En route to Jordan, we have a long layover in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Although we cannot explore the city due to local laws, the airport offers an interesting cultural experience. Upon arrival, masses of men and women rush for the restroom to swap their Western jeans and t-shirts for local garb. Soon I’m the only female without an abaya dress, burqa and niqab covering my face.
Men cover their faces with dust masks, as light brown clouds approach the airport. Billows of sand engulf the tarmac and parked planes become nearly invisible. But it doesn’t stop the operation and we are escorted through the sandstorm to our flight.