x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

'Each dress talks to us' say Emirati women of their traditional dress

Young Emirati women give their views on the selection of traditional dresses displayed to mark the launch of the e-book Sultani: Traditions Renewed.

A selection of traditional dresses were displayed in an exhibition to mark the launch of the e-book version of Sultani: Traditions Renewed at the women's college of the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi.

They included a dress given to Dr El Mutwalli by Sheikha Shamma bint Khalaf Al Otaiba, the first wife of Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed, in 1968.

After listening to a talk by the author, and viewing the collection, some younger Emirati women gave their verdict.

Hanadi Karam said she had "heard a lot about the book" and "that it only made me more interested to actually see what I know".

"We wear traditional dresses every day and make special ones for the henna celebrations before weddings and special occasions.

"The use of colour and shade on the mkhawar kanduras is very artistic. I enjoyed it very much," she said.

For Zainab No'man, the collection "was amazing. Mashallah on the designer. I was amazed how she was inspired by history and tradition. It was not only an art show but an educational experience of history".

"I learnt things I never knew about abayas and how the shayla is worn, how before they were so much longer. I don't just think of the book as a reference work but something that documents life."

Mariam Al Jabrei is president of the student council and said: "Every page of the book is different and unique. The dresses give us so much information. Each one talks to us, and illustrates a different decade."

* Bushra Alkaff Al Hashemi