KAUST Cinema, Janadriya Fashion

  • Ameena al-Jassim, a female fashion designer from the Eastern Province has been picked to design the wardrobe of this year’s Janadriya festival. She has designed 2000 pieces for all the dancers in the operetta, and now she is putting her last touches on the wardrobe for the annual aardah dance.
  • In typical Aramco compound-fashion, KAUST gets its own movie theater.

How to Wear a Ghotra

Although the header of this blog shows my picture in a thobe and ghotra, those who know me know that I don’t wear them very often. And whenever I wear the ghotra, which is usually in a wedding or similar occasions, I face the dilemma of how to wear it. Unlike the necktie, where you are limited to a few choices when it comes to how to tie one and there are guidelines and tutorials on how to do it, there are so many different ways to wear the ghotra and there is no such thing as The Ultimate Ghotra Wearing Guide. However, last week I received an email that showed two dozens styles of ghotra wearing, and I thought I would share some of them here…

Very simple. Just throw one end of the ghotra on the opposite shoulder and you are good to go.


Similar to Modesty, only this time you take the other end of the ghotra and left it on the aforementioned shoulder.

Mr. X

Throw both ends of the ghotra onto the opposite shoulder. Suitable for desert trips and cold weather.


This one is usually sported by ministers and big officials, as well as in weddings and receptions. You just let your ghotra down, probably with some little folds on both sides of the mirzam, which is the area of the ghotra in the middle of the forehead.


Again, you let the ghotra down only this time it goes behind your back. It is very simple and makes for easy quick movement, which is why it is perfect for teachers.


Modern with a traditional touch, this style is popular among students. You bring one end of the ghotra from behind and put it in front of the opposite shoulder, while the other end remains in the back.

Abu Rashed

Named after Khaled Abu Rashed, lawyer of the infamous drifter Abu Kab, who allegedly mastered this style. You through one end of the ghotra above your head while leaving the other end as it is.


As you can see, this one looks like a scale from the front. You through both ends above the head with a slight angle while leaving space to form what resembles scalepans.


This one got very popular in the 90’s, and it gets its name from the highly venomous snake. You need a large amount of starch to preserve that look, and you need to be careful when you move your head because quick moves might destroy it.


Unlike the Cobra which limits the motion range of the neck, probably causing a long lasting pain in the area, this one allows for freer movement. Easy and flexible, it makes for a full view of the face and it has a touch of elegance to it.

Bint al-Bakkar

The name has a historical background that I don’t fully understand, but this style has become one of my favourites lately. Not easy to master, but when done right it is quite steady and looks very nice.

Here’s a picture of me and my brother Hassan during a recent engagement party in Hofuf, both sporting Bint al-Bakkar:


Those New Cool Thobes

As people in Saudi Arabia are usually dressed either in black — for women — or white — for men —, I usually try to appreciate the moments when I’m abroad and enjoy the colorful clothes people wear, spending much of my free time walking down the streets and observing others.

That’s why I was glad to see my friend Faiza Ambah elegantly profiles Saudi fashion designer Yahia al-Bishri, the man who put color back in menswear here. His boldness also inspired others like Siraj Omar and Lomar Thobe to redefine the traditional Saudi garb. However, and from what I have seen, it seems that young Hjiazi men are embracing the new trend more than their counterparts in Najd, which is to be expected as people in the central area are more conservative.

Although I only wear a thobe occasionally as I prefer my casual outfit of jeans and t-shirts, I personally like the idea of updating the thobe with new styles and colors, and I plan to get myself one of those cool Lomar thobes in the near future. The problem is that they are relatively expensive, as their creators admitted, but I think it is worth getting them for special occasions.

How about you Saudi boys and girls? What do you think of those new cool thobes? Yay or Nay?