As Donald Trump and First Lady Melania embark upon Trump’s first foreign tour, all eyes were on the president during his first visit to Saudi Arabia. Eyes quickly transitioned from the president to Melania as she stepped off of Air Force One. The debate over whether she would don a hijab for the visit was finally settled. Melania would not, and Americans were ecstatic.
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King Salman greeted the pair at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport in Riyad, where President Trump is expected to speak at the summit about fighting radical Islam. The event was overshadowed by reactions to Melania not to wearing a hijab.
Under the kingdom’s strict dress code, female visitors are expected to be fully covered – including their hair and head. However, Melania’s decision is not unusual. It’s important to note that neither Michelle Obama nor Laura Bush wore a hijab for their visits either.
No first lady has ever worn one as far as records indicate. The First Lady did follow the other customary rules expected of a female in Sudi Arabia as she wore long sleeves and pants to conform to the strict dress code. She also followed behind her husband and the king while being escorted by a male guardian.
Once Americans heard the news and saw the pictures, there was overwhelming support of her decision to not wear a hijab.
Melania entered the palace without a hijab, but later tweeted her appreciation for the warm welcome she received. It didn’t take long though for those opposed to the president to dig up an old tweet that vindicated Michelle Obama for not wearing a hijab.
“Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted. We have enuf enemies,” he wrote during the Obamas’ trip to Saudi Arabia in 2015.
It appears that Trump has since changed his mind on the issue. The pair will continue their trip with stops in Rome, Belgium and Israel.