Is it in appropriate for western men to wear a thoub and shumagg?

Ipswich69
By Ipswich69

Is it in appropriate for western men to wear a thoub and shumagg?

They look very comfortable especially during the summer. I wanted to get one but I don’t want to offend anyone or do anything inappropriate.  

 

By nomerci• 9 years 2 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
nomerci

M3, yes, I agree! :)

By m3dad507• 9 years 2 months ago.
m3dad507

sorry i should of clarified ......

what i meant was locals are going to respect you because you made the extra effort to wear there traditional clothes in their country

By nomerci• 9 years 2 months ago.
nomerci

M3, can you please explain to me why a person gets more respect depending on what he wears?

What if he is a truly nasty person ? Can you tell on what he wears?

By m3dad507• 9 years 2 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
m3dad507

its totaly ok to wear a traditional qatari thobe its better for you in summer since its cool and comfortable and i think locals will give u more respect including me

By anonymous• 9 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
anonymous

I won't pronounce any judgements on whether this is offensive or not, I'll leave it for the locals to decide but let me tell you what I personally experienced a few months back:

I was at the LULU market standing at the customer service counter and right next to me stood a British-looking and soundind man wearing the Qatari dress, from head to toe, the whole thing (head-covering, white thobe, sandals).

Let me tell you that all eyes were on him! Everyone was staring at him in shock and amazement including me. It felt so uncommon and so "provocative" (in my view) to call a spade a spade that couldn't help feeling inquisitive.

Personally, I felt like he was looking very spyish and brought back memories of bedouin-clad British spies such as lawrence of Arabie and others. This is the instant impression I got.

The same cannot be said of western women wearing the abaya. I've seen many here and they did not look like prostitutes at all to me but seemed VERY RESPECTABLE and MODEST. On the contrary, I got a feelling of respect for them as they showed full undertanding and respect for the culture of modesty that exists in this country.

There are many western reverts to Islam here wearing the abaya and veil and they are respected by the whole of the Muslim community. Their dress translates as modesty not as prostitution!

By Nihaa• 10 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Nihaa

hi brother,

its OKAY! Unless you doing it to make fun of it!

Arabs and Muslims dont mind, infact it makes them happy.

Also, they even appreciate seeing ladies wear an abaya.

They will love you when you respect them, their values, beliefs and traditional values!

Convert to islam then you can wear it is NOT RIGHT. You dont have to convert to be able to wear it.

I'm sooooo surprised to be honest,the western society usually makes fun of what arabs/ muslims wear! but you a westerner want to wear one! WOW

Thanks for respecting their values and beliefs (this usually doesnt happen)

By nouf84• 10 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
nouf84

-

By MojoJojo• 10 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
MojoJojo

It is perfectly acceptable and indeed appreciated if women wear an abaya. The prostitute comment is just plain wrong.

As for men wearing thobes, this is also acceptable. I have spoken to many locals and every single one of them has said exactly the same thing. I have even been given several thobes as gifts which I wear when being invited to meals at their houses. The one and only thing that is offensive here is ignorance. If you try and fit in it will be appreciated.

And thems the facts folks.

By Default Nick• 13 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
Default Nick

People are living here for hundreds of years so sure they have found the right way to wear which is suitable for this climate. I am not Arab but I think people shall not be offended if someone not from here wears traditional clothes unless he is doing it with appropriate way. But as Ipswich is mentioning Qataris, who would be offended or not can give the right information.

"What doesn't kill me; makes me stronger..."

By cynbob• 13 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
cynbob

This is the nicest thread I have read in a long time.

Everyone is so supportive, informative, kind and willing to share their views.

Most everyone who has responded has made me comfortable enough to go out and buy an abaya.

I love it!!

By AbdullahAlSaeed7• 13 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
AbdullahAlSaeed7

Many good responses here, and here is my view.

I think that a Westerner (or anyone else) that converts to Islam can wear the Thobe and Shmagh. I just dont think non-Muslims should wear it.

Different people wear it for different reasons.

I wear the Thobe, Ghutrah/Shmagh and Aghal because I think they look beautiful and graceful, and I dont think I would look good in anything else. I am so used to it, and love it. I also consider myself traditional.

However, the National Dress should NOT be considered a "costume" though, and should not be worn as a "Halloween costume". This is the way most Gulf Arabs dress and should be respected.

But the opinions of the locals will vary, as not every Qatari thinks alike. Most will not be offended by it. It is up to you if you want to wear it or not.

By ace.auteur• 13 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
ace.auteur

Ipswich69 said will I be considered a gigolo? ...

"Foreign women wearing an abayya are usually prostitutes!"

