The Art of Arab Dress

In partnership with The Zay Initiative, we have designed a new talk dedicated to the exploration of regional culture and heritage through learning about traditional women’s clothing in the Arab world. Joining our efforts on a path to better cross-cultural understanding, respect and compassion to local cultures, we are happy to offer 1h-long talk, where Dr Reem El Mutwalli, founder, The Zay Initiative will give an introduction to Arab Dress showing key samples from across the region.

She will discuss the tangible and intangible and the mission to sustain the legacy of Arab Heritage attire for future generations. Arab fashion is a statement, just like it is in the West, but garments have a stronger social and moral dimension, too. It is a great way to express cultural identity for each Arab nation and it is one of the greatest ways for foreigners to learn about the ethnic differences.

Join us as we dismantle some myths around women’s traditional attire and learn about deeper cultural meanings and reasons each outfit hides!

This is an introduction presentation which will highlight the major differences of clothes, explain the role of garments and answer questions like:

– What is the Arab women’s traditional dress: abaya, hijab, jilbab and other elements of women fashion?
– Is wearing abaya compulsory in Arab culture?
– Why do women decide to wear traditional attire?
– What different styles, fabric and colours in contemporary Arab dresses mean: references to countries of origin, occasion, social class etc?
– What should we know to be respectful when it comes to cultural appropriation?

Speaker – Dr Reem El Mutwalli

Dr Reem Tariq El Mutwalli, is a published author, lead curator and public speaker. With over 30 years of experience, she is an expert consultant in Islamic art and architecture, interior design, historic dress and UAE heritage. 

She is also the founder of the Zay Initiative. A non-profit UK registered initiative advancing the preservation of cultural heritage, through the collection, documentation and digital archiving of Arab historical attire and their stories. Our goal is to empower and sustain global cross cultural dialogue to inspire creative minds.

The Zay Initiative

A non-profit, UK registered initiative advancing the preservation of cultural heritage through the collection, documentation and digital archiving of Arab historical attire and their stories. Our goal is to empower and sustain global cross cultural dialogue to inspire creative minds.

The Zay Initiative aims to promote an understanding of the evolution of regional culture, building up public awareness and appreciation of this unique heritage, reaching out to like-minded individuals and institutions nationally, regionally and globally. In addition to seasonal or touring exhibitions and museum loans, the collection is accessed through the digital archive, first of its kind on a regional level fortified by a pop-up glossary in both Arabic and English.

The Zay Initiative aims to empower women regionally and globally by bringing their untold stories to life. In addition to its online scholarship programme to sustain the past and inspire the future. Learn more about The Zay Initiative here.

Refunds

Please, note that we issue refunds on tickets cancelled at least 24h prior to the event.

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