Arts & Culture

Hats Off: The Tarboush in Egypt

mm
Hats Off: The Tarboush in Egypt

Image Credit: Wikimedia

A remnant of a bygone era, a cultural icon with symbolic importance: the tarboush, or the fez, carries a political past, signifying power and status for the wearer.

A red hat for the country’s leading officials, military officers, clerics, school boys, and the Egyptian elite, the tarboush made its way to Egypt during the rule of modern-Egypt’s entrepreneur,  Mohamed Ali Pasha, an Ottoman army officer who seized power in 1805.

It is believed to have originated in the city of Fes in Morocco in the early 19th century. An indication of the wearer’s stature and education was mandatory in Egypt and in other countries such as Morocco,  Syria, and Turkey.

Image Credit: Flickr

“The well-dressed gentleman would keep on Tarboush on a stand beside the front door of his home and six others in is bedroom,” explains Mohamed Tarabishi, one of the last standing fez shop owners in Cairo, to the Baltimore Sun.

Image Credit: Flickr

The Tarboush was slowly abolished after president Gamal Abdel Nasser sized power as it was considered one of the symbols of the former-ruling elite.

Image Credit: Wikimedia

In efforts to nationalize Egypt, Abdel Nasser imposed laws for those who did not comply with the new regulation.

Image Credit: Flickr

Although the red brimless hat faded with time, it is still worn and adorned by Azhar clerics and sheikhs. Students and scholars at al-Azhar University, as well as other Muslim religious clerics, also wear it.

 

 

Specialty Būn: How Two Brothers Are Changing Egypt's Relationship with Coffee
Lotus, Jasmine, Oud: 5 Scents that Take You to Egypt

Subscribe to our newsletter


Arts & Culture
mm

Dual Degree in Political Science and Multimedia Journalism. I have a special love for storytelling, history, big cities, gender, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

More in Arts & Culture

How the Crocodile Became An Enduring Egyptian Symbol

Eleonora Christo Vostanis1 July 2022

How Beyoncé’s Egyptian Tour Photographer Found Courage in the Shadow of Cancer

Mirna Abdulaal30 June 2022

Oaks and Corks: The Brief History of Wine in Egypt

Farah Rafik29 June 2022

Old Egyptian Songs that Scream Summer

Farah Rafik28 June 2022

“Obelisks in Exile”: The Ethics of Obelisks Abroad

Mona Abdou27 June 2022

In Photos: Discovering the Dazzling Art of Sham’adan Belly Dancing in Egypt

Farah Rafik24 June 2022

Master Traditional Egyptian Crafts at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization’s Art Workshops

Marina Makary23 June 2022

Egyptian Amir El-Masry Cast as Mohamed Al-Fayed in Season 5 of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

Seif Saleh23 June 2022