Saudi Arabia: Catching up with American Expatriate Umm Adam

Back in February 2009  I had the opportunity to interview American convert, Umm Adam.  At that time, she and her husband were living and working in Dhahran.  Since then, they have relocated to Riyadh and have had various changes take place in their lives.  It is a pleasure to touch base with her now and learn the ways her life has changed.


You lived for seven years in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province.  What made you decide to shift to Riyadh?

My husband had a series of unfortunate events happen in his life. As a result his sponsorship in the Kingdom changed from having a government employer sponsor to a private non-employer sponsor. As a ‘freelancer’ he thought that there would be more opportunities for him in Riyadh.



How did your children adapt to their new home and location?  Was it easy for them to make friends and get settled in to new schools?

My children are always up for an adventure, so they were excited about the move. The hardest part for them was giving up living on campus, where they could play outside and go swimming daily, to living in a city and not playing outside or swimming. As far as school, that has been the best part of the move. They go to a really nice school and have made plenty of friends…masha’All ah.




What was it like for you to adapt from the Eastern Province to the more conservative Nej’d of Riyadh?

To be honest, as long as I have access to the Internet, I’m OK. It’s really about my children and what is best for them.


What have you found yourself missing most about the Eastern Province?  By comparison, what do you like best about Riyadh?

I find myself missing the same thing about my home town of Chicago as well as the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia….WATER! I grew up on Chicago’s lakefront. For five years I lived in Jubail and was one block from the cornice. In Dhahran the university had a private beach. Now I can truly say that I live in the middle of the desert!



I understand that while you all were in Riyadh your husband had to return to the States without you.  What was that like?

That changed everything. We had been married for 10 years at that point in our marriage and up until then he had been the sole maintainer and provider. I was content and happy as a housewife.  Earlier that year I did start trying to make a little money by dabbling in Internet and network marketing. My interest in home-based businesses had started. However, it did not prepare me for the unexpected.  My husband had a death in his family and was needed in the States to straighten out some of his affairs. He was gone for 3 months and in that time I was left to fend for myself and children.

How were you able to take care of yourself and your children without having your husband easily accessible?

With the Help of Allah I was able to make do. I started teaching at a university and holding private group and one on one English lessons in my home. I also got a driver!


What did you find out and learn about yourself the most on being in the Kingdom for an extended period without a male mahrem?

 I realized that I was not going down without a fight. I did not want to be THAT sister…the miskeenah. Although, I had only worked 3 years my entire life, I did not miss a beat. I was surprised at myself…masha’Allah. When I previously was employed I was footloose and fancy free (single and no children). I had to work at not feeling sorry for myself and reminded myself that I was not the first or the last woman to have to get kids ready for school and then go to work. I was ever so grateful that I was not in America looking for work. There the economy is bad and here –alhamdullilah-  I was offered a good paying job and had the help of a maid to cook and clean and a driver to take the kids to school and me to work.


How easy did you find it for you to acquire jobs on your own in Riyadh?  What did you do?  How did you market yourself?                                                                                         

 Subhanallah! Allah made a way. When my husband first left in the summer a friend called and asked if I would be interested in teaching an intensive summer course for a language center. She said the job was mine if I wanted it. I took it. Once school started back my husband was offered a job at a private university. I went with him to meet the owner, because he had to let him know that he would be returning to the States again. The Saudi owner heard me speak and knew right away that I was from Chicago, because he lived there for years and he offered me a job. He even went as far as paying me on the same scale that he paid his instructors with Masters degrees even though I only have a Bachelors degree. My husband was shocked, because he thinks that I have no business teaching anyone English and should take a few refresher courses myself!

I did not market myself at all, but eventually the word went around Riyadh that I was ‘The Expert’. I would meet people in stores that would overhear me talking on the phone or to my kids. My phone rang nonstop and I had to turn down students. Somehow a princess got my number and we became friends. Shortly, after another princess called me to say that she was given my number by my friend. She formed a group of 5 princesses for me to teach. One of them is a psychologist and often times her session was just listening to me….lol! Another student came over and made me kabsa!  I believe that I was in the right place at the right time. My sister told me that in Chicago teenagers no longer work at McDonald’s because those jobs are now saught after by adults! Times are hard.


How is your Arabic now?

I plea the 5th


Do you find that most of your friends in Riyadh are expatriates or Saudis?  Can you explain why?

I have a mix of superficial friendships. I meet Saudis who invite me over or out, but the relationships don’t develop much. It’s likely my fault, because right now I have so much on my mind that building friendships is not a priority of mine. As for the expats…there are so many! In the Eastern province we pretty much all knew each other, but in Riyadh there’s just too many to get to know. I usually, see them at formal gatherings.


