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Musicians in Egypt wearing (urban) jellabiya

The Jalabiya or "Galabeya" (Arabic: جلابية‎ / ALA-LC: jilabīyah Egyptian Arabic: [ɡæ.læ.ˈbej.jæ, ɡæl.læ-]; "jelebeeya" in Ethiopia; "jehllubeeya" in Eritrea) is a traditional Egyptian garment native to the Nile Valley. The same term used to refer to the traditional Sudanese[1] and Eritrean clothes, but both look different from the popular Egyptian garment which is worn by both Egyptian males and females and is much more colorful.[2]

Shalatin tribe Beja people wearing jellabiya.

The Jelabiya or Galabiya differs from the Arabic thawb, as it has a wider cut, no collar (in some cases, no buttons) and longer, wider sleeves. In case of farmers, these sleeves can be very wide and sewn into pockets. They are then used to store small items such as tobacco or money. Along the Red Sea coast of Egypt, Nubia and Sudan and some Beja tribesmen prefer the Arabic style which is called dishdash or thobe over the Nile Valley jellabiya because of the latter's association with farming and Ancient farmers.

The Jellabiya colors are often white in the summer. During winter, thicker fabric in other colours such as grey, dark green, olive, blue, tan or striped fabrics are used and colorful scarves worn around the neck. The garment is traditionally worn with an ammama (Arabic: عمامة‎; Egyptian Arabic: عمةIPA: [ˈʕem.mæ]) (turban).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Perner, Conradin (2017-03-15). Why Did You Come If You Leave Again?: The Narrative of an Ethnographer’S Footprints Among the Anyuak in South Sudan. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1-5245-7187-0.
  2. ^ Challen, Paul (2015-07-15). The Culture and Crafts of Egypt. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-4994-1157-7.