So if I wear a thoub and shumagg will I be considered a gigolo?

Hum........Mike Bigalow....Qatari Gigolo.....I could get use to that! LOL

By Adam_N• 13 years 7 months ago.
Adam_N

I've been thinking of wearing one even before I moved here, and now that I'm here it's all the more reason. Boxers and that outfit = comfort. Well you'd think so anyway.

By Pululu• 13 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
Pululu

yes lol maybe he should've ironed it first. I don't find it offensive at all if a foreigner wears a thoub, even if they're wearing it as a halloween costume lol

- Pululu

By Qatari1• 13 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Qatari1

I took these pics from blog, its emirate "thobe", he didn't wear it in correct way

By walker_128• 13 years 7 months ago.
walker_128

Although this is an old topic , but since i have read it . I would still say, I think I am the another person that like the thoob so much :p The first sight i found people wearing thoob was... They are so great for still following their culture. The sense of respect came out immediately from my mind towards Qataris.

By Qataricantona• 14 years 11 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Qataricantona

I am a Qatari that attended the American school of Doha. I have always worn both Western style clothing and Qatari thobe depending on the occasion. Now, take it from me that there is no offense whatsoever with regard to an expatriate wearing Qatari clothing. It is very comfortable, and yes there are different styles and ways of wearing it. However, there is no basis whatsoever for any offence --Take it from QATARI!

I greatly admire and and thank you for the thoughtfulness and respect that you show towards the Qatari culture while living in Qatar. Some expatriates do not share this respect for a different culture and seem to look down upon our Qatari culture, stereotyping it as backwards and archaic. Fortunately, there aren't many of them! Please feel free to participate in our culture!!!

By andreamiriam• 14 years 11 months ago.
andreamiriam

there is some urban legend-esque advice given to expats when they come here about how donning anything local is verboten (and I have even seen in some of the magazines...Time Out had it in the back somewhere at one point)

i imagine that is where some of it comes from

personally i thinks its nuts...so should westerners get offended if a non-westerner wears ...i dunno...a baseball cap :P

By noura4qtr• 15 years 2 days ago.
Rating: 5/5
noura4qtr

feel free to wear thobe and i think many people wear it because it is comfortable and light in summer especially .

By amnesia• 15 years 1 week ago.
Rating: 5/5
amnesia

There are many different ways of wearing a thobe.

I think the Qatari style is the equivelent of a nice suit.

Everyone can wear it and you will not be offending anyone at all.

In fact, I think people will think it's great.

I personally have an English face in my opinion and nobody looks at me twice.

I also want to add that the thread was funny because I clicked on all the usernames of the people who said that a Qatari person would be offended and they were from the US, UK, Italy, Canada, or elsewhere, however those who said it would be great, were Qatari's (or arabs). So you tell me what you think?

Qatari's are directly saying that they'd think it was great.

__________________________

I Love Qatar - http://www.iloveqatar.net

By anonymous• 15 years 2 weeks ago.
anonymous

Actually, many women in Qatar & Muslim countries do not know what a true abayah is. lol

A lot of men have the same problem with clothes.

By andreamiriam• 15 years 2 weeks ago.
Rating: 5/5
andreamiriam

I know a lot of westerners ...male and female ....who wear these things. Now most of them are Muslim. They also happen to all be different races...but born and bred in the US, UK and USA, and I know quite a few of them wear it back at home too, whereas some of my Qatari friends and former co-workers don't wear National dress abroad. Just my experiance...that is all.

A funny note on national dress styles in general...in one of my arabic courses my fellow students and I were all discussing each others national dress (and where we found the best deals on abayas...) and I was asked about how the US doesn't really seem to have one as compared to other countries...the next class I did happen to come in levis and a nice pair of custom made cowboy boots...the boots were a hit.

So if you see someone in abyab and hijab...with cowboy boots ( I collect them actually) ...proabably me.

By MCLGT• 15 years 3 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
MCLGT

The difference between a gutra and a shmagh is that the gutra is white and the shmugh is red and made from different material, there is also the shal which is mostly worn in winter and it is biege.

By azilana7037• 15 years 4 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

The QL ladies would be doing a trip to the souq for abaya shopping and some of the QL gents here expressed that they too, want to do some toub shopping for that day.

Check this thread: http://www.qatarliving.com/node/10520

Hope this helps...even just tiny bit.

By anonymous• 15 years 4 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
anonymous

Traditiopnal coloured men dress are not worn in the summer by Qataris.

People could wear coloured men dress in winter. The textile is made from wool.

By Majnoon Ajnabi• 15 years 5 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Majnoon Ajnabi

Wow!

