The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 22, 1968 · Page 24
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 24

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, November 22, 1968
Page 24
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Page 24 article text (OCR)

24-Palm Beach Post, Friday, Nov. 22, 1968 Tarbooshes Disappearing In Cairo model of the tarboosh, the Egyptian equivalent of the fez. In Cairo, nearly everyone used to wear a tarboosh, every well dressed man that is, including the King. The cylindrical confection of red felt was the symbol of propriety that had been brought over from Turkey, the homeland of Farouk's ancestors. (C) Mm Ytrti Tlnm Nm Sarvkt CAIRO - King Farouk liked them big, and in his prime hp used to use up six every three months and then simply cast them away. "Three pounds apiece he used to pay," recalled Mohammed El. Toukhi. a Cairo hatmaker who used to provide the monarch with a special But now tarbooshes have virtually vanished from the capital's streets. The wearing of them has been discouraged by President Gamal Abdel Nasser's Arab Socialist regime as a symbol of the old days before Nasser ousted Farouk in 1952. The absence of the betasseled hats is one of the first visible changes some several hundred tarboosh makers, and hat blockers were a common sight on Egyptian street corners reshaping tarbooshes that had been dented. Then came the revolution and the leaders of new regime discouraged the wearing of tarbooshes by pointedly going about bareheaded to all functions. They derided the tarboosh as an alien import associated with the excesses of past regime. Since then tarbooshes have progressively faded from the scene and now are worn only by old men, certain Moslem clerics, waiters and some oth that old timers notice on returning here since Nasser's takeover. Although welcomed by Egypt's thrifty masses, the decline in the wearing of tarbooshes has been attributed to hatters like El-Toukhi, who was interviewed in his chic tarbooshery in the acient bazaar quarter. "Now people think the tarboosh is old fashioned; they say it is from the time of the kings," said El-Touki. His black curls were untrammeled by headgear of any political connotation although he is a cardcar-rying member of the Arab Socialist Union. "But the tarboosh is good for the health and it makes a man good-looking," El-Toukhi insisted, speaking through a similarly hatless interpreter. In the old days, El-Toukhi and his father used to whip up royal tarbooshes out of felt imported from Austria lined with straw from Java. The hats had to be big to fit the imposing kingly head. They were frequently replaced because they became stained with perspiration. Tarbooshes were worn both indoors and out, on all official and otherwise dignified occasions, including services at Coptic churches. But easy going Egyptians resented being required to buy them or wear them to school or in the presence of government officials. The country then supported . 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