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New TRC Gallery Exhibition: From Kaftan to Kippa: Dress and Diversity in the Middle East

When thinking of the Middle East, stereotype images of bearded men and veiled women tend to come to mind. But this neighbour of Europe is far more diverse than we think. In the past few years, media coverage of the Arab Spring​ and​ the dramatic war in Syria​ and Iraq​ has placed groups such as the Copts and Kurds in the limelight, but there are many more ethnic and religious groups that are similarly not defined by national borders.

This exhibition showcases the rich dress traditions of some of the groups living in the Middle East, highlighting the intricate history of this region. They include Copts, Bedouin,​​​ Palestinians, ​Druze, ​Orthodox Jews, Samaritans, ​Kurds and Zoroastrians​. The dress​ traditions of these groups will be displayed and discussed​ in relation to 'mainstream' Middle Eastern dress​. The​ ​​exhibition displays more than forty complete outfits for men, women​,​ and children, together with ​individual garments, footwear, headgear and​ prayer beads​. It also includes an historical section on Ottoman-style clothing, such as the kaftan and the fez, which so often has influenced contemporary clothing traditions in the Middle East. ​​Many of the items ​​on display encompass​ traditionally woven and embroidered decorative forms.

The exhibition forms part of the Fitting In / Standing Out project of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

The exhibition will be on display from Monday 3rd April until Thursday 29th June, from Monday to Thursday, from 10.00 - 16.00. Entrance is free, but voluntary donations are welcome.

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Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59

Gallery exhibition, 3 April - 29 June: From Kaftan to Kippa

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

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Financial gifts

The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden. Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
 
Financial donations can also be made via Paypal: