new first minister’s wife wears traditional Palestinian dress in parliament – Middle East Monitor

The wife of Scotland’s new First Minister, Humza Yousaf, showcased her Palestinian heritage by wearing a traditional embroidered thobe, known as tatreez, in the Scottish Parliament last week.

Nadia El-Nakhla was present for her husband’s official confirmation as the head of the Scottish Government on 28 March, when he signed the nomination form. Yousaf made history last month by becoming the first Muslim and ethnic minority leader of a British political party, having been elected as Chair of the Scottish National Party (SNP), replacing Nicola Sturgeon after her surprise resignation.

El-Nakhla, 39, is an SNP councillor in Dundee. She was born in Scotland to a Palestinian father and has been vocal in her support for the Palestinian cause. She keeps in touch regularly with her relatives in Gaza. Before entering politics, she qualified and worked as a psychotherapist.

Tatreez in Arabic means “embroidery” or “to stich” and typically consists of cross-stitch embroidery, hand-stitched by women to decorate thobes and other items. The garment is regarded as part of Palestinian national identity and a means to preserve the cultural heritage of the Palestinian people. Wearing it is just one way to express opposition to the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine.

In 2019, US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who also has Palestinian roots, wore the traditional dress to her swearing-in ceremony in Washington DC, prompting the social media hashtag #TweetYourThobe to trend on Twitter. She also donned a traditional thobe to former President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in 2020.

Celebrating his own heritage, the day after signing the nomination form, Yousaf, 37, wore a black Pakistani salwar kameez jacket as he was sworn in as Scotland’s sixth First Minister and Keeper of the Scottish Seal at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

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