Traditional Saudi ‘wazarah’ inspires Western fashion giants

The trending ‘mini-skirt’, left, comparing to a ‘wazarah,’ right. (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
Updated 01 February 2018

Traditional Saudi ‘wazarah’ inspires Western fashion giants

JEDDAH: A woman’s skirt that was designed and released by a global clothes brand has caused a stir on Twitter in Saudi Arabia over its similar appearance to a traditional “wazarah” worn by men in Saudi Arabia and other Arab and South Asian countries.
The trending “mini-skirt” features a slightly different tying of the waist to make it look more feminine and is sold by Zara — one of the main brands of the Inditex group, among the world’s largest fashion retailers — in the UK for £69.99 ($100).
In its original version, the skirt is known as a “wazarah” or “fotah” in the Middle Eastern region and it is known as a “lungi” in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somaliland, Nepal, Cambodia, Djibouti, Myanmar and Thailand.
The Saudi designer of the contemporary luxury label, Hindamme, Mohammed Khoja, told Arab News, “This is an interesting piece by Zara, and clearly inspired by the traditional Arab undergarment otherwise known as a wazarah. I personally feel it’s a good thing that our traditional garments are influencing Western fashion giants such as Zara and appealing to a more global clientele as for a long time it’s been the contrary.”
Khoja added, “At the same time I also feel that their design team should acknowledge this reference; that would’ve made it 10 times more appealing rather than simply calling it a mini-skirt.”
Many people from Saudi Arabia tweeted about the design, making fun of its expensive price: @lll__Vll tweeted, “We can get a three-meter ‘wazarah’ for SR5 and you want us to pay £60?”
Another sarcastic commenter said: @arwagraphy, “For those who are upset with the price, you need go and ask the very first designer of ‘wazarah’ to sue the store (laughing emoji).”
The wazarah can be found in Saudi Arabia in local stores for SR10 ($2.70), with a variety of options in color and quality.
It is a type of sarong and a traditional garment worn around the waist. It is particularly popular in hot and humid regions.
Depending on local tradition, the wazarah is worn by men. They are tied or fastened in various ways and can be used in different cultural activities, ranging from normal daily life to elaborate wedding ceremonies.
For daily use, a simple “double-twist” knot is most popular, where two points on the upper edge of the lungi are brought together and twisted around twice, with the ends tucked in at the waist.


Saudi delegation attends opening of Europe’s largest mosque

Updated 50 min 8 sec ago

Saudi delegation attends opening of Europe’s largest mosque

  • Chechen president hails Kingdom’s support for Islamic unity, moderation
  • Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa delivered the Friday sermon

GROZNY: The minister of Islamic affairs, call and guidance headed the Saudi delegation to the opening of what Chechen authorities said is the largest mosque in Europe on Friday.
Upon his arrival at Grozny International Airport, Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said the construction of the Fakhr Al-Muslimeen Mosque is a source of happiness.
The marble-decorated mosque has capacity for more than 30,000 people and has been described by the Chechen authorities as the “largest and most beautiful” mosque in Europe.
The opening was held under the patronage of Chechen President Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov, with the participation of Islamic delegations from a number of countries.
Al-Asheikh was received by Salah Mezhiev, advisor to Kadyrov and Chechnya’s supreme mufti, as well as other officials. Al-Asheikh said Saudi Arabia works hard to spread moderation throughout the Islamic world.
Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa delivered the first Friday sermon to be given in the mosque at the request of President Kadyrov.
Kadyrov welcomed the Saudi delegation and congratulated the Kingdom’s leadership on the success of this year’s Hajj season.
He hailed Saudi support for Islamic unity, spreading moderation and combating all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism.
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, also attended the opening of the mosque.
The mosque's grounds, planted with flowers and sprinkled with fountains, can host an additional 70,000 worshippers, local authorities said.