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A thawb or thobe (Arabic: ثَوْب / ALA-LC: thawb), also called kandoora or dishdasha, is an ankle-length garment, usually with long sleeves, similar to a robe, kaftan or tunic. It is commonly worn in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, neighbouring Arab countries, the southern ports and Islands of Iran, and some countries in East and West Africa. A sirwal or pants, izaar or lungi are typically worn underneath.
The word thawb is the standard Arabic word for 'a garment'. It is traditional clothing style for men. It is sometimes spelled thobe or thaub. It is a tunic, generally long. The word is used specifically for this garment in Arab States of the Persian Gulf and some areas in the south of Egypt. There has been some debate regarding the correct length of the thawb.
The thawb is commonly worn by men in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, and other Arab countries in the Persian Gulf. It is normally made of cotton, but heavier materials such as sheep's wool can also be used, especially in colder climates in Iraq and Syria. The style of the thawb varies slightly among the various regions within the Persian Gulf region. The sleeves and the collar can be stiffened to give a more formal appearance. Other names may be used for this garment. In the Levant and Oman, dishdasha is the most common word for the garment; in the UAE, the word kandura is used. In Morocco, the sleeves tend to be much shorter so that the thawb may seem more like a long T-shirt and is locally called gandora. The neck also tends to be more open than in its Saudi counterpart and, along with the breast pocket, is often embroidered. It might also lack buttons altogether.
The term thawb is also used to refer to similar women's garments. The traditional Palestinian woman's long tunic is called thawb. Another example is a very long, oversized woman's garment with a heavily embroidered front panel and billowing back, also known as a Khaleeji dress, which is most commonly seen in the West[where?] worn for performance of the Saudi women's social-style dances, in which manipulation of the large thawb is a key component.
|Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Palestine||Hejazi Arabic, Najdi Arabic, Bahraini Arabic, Palestinian Arabic||Thawb (ثَوْب), Thoeb|
|Levant, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Iran||Levantine, Iraqi, Omani & Kuwaiti Arabic; Farsi||Dishdāshah (دِشْدَاشَة), Deshdāsheh (دِشْدَاشِه)|
|UAE||Emirati/Gulf Arabic||Kandūrah (كَنْدُورَة)|
|Yemen||Yemeni Arabic||Zannah (زَنَّه)|
|Upper Egypt, Libya, Chad & Sudan||Upper Egyptian, Libyan, Chadian & Sudanese Arabic||Jilābiyah (جِلَابِيَة)|
|Maghreb||Maghrebi Arabic, Berber||Gandora, Djellaba (جِلَّابَة), Aselham|
|Greater Somalia||Somali||Khamiis or Jelabiyad|
|Ethiopia||Amharic, Afaan Oromoo||Jelebeeya, Mudawwar|
|Indo-Malay Peninsula||Indonesian||Jubah, Gamis|
|Afghanistan||Dari, Pashto||Pērâhan (پیراهن),(kharqay)|
|Pakistan, Muslim India||Urdu||Jubbah (جُبَّه)|
|Turkey||Turkish||Cübbe, Savb, Sob|
A thawb is sometimes worn with what is known as bisht (Arabic: بِشْت) or in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula as mishlah (Arabic: مِشْلَح) or ʿabāʾ (Arabic: عَبَاء), meaning ‘cloak’. It is usually worn in ceremonial occasions or by officials. A bisht is usually worn by religious clergy, but can also be worn in a wedding, Eids and funerals. It may refer to a status of wealth and royalty, or sometimes a religious position. It was originally manufactured in Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it is usually worn in Jordan, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula.
Rashida Tlaib, a newly elected Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Michigan and the first Palestinian-American woman elected to that body, wore a thawb to the swearing-in ceremony. This inspired a number of Palestinian and Palestinian-American women to share pictures on social media with the hashtag #TweetYourThobe.
- Campbell, Kay Hardy; Corman, Leela (March–April 2016). "The Gown That Steals Your Heart". Aramco World. 67 (2): 24–25.
- Dickson, H.R.P. (2015). The Arab of the desert : a glimpse into Badawin life in Kuwait and Sau'di Arabia. New York, NY: Routledge. OCLC 919302946.
- Zrarick, Karen (January 3, 2018). "As Rashida Tlaib Is Sworn In, Palestinian-Americans Respond With #TweetYourThobe". The New York Times.