At the first table, the women gave us their condensed biographies. There was a Nasa engineer, an ophthalmologist, a schoolteacher, a dentist, and someone who had once portrayed Princess Jasmine from Aladdin at Disneyland. Like us, they were mainly Indian and Pakistani, Egyptian and Saudi, but many more were dressed in non-western garments – sequins trailed from prismatic headscarves that occasionally shimmered in the ballroom’s overhead lights.
Over the next two hours, I met nearly 100 women, averaging about a woman a minute. The faces of the first five are among the few that I remember well, not only because the Nasa engineer had some sort of bouffant squirrel’s nest for hair but also because Princess Jasmine, who looked nothing like the character she had played, was one of the more engaging women I met that Saturday, witty and sarcastic with mischievous eyes.[thanks are due zehra for this link. to read more click on the heading]