This light silk chiffon (safwah) head veil (shaylah) was first gifted by Moza Dhyab al Muhayri to Dr. Reem Tariq el Mutwalli. The two ladies met at one of Dr. Reem’s regular visits to the palace of Sheikhah Hamda bint Mohammed al Nahyan, maternal aunt to the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as she was compiling data for her Ph.D. research on this topic as early as the 1980s. Sheikhah Hamda was instrumental in allowing Dr. Reem to meet with her entourage and visiting guests at her daily open reception (majlis) be it in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain. It was there that she met Moza and possibly discussed the topic at hand. A few days later Moza sent this article as a gift to add to the research collection which eventually became part of the (Sultani) Collection covering the UAE section of The Zay Collection.
Moza Dhyab al Muhayri, born in the early 1950s, is a high school graduate and held a clerical job within the ministry of education in Al Ain city where she was born and grew up. She married her paternal cousin at the age of 16 and bore three daughters and two sons.
This style of light silk chiffon (safwah) rectangular veil (shaylah) was considered to be the latest trend of its time. It is simply a cut length of fabric, creating one width (fajah) of soft malleable silk. It is machine embroidered using metallic gold thread (zari) in a running zigzag tooth-like motif on one side of its longer edges so as to frame the wearers face and its draping frontal portions. It is further adorned by semi-sparkling small iron-on crystals (fsus), predecessors of the more brilliant and expensive Swarovski crystals used post-1990, scattered sporadically but uniformly across the whole fabric.
This type of veil was reserved for special locations and social gatherings and it was worn together with a cloak (abayah) to cover just the head, shoulders, and upper portion of the body. It is generally draped off the head, gathered on each side, and tucked in place at the elbow junctures similar to draping a shawl.