Syria borders Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Israel and Jordan to the south, and Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Modern day Syria is officially known as the Syrian Arab Republic which was established as the parliamentary republic after the First World War as a French mandate, and represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the formerly Ottoman ruled Arab Levant. Syrians are an overall indigenous Levantine people, closely related to their immediate neighbors, like Lebanese people, Palestinians, and Jordanians. The overwhelming religion of Syria is Islam and the Syrians speak the Arabic language.
The culture of Syria possesses an ancient traditional background full of cultural diversity and history. The enormous culture of Syria is fully reflected through the customs of Syrian people and the demonstrations of traditional dances. The Syrian people wear their traditional dresses on the celebrations, marriage ceremonies and the birth occasions of the new borne babies. The traditional dress of Syria is famous in the Arab region for its conventional crafts, embroidery and fabulous designs. Although, the modern dressing is the fusion of the traditional and western styles and the people of Syria nowadays normally wear westerly attires, yet the traditional gowns, coats and jackets are still popular among the Syrian community.
The Syrian men used to wear the traditional dress including a white shirt made of cotton. They loved to embellish the costume with blue, red and black embroidery round the neck and at the chest. Underneath the shirt men usually wore a pant (shirwal) made of colored or non dyed cotton fabric. They also used the traditional coats made with light fabrics as the outer wear which were wide opened at the front and embroidered on its edges. The men also used another cloak which is known as Abaya which is normally made of various light-weight silk, artificial silk or mixed silk or cotton fabrics. They cover their heads with the scarves made of fine cotton or blue or violet silky fabric with red threads.
The traditional dress for women in Syria is a garment made with triangular sleeves and it is called as Thob. In the past, the tailors used to apply elegant embroidery round the neck, at the chest and the sides. These dresses were further decorated with amazing patchworks in brilliant colors. The women also wore some other garments made with wool and other delicate fabrics. They also wrapped the dresses with a belt woven from red and black wool or cotton.
The upper garment for the women was a coat stitched with materials in dark colors with wide sleeves and side slits. The women of Syria wrap their heads with silky scarves decorated with splendid embroidery and fringes.
The traditional dress of Syria can be seen commonly on the eve of the celebrations of national importance. Such events particularly take place in Damascus and Aleppo which are culturally very rich cities.
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