When was the last time you and your children have been in the United States?  On a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you miss being in the States?

I haven’t been back since I left 9years ago. My husband took my son Adam with him when he went. I’d say 0! I don’t miss being in the States at all. Of course there are things and people that I miss and I do get misty eyed if I watch a program about Chicago or see COLORS! Oh how I miss trees of green, red roses too and I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world…’.


How has Saudi Arabia become home for you?

In the Noble Qur’an, Allah, Most High, says, “Those who believe, and migrate and strive in Allah’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are indeed the successful people. Their Lord does give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of Gardens where enduring pleasure will be theirs: They will dwell therein forever. Verily in Allah’s presence is a reward, the greatest (of all).” (Al-Tawbah 9: 20-22)

Many people will move to another country and will be called expats. Many will leave their home countries for job, marriage and even to avoid taxes, but few will love Allah so much to make Hijrah. Migrating for the sake of Allah is called Hijrah and this is what my intentions were when I left my homeland and made my home in Saudi Arabia. This is just a means to an end. Insha’Allahmy permanent abode will be Gardens in Jannah.


You have daughters.  Do you wish for them to marry Saudis as they grow older or does it matter?

This is a difficult subject for me to even think about let alone discuss. All I can do is pray that Allah makes them pious and that He gives them righteous spouses and offspring and that they have good and happy marriages. Allahumma aameen


You are known for your entrepreneurial drive.  Can you share some of the enterprises and innovations you have launched?  How easy was it to get these activities initiated?

As an American expat I often find myself missing some of the novelties of America. I mean there is not much you can’t get in America and if it’s not there as soon as the idea is out it comes into existence. Two of my business models are a direct result of me addressing my needs first and then providing a solution to markets with similar needs.


Every since I’ve moved to Saudi I have had serious brablems! For one I couldn’t find a decent bra and two I hated the way the salesmen sized me up when I entered the store. When I was pregnant with my son Adam my sister in law had recently had a baby and was raving about her new nursing bra. She sent me two of the best bras that I had worn in years. We guessed at the sizes and she actually sent two different styles in two different sizes (both cup and band). I eventually wore them out (they were nursing bras and I wore them nursing my son Rayan who came after Adam). After those bras I couldn’t go back to the regular souk bras, so I started shopping at the high end stores, like Debenhams and Marks and Spencers. They had a variety of styles and sizes, but I was still guessing at my size. Not to mention their best support bras all had underwires which caused me a number of problems. I actually got quite a scare from wearing an underwire bra and started researching breast health and the various facets of bras and the importance of wearing a properly fit bra. I was so scared that I immediately ran out to the mall to replace all of my underwire bras with sports bras. While they offered relief from the underwire, they offered absolutely no support. After doing more research, I located a company that sold what sound like the perfect custom fit bra. I found out that the bras were not sold in stores and that only a trained professional bra fitting specialist could fit and sale the bra. Since there were none in Saudi, I was trained and fit myself and haven’t worn anything since! I am also the exclusive licensee for the company in Saudi Arabia. Although, the bra is designed for all women of all sizes I think the only women that can truly appreciate this particular bra are women who are hard to fit (can’t find the right size in stores), nursing moms and post mastectomy patients who wear a prosthesis. You can go to www.getfitclinique for more information.


 Cootie Catchers, Saudi Arabia’s Premier Head Lice Treatment and Removal Service, was developed 3 years after I wrote a blog post asking the question, ‘Do My Children Have Lice?‘  Lice  is something that I had only heard of. I had never met anyone with it or seen it. If you read all the comments in that post then you will understand how confused I was at the time. I eventually became somewhat of an expert on the subject. We have since battled on and off with this issue, because despite following just about every piece of advice given, I was not aware that nothing I did would kill the eggs/nits. There were no decent lice combs sold in Saudi, so I couldn’t even remove all of the nits/eggs. I discovered a desperate need within Saudi Arabia to help families and schools to treat head lice effectively without the use of pesticides and chemicals in head lice removal shampoos and prescriptions.

It’s not glamorous work I do, but it is rewarding to help someone through a stressful and trying situation. I also enjoy the fact that I can offer healthier alternatives to common conditions for women and children. I operate both of these services as home-based and mobile services. The custom fit bras and fitting services are available through bra clinics, trade shows, private fittings and home parties. The delousing services are done in the comfort and privacy of the clients home, school or in my home salon. Insha’allah, I’d like to eventually have salon franchises throughout the Kingdom and the Middle East.



What advise do you give to other women to start their own businesses in Saudi Arabia?  Do you think it is easier to start a business as an expatriate or a Saudi?


