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Western Misconceptions on Middle-Eastern Clothing

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Traditional clothing habits among Arab men and women, and the Middle-Eastern inhabitants generally speaking, are considerably disparate compared to contemporary Western style. In society and their culture, individuals in each Middle-Eastern state feel comfortable and proud without being scrutinized, to wear their traditional attire. When exposed to the Western World, nevertheless, their selection of clothing is unexpectedly questioned and ridiculed, theorized and judged; their traditions are mocked for being passé based on what they use, the individuals are deemed to be oppressed and their faith, customs and culture are all painted with the identical brush. This is a common dilemma that has existed for centuries, formed by our media’s false portrayal of the Middle-Eastern culture. The Western misconception concerning conventional Middle-Eastern clothes being retrograde and oppressive demonstrates ignorance and cultural illiteracy in our society. Middle-Easterners’ thoughts hurt across the world and .

Beatrice Riva, a writer on IstiZada, highlights the wide variety of garments which exist in Middle-Eastern communities and the way each of them holds cultural importance to different groups of people in every state. Riva also effectively points out that the typical myths and stereotypes instilled in Westerners regarding Middle-Eastern clothing conventions, and effectively breaks the myths together with supporting claims on the differences among various Middle-Eastern arabian style dresses practices. Graphics and the senses that we conceive are often stereotypical, when we think of clothes. It’s not unusual for Westerners to easily assume that every individual in the Middle-East is needed to stick to the”Muslim standards”, which is usually inaccurately portrayed by the media. Quite often those residing in the Western part of the world lack understanding on the customs and traditions of different countries that are half a world away, hence being prone to stereotyping a people which don’t comply with the”norm” set by Westerners. This generalization could be explained by media has shaped the public memory. Public memory, as described by Fashion Institute of Technology writer Ruth Rubinstein, plays a major role in the way the particular clothing style is perceived by others. Public memory comprises depictions of individuals in paintings, drawings, publications, and press at large, that are general representations of civilization or a particular group. Over time, people associate a civilization’s style and clothing with numerous connotations that may or might not be a true depiction (Rubinstein).

In her direct to Arab clothing, Riva explains the difference between various forms of garments worn by Muslim and non-Muslim women and men in different Middle-Eastern nations. The typical garment worn by Muslim women in South-East Asia and partially in the Middle-East, The Burka, is a long, black, cloak that covers the feminine body from neck to toe, shoulder to wrists, accompanied by posts that cover their face and head. Even though this is the overriding apparel in most Muslim countries in that area, it’s absolutely not the only variation of clothes available to females around the world, just as the Thobe is not the only kind of male clothes that exists from the Middle-East. The Thobe is a part of fabric worn by most Arab males on a daily basis. The attire is increasingly well known in the Middle East one of, while dominantly worn by Muslims.