were hardly distinguishable from foreign floozies.

Palestine's pretties

In 1967 at the University of Beerzeit, the co-eds could not only mix, but they could have a riot together - and we don't mean a protest. Forget standing around drinking tea and eating biscuits, these students have a full out tug-of-war-- and the ladies heaved and ho'd in heels and skirts!


The late King Hussein appreciated that age-old beauty found only in feminine form. His Hashemite Kingdom held this beauty pageant in 1963 at the Philadelphia Hotel that boasted ladies showing their hair, shoulders and a whole lotta leg. Imagine your ‘teta’ once owning the catwalk in a spring skirt and a sassy swagger!

Egypt in its element

Whereas today, the overwhelming majority of women in Egypt wear a hijab to cover their hair and those who don’t commonly face harassment from men, these Cairo chicks had no such worries in the 1960s as they sported the latest fashions with an Arab spring in their steps!

Oman's hidden jewels

A Gulf state in the 60’s featuring women coming out unescorted, at night without hijab and sporting skirts!?? Believe it or not, this rare photo captures the norm for style and freedom for ladies in this now-covered country.


No one-piece bodysuits for these ballin’ females! Apparently women could both play basketball and wear short shorts in Baghdad in the 1970s. If this happened in 2013 these innocent hoopsters would be charged with salaciousness and licentiousness at the very least. And more common versions to boot!

Libya's ladettes

Khadija al Jaahmey leads women on a protest in Tripoli to support a Royal Declaration in 1963, which gave women the right to not only vote but to also run for political office. Though it was raining, the liberated ladies showed that Libyan lasses were indeed liberated.

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