My advice would be for all non-americans not to wear Levis or jeans because the yanks might be offended.

Yes a thobe and especially the nom-thoub are quite comfortable, especially for expats that have the body of a god like me (Buddha). The ghoutra is also very utilitarian as mentioned.

I am a westerner and I wore one in KSA quite often and no one ever complained. I wonder if there will be any green thobes out tonight?

By Wakrawi• 15 years 5 months ago.
Wakrawi

actually i ment not to touch

By Wakrawi• 15 years 5 months ago.
Wakrawi

a good advise is to touch a man's igaal which is the black thing over the gitra, i will garintee that it will offend him and you might start a fight.

By han19• 15 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
han19

heres my take on traditional dresses;

every traditional dress has an attitude attached to it and by attitude i mean, a style, a grace, a poise and a way of carrying yourself in the traditional dress.

a country's natives can always do justice to their traditional dress because they wear it on a everyday basis, like arabs in middle east, or indian women wearing sarees in india.women who dont wear sarees look absolutely sloopy in them and for that matter women not used to wearing abbayas look absolutely sloopy in them too, because they dont know how to carry that material and the scarf.

while maintaining your comfort level, if you can give the traditional dress the grace and beauty that the traditionals manage to give, then by all means wear it.

you can also make a spectacle of yourself in the traditional dress, and some broadminded people might smile and think, hmm he is cute, he is trying to learn and respect, but at the same time some might not like it as it may look like one trying to fit in or one is mocking their way of dress.

either ways, some may be happy, some may be unhappy, but from your side, ipswich, observe how the arabs actually dress and behave and then try to do it right. i am sure you dont mean any ill intent in this. give it a try.

happy heart

drive safe because someone is waiting for you at home

By QtriCanada• 15 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
QtriCanada

Ipswich69,Qatari responed

Well mate ,, for me If u wore in the appropriate way ,, I dont see any problems of wearing our traditional clothes it will be fun I think for you  and for us to see a western trying to compete with us in our 100 style of (kash'7a ) :p

QtriCanada

By Ipswich69• 15 years 6 months ago.
Ipswich69

but it seems to be a mixed reaction. Qataris are the best dressed for the weather. I just wanted to enjoy it as well. = )

By Hussamf• 15 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Hussamf

I think Qataris would be quite thrilled that u r sharing their culture with them!!!

i m quite dazzeled really at the amount of input i saw warning against wearing a thoub or a 3abaya!!!!

Seriosully people, take a chill pill!!

if u feel hot in da summer and u wana throw in a white thoub, go for it!!

http://hasous.spaces.live.com

"missiles, warships and nuclear weapons cannot establish security. Instead they destroy what peace and security build." Anwar Sadat

By Moudir• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Moudir

By costume i meant official dress, at least that's what it means in French.

You might not be aware of it, but some companies provide allocations to locals and/or provide the products for them to wear. They are encouraged to show who the distinguished natives of this land are, which is quite normal. FYI, same companies also provide a subsidy for housing to locals. There are many things you will learn about as you move up in the hierarchy.

If westerners wore like locals or vice versa, then the true image of native representation would have been tainted.

Moudir

By anonymous• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
anonymous

Takiyah or Qahfiyah is a hat worn directly on the head.

Ghatrah is the white males' head dress worn in summer over the Takiyah or Qahfiyah.

Shemagh is the red dotted males' head dress worn in winter over the Takiyah or Qahfiyah.

Okal is a black thing that worn over Ghatrah or Shemagh to fix the Ghatrah or the Shemagh on the head.

If you wore a Ghatrah or Shemagh like the people of Emirates, Yemen, @ Oman it wiuld be called Ammamah.

By Ipswich69• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
Ipswich69

bajesus - marhaba, I haven't made my mind up, I just wanted you to know why I want to wear it. I also plan on learning Arabic while I'm here. shukran.

Aisha - marhaba, If I wore a GUTRA I would roll it the emarati way. If I decide to get one I don't want to look like a dummy doing it. I also have some nice sandals that would look good with it. ; )

shukran.

By Aisha• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Aisha

I’m a Qatari and I won’t be offended :-) I think it’ll be nice of you :-) There are soo many non Qataris who wears thobes and Abayas. It’s NOT offending! I like it actually! I think westerns look cute in thobes.. However, I don’t think they Shumagg, or Gutra, looks that cute on them. Unless you want to roll it the emarati way… or you want to put the edge of the cloth inside the black ring(Ogal) like bedu ( Or sheikh Jassim )

I’d go with a sporty hat instead. It looks nice with a thobe.

