President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania landed in the Middle East several hours ago, on their first overseas trip as leaders a presidential pair. This visit would go much different than that of our former Commander-in-Chief when Melania didn’t don a head covering to cater to Islamic tradition and the president didn’t bow before the Muslim leaders.
First Lady was given the exception not to wear a headscarf by the country’s Foreign Minister, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir in an announcement made before their trip. The Saudi leaders knew not to expect it out of this couple who set a different precedence as the President and First Lady of the United States. However, the headscarf wasn’t all that the Trumps would refuse to do as a matter of putting their patriotism first and pushing a mutual respect for both cultures. The response from this refreshing new move made by the leader of the most powerful nation in the world took everyone by complete surprise, even the president, who couldn’t believe what Saudi leaders had set up for him.
While en route to the Middle East, as part of his busy nine-day foreign tour, the president tweeted that he was looking forward to his stay in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps this was in part due to showing this nation something different from America, by honoring our traditions as much as he respects theirs, but not bowing down to them. When he and Melania landed, they were given a royal red carpet greeting.
He was welcomed at the Riyadh airport by King Salman who got a handshake from the president rather than a submissive bow that he’s used to from prior presidents and First Ladies, namely Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Hillary Clinton.
— Trump vs. Globalism (@chrisk2000) May 20, 2017
BizPac Review reports:
“Melania and Ivanka Trump accompanied the president, and made a statement by not covering their hair—which is almost unheard of in oppressive Saudi Arabia, where women must cover their heads in a hijab or niqab.”
“Hillary Clinton wore a headscarf during her visits to Saudi Arabia as secretary of state, where she bowed to a Saudi prince.”
This is a stark contrast to the exception made for Melania and Ivanka ahead of their arrival, by Suadi authorities who realized this pair is far different from their predecessors and clearly wanted to show a mutual respect.
“While the choice of the first country to be visited by Trump as America’s 45th president has been widely discussed in the media, a question has arisen whether there is a chance to see the US president’s wife covered in a traditionally strict Muslim attire,” Russia Today reported.
“Women in Saudi Arabia, including foreign visitors, are typically expected to wear a floor length dress – abaya, and a head scarf. However, when asked whether the US first lady would have to dress accordingly, a Saudi Arabia official said Riyadh “usually doesn’t demand” a specific dress-code, but rather ‘accepts suggestions’.”
The enormous difference in this visit wasn’t just from how the American leaders represented themselves, but how the Saudis responded with mutual respect, even going as far as to publicly praise the Trumps in an unprecedented way.
“Despite the mainstream media narrative that President Trump has alienated our Muslim allies with his tough stance on Islamic terrorism, he was treated like a king all around Riyadh, where photos of Trump and the American flag were prominently displayed,” according to BizPacReview
In a stunning show of appreciation and praise for the American president, Saudis projected an enormous five-story image on the broad side of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Across from Trump’s portrait, was King Salman’s image.
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) May 19, 2017
The enormous attention-getting signage didn’t stop there, as seen in tweets from the streets of Riyadh.
These signs are omnipresent along the highways in Riyadh pic.twitter.com/cDuFY6xKr0
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) May 19, 2017
The Saudi culture is steeped in tradition and respect and as such show that to other leaders who seem to honor their own culture, as the Trumps did. It’s refreshing to see someone strong enough to stand up to the oppression within Islam and greet their leaders the way a president should.
It would be an ultimate show of dominance to have made Melania, who is married to a president as anti-Islamic as Trump, don a head covering representing the oppressive culture, and America’s leader literally bow down to it. Without saying a word, our president’s power changes the course of that longstanding tradition which speaks volumes as to who we have in office.
America is the world’s superpower and we don’t bow down or hide our heads from anyone. We finally have a Commander-in-Chief who represents this, wears his patriotism with pride while balancing respect for other cultures without bowing down to them.