This 23-year-old student of Mardan University in Pakistan was brutally beaten and murdered by his fellow college-mates who accused him of blasphemy. I’m still shaken by the video of him being dragged across the university while being constantly kicked and thrashed until his clothes became bloody and he lost consciousness.
And RIP, people who are delusional enough to believe they have the right to take another man’s life in the name of religion.
Muniba Mazari, a wheelchair bound painter whose twitter bio reads, “ An optimist who is physically challenged & differently able.”
“Although it is hard to paint being a paraplegic, it is not easy to paint with a free mind when you are wheelchair bound, yet I know it is the only way through which I can spread the message of strength and courage. So I forget my pain and paint for myself, I paint for people as I believe in spreading the message of ‘Never Give Up’.”
So, Sumerian and Akkadian Mesopotamia was overwhelmingly was a textile based society- wool was their main exportable resource, and we know they had large-scale workshops exporting textile products from the Sargonic Period at least (2400 BCE). Wool, textiles and weaving were utterly fundamental to Sumerian/Akkadian life and culture, but no actual examples have survived.
So why do artist’s depictions of Mesopotamia always only ever show people wearing, plain, white largely undecorated clothing? However lovely the art, the people always seem sterile and colourless, and are all dressed identically.
Now, the plain, undecorated skirt or one-shoulder tunic with a tufted bottom does absolutely have a precedent in Mesopotamian statues. It’s what almost every Sumerian statue or votive is wearing:
There are hundreds more examples.
But those statues are virtually always of three types of people- kings, priests, and high-ranking male worshippers who commissioned votives of themselves.
It’s entirely possible that the almost undecorated white skirt was an equivalent of the Roman Toga Virilis- a high status garment only for extremely high-ranking men.
This is one of the few truly detailed statues of a woman from Ancient Mesoptamia:
Doesn’t that look like embroidery?
Anyway, it’s entirely possible that ordinary Mesopotamians, and maybe higher ranking women, could have looked more like this:
Both above examples from the traditional dress of the Kalash people in Northern Pakistan, just to show how colourful things could have been for all we know, though in reality, the colours were probably a little more muted due to inefficient dyes. Here are some examples of traditional dress and textiles from around modern Iraq:
(Both the traditional clothes of modern day Assyrian people, astonishingly similar to ancient depictions).
We know from painting examples in Anatolia that patterns drawn on walls 8000 years ago are still used on textiles in the same area today. This is what the traditional embroidery of the Ma’adan people, whose culture is believed to have been in many ways unchanged from Sumeria up until the 1990s looks like.
Honestly there is nothing I love more than desi girl friendships because there’s so many ways they empower us like you’ve got your stereotypically academic desi girls in school, having each others backs and collectively kicking ass. You have your artistic desi girls who write poetry about the colours of their skin and read them out to each other in different as they inspire each other to make other lovely things and tradition oriented desi girls who put henna and mehndi on each other’s hands and play the harmonium or the tanpura together and devout religious desi girls who know how to live spiritually but with vibrance as they dress modestly but help each other pick out all the colors of the sun in their dupatta and their skirts and desi girls who talk about things like sexuality and gender with each other away from watchful eyes because no one else can relate like we can to each other and desi girls wearing shorts and short skirts and helping each other dye their hair as a big fuck you to oppressive trends in the community and desi girls teaching each other different languages and basically desi girls redefining their heritage for themselves with the help of other woc like them is what I’m here for oml