The Organizing Committee for the National Day celebrations in Darb Al Saai was keen to highlight and promote various aspects of traditional industries and crafts, including knitting men’s and women’s bashouts because of their great cultural and social significance in Qatari society.


The bashout is considered as one of the most important features of the Qatari clothes, especially on religious, national and social occasions. It is a distinguished national costume that has a long history, as the Qatari clothing markets were widespread and famous for the Qatari robes and turbans.


Mr. Abdul-Amir Jawad Al-Khawaja, “A maker of Bisht,” said that: “I practiced this craft on behalf of my fathers and grandfathers, and it goes back to an ancient history, even before Islam. It is the clothing of the Arabs and it used to distinguish the Arab person, even if the names differed, pointing out that in some countries this bisht, scarf, or cloak has evolved greatly when it became a zari or golden reed. It has evolved greatly when it became a zari or a golden reed, indicating that the word Bisht, according to some sources, is a Persian word that was used in the Gulf and Iraq on a very large scale.


Besides, it became in the place of the classical Arabic word, which is “Abaya”, and its name differs from one country to another. In Qatar, Kuwait and the Emirates, it is called bisht, in Saudi Arabia it is mishlah, and in Syria and Egypt, it is called abaya. It is an old industry and it was not gilded in the past to develop and include gilding and decoration, as a result of friction with trade with India and influence and impact between cultures, so it entered into weaving the golden zari bisht: which are the golden threads that were brought from France, India and others.


Al-Khawaja added by saying that the bisht is a symbol of attendance at weddings and various national and social events, and there are many types of it according to the desire, between luxury and medium. Also, in the previous winter, the Qatari man did not dispense with his bisht to protect him from the cold or dust, especially in the wild, and it was made of lint, while inside the urban field the bisht is light, pointing out that the protocol in Qatar shows that light colors such as white and beige It is during the day, while the dark colors such as black and brown are in the evening, and the black is in the evening.


With regard to the most requested colors, especially the zari threads, he said that the golden and silver colors symbolize the region from which the bisht comes, and the golden color is the base, followed by the silver inlay, unlike the women’s bisht, the silver is the base, followed by the gold inlay.


For her part, Umm Khaled, a craftswoman of Bishout, a shop for weaving Bishout and a participant in Darb Al Saai, said: The Bishout industry in Qatar is ancient and is considered part of the Qatari heritage. In the past, it was woven from fine wool, where women used to spin wool threads very thinly, and then they were woven. After the bashout fabrics are woven, the zari is installed, which is the decorative tape on both sides of the chest and neck from the back.


She explained that what distinguishes the Bisht in Qatar is that the width of the atomic layer is average, reaching between 2 and 3 cm at most, while this decoration is clearly wide in the countries of the Cooperation Council.


She added by saying that she is interested in making different types of bishts, whether men or women, such as the types of bishts: al-Hila / al-Bukhiya, and Umm Qaba’, which is woven from above the head, and Umm Samakah and al-Miksar, which is weak bisht like a gold chain. The demand is great for the broken for older women. Meanwhile, young girls and women have other choices. There is an interest in black and golden zari, and the zari can be in another color, but the ancient heritage is black.

She said that in the past, women used to weave a bisht from wool, from “wafer, and from Kokh” (Chamois).


Umm Khaled indicated that she is working on sewing and embroidering the pickpocket dress, which is a dress for Qatari women that is suitable for social occasions, especially the henna night, and that the colors have indications. For example, the burgundy dress of pickpocket is associated with the celebrations of the National Day, pointing out that the dress of pickpocket has its own, distinct and intense embroidery, which highlights the ingenuity of the design.


At the end of her speech, Umm Khaled thanked the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Social Development for providing this opportunity as one of the productive families, noting that her participation in Darb Al Saai and other productive families is free of charge, appreciating the role of the National Day Celebrations Committee in providing an opportunity to introduce these traditional crafts, which constitute an important aspects of the Qatari heritage.