36.2 C
Doha
Friday, July 30, 2021

VIDEO: I Love Qatar answers, can foreigners wear thobes?

-

Contrary to what some may think, Qataris do not have the market on thobes. In his latest #Q-Tip, I Love Qatar co-founder Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon explains that many locals would actually be honored to see expats dressed in the long, flattering attire.

He said:

“It means you’re embracing our culture – you’re accepting the way we dress and you also want to experience the way Qataris dress.”

But, Al Haroon also advises residents who plan to don thobes to not do so for the first time on Halloween, as that may be taken the wrong way by the local community.

An ideal day to try on a thobe, he added, is National Day, which is celebrated each year on Dec. 18.

To get an idea on how traditional dress varies from Gulf country to country, check out a guide to thobes in the region here.

Do you own any Qatari-style attire? Thoughts?

75 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
75 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Of course you can wear thobes, the same way you can wear a suit!
Many non-Qataris wear Thobes, Palestinians and Iranians being the main culprits, some of which try to pass themselves off as Qataris….

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Middle East descendants yes, but a westerner wearing a Thobe? Sorry, but despite all the fine words about being invited to embrace the culture, everything I experience in Qatar tells me in no uncertain terms that integration is impossible, so in trying some way to mimic the Qatari I would feel more like an object of ridicule

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

If you wear it properly they will presume you are a mixed arab, if you on the other hand wear it the way most expats do (where it is obvious you don’t know what you are doing), then yes you will be laughed at.

Thobe is not Qatari culture, it is Arab culture.

Rob
Rob
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

It is not Arab culture, I would contest. My wife is an Arab, and she says it’s nothing to do with her, or her family. Gulf culture, perhaps.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Well, as far back as Jesus times, you will notice they wore garments and head gear very similar to what is worn in the gulf, so yes, maybe it is not modern Arab culture in some Arab countries, but at one point it was. Just as the “Cobra” is a modern twist on traditional clothing that goes back centuries.

Osama Alassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

It depends on what you mean by the word Arab…

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Saleem, this is where it gets into a confusing area of understanding for the non Arab. “Mixed” Arab seems a derogatory term to a non Arab like myself. You mean an Arabic speaking person living in Qatar wearing a Qatari style Thobe only or are you referring to ancestry also? By the way, as a European, I am “mixed” well beyond tracking lol. On a lighter note, I do envy MIMH and his sandals and free air flow in the summer months………………

Osama Alassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

Most Qataris have a very clear ancestry….

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

Why would it be derogatory? It is like calling someone biracial, it merely reveals a fact, lol. If someone has blue eyes for instance and is wearing a thobe Qatari style, one would assume he is Qatari but shares some other ethnic background as well.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Yes, we would get ridicule from fellow westerners. If I could get away with wearing it in the summer with sandals for work, I would certainly do that. Much more comfortable in the heat and much easier to scratch your ……

McTunder
McTunder
6 years ago

I am flirting with the idea… just for driving, though. That would keep all the mad indians, pakistanis and other expats away. And the playfield against the Qataris would finally be level

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago
Reply to  McTunder

Be sure to throw your trash out of the window to increase authenticity.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

Several loose kids in the rear also looks good.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Or “find” hair in your food to get a free meal from the drive thru, and then ask the company to reimburse you for the 20 qr. Oops, my bad, that’s just an expat thing.

KingOfKings
KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

hahahahahaha, good one.
Also, stick your foot up and play with your toes while driving, if you wish to make a strong statement that if there is one thing you don’t give in life, it is a rat a$s ….

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

Leave no tip for the petrol attendant, oops, another expat thing, my bad.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Does that food thing work? Never thought of it but I like your way of thinking. Also for what it’s worth I always round up and give the balance to the pump dude. I did the job myself while I was in college. I was also a waiter. Many of us westerners have been in their position which gives us an insight. I know that we are just having some fun mud slinging here but we have dirtied our hands.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  McTunder

as a qatari driver i can tell you its not the quality of your clothes that keeps others away, its the price of your car that does that,

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago

Your license plate number helps too.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

I tried to get the plate…”armed”but the moi said no joy. On a serious note when I tried to import my guns here before I came I was told that it was not possible. Now that I am here I know why.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

That’s a good one 🙂

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

Actually its the fact that you are trying to climb into the back seat of my car whilst in your LC, that keeps me ‘at bay’, not the price of your vehicle, of which I have not the faintest idea. Only idiots buy a car from new in my opinion, second hand means good value.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

I do no such thing. I assure you I have no interest in your back seat :P.
It’s just that in my experience when I drive a more expensive car (not even a big car) people tend to mess with you less.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Not in Qatar, I would never buy a used car in Qatar unless I personally knew the owner and their driving habits.

greg
greg
6 years ago
Reply to  McTunder

Don’t forget to text and drive!

