Byron commits a gaffe while in the gulf

March 27, 1991|By Washington Bureau of The Sun

WASHINGTON -- Representative Beverly B. Byron, D-Md.-6th, ran afoul of the morality police during a recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

"They objected to my pants," the Frederick Democrat said of the incident, first reported in the Montgomery Journal.

The congresswoman said she had been waiting for Representative Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.-5th, at a bazaar in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, a week and a half ago when a patrol of Saudi enforcers of the Islamic code of conduct and dress strode up and began tapping the street with their sticks.

Mrs. Byron was surprised when she was told of the problem by a translator.

"I have never dressed in a long black robe," said the congresswoman, who has traveled before in the Arab world and thought she was respecting the strict Muslim culture by wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants. "No leg was exposed," she said.

Saudi laws allow trousers for women, but not if they show the "silhouette" of the woman's leg.

"We just walked on, and that's the end of it," she said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.