I definitely think it’s easier as a Saudi to start a business here. My advice to other women entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia (Saudi and Expat) is most importantly to keep it halal and be honest in your business dealings. Make sure to define your audience and establish there is a demand for a new product and then develop it; set your business apart from the competition and create a profitable business; position yourself as an expert in your niche and become the “go to girl” for this product or service. Last but not least DO NOT GIVE UP!



What are your ideas and thoughts on bringing women in to the workforce?

I think that women should always have the option to work, but honestly I feel that this push to get Saudi women out of their homes and into the workforce will eventually do the society more harm than good. Many claim it’s good for the economy, I disagree. I have friends in the states that say that they wish they had the luxury to stay at home, but that a single income is not sufficient. I fear that same mindset will become a reality here as well. In the two years that I have been working, I see the damage that it has done to my family and it breaks my heart. This is how it starts off…mom steps in to help out and eventually the family starts to depend on her income. This is why I prefer that more initiatives be placed in assisting women entrepreneurs. This is better for the family, economy and the society, in my opinion.


As an expatriate entrepreneur, how do you present yourself?  Do you wear a hijab?  Niqab?  Are you interactions with men only, women only or both?


I speak with men on the phone and communicate with them online, but usually only need to deal with women in person. My businesses are women and children centric. I still wear the full kit and caboodle (abayah, hijab and niqab).There are times when I feel awkward among other female entrepreneurs, who are usually in more fashionable abayahs and don’t wear niqab. However, even though I believe that you can meet all of the Islamic requirements without covering your face, there is a part of me that wants to represent the niqabis. If you look at my Women’s Entrepreneurial Network Arabia Facebook page, you will see that the profile picture is a Forbes magazine cover featuring successful Arab women (OK so I’m not Arab). None of them wear niqab and some of them don’t cover their hair. People start to equate successful Muslim women with those who do not veil and see those that do veil as backwards. That simply isn’t the case there are some amazing women who veil, we just don’t see or hear about them.


When not working, what is the favorite way you and your family like to relax in Riyadh?

At an istarahah of course! Although, I wouldn’t exactly say it is relaxing, because there is usually a swimming pool and I am a nervous wreck with kids and pools…may Allah protect them.


What do you like best in Riyadh?

I like the central location and the people. I’m not very fond of the landscape.



What are your plans for Ramadan?

I’m looking forward to having my mother visit and taking her on umrah and to Medinah insha’Allah.


How can Saudis and expatriates further bridge the gap for better understanding and neighborly relations?

They can start off with a smile. It’s a small thing that’s weighty on the scales and on the heart. It softens people up. I am a very friendly person and Saudis have picked upon my vibe and they do not hesitate to approach me, but I have seen some expats that I would love to approach but they make themselves very unapproachable. I can’t think of anything the Saudi can do that they don’t already do. I’ve had very good experiences with them and always find it strange when an expat says that they don’t know any Saudis. I’ve attended engagement parties, weddings and even after the honeymoon parties! As a matter of fact it’s the Saudis who host my bra parties!


Are there any other comments you’d like to add?

Yes, many people are asking why I don’t blog anymore. I still blog, but my life since I started Soliloquies of a Stranger has changed so much and my priorities are different. It doesn’t make for an interesting blog but it would make for one heck of a reality show!!! However, if anyone is interested you can find me occasionally blogging at the following:

Bra Lady of Arabia

Lice Lady of Arabia

The Expat Nichepreneur

Finally, I ask Allah who is the Lofty and the Lord of the Mighty Throne that He cures you.



Thanks, Umm Adam.  It’s a pleasure to catch up with you!


Intisar Umm Adam, is an American Muslim who has been residing in KSA for nine years, with her husband and four children.  She enjoys sharing knowledge, inspiring success and motivating entrepreneurs.
Umm Adam is considered as the “innovator” of niche, home-based and mobile businesses, in Saudi Arabia which focuses on providing customers with a variety of treatments/services.
She also helps small business owners and those looking to create a business to build niche businesses that fit their desired life goals through her niche business coaching.
For more information on Intisar Umm Adam, visit:



50 Responses

  1. Love you Umm Adam! You inspire me 🙂

  2. Aslamu Aleikum Umm Adam,

    A nice interview. Its my pleasure to know that u are able to get happiness in Saudi (that people in generally get scared of) and u get peace in Islam (that many people see as evil unfortunately). Its also nice to know that u are able to make a happy life with a Saudi man who is generally notorious for treating woman badly. May Allah grace u and fulfill all ur dreams. Let’s see how people respond here.

    Aslamu Aleikum Carol,

    Thanks for the interview. Something good I heard after long time abt Saudi and Saudians. I pray u get well soon and break all obstacles in ur life.

  3. Wow,what an extraordinary piece here today. Really, proves that one should make the best out of any situation. Quite inspiring I think.