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  greg

Get drunk too and drive, oops, that’s an expat thing, my bad.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

No its not just go to the Oryx, or Raddison and watch them drink and drink and ddrink then get into the LC.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Unfortunately not. Some expats do drink and drive true, but nearly all Qataris that drink in the bars drive home afterwards. I have no problem with them drinking but get a taxis or get your driver to come and pick you up;

KingOfKings
KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Yeah, what is alcohol compared to Zanax, Medwakh and the good old iranian goods 🙂

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Drive whilst drunk, drive whilst playing on the internet or chatting on the phone, drive with a child on your lap, drive without a seat belt, drive with ,your elbow whilst eating and drinking- all at 130+ of course. Wear a thobe and it will be okay and if you die, well it was meant to be

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Are we talking each act individually or collectively here? Because if it is the latter, then I must confess I would be quite impressed with the effective display of successful multitasking, presuming of course there is no crash at the end of it.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

That is possibly the problem Saleem, that doing such things is seen as clever by some, whilst the rest of us, driving with a seat belt, kids in car seats, both hands on the wheel, look on aghast

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

You do realize I was not being serious with that comment, right? LOL.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

I might just get a thobe and try this. Perhaps we could get together and compile a list of the possible. Afterwards we could get some food and find a hair.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Halloween is on very soon, so you can pass it off as your costume should any of your expat friends want to mock you.

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Oh come ON! Your comments are just hateful. Stop hijacking this thread with your racism.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Shabina921

My comment was in response to the previous poster Shabina, who discussed people drink driving. My comments are not hateful, they are opinion and part of a valid discussion

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

I don’t for a second wish to forgive anyone who drinks and drives, but in a laboratory setting it’s been proven beyond doubt that texting while driving is actual far more dangerous (and a bigger killer) than drink driving.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

At the end of the day it’s not about which distracting habit is worse or not, there have been fatal accidents as result of these and many other actions that one should not engage in while operating a vehicle, and anyone who is selfish enough to do such things without consideration for others is a no good PoS

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago

But what about abayas. Are there any faux pas to avoid there. Like are there morning abayas and evening abayas. Love the way the women do the head dress. It looks so elegant.

Rob
Rob
6 years ago
Reply to  Desert Witch

Again, my wife is an Arab, and she says that me wearing an abaya is totally cool.

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago

I have a Thobe that I have worn around town. It was actually very humbling to me. you can see how the low wage workers all but bow to you and move out of your way. They go out of their way to appease you. I felt bad because it reminded me of a colonial society that perpetuates slavery. Although the proverbial slaves went out of their way to appease me, non of them would look me in the eye. I hated that feeling. No matter how much more wealth I attain going forward I never want another human being to look at me in that manner again.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

An experience in a supermarket tells me that some non-Qatari women wear the Abaya and veil simply to gain advantage.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

There have been many cases of non-Qatari women bullying and (in some cases stealing) from poorer expats by claiming they are Qatari. Those who can’t tell the accents part can easily be duped by the black garments.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Many non qatari women wear it for religious reasons. Thinking every person in an abaya or a thobe is qatari is just wrong

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

They probably were thinking “why is this expat clown dressed like a Qatari?” and avoided eye contact because they feared they would no longer be able to contain their laughter at the hilarious sight.

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

You are probably right! But I think I can pull off the Qatari style pretty well. I got Qatari swagger! LOL!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Why would you ever want to be mistaken for a Qatari?

