• Syrian clothing culture

    Syrian clothing culture

    Syria is the name that was given to the region by the Greeks and Romans and probably derives from the Babylonian suri. Arabs traditionally referred to Syria and a large, vaguely defined surrounding area as Sham, which translates as "the northern region," "the north," "Syria," or "Damascus. That name still is used to refer to the entire area of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and the West Bank and has become a symbol of Arab unity.

    Location and Geography. Syria borders Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Israel and Jordan to the south, and Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.

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    It is 71, square milessquare kilometers in area. One-third of the land is arable, and one-third is pasturable. The terrain is mostly desert, and home to drought resistant plants such as myrtle, boxwood, and wild olive. There is little wildlife. Remote areas have wolves, hyenas, and foxes; the desert has lizards, eagles, and buzzards.

    Most of the population is concentrated in the western region of the country, near the Mediterranean. Damascus, the capital and the largest city, is located at the foot of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains along the small Barada River.

    It has a favorable location in a fertile area close to the desert and has historically served as a refueling stop and commercial center for traders making trips through the desert. Inland of this area is a range of limestone mountains, the Jabal al-Nusayriya. The Gharb Depression, a dry but fertile valley, lies between this range and other mountains to the east. The Euphrates River and several of its tributaries pass through Syria, supplying more than 80 percent of the country's water.

    There are two natural lakes: Arram in the crater of an extinct volcano in the Golan Heights and Daraa along the Jordanian border.

    There are several artificial lakes created by dams that supply irrigation and electrical power. Most of the country has a desertlike climate, with hot, dry summers and milder winters. What little rain there is falls in the winter, mainly along the coast.It is becoming particularly important to understand the culture of the Syrian people, as dangers are currently displacing millions of citizens and forcing their migration to other countries.

    Before it became globally recognised as a war-torn country, Syria had a historical tradition of tolerance and pluralism. While recent conflict has stressed sectarian tensions, most Syrians remain very tolerant and respectful of both religious and ethnic diversity. Indeed, in light of recent fighting, many particularly oppose the aggravation of such divides. Syrians are often familiar with a diversity of cultural lifestyles; the internet, media and pop culture have exposed people especially the university populations to the liberal values and behaviours of the West.

    It is common to see both traditional Syrian attire and modern European fashions in city streets. Nevertheless, broadly speaking, the culture is conservative and exhibits great respect for traditions. Islam is the majority faith and many of the current traditions and customs observed by society are grounded in Islamic values.

    People often resist changes or diversions from these social conventions particularly the older generations and so modest behaviour is the norm.

    The population is also generally more comfortable with the presence and stability of a defined authority. This has translated into a broad acceptance of power hierarchies within society. The attitude is changing significantly as the political situation has deteriorated and conflict has escalated into civil war.

    However, Syrians are ordinarily very peaceful people, preferring to cooperate with established authorities rather than point out inequality in society. The rural-urban distinction has become quite prominent over the last 25 years as the government directed most of its resources to the cities. People from regional areas usually have lower levels of education and are more collectivistic in their community organisation.

    Due to economic hardship, hundreds of thousands were forced to migrate to urban areas in the last ten years before the uprising.

    syrian clothing culture

    These metropolitan areas further reflect the cultural and historical diversity of Syria. For example, Damascus the capital city is known as the oldest continually inhabited city in the word. Ancient architecture usually characterises the inner city before sprawling into modern suburbs and apartment buildings.

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    Many Iraqis and Palestinians have immigrated and there are large ethnic minorities including Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Circassians, Mandeans and Turkomen. The largest are the Kurds of which there are roughly 2.The Middle East is a variegated and colourful universe when it comes to clothes and attires for both men and women. It is a complex reality where local traditions and Western fashion mix.

    While the latter has deeply influenced Arab countries, it is still possible to spot some traditional garments. Finally, you will have the opportunity to test how much you remember about Arab clothes with a quick quiz.

    If white robes and black veils are the only things that pop in your mind when you think about Middle Eastern clothes, then you should really read on…. Age and location make a big difference when it comes to clothing in the Middle East. On the one hand, younger people tend to wear Western clothes and use their traditional outfits only for special occasions such as weddings, religious celebrations or a pilgrimage, while the older generations are more easily seen with traditional garments.

    Culture of Syria

    On the other hand, people living in the cities are more attentive to the latest fashion trends, while in smaller towns and rural contexts men and women still prefer traditional attires because of their comfort and the protection they offer from the sun, the wind and the sand. A third factor could be social class. On the one hand, designer clothes from the West are very popular among the middle and upper class, while traditional garments and more conservative attires might be more easily found in popular neighbourhoods.

    While this could be true for certain countries in the Levant and North Africa, the criteria most definitely change for Gulf countries where all women and men wear similar clothes and it is actually the quality and design of the abaya, an expensive bag or a pair sunglasses to reveal the social class of the wearer. Before analyzing which clothes belong to which country we must clarify some general misconceptions related to Middle Eastern clothing, as well as introducing the basic terms of Arab fashion.