    AAHHH….Not to give so ‘TMI’ (too much information) but, yes, I had infestistation recently. I work with children and I believe thats how I got it. There was no itch, which I find strange. It wasn’t unitl I went to get a hair cut that the hairdresser, with a very painful look of death on her face whispered to me and said ‘ have lice.’ I have to say it was humilating too say the least. And the worst part, getting rid of the damm nits and sterlizing the house again and again. ( I tossed my nice suitcases too)
    Great business and service you have there!!!!

  4. I’m pretty sure Umm Adam is married to an American convert like herself. I looked at pictures on her blog. 🙂

    Good to see you are back! It’s always nice reading what you are up to. Hope the family is doing well!

    Thanks,Carol and Umm Adam, for the interview.

  5. Umm Adam,
    That is really cool! It was a pleasure to read your interview!!!!!!!

    I am obsessed with correct bra fit myself, and it is nice to know that there are others out there like me. I actually did my Master’s project on sports bras. I will definitely check out the links you gave and read more on the subject.

    Having had lice a couple of times as a child, I do understand the frustrations that it can cause, particularly depending on the length of the hair to be combed. Luckily, I was never forced to cut my hair due to this. (I have a very patient mother, it seems!) However, I do understand.

    For those that haven’t had lice before, not only is it difficult to remove all the lice and nits, but you also have to treat everyone in the house, sterilize all hair accessories (including combs, etc.), clothing, sheets, beds, etc. Thoroughly cleaning everything is a pain, but it is better than not killing them all off and ending up with another infestation. This is why it is not recommended to share combs, brushes, etc. Although, one can get lice simply by hugging someone who has them.

    If I ever find myself out in Saudi Arabia, I would love to meet you, Umm Adam!!! I have no plans to convert to Islam, but I have considered searching for employment somewhere in the region to help me become immersed in the Arabic language and another culture, too. I also am very interested in fashion on an international level, and am quite curious to learn more about the fashions there and in other neighboring countries.

    I wish you the best in your business start-ups!!!

  6. Assalamu Alaykum wrwb UmmAdam,
    Wow ure really an inspiration of what us women can do when we put our minds to something!!
    I love the way you speak of your love for Saudi as its often unheard of or more likely isn’t as popular for people to read about.
    You represent strong minded muslim women who are true to themselves yet devout in their religion and i respect that very much Mashallah.
    Keep up the good work 🙂
    Allah reward your efforts Ameen.

  7. UmmAdams business sense is very impressive. Finding the perfect bra has always been very difficult for me and it must be so uncomfortable having to buy buy a bra and discussing it with a strange man!
    I hear from friends with children that lice are coming back all over the world and they are really difficult to deal with. Maybe it not ”glamorous” tackling the lice problem but here again I think UmmAdam is giving a very important service. Very cool of her to start this project.

    It is a pity Saudi Arabia only allows foreigners to stay for as long as they are useful and can work for the Saudis, when people have fallen in love with the country so much and consider it their home. I really hope for UmmAdam and her family that they will be able to stay in Saudi Arabia for a long time to come.

    UmmAdam, do you support the Saudi women who want to drive?

  8. [Deep Breath] Wow! I did not expect this kind of response! Honestly,thought someone would comment on the bad grammar and typos and wonder how I was teaching English…lol!I can not explain how motivational and inspiring your comments were.I am actually in a very lonely position as a female expat entrepreneur.The best part is that you guys GET my businesses and understand how crucial these services are.

    @Safiyyah, love you too sis!

    @Azad Ali Shah, wa alaykum salaam. My husband is actually an American convert like Susanne said. Thanks for your kind words.

  9. @Jacey….lol! Lice happens…
    @Susanne…as always nice to hear from you.
    @Strangeone…your words of encouragement and support have been very ‘uplifting’ get it…UPLIFTNG? lol
    @Belle Vita…wa alaykum salaam…may Allah make me as you seeme…aameen
    @Aafke…looooong time!!!! How are you? I’m lol now because all of a sudden I’m picturing before and after images of women riding horses in my bras…they’re that good!lol Thanks for the boost of confidence!
    as faraswomen driving in Saudi…I’m neutral. I don’t think there should be thismad rush,becausethey need driving lessons first….so do the men!

  10. @ummadam…LOL

  11. Strangeone, I am very interested in the findings of your Masters project. Care to share?

  12. […] My life has changed so much in the past two years. You can read the good and the bad of it in Umm Adam’s interview with the American Bedu. LikeBe the first to like this […]

  13. UmmAdam, I use two sports bra’s on top of each other for riding!

  14. Aafke,it’s either that or duct tapng them…lol!

  15. LOL! I am really interested though in a good bra without wires.
    The metal work sometimes sets off airport security too!

