Home القضايا المدنية A dress for you, and a dress for me

A dress for you, and a dress for me

by Afaf Ahmed
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A dress for you, and a dress for me

One of the sweetest dreams little girls have since a young age is for their moms to get them a Palestinian traditional thobe. A long beautiful dress that comes in different colors with magical embroidery done with various designs to give it an authentic and homely look, one that is worn on all occasions from weddings to parties and even to funerals. With flowers, roses, and birds, the embroidery on these thobes shows the beautiful connections Palestinians have with their land and farms.

Palestinian traditional thobes come in different colors, but the most commonly known ones are black and white with shades of red and orange embroidery done on the sleeves, shoulders, collars, and sides of the dress. Fun tip, the more the embroidery the higher the price.

When I was younger, I thought all thobes were the same and you get to pick whatever embroidery style you like. I also thought all women everywhere in Palestine wore the same type of thobes. Until I was told by my grandma, that long ago, women from different cities and villages were able to identify where you were from just by looking at the embroidery style of your thobe. I was blown away and mesmerized by that fact, each city and village had its own style of embroidery and colors as well as veil styles. Not only that, but women usually had a dozen of thobes, each one for a special occasion. You can have black and red, white and red, red and blue, black and orange and much more.

The funny thing is, I get to wear Gaza’s thobe, Be’er Sabaa Thobe, and Yaffa’s thobe!

Why? Well, I was born in Gaza, my grandpa is originally from Be’er Sabaa, and my grandma is from Yaffa. That makes me the three of them, right? 


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