Najah is a first generation Palestinian woman who was delighted to share with us what cultural clothing meant to her,“I feel proud to wear clothing that represents my culture,” she says.
Originally from Palestine, Najah immigrated to the United States in 1992 from Amman, Jordan. Although she did not live in Palestine while she was growing up, she carries with her a certain nostalgia for her Palestinian heritage. Najah owns quite a few pieces that exhibit her cultural ties, she has a variety of abayas, thobes, and dishdashas; and in her closet you will probably find more abayas and dishdashas than thobes. Her reasoning for this is that she is, “from a city in Palestine and people usually wear thobes when they are from villages.” However, the abundance of cultural clothing in Najah’s possession does not mean that she wears them frequently. Najah
she wears abayas when there are functions at the mosque or at the Islamic Center. The reason she wearsan abaya to the Islamic community functions is due to the modesty that this type of attire portrays in the sense that it covers and drapes the entire body. This is something that is important to her when attending community gatherings and events. Najah wears dishdashas and thobes to Henna parties, which are the traditional parties held before the wedding. When she returns to Palestine or Jordan she brings back these cultural clothing pieces with her particularly ones with a more modern and up to date flare.This also encourages her daughters to remember where they are from and be proud of their Palestinian background. Her daughters wear the cultural clothing to Henna’s and other functions and she hopes that they will continue this tradition with their own children.