By bajesus• 15 years 7 months ago.
bajesus

....like you've had your mind made up from the start. Why don't you just go ahead with it and see what happens for yourself? If it helps learn Arabic, maybe that way you'll earn more respect :-) and for the last time its Ghutra.....not Shumagg!

By Ipswich69• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
Ipswich69

bajesus - The only reason why someone would not like the idea is they would think I’m mocking the way they dress in a negative way. This is totally not the case I would wear it because it truly the best thing to wear here in the summer. (Thoub: light weight, great ventilation & white reflects the sun.) (Shumagg: light weight, keeps your head out of the sun, used to cover your face during dust/sandstorms, classier than a hat/cap.) I’m sure a lot of expiates mock and jest about the way the Arabs dress. I actually respect it and understand why they do.

By bajesus• 15 years 7 months ago.
bajesus

Could you please not refer to it as a *costume*? and no we don't get paid more to wear it...I can't imagine why someone would tell u such a thing.

By bajesus• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
bajesus

I don't think you would be told off for wearing thobe and ghutra but you might be getting dirty looks. I can't explain why but I think I'd find it offending if I saw an expat doing just that.

By randr88• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
randr88

Is a shamugg the ghutra they wear or the tigeya(skull cap)? I've never heard it called a shamugg.

As to the abyayah, I spoke with a 'local' in Saudi and he said they would prefer western women not to wear them because they wore them incorrectly. But that was there.

By Ipswich69• 15 years 7 months ago.
Ipswich69

Thank you all for your responses but no "local" Qatari have responded. They will be the ones who will or will not be offended.

By suhail• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
suhail

In certain departments they are not allowed to wear it as well mind you. No they are not paid to wear that dress. Even many departments will not mind you wearing the thobe with the ghatra and all. Otherwise its a big no-no. Just wearing thobe only while coming to work is frowned upon as well if you are in the office environemnt.

By Moudir• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Moudir

... but locals are obliged to wear it. I was told at work that they even get an allowance to wear the costume (not sure from the company or the state). They are not supposed to wear anything else while in Qatar. It is sort displaying that you belong to a certain race when you're in a minority situation, and i'm not going into the VIP territory again.

As for western women wearing it, as long as you're not walking "alone", it should be OK. At the least you should be walking with another woman, preferably wearing the same. If you two get into a Landcruiser at the end of your walk, that's even better :)

Moudir

By anonymous• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
anonymous

You can wear white cotton underwear, a white hat and a thobe. Make sure that they are ironed & clean.

For females, I recommend abayas that are put on the head not on shoulders. You could cover your ears, neck, & all hair.I also recommend that you cover your face if you feel unsafe.

By suhail• 15 years 7 months ago.
suhail

I think there is a lot of misconceptions gooing on around here. I dont think anyone over here gets offended if someone wears an abaya or a thobe. Has anyone ever been told off because he was wearing a thobe?

By Ipswich69• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
Ipswich69

"Foreign women wearing an abayya are usually prostitutes!"

So if I wear a thoub and shumagg will I be considered a gigolo?

Hum........Mike Bigalow....Qatari Gigolo.....I could get use to that! LOL

By Don Corleone• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
Don Corleone

don't do it, it is for some reason offending to locals, evn though i agree with you, they do look comfortable in the summer

I always tell the truth, even when I lie

By Miss Interpreted• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Miss Interpreted

I wear an abayya sometimes, the other day when i was wearing it (i just didnt feel like being looked at) without the face thing, several cars were following me! they were guys with beards inside, i dont know if they were flirting or not because afterwards someone told me that foreign women wearing an abayya are usually prostitutes!!

i like to think i can pass for an arab... now i'm not sure whether i want to risk it or not. it was so ironic...

By Ipswich69• 15 years 7 months ago.
Ipswich69

"It’s too easy to get something wrong when you don't know exactly how it's supposed to be worn"

I've seen the thoub and shumagg worn in a 100 different ways. I think it's up to personal style and taste. I could be wrong, could some from Qatar confirm this for me?

By suhail• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
suhail

No one here looks at the colour of the skin when you wear the Thobe. And its really comforable to wear in the summer than the suit.

For some its a way of life to keep mocking at others and then claiming that all was in light banter.

By chbck• 15 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
chbck

I dont think it's a good idea just because it's too easy to get something wrong when you don't know exactly how it's supposed to be worn.

...and especially not for Halloween...that's just ignorant. That's a good way to really piss someone off. They should have a sense of humor about it, but it could be a sensitive issue.

By anonymous• 15 years 7 months ago.
anonymous

Only in HALLOWEEN!

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery

None but ourselves can free our minds..

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