Yep, that’s me — under what’s known in English as a “pinhole shuttlecock burqa”.
I bought the burqa some 20 years ago at the market in Peshawar. Most of the population of this city in Pakistan, close to the border with Afghanistan, are ethnic Pashtuns. In those days, what few white women visited the town could freely wander round the market. I say freely, but we did have a male escort, a burly Pashtun who was visibly embarrassed when I asked him to negotiate for that burqa, alongside an Afghan tea cosy. Peshawar seemed impossibly exciting then, like something out of the Wild West.
When we first arrived, I was horrified by the sudden sight of women in burqas like this. Those who weren’t out shopping were being jolted around, bumping shoulders in the back of battered Suzuki jeeps, seemingly peering out at us. Their garb gave them an appearance of capture, of strange exotic creatures.