    The term hijab is commonly used to refer to the headscarf worn by many Muslim women. Hijab is in fact also a general term for modest attires which include head covering. The term veil includes a notable variety of headgears which come in a multitude of shapes, lengths, and fabrics. There are different kinds of veil and women wear them not only as a religious or cultural sign of belonging to a certain society, but also consider them an important fashion statement.

    Hijabs have different styles and colours and women wearing a hijab muhajjabat in Arabic are always up to date with the latest trends, just as Western women know whether an item is out-dated or not. It soon became very popular, especially in the trendsetter country of the region: the UAE. However, by it was already considered out of fashion.

    syrian clothing culture

    A long scarf that is wrapped around the head, pinned under the chin and gently rests on the shoulders. It is usually worn on top of a cap of a matching colour, which helps to keep the hijab in place.

    It is the most common kind of hijab, particularly in the Gulf countries with the exception of Saudi Arabia. It is very easy to wear and it is made of a head cap and a tubular scarf worn on top of it.

    The main difference between Shayla and Al-Amira is the shape of the scarf rectangular for the shayla, tubular for the al-amira and the head cap hidden or only slightly visible in the former, while a big portion is left exposed in the latter. It can be seen in the Middle East, even though it is particularly widespread in the South East Asian Muslim community. NIQAB : a face veil which is usually worn with a headscarf and tied behind the head.

    It leaves a gap for the eyes only, even though some women add an eye veil which allows them to see without revealing their eyes. It is not unusual to see a niqab in North Africa or the Levant, but it is most commonly used in Saudi Arabia. Photo credit: Riccardo Romano. The face is left uncovered.

    It is not as popular as the previous types of head covering; still, some women wear it in their daily life.It was made between and It has a lovely purple and gold ikat-style woven design with hints of reddish orange could be shadow work of gold over purple and gold corded edging at arm holes and waist. Syria villager beforeEastern Ghoutah Bala. I knew a woman who wore this Textile with peasant pants under modern skirt and blouse The cloth was worn to distinguish herself from other villagers before Damascus expanded out into farming land erasing this local cloth once and for all in the s.

    Aida Dalati Collection. Syria, Qalamoun dress with hand woven added on dancing extensions. Syria, Qalamoun mountains. Black cotton coat with red cotton caftan embroidered with double trees of life. Embroidery and couched floss with magenta trim. Abaya: worn even before islam in the middle east, veiling the face was popular, were not always plain, some would have hanging sleeves or see through sleeves that made it very fashionable, at this time was to protect from other men looking at them.

    Syrian Aba. Long 'aba' abayahfor men. Syria, 19th century. Silk, cotton, metal thread. Technique: tapestry weft-faced weaving. Jacket made of black cotton, with gold coloured embroidery.Syria is a traditional society with a long cultural history. The Syrian's taste for the traditional arts is expressed in dances such as the al-Samah, the Dabkeh in all their variations and the sword dance.

    Marriage ceremonies are occasions for the lively demonstration of folk customs. The scribes of the city of Ugarit modern Ras Shamra created a cuneiform alphabet in the 14th century BC. The alphabet was written in the familiar order we use today like the English language, however with different characters.

    Archaeologists have discovered extensive writings and evidence of a culture rivaling those of Iraqand Egypt in and around the ancient city of Ebla modern Tell Mardikh. Syrians have contributed to Arabic literature for centuries, and Syrian writers played a crucial role in the nahda or Arab literary and cultural revival of the 19th century. Inthe partitioning of neighbouring Palestine and the establishment of Israel brought about a new turning point in Syrian writing.

    Adab al-Iltizamthe "literature of political commitment", deeply marked by social realismmostly replaced the romantic trend of the previous decades. Hanna Minarejecting art for art's sake and confronting the social and political issues of his time, was arguably the most prominent Syrian novelist of this era.

    Following the Six-Day War inAdab al-Naksathe "literature of defeat", grappled with the causes of the Arab defeat. The historical novel genre, which was made popular by Nabil SulaymanFawwaz HaddadKhyri al-Dhahabi and Nihad Sirisis sometimes used as a means of critiquing the present through a depiction of the past.

    Syrian folk narrativeas a subgenre of historical fiction, is imbued with magical realismand is also used as a means of veiled criticism of the present. Contemporary Syrian literature also encompasses science fiction and futuristic utopiae Nuhad SharifTalib Umranwhich may also serve as media of dissent. Syria has always been one of Arabic poetry 's centers of innovation and has a proud tradition of oral and written poetry.

    It has contributed to Arabic poetry mostly in the classical and traditional Arabic genres with influence from the French Romantic influences brought to the country while under French rule. One of the most prominent Syrian poets include Badawi al-Jabalwhose poetic style was classical Arabic prose, based on the Abbasid-era tradition.

    Another prominent Syrian poet was Damascus -born Nizar Qabbani whose poetic style is famed for its simplicity yet elegance in exploring themes of love, eroticism, sexuality and religion.

