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Saudi fashion + charity = keffiyeh inspired thobes

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

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.


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1 Comment

  1. Arshad on January 28, 2009 4:26 pm

    Iam an indian living in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade, several time it came to my mind that why not the thobes be redesigned or put some classic motifs on them to make more fashionable, It is not that i have never seen some designer thobes, but the design aspect on them is used ver conservatively.

    But this one which uses a very contracting colours, it is hip and at the same time creates awareness of the inhuman onslaught of Israeli aggression on Gaza, and also generates funds for the victims.

    I have suggestiion to Mr. Hatim , pls design the neck ties, long ties also, so that the people who do not wear thobes, can wear the ties. I would love to wear them. in the absence i used the kiffayah a small one and a big one.

    Hope my susgestion will inspire some to design the neck ties of kiffyeh design.

    Arshad Qazi


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