  16. ever since my mastectomy finding a good bra has been more of a nightmare.

  17. Ummadam,
    I can send you the file. Or I can send it to AB who could send it to you…? I might have to take out the graphs, though, as it increases the size of the file. Hmmm…I will see what solution I can come up with. When I have a bit more free time in the next week or two, I will try to post a summary on here, too.

    There are a couple good European brands that I have found, such as Shock Absorber, that come in larger sizes. I will try and find out the names of some of the other brands that come in large sizes. I’m a (slightly) small band in comparison to my cup size, so I know how frustrating it can be to find a good sports bra. I have a hard enough time finding regular ones in my size! >_<

  18. I have tried a shock absorber, not good enough.

  19. Carol and Aafke, what are you exact where abouts? I kind try to find some bra ladies in your area that use my supplier. I’m telling you these bras are the bomb! Masha’Allah.

    Strangeone, thank you. A summary in this post will do just find.

  20. Nice to hear about such entrepreneurship. amazing , hope lots of young men and women learn from her story . All the best for your future .

  21. Sounds great but how much is the private fitting and bras?

  22. Umm Adam – I’m in Charlotte, NC

  23. @Azad Ali Shah, wa alaykum salaam. My husband is actually an American convert like Susanne said. Thanks for your kind words.
    @Umm Adam,

    Jazak Allah sis.
    I thought u reverted through marriage.

    Its really surprising and want to know how u reverted and what inspired u in a country like US where Islam is quite misunderstood and seen so badly due to bad actions of few. If I am asking a very personal question, I appologise.

  24. UmmAdam, et al.,

    It was very hard to find research pertaining to how healthy sports bras are (and bras in general, to an extent). In one study, in order to reduce back pain in large breasted women, they had the women quit wearing bras. Within a few months, the majority of the women said that they experienced less pain during a workout and felt better. However, in order to prevent breast ptosis (sagging), another study mentioned that during high impact exercise, it is important to wear a bra to prevent the undue strain from being placed on the ligaments. Other factors that may affect the amount of breast ptosis include nutrition (diet, meaning what you eat, are you getting the correct amount of vitamins, etc.), exercise, and other health habits. Some studies say that the major supporting element of the breasts are the ligaments that run through the breasts while others say it is the skin itself. There are differing opinions on whether or not the ligaments will stretch more or strengthen and tighten if one goes braless. Additionally, no study that I have come across has taken into consideration the weight of the breast tissue when determining the affects of not wearing a bra, etc. Basically, not enough studies have been conducted on the subject of the prevention of breast ptosis and mastalgia (breast pain).

    Other things to consider are more general to the human body as a whole. For instance, things like quick dry fabrics and having good breathability to increase comfort and also provide a cooling affect near the skin.

    My way of thinking is this: Since the breasts are naturally supported by certain muscle groups on the chest (and not the back), a good sports bra should hold the breasts in place while allowing most of the weight to be carried by the muscles that naturally support the breast tissue. I personally am against underwires during high-impact exercise as I have been bruised during high-impact exercise due to wearing a sports bra with an underwire.

    The bra needs to be an encapsulation style of bra rather than a compression style of bra for EVERY SIZE whether a AAA cup or a J cup. The compression style not only can cause discomfort and put too much pressure on the skin, it also does not provide nearly as much support as an encapsulation style of bra. (Although I haven’t seen enough studies conducted on the affects of pressure on the skin surrounding the breast tissue to really determine how much this could affect the lymph system, too much pressure on other areas, such as near the stomach and thigh areas, can cause problems ranging from circulatory to digestive, etc. Therefore, pressure on the skin should be limited as much as possible- which really makes one rethink spanx and tight-fitting jeans, huh? 😉 ).

    This basically means that the area immediately surrounding the breasts should be well-supported and the cup should be stable while still having good breathability.

    In order to prevent back and shoulder discomfort, bra straps should be wider (in order to more evenly distribute the weight since some will be carried due to the way bras are traditionally made) and any adjustable portion of the strap should be on the back side in order to prevent the cups from moving around during high-impact exercise. For the band, since it still needs to allow for rib-cage expansion during breathing, it should be somewhat elastic. My personal opinion is that it is less stretchy on the front portion of the band near the cups and more stretchy in the back portion of the band to allow more stability for the cups while still allowing the band to expand on the back.

    Although many sports bras use breathable fabrics in general, few have bothered to test the elastic and padding of the bra for breathability, which is also very important. Traditional “T-shirt” bras really do not support all that well and the cups are not nearly as breathable. If you were to sweat in one, it is likely that the sweat would not be moved to the outer portion of the bra cup and thus allowed to evaporate into the air more easily.

    I hope this answers your question! 🙂 If I think of more, I will add to this later.

