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DOHA: A number of Qataris have been complaining that some expatriates misuse the traditional abaya and thobe.
They have asked officials to take tough action against expatriates who wear the Qatari traditional attire and engage in immoral activities, reported an Arabic daily yesterday.
Qataris complain that Arab and non-Arab expatriate women wear abaya and smoke sheesha in public places and try to attract other people, while men wearing thobes also involve in teasing and disturbing others. “As Qataris we welcome anyone wearing our traditional attire, but they have to wear it with respect if not they shouldn’t be allowed to wear it. When they misbehave wearing an abaya or thobe, it becomes an insult to our culture. Some non-Qatari youth wearing the traditional attire misbehave with women at shopping malls, some women even go begging,” said Mohamed Al Zayara, a Qatari youth.
“Importantly abaya is a modest dress, but some expatriates wear tight fitting abayas, which is also an insult to our traditions and culture,” he further said.
However, citizens claim that they could distinguish between a Qatari and non Qatari, although they wear the same attire.
“We can differentiate the Qatrais but expatriates can’t do it and they would mistake them by the attire, some take advantage of the situation. They misbehave and escape pretending as Qataris,” said Fahad Abdul Kareem Al Jassim, a Qatari youth who also agrees that many expatriates do give respect to the traditional attire.
Misbehaviour of the expatriates wearing the Qatari traditional attire creates a wrong impression about the locals, especially in a country where the majority are foreigners. Although the number of people who misuse the abaya and thobe are less, they do create an impact on the society.
“There are very few who misuse the Qatari traditional attire, yet they make an impact, their behaviour convey a wrong message,” said Dr Moza Al Malki, a Qatari psychologist.
“If they can’t respect the culture and behave, they shouldn’t wear the abaya or thobe,” she said.
Dr Al Malki explained that Oman has restricted expatiates wearing their traditional attire, and any one breaching it would be punished.
“I’m not asking for such an action to be implemented here, but people should respect our traditions and culture, she said.