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Saudi fashion + charity = keffiyeh inspired thobes
As part of his efforts to donate money to Gazans in need, a Saudi fashion designer is using Palestine’s keffiyeh to update Saudi’s white thobes
January 26, 2009 8:54 by Hasan Hatrash
A Saudi fashion designer has designed a number of thobes (the white, floor-length robes for men) that were inspired by the keffiyeh (the black-and-white Palestinian scarf) and using colors of the Palestinian flag.
“I’m donating 50 percent of profit from the sale of those limited items to the victims of Palestine, especially the children,” said Hatim Alakeel, designer and founder of Toby, a modern fashion house that specializes in thobes for the young and hip.
The charitable proceeds will go to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fun.
“Children are the real victims because these scenes of horror would affect their lives forever,” he said.
Alakeel came up with the idea two weeks ago and started designing two different thobes and a wristband embroidered with the word “peace”.
“The response has been good and I have sold a couple of these limited items, though it’s not a season for buying thobes,” he said.
One of the two designed thobes includes sections of fabric with the keffiyeh pattern and the words “Free Palestine.” The other thobe includes embroidery of anti war slogans over the Palestinian national colors (black, green, red and white).
Alakeel said that the Gaza events have shocked the world and the situation is unbearable, which obliged him to participate with such an initiative.
“Fashion design is not only about fashion, it’s about art and philosophy. So why not involve it into politics as well,” he said.
Trendy modernized thobes have become popular in Saudi Arabia, especially in the western region among young Saudi men seeking to retain their traditional garb while decorating it with modern design elements, such as athletic stripes and zippers.
First seen in Arab News.