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Some people choose to embrace or try to learn about the culture of the country they are living in. Others prefer to lock themselfs up with others who are exactly like them and just hate. To each his own

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago

Don’t be surprised, this is what he identifies with…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiLpFG5uUc0

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

No I don’t and it was condemned throughout Aus, where the way you treat maids, drivers, nannies, and blue collar workers is a badge of pride. Slave trading pigs.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Ohh I tried, but you are so stuck up and arrogant. I went to Fanar and learnt Arabic, I studied a Diploma in Islam Studies, I have lots and lots of Arab friends, but Qataris well you are the most racist slave trading pigs Ive ever come across. So when one is treated with such contempt by the ‘hosts’ one simply is conditioned to have scant regard for them.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

“Qataris well you are the most racist slave trading pigs Ive ever come across”

really people were hostile towards you, i wonder why you seem like a delightful person

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago

Notice his aggressive racist outbursts? It is because this is what he calls “home”, while this video would shock most people to him this is just an ordinary day in the neighborhood, if anything it brings tears to his eyes because it makes him homesick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LVeqqBZTQ4

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

This is not relevant to the story. Deleting.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago

Notice his aggressive racist outbursts? It is because this is what he calls “home”, while this video would shock most people to him this is just an ordinary day in the neighborhood, if anything it brings tears to his eyes because it makes him homesick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LVeqqBZTQ4

DJ25Q
DJ25Q
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Is this aggression towards the black guy similar to being pushed of the road by an SUV ? or it’s just me who think so?

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

I like the Thobe and I used to wear it when I first arrived, but I found it difficult to keep the ghutra on my head. When I decided to go with the thobe without the ghutra I started to hear remarks like “you are wearing our thobe like an Indian driver” and “you look like the mosque’s imam” (because imams also do not wear the head gear). From some expats I heard things like “Do you want to be naturalized Qatari?” “Are you ashamed of your national dress?”.

I therefore decided to go back to my original casual clothes and avoid stupid comments and having to explain myself to everyone who notices that I am not Qatari. Now I only wear the thobe at home or when I go to the mosque.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You should wear what YOU want to wear. No one will ever be pleased so don’t waste your time trying… you should be busy enjoying your life in whatever outfit you choose! #JustSaying

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

Yes but I used to wear it in a professional context so when you hear these remarks from colleagues you start thinking that it is better to go back to your old clothes, or else the HR guy wil come to you and tell you “this is not the proper dress code you have to follow”

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

When I first started working here, there was a gentleman whom did the same thing. People made dumb remarks about how he was “trying to be Qatari” not aware that he’s been wearing it his whole life. If he wore western clothes, I’m sure they’ll say, “trying to be American”. It’s just absurd.

If anything, HR can not tell anyone not to wear a thob or abaya unless on a construction site for safely reasons. It’s somewhere in the labor laws if I remember correctly.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

The company’s offical dress code was national dress or smart casual. I was told the thobe without ghutra and agal is not considered national dress and is therefore not allowed.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

WHAT?! I know a lot of Qataris and many wear their thobs without a ghutra. That policy makes no sense.

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

My advice is, wolves dont lose sleep over the opinion of sheep. i agree with Ms. Hala, wear what you want to wear.
Ask a Qatari person to teach you how to wear the Gitra, i’m sure some will be glad to help.

Also, on official websites for companies it says the dress code includes the national dress, it did not specify what nationality should wear what, so wear what you want.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

Tell that to the reflect your respect people and see how it goes. I do understand what you mean though.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I did… =)

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

I like your style.

Rien
Rien
6 years ago

With the exception of the gulf states, night gowns went out of style almost 100 years ago.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

Why would I want to?

disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
disqus_OJXsVo5QzW
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

no one asked you to.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago

My whole life, I’ve worn it a handful of times on occasion because I never liked the abaya. When I first visited Egypt then moved to Qatar, I found the abaya to be beautiful and convenient especially on Fridays. If people want to assume that I’m a Qatari woman just because I’m in a abaya today, that’s just their ignorance. I simply didn’t feel like getting out of my PJs today.

FYI, many of us ladies really appreciate men in thobs… #JustPuttingItOutThere =)

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

When my mother lived in Saudi she said exactly the same thing. She loved not having to worry about getting dressed if she needed to pop to the shop for a few things, she could just fling on the abaya and go.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

Exactly!!

Restie
Restie
6 years ago

If anyone ever needs source material on how the Doha News commentary section ostracizes Qataris, please reference this article’s comments about an piece of clothing.

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago

I’ve never seen so many deleted comments. Hypersensitivity on the rise?

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.