  25. Azad Ali Shah, People do not revert, they change their mind.
    Babies are born as default atheists. They know nothing about deities, gods and goddesses. They know nothing of the different deities invented by their ancestors until their parents, or other people, put these ideas in their heads. That’s why children usually end up with the religion of their parents.
    And sometimes they hear another story which suits them better and they change religion. Which the religions try to avoid, although Islam is the only one I know of which actually has the death penalty for those who change their mind or realize it is all made up in the first place.

  26. Babies are born as default atheists.


    But we Muslims believe that every baby is born Muslim even though their parents are happen to be non-Muslims.

    You are wrong. But I dnt blame u for this. U say what u hear. There is no death penalty in Islam (contrary to what Muslim may do, they corrupt a lot). There is death penalty for fake conversion to spy to enemy and treason.

    Islam has 2 source of learning –
    1) Quran: which doesnt need verification but needs to understand the context and analysis. Many read tafseer for this to understand Quran.

    2) Hadith: which needs verification + context. A hadith is subject to verification. THere can be weak, strong, reliable, unreliable, hadith before QUran or after Quran.

    If there is contradiction between Quran and Hadith, Quran should be followed and ignore the Hadith.

    As per Quran there is freedom of religion and no death penalty for leaving Islam as shown below:

    Kindly read the description of the video. There is freedom of relgion and no man or authority has control on it in this WORLD. But, Allah says he will decide in hereafter.

  27. Aafke-Art,

    Here is one ruling from Malaysian Sharia court which allowed leaving Islam. Hope Muslims truely follow Islam in context.

    Malaysia Woman Wins Case to Quit Islam:

    Problem is people do what suits their thinking and requirement.

  28. Aafke,
    It’s very difficult for me to recommend particular bras without seeing them in person. Shock Absorber’s D+ max (High Impact) bras work for me, but then I am only a 34DD. (For those that do not know, cup size is relative to band size. Therefore a 34DD cup would be similar volume to the cup in a 36D, etc. I am only mentioning this to illustrate why it is so important to get fitted regularly and to give a better understanding to the way bra sizes work. Different brands will fit differently. Bra fit is a whole other topic that I could go on for a long time about.) I do know of someone who is larger than me and is content with her underwire bra that has similar features to the Shock Absorber one. I believe it is made by Freya. Just keep an eye out for the things I mentioned.

    Some I would like to try and see in person include the following:
    Freya Active Soft Cup Sports Bra AA4391
    Glamorise Bra 1006
    Royce Wire-Free Impact Free Sport Bra S826
    Shock Absorber D+ Max Sports Bra B109 (I am curious to see how it compares to the others)
    Figleaves high impact non-wired bra FIG-113518

    I’m still surfing the internet to see if I come across any more that are non-wired and might work…

    If it doesn’t lie flat between the breasts, then it probably more of a compression-style bra (meaning it gives support by smooshing them- which doesn’t work!!), and I would stay away from it as a general rule.

    Everyone, please note: I am a naturally very open and friendly person, but please do not take that to mean that I am easy or that it’s okay to fool around with me because that’s not the case.

  29. Strange one, I will look up my one bra which is good for horse riding, but while it is good it is not very comfortable. Squishing them is the only real option. But then I am 36F. 80H in European. I often also wear a special, very tight top on top of my bra. That works well, and I can loosen it as soon as I get off my horse.
    I absolutely refuse to run when I am working out. There are other ways to exercise.
    And I have the most gorgeous bras from a special lingerie store in Amsterdam.
    But I am interested in UmmAdam’s bra’s, they sound very interesting.

  30. And the only reason I put that last qualifying statement in there is because sometimes people get strange ideas when I start openly talking about things like bra sizes, etc. Sorry if I’m a little defensive, but I am learning that sometimes I have to be.

  31. @Azad Ali Shah,

    We had these debates over an over before.

    Shiia Scholars and all 4 sects of Sunni Islam agree on the ruling that people leaving Islam deserve the death penalty. Just because you found one video with an open minded scholar does not change the fact. For Sunnis Islamic Jurisprudence (Shiriia) is based on the rules specified by the teachings of the sects (Hanbali, Shafii, Hanafi and Maliki). Shiiat have a similar process that results in the same punishment.

    In short there is no freedom of religion in Islam…

    There is no controversy here. It is just your weak attempt at trying to cause confusion on the issue, so you can feel good about your chosen religion (or more accurately, one that was chosen for you!!).

  32. Aafke,
    I am not sure how horse-riding affects the movement of the breasts. I know sometimes, companies will research common sports like running (which causes the breasts to move in a figure-8 pattern) and make bras accordingly. My mother is probably closer to your size, so I at least have an idea of what it must be like for you.

