In Baghdad in the '60's there was a social club called the Alwiyah Club. There were Muslim, Christian and a few Jewish members (a few because at that time the Jewish community was less than ten thousand). Whiskey, beer and other alcoholic imbibables flowed freely into Muslim as well as Christian and Jewish gullets, both male and female. Young women of all persuasions as often as not wore skirts at mid-thigh length, or at least a few inches above the knee since that was the fashion. One could not distinguish Muslim from Christian from Jew unless one knew the names and the names so indicated, which they did sometimes but not always. What we all had in common was that we were members of the educated/professional/social elite.
There were night clubs in Baghdad where Muslims, Christians and a few Jews went to eat, drink, listen to music and see the better belly dancers, including some very famous ones who came from Egypt as well as well-known Iraqi ones (I had the distinction once of being in the hospital at the same time and for the same thing as a very famous Iraqi belly dancer - this the staff told me in an effort to cheer me up. It did not cheer up certain snobby members of the family, but I found it amusing). Once again, whatever was in fashion ruled as far as dress was concerned, and women as well as men, Muslims as well as Christians and Jews too enjoyed all the pleasures of the place.
Young women often wore skirts above the knee and went sleeveless in public, including to the suq. Older women wore their skirts just below the knee.
In more conservative areas, both Christians and Muslims wore similar coverings. Both wore abayahs and head coverings. I don't know about the Jewish women, but I suspect there were few if any Jews from conservative families in those days since most who stayed after the big exodus of the '50's were elite families who were either academics, professionals or had successful businesses, or all of the above.
And in those days Iran was even more liberal and progressive. One never saw women wearing trousers in public in Iraq (I rode nearly every afternoon, and the villagers were used to seeing me in riding pants, but I never wore them in front of the "general public"), but in Tehran Muslim women in jeans were a common sight.
And then there was Lebanon...
#52639 Shirin, etc. Sat Jul 1 3:00:53 US/Central 2000
expatriot in Middle East as child, retired teacher.