When thinking of the Middle East, images of bearded men and veiled women tend to come to mind. But this neighbour of Europe is far more diverse than we often think. In the past few years, media coverage of the Arab Spring and the dramatic war in Syria and Iraq, have placed groups such as the Copts and the Kurds in the limelight, but there are many more ethnic and religious communities that are often ill-defined by national borders.
This digital exhibition is based on a gallery display presented at the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands, from 3rd April to 28th June 2017. With the subtitle 'Dress and Diversity in the Middle East', it showcased the rich dress traditions of some of the groups living in the Middle East, highlighting the intricate history of this region. It included the Copts, Bedouin, Palestinians, Druze, Orthodox Jews, Samaritans, Kurds and the Zoroastrians.
The exhibition formed part of the Fitting In / Standing Out research project of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, which was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).