The Iraqi Sedara..a hat for the head introduced by King Faisal I and distinguished by the great people and intellectuals

Iraqis, especially Baghdadis, have been distinguished by wearing what is called the “Sidara-Al-Sedara” hat, or the Faisali sidara, since the mid-twenties of the last century. national and official.

The curtain is characterized by its semi-arched shape, almost tapered from the middle, and it is folded into two folds inward. It is dominated by black, which is the official color, in addition to other colors.

King Faisal II of Iraq (communication sites)

Most prominent wearer

The historical sources indicate that the origin of the word “Sedara” is Aramaic, as it is an Arabized Persian word, as it was used by the ancient Persian kings to mean a headscarf, and it was repeated in the same meaning in the Al-Munajjid dictionary of the language of the Catholic fathers.

The wearing of the “sedara” emerged with the accession of Faisal I to the throne of Iraq as the first king of the modern Iraqi kingdom on August 23, 1921, which introduced a number of traditions and modern political and social systems to the country to distinguish it from the Ottoman era, which had controlled Iraq for hundreds of years.

Among these changes is the creation of a national dress for the head instead of a fez or a fez, to be an official uniform for state officials, or the effendi as they were known. The sedara was created, and for the first time it was distributed to ministers by Rustam Haidar, one of the King’s advisors at the time.

King Faisal I was the first to wear the sedara in a move to encourage people to wear it, and it was named after him “Faisaliah” according to historical sources.

There are several types of sidra. At the beginning of its appearance, it was made of cheese (compressed wool), and it was called cheese sidara. It was known for its large size, and was distinguished by its wearing by important figures in society such as Yassin al-Hashemi, Prime Minister during the royal era, the popular Baghdadi poet Mullah Aboud al-Karkhi, and the poet Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi. .

As for the second type, the skogiyeh was made of cloth, and separated from the same cloth as the clothes, where after detailing the men’s suit, a piece of the same cloth was taken for the purpose of detailing a saddle, and its size was smaller than the cheese sash, and most of those who wore this type were police and army personnel in the royal era as well as the Republican Until the seventies of the last century. After that, it was replaced by the beret for most types of army and police.

In his series Bagdadiyat, the researcher Aziz Al-Hajiya mentioned that the foreign (Italian and English) curtains began invading Iraq in the thirties, and were made of glossy broadcloth. Aboud Al-Karkhi mentioned the national sedariness in his poetry, where he sang:

From me every foreigner understands

Balsedara (Al-Karkhi) is fond of

Where the citizen has his motto

The logo of my homeland and it

National wear

Iraqi Arabic

Saira Abrasi sign

Attempting to cancel the car

Mufeed Abbas (Al Jazeera)Abbas considered that the wearers of the Sadara were mostly from the Effendi, the intellectuals and the civil class (Al-Jazeera)

Why in Baghdad?

After the coup of Bakr Sidqi on November 29, 1936, attempts emerged to abolish the sedara, as the coup government, headed by Hikmat Suleiman, issued a law requiring the replacement of the (national) sedara with the European hat because the latter is a manifestation of development and contact with the outside world.

As for the reasons for the concentration of al-Sidara in Baghdad without the other provinces, the writer and program presenter Mufeed Abbas attributes this to the fact that the capital is the center of civility in Iraq, and it contains the centers of governance and the state, which is why it is concentrated in Baghdad more than other provinces.

The sedara continued to be worn, and it became a representation of the mandarins, intellectuals and the civil class until the 1958 coup that ended the monarchy to the republic, and ended with it all the symbols of the monarchy, including the sedara, Abbas tells Al Jazeera Net.

He added that a limited class continued to wear the veil, and it was called “reactionaries” because they yearn for the monarchy and its values, and then gradually vanished until it became a thing of the past.

Commenting on the reasons why “Sadara” did not remain an official dress for Iraq and Iraqis as it was in the royal era, the writer says that the development of life, in addition to the weakness of national identity due to the superiority of secondary identities over it, led to the lack of commitment to a unified official dress for Iraq.

Dr. Ahmed Jarallah Yassin (Al Jazeera 1)Yassin (right) considered that the return of some to wearing the curtain represents a form of nostalgia for the past (Al-Jazeera)

after absence

Recently, the phenomenon of wearing the “sedara” has flourished in cultural and artistic circles. Professor at the University of Mosul, Dr. Ahmed Jarallah Yassin, says that it represents a form of nostalgia for the past, especially the political one in which the state was actually existing with laws, institutions and sovereignty, and this is what Iraqis currently lack.

This recovery after a long period of absence Jarallah describes to Al Jazeera Net as a symbolic, spiritual, compensatory return, as well as a cultural return because the sedara is a symbol of the educated class that was known as the effendi, and it is an outward adornment for the bowl of the mind (the head) that increases it in prominence and elegance.

And about the possibility that modern fashion models contributed greatly to the extinction of traditional and old fashion among Iraqis, such as “Al-Sedara”, the Iraqi academic confirms that the clothes are linked to societies, their heritage and traditions, and when the sedara appeared for the first time at the head of King Faisal, it was to give the head of authority his special Iraqi identity, starting with the dress. It is an identity that no one has ever worn.

This is consistent – as Jarallah sees – with the birth of the Iraqi state as a system and a constitution. Al-Sadarah was a pure teacher for the Iraqi citizen in the early twenties and part of the traditions of his new dress.

Two children wearing a lady's hat in an exhibition in Erbil (Al-Jazeera)One of the sides of an exhibition in Erbil (Al Jazeera)

annual exhibition

An exhibition is organized annually in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, to display the various types of “Sedara”, as an expression of adherence to this traditional heritage of old fashion, says Sherzad Rasoul, head of the Pictures and Documents Department at the City Museum.

Rasoul indicates to Al Jazeera Net that the periodic exhibition in which many well-known personalities participate in the city to display the “Sedara” in the old style, stressing that this exhibition comes to confirm adherence to this dress no matter how time progresses.

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