    I agree. I would also like to hear more about UmmAdam’s bras! 🙂

  33. Strange one, it affects them badly 😉 I make sure nothing moves at all. I am not apologetic about talking about bras. I have breasts, I can’t hide them, I can’t leave them off, I think they are a bloody nuisance, and anybody, especially men, who comments on them, can get a sock in the eye.
    Or worse.

  34. Aafke,
    I like the way you think! 🙂 While most girls were/are hoping for large breasts, I used to pray for small ones. I was really content until they recently started growing, and I concur that they can be a nuisance at times! I really think more research needs to be done in the area of sports bras (and women’s health issues in general), which is why I am more than encouraging to any person who wants to tackle this issue.

    Another interesting subject is bra fit because the traditional method for measuring band and cup size does not take into consideration the fact that women with similar measurements may have different body shapes. The different body shapes are one reason why various brands (all the same size) may fit a person completely different. There is currently a lot of research that is going into bra fit and alternative sizing measurement methods.

  35. Strangeone,your reseach has confirmed my findings.

    You said,[i]”Therefore, pressure on the skin should be limited as much as possible- which really makes one rethink spanx and tight-fitting jeans, huh? ). ” [/i]

    Exactly,imagine walking around in too tight shoes.I get ingrown toe nails from the pressure .You don’t hear of many cases of foot cancer but you do about breast cancer.There really ought to be more studies done to see if there is any link between bras and breast cancer.

    Here is a blog post about my bras…it’sfunnybecauseIposted this last year butit addresses both you and Aafkesconcerns.

  36. Carol, I can’t find any fiters in your area.There are plenty in NOVA, do you visit there often? i would love to just send youthe bra but you must be properly fit.

  37. UmmAdam, a friend of mine is a doctor and he once said he suspects that breast cancers can start by trauma to the breasts.

  38. The link doesn’t open, but it does take one to your site. I will explore now.
    Cute theme.

  39. In short there is no freedom of religion in Islam…


    yeah, we discussed but u discarded all proof from Quran.
    Now dont say that Malaysia Sharia court which allowed leaving Islam is telling lie and fake. And following verses is also not lie.

    a) I worship not that which you worship, Nor will you worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which you have been wont to worship, Nor will you worship that which I worship, So you be your Way, and to me mine.(109:1-6)

    b) Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the mosttrustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth allthings.(2:256)

  40. Aafke & UmmAdam,

    I think this is the page?:

  41. wish me luck…I’m going bra shopping next week.

  42. Yes, that’s it Aafke!

    Carol,I hope you find a nice comfy bra!

  43. @Umm Adam,

    I no longer do much traveling due to my current treatment. However some of the nurses I know have advised they can refer me to some places where I’d get a proper fitting.

  44. @Azad: “Let there be no compulsion in religion …. 2:256”.

    The Muslim Game: Muslims quote verse 2:256 from the Qur’an to prove what a tolerant religion Islam is. The verse reads in part, “Let there be no compulsion in religion; truth stands out clearly from error…”

    The Truth: The Muslim who offers this verse may or may not understand that it is from one of the earliest Suras (or chapters) from the Medinan period. It was “revealed” at a time when the Muslims had just arrived in Medina after being chased out of Mecca. They needed to stay in the good graces of the stronger tribes around them, many of which were Jewish. It was around this time, for example, that Muhammad decided to have his followers change the direction of their prayer from Mecca to Jerusalem.

    But Muslims today pray toward Mecca. The reason for this is that Muhammad issued a later command that abrogated (or nullified) the first. In fact, abrogation is a very important principle to keep in mind when interpreting the Qur’an – and verse 2:256 in particular – because later verses (in chronological terms) are said to abrogate any earlier ones that may be in contradiction (Qur’an 2:106, 16:101).

    There is some evidence that verse 2:256 may not have been intended for Muslims at all, but is instead meant to be a warning to other religions concerning their treatment of Muslims. Verse 193 of the same Sura instructs Muslims to “fight with them (non-Muslims) until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah.” This reinforces the narcissistic nature of Islam, which places Muslims above non-Muslims, and applies a very different value and standard of treatment to both groups.

    Interestingly, even the same Muslims of today who quote 2:256 usually believe in Islamic teachings that sound very much like religious compulsion. These would be the laws punishing apostasy by death (or imprisonment, for females), and the institutionalized discrimination against religious minorities under Islamic rule that is sometimes referred to as “dhimmiitude.”

    Islamic law explicitly prohibits non-Muslims from sharing their faith and even includes the extortion of money from them in the form of a tax called the jizya. Those who refuse to pay this arbitrary amount are put to death. If this isn’t compulsion, then what is?

