The story of the Palestinian clothing from its origins until the wars

09 Jun, 2024 - Fashion

The issue is not just a matter of clothing or attire; it is about identity. If the identity is erased, the land, culture, and people perish with it. Therefore, we insist on knowing the story of Palestinian attire to understand the Arab identity and worth. It is sitting upon us to do this in cohesion and to abandon our helplessness, which has become apparent in the current crisis facing the sector and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories.  

Know the story of the attire, but also know the identity and culture. Get to know Palestine before 1948, before the ignorant Zionist occupation.  

It is about peace, love, and cultural diversity; it has the first of the two Qiblas and the third of the holy sanctuaries, the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. Hence, it holds great meaning.  

Talking about the story of Palestinian attire and the land of Palestine is about holding onto our Arab identity, which has been lost along due to the occupation.  

Instead of showing our weakness, it shows our strength. It's nothing but holding onto it and continuing to work towards the advancement of our Islamic nation.  

Palestine, the first of the two Qiblas.  

Since the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was sent as a prophet, he used to pray towards Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, after the noble migration to Medina, i.e., from Mecca to Medina, and before the migration, he used to pray facing both Qiblas: Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Kaaba in Mecca. He used to pray between them, facing south and directing himself towards the north. But after the migration, he was not able to continue this practice. Thus, he ordered to pray towards Al-Aqsa Mosque for a period of seven months, before the Battle of Badr. Since his migration to Medina, Allah then commanded to direct prayers towards the Kaaba, the Qibla of our master Ibrahim. Therefore, Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered an important Islamic symbol and sacred to all Arabs and Muslims in particular.  

Pictures of Palestine Before Occupation  

Images of Palestine before the brutal Zionist occupation spread across its lands and before the Balfour Declaration, a promise from those who do not own to those who do not deserve.  

These pictures show the natural life of Palestine before the arrival of the brutal occupation forces to the country's lands. They show airports, hospitals, streets, and the bustling life of commerce, buying, and selling. They show love and memories that cannot be erased, no matter how much the landscape changes, from paved streets filled with people and joy to war, weapons, and destruction.  

The images are indelible, and neither memory nor history forgets. Curses be upon those who caused them.  

Here are some of those images:   







Three Divisions of Palestinian Attire According to Social Basics  

1- Palestinian Attire for Farmers:  

We can divide Palestinian attire into three important categories based on social basics: those specific to Bedouins, those for city people, and finally, those for farmers. Each category has its own way of wearing Palestinian attire in Palestine, the land of peace. It was typically made from linen or cotton woven on hand looms and colored with natural dyes.  

2- Palestinian Attire for city:   

Influenced by cultural diversity in the cities, the latest fashion trends and the use of colors and textiles coming from Syria were evident. Producers in Aleppo and Damascus met the specific needs of the Palestinian market, particularly in the early 20th century.  

3- Palestinian Attire for Bedouins:  

As for the Bedouins, their attire reflected their belonging to the Bedouin tribe. Their clothing was usually made from fabric woven from camel, sheep, or goat wool.  


The Story of Palestinian Attire Before the Arrival of Occupation:  

Palestinian attire had a story and evolution over time, narrating the people's adherence to heritage, authenticity, and a return to past glory days.  

Around 1900, before the occupation, the pristine white dominated Palestinian attire. However, after the Zionist occupation, this white was replaced with black, especially in El- Quds   

By 1910, women in Nablus were focusing on accessories and ornaments worn over golden and silver garments.  

In Ramallah, in 1912, a splendid addition to attire emerged: the 'sdiri' piece, enhanced with embroidery.  

Moving to the 1920s, the traditional Palestinian rural attire, the white thobe embroidered with tranquil sky-blue, was worn during the olive harvest seasons. Sadly, this tradition turned to ashes with the disappearance of olive harvesting in Palestine.  

In the mid-20th century, women's interest shifted to 'al-dhu al-majdool,' embroidered with purple, green, and red, coinciding with the proliferation of photography studios in that era.  

This is the evolution of the magnificent Palestinian attire, narrating a story of struggle and perseverance, recounted by the Palestinian people while awaiting the Arab nation to also tell a story of diligence and victory.  


Now that we've narrated the story of Palestinian attire and its evolution, it remains crucial to hold onto our heritage. Attire and clothing aren't just fashion pieces worn according to mood but a heritage to be glorified. We've previously emphasized that modest attire isn't only for hijabis. The Palestinian attire, admired by travelers from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, showcases diversity and richness in colors and embroidery, influenced by various cultures that entered and mingled with Palestinian culture, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, and the Byzantine Empire.  

Tags: Palestine, Palestine flag, Palestinian traditional clothing