Nowadays the Middle East includes these countries: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Each of them has its own national costume and clothing traditions. There are some common features for Middle Eastern clothes, but differences exist as well. So, let's find out more about the traditional dress of several Middle Eastern countries.
Modern Lebanon is a very fashionable country, one of the most stylish in the whole Arab world. But the majority of Lebanese wear western-style clothing today, instead of their own traditional outfits. The national costumes of Lebanon are still worn in the rural areas where traditions are kept more thoroughly. But clothing traditions of this country are as diverse as the ethnic composition of Lebanon. During its history, the country was under the rule of Roman, Persian, Greek, Arab, Ottoman Empires, and also France recently. Each of them left a trace in the life and traditions of Lebanon. And it makes Lebanese traditional costume all the more interesting.
The folk clothing of Palestine is extremely rich in embroidery. By the way, the traditional embroidery is called “tatriz”, and it adds a distinctive Palestinian flavor to any dress. The complicated history of Palestine had a considerable influence on the national costume and clothing traditions of this country. But luckily, in modern times, the traditional outfit of Palestine experiences its flourishing. There is a boom of tatriz and Palestinian traditional garments within the country and far beyond its borders. Local manufacturers and Palestinian and Israeli merchants work hard to advertise these folk costumes and export them to every possible interested country of the world. So, let’s try to find out a little bit about this extraordinary folk clothes.
Saudi Arabian national dress conforms to standards, traditions, climatic conditions and preferences of local people. That's why Saudis choose traditional clothing, not Western style of attire. Also the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia refers to the Muslim world, and the national costume shows it. Saudi people are conservative in clothing, family relationships, religion and way of life in general.
Turkey is a country with old clothing traditions. Their roots are in the Ottoman Empire which has formed Turkish cultural and traditional heritage pretty much. Even hundreds of years after the Ottoman Empire, Turkish national costume has a lot of features typical for those days. But today few people in Turkey wear traditional clothing in day-to-day life. Men usually use European style of clothes or mix some elements of the folk dress with western pieces of attire. Women wear national costumes more often, they retained the national dress more fully and keep the traditions more carefully.
Emirati men and women still keep their traditions in the 21st century. They wear the national outfits of the United Arab Emirates every day due to the tradition, religious law, and climate of the country. When Emiratis go abroad they usually prefer to wear the western-style clothing but at home, most of them continue to use kanduras, gutrahs, and abayas. The clothing tradition is very important in the UAE, so tourists should remember about that and respect it, even if we’re not used to wearing such clothes.
The ancient culture of Yemen has a lot to present to tradition lovers all around the world and people who are fond of vintage national clothing. This country has some magnificent pieces of outfits; some of them are still in use while others are almost completely forgotten. The most interesting are vintage handmade garments with lots of colorful embroideries, intricate gold jewelry, pieces made by a unique Yemeni tie-dyeing technique, and traditional daggers that always complement the male costumes.