This article is part of a whole outfit including a combination overgarment tunic (Thawb_kandurah) (ZI2021.500903 UAE), cloak (Abayah) (ZI2021.500903a UAE), veil (Shaylah) (ZI2021.500903b UAE), face mask (Burgu) (ZI2021.500903c UAE)
On the day the UAE mission to Mars was launched on 9th of February 2021, Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli was surfing social media, an image of a woman carrying cardboard with a simple hand written message that read “we reached Mars” captured her attention.
She reached out to the account that posted the image. A young UAE photographer Alia Bent Sultan al Joker had been visiting her best friend’s farm on this festive day. As the whole country was glued to the media stations in excitement and anticipation of the coverage. The whole nation was firing the SM competing to post masses of congratulatory posts. In this herd-excitement, her friend’s mother agreed to pose for the photograph to eco her personal proud sentiments of the occasion, and the photograph was birthed.
Both ladies welcomed Dr. Reem’s suggestion to donate the image as well as the whole outfit portrayed in the image to the Zay Collection in commemoration of this monumental date. The image went viral and soon Khasibah became a public figure interviewed by press and media including Vogue Arabia, all wanting to photograph her to relive the moment.
Alia Bint Sultan Al Joker (@alia_bent_sultan), born in Dubai, graduated with a BA in Integrated communication and marketing, Zayed University UAE (2003). Obtained her masters in Quality Management, Wollongong University, UAE (2009), and currently holds the position of Director of Family Development at the ministry of community development. Photography is her passion.
Khasibah Ali al Dhmani is registered to have been born on the 1st of July 1953. (Most birth dates occurring before the formation of the UAE in 1971, are surmised, as birth dates were not recorded. Hence everyone is generally listed as being born on the 1st of July, and the year it is calculated based on anecdotes of special events that corresponded to the year of birth, for example, the year when someone took power, or the year that faced an extreme heatwave, etc.)
She was married at the age of 14 and gave birth to 6 sons and 10 daughters. She never attended any formal schooling but managed to create a cottage industry making and selling traditional perfume and incense. She is very active and participates in different cultural weeks depicting local UAE heritage, and now has her own Instagram handle (@khaseibah_).
This stripped (Bu_glaym) indian cotton is very popular among women in the UAE, used to make undergarments like this (Sarwal) and tunic dresses (Kanadir). This example in bright red with blue pencil lines sandwiched by orange stripes, a more contemporary colour found abundantly in the local market.
The garment’s decorative ankle cuff (Badlah) is a contemporary simple version of the traditional hand embroidered silver (Talli_Badlah) with thirty-three lines of metallic silver braiding (Talli_Fatlah) in white cotton thread ( Hdub) intertwined with silver metallic straw (Khus), applied in ringlets or bracelet form to delineate the ankle cuffs (Hyul). Negating the traditional Badlah design which would have had a centre portion (Bayt) decorated on the top edge in the (Talli_minsharah) motif, and a (Talli_ftul) motif repeated on the side borders (Traf).
The garment is opened and closed with the aid of a zipper versus earlier versions that used traditional cotton thread ball buttons (igam) or metal snap studs (Siq_w_biq).