  45. @Azad Re: Games Muslims Play

    Given Islam’s violent history and the unfavorable contrast of its oppressive practices against 21st century values, Muslims are hard-pressed to repackage their faith in the modern age. Some of its leading apologists have come to rely on tricks involving semantics and half-truths that are, in turn, repeated by novices and even those outside the faith.

    Here are a few new improved tactics repackaged by muslims (especialy after 9/11) which exposes some of these games and helps truth-seekers find their way through the maze of disingenuous (often blatantly false) claims about Islam and its history:

    “So you be your Way, and to me mine.(109:1-6)”. B-bbbut apostates are being killed every day in muslim countries, officially sanctioned by their governments.

    “If Islam were a violent religion, then all Muslims would be violent.”

    “Other religions kill, too.”

    Muhammad preached ‘no compulsion in religion’ (Qur’an: 2:256)

    The Crusades

    “Muhammad never killed anyone.”

    The Qur’an Teaches that all Life is Sacred (Qur’an 5:32)

    “Muslims only kill in self-defense.”

    The million dollar wager that “Holy War” isn’t in the Qur’an.

    “Verses of violence are taken out of context.”

    “Islam must be true, because it is the world’s fastest growing religion.”

    “The Qur’an can only be understood in Arabic.”

  46. The Truth: The Muslim who offers this verse may or may not understand that it is from one of the earliest Suras (or chapters) from the Medinan period. It was “revealed” at a time when the Muslims had just arrived in Medina after being chased out of Mecca.

    First, from ur words “It was “revealed” at a time when the Muslims had just arrived in Medina after being chased out of Mecca”

    U urslef knows that Muhammad was attacked and chased from his home and looted his follower’s property and attacked them, raped them, killed them. But, u will forget ur words in few minutes and show that Muhammad was the attacker, killer. Living as per ur convenience.


    How u guys manipulate things. This verses came when the Quraish became quite weak. And there was convenant between Muslims and QUraish. It came after 5/6 years of shifting in Medina. In the convenant Quraish wanted to remove the term “messenger of Allah” but to say “SOn of Abdullah” instead. Then Ali got angry but Muhammad himself cut the line “Messgener of Allah” without any ego for the sake of peace. Convenat was broken by Quraish by killing some Muslims at one night. Then the leader of the Quraish begged that it was misunderstanding, then companion of Muhammad asked him to accept Islam in return but the companion was informed not to force and there is no compulsion in Islam.

    Take a break man…HOw u can always say that ur version is true and Saudi gives money to BBC to show good things about Muslims 🙂

  47. @Azad,

    As always you bring up verses from the early period of Islam when the prophet was weak and had to make peace with the powerful tribes in Mecca or the period before he solidified control in Madina (pre Badir period).This is obviously not missed by all the Major Scholars of Islam, who ruled that the death penalty is the punishment for anyone leaving Islam. The Madhabs are the source of Shariia laws, without them there is no Shariia. If you do not understand this then you do not understand the basics about the Islamic laws, that you keep arguing about.

    Now regarding your comment “Now dont say that Malaysia Sharia court which allowed leaving Islam is telling lie and fake.”

    You obviously did not read your own article. Here are some facts:

    – Shariia courts are not the only law in Malysia. The country has secular laws to govern issues relating to none Muslims.
    – Shariia courts can rule only in issues relating to Islam. In this case whether a person should be considered a Muslim.
    – The court ruled that the person was not knowledgeable about the religion when she joined. Hence, that she was not a Muslim to begin with. Technically they did not rule that she is allowed to leave Islam, they ruled that she can retain her Buddhist status.
    – The article also mentioned that this is one regional court and that other courts in Malaysia have ruled many times against people leaving Islam.

    You missed all the above facts and built a big case based on this isolated court case, ruling based on technicality, etc.

    The one question you never asked yourself is: if Islam promotes freedom of religion, why would a person need to go to a court to declare him/herself none Muslim to begin with?

    Let that rattle in your brain a little and hopefully you will understand how weak your position is…

  48. Malaysia is an interesting country, you can see it going down by slipping in more and more sharia in their system. More and more repressive rules against women, more and more violence against non-muslims.
    I don’t think they will allow people to leave Islam. In this case she wasn’t ”released” from Islam, she was judged never to have been a Muslim anyway so she can stay Buddhist.

  49. Speaking of bras, I just went up a cup size….again! ugh! I bought two sports bras: one is Shock Absorber D+ max. The other is “Glamorise” (Not sure on the model number). I will post a review of how they worked on here and my opinion on the styles once I have time to test them. Cheers! And hopefully, by exercising regularly again, I will go down in size so sports bras will once again be easier to find. (I’m probably dreaming, though. >_< ) Trying to find a 34DDD/F (US) sports bra is not easy to find!

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