The tarboosh .. once the sign of a nobleman in the Middle East ... is?
The tarboosh .. once the sign of a nobleman in the Middle East ... is fading rapidly form the satorial scene. As the hat has diminished in popularity in the Wast ... the traditional tarboosh has in the Middle East.
The centre of tarboosh manufacture was Beirut, in Lebanon. And in the 1930s as many as 6000 were sold locally every month. In addition. thousands more were exported to Syrian, Turkey and Egypt.
The origin of the tarboosh is not captain. Some trace it back to Greece, some Turkey and others ... even Austria.
Leading tarboosh maker in Beirut is Mr. Michel Jalkh, who has been in the business for 61 years. With his partner, Mr. Elias Khouryhe, he conducts his business form a shop near Beirut's Martyrs' Square. In the window, they display the completed products, and on the counters, prospective customers can inspect the headgear in various stages of manufacture.
The materials used are certainly international ... the red felt is imported form Czechoslovakia, the straw for the interior of the brim, from Indonesia. Other parts are produced locally.
Among the famous customers of Jalkh and Khouryhe was King Hassan II of Morocco. But those successful days are past. In both Turkey and Lebanon, the tarboosh seems to have disappeared entirely, it was last really popular in Iraq in 1934 and after the 1952 Revolution in Egypt, it became unfashionable.
These days the main customers are back Moslems. They purchase their tarboosh for pilgrimages to Mecca ... and continue to wear them afterward as a symbol of their religious experience.