    He is considered one of the most revered contemporary poets in the Arab world. I want to free the Arab soul, sense and body with my poetry. The relationships between men and women in our society are not healthy. One of his most famed poems is Balqisa poem in which he laments the death of his Iraq-born wife who was killed in the Iraqi embassy bombing in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. Syria's capital, Damascushas long been one of the Arab world's centers for cultural and artistic innovation, especially in the field of classical Arab music.

    Syria has also produced several pan-Arab stars. AsmahanFarid al-Atrash and singer Lena Chamamyan. The city of Aleppo is known for its muwashshaha form of Andalous sung poetry popularized by Sabri Moudallal, as well as popular stars like Sabah Fakhri. Syria's folk music is for the most part based on the oudthe ney and lap-held drumswith little if any vocal accompaniment. Modern Syrian music notably contrasts folk music.

    It uses an orchestra of mostly European instruments with one lead vocalists and a backup chorus. Syria was one of the earliest centers of Christian hymnodyin a repertory known as Syrian chantwhich continues to be the liturgical music of some of the various Syrian Christians. Also, there was a former distinctive tradition of Syrian Jewish religious music, which still flourishes in the Syrian-Jewish community of New York.

    One of the most popular dances in Syria is the Dabkeh, a folk dance combining circle dancing and line dancing formed from right to left and headed by a leader which alternates between facing the audience and other dancers. It is mostly performed at weddings and other joyous occasions.

    Traditional Houses of the Old Cities in Damascus, Aleppo and some other Syrian cities are preserved and traditionally the living quarters are arranged around one or more courtyards, typically with a fountain in the middle supplied by spring water, and decorated with citrus trees, grape vines, and flowers.

    One of the most notable examples of the traditional Damascene homes is the 18th century Azm Palaceresidence of As'ad Pasha al-Azmthe Ottoman governor of Damascus, which continued to house the descendants of the al-Azm family for decades. The structure consists of several buildings and three wings: the haremthe selamlek and the khademlek. The harem is the family wing, which contains the private residence of the family and includes the baths, which are a replica of the public baths in the city on a smaller scale.

    The selamlek is the guest wing, and it comprises the formal halls, reception areas and large courtyards with traditional cascading fountain, while in the northern part of the palace were the servant quarters and the center of housekeeping activities.The family is the heart of Syrian social life.

    Frequent visits and exchanges of invitations for meals among family members are integral to daily living. Although formally arranged marriages are becoming less frequent, parents ordinarily wield decisive authority in approving or rejecting a match. Neighbourly relations and friendships among members of different religions are common in Syrian cities.

    Syrian Christians freely celebrate the holidays of the Christian tradition, including Christmas and Easter.

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    Syrian cuisine makes use of a wide range of ingredients and styles of preparation; lemon, garlic, onions, and spices are often featured prominently. Kibbeh —ball-shaped or flat diamond-cut bulgur cracked wheat shells filled with ground beef or lamb, spices, and pine nuts—are enjoyed, oftentimes served with yogurt. Grapevine leaves are stuffed with spiced mixtures of lamb or beef and rice and simmered with lemon juice; variants also exist using cabbage leaves and a lemon-tomato broth.

    Meat pies and spinach pies are also enjoyed, and fruits, vegetables, and grains are staples in Syrian dishes. Flat bread, cheeses, salads, and olives are often a fixture of the mazzah mezesa spread of smaller dishes served together. Syrian pastries, some of which require substantial skill to prepare, are of a wide variety. The artistic representation of animal or human life is proscribed by Islamand until World War I public figurative art in Syria was restricted to geometric, vegetative, and animal designs as manifest in the arts of arabesque and calligraphywhich adorn most palaces and mosques.

    Following World War I, drawing was taught in the schools, and talented artists began to emerge. Sculpture is mainly confined to decorations hewn in white marble. Damascus is particularly famous for this type of sculpture, and beautiful examples of it can be seen in its palaces and public buildings. The National Theatre and other theatrical and folk-dance companies give regular performances.

    syrian clothing culture

    Syrians produce and listen to styles of popular music shared by much of the Arab world. National folk traditions have been emphasized by the state, which has established a museum for national folk traditions in Damascus. The capital also contains the National Museum and separate museums for agriculture and military history.

    Traditional Clothing - Syria

    Archaeological museums are located in Aleppo and at major sites. The Ministry of Culture has established an Arab institute of music and has made available numerous courses in the figurative and applied arts, as well as centres for teaching the domestic arts. The Arabic Language Academy in Damascus, founded inis the oldest such academy in the Arab world.

    Weight lifting, judo, and karate are popular in the cities, and health clubs and gyms are becoming increasingly common in the capital. There are stadiums in Damascus, Aleppo, and Latakiawhere occasional sporting events are held.

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    The government-run Institute for Sports Education is in charge of organizing these sporting events, and the General Union of Sports, which is also funded by the government, promotes sports in rural areas to underprivileged children. In addition to sporting activities, other leisure activities include frequent family outings to favourite picnic spots by streams or to mountain resorts. Article Media. Info Print Print.Hours can be long, payouts poor and your bum certainly won't thank you for sitting at the computer all day.

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