Bassem Youssef reveals why he wore a qashabiya for Piers Morgan interview

Egyptian comedian switched his 'usual interview look' at the last minute after seeing the traditional garment in his wardrobe

After their first interview went viral last month, Bassem Youssef returned to Piers Morgan Uncensored to discuss the Israel-Gaza war. Photo: Talk TV
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Bassem Youssef has taken to social media to explain his outfit choice in his latest interview with Piers Morgan.

For the face-to-face discussion, Youssef wore a loose-fitting grey jacket known as a qashabiya with colourful, intricate designs that caught the eye of many viewers.

The Egyptian comedian and controversial British chat show host engaged in a heated but civil conversation about the Israel-Gaza war and conflict in the Middle East. The interview, which lasted two hours, was filmed for Piers Morgan Uncensored and was broadcast on Tuesday.

“Is it Native American? Is it Mexican? No it's Saudi, Palestinian, Jordanian, Algerian, Moroccan, it comes from the Arab Peninsula, no it’s African. The truth is, it’s none and it’s all,” Youssef writes.

He explains that as he was preparing his "usual interview look", he saw the qashabiya in the closet, which was given to him by a friend in Jordan who was just starting her business.

“Is it ‘Tatreez’ is it ‘Sidau’ is it ‘Qashgabia’? It is all and it's none. What was fascinating is that people who lived so far apart from each other, whether in Palestine, Arabian desert, African plains, North and South American mountains have so much in common without them knowing,” he writes.

“The colours, the designs the vibrant patterns. All these people had that in common thousands of years ago. Maybe it's the natural connection with the land. Maybe that’s the language of the indigenous people everywhere: colours, warmth and fabrics made with love. Maybe this is how they connected with the land with colours, with love with history and memories and roots.”

Youssef says he then put away his monotone-coloured jacket for the qashabiya.

“May you all feel the love, the belonging and the colours that surround us and connect us to the land, the earth, the roots. And I think the least I can do is let people know about my friend in Jordan. This is the account. I am sure she will be pleasantly surprised. @qashabeyyeh,” he concludes.

The qashabiya is a traditional garment that is held in high esteem by people in North Africa, Morocco and Algeria. It is made of wool and has a traditional hood and two front-facing open pockets.

Qashabeyyeh is a unisex brand founded by Lima Haddad that is based in Jordan but delivers worldwide. On its Instagram, it says that sewing together an outfit is done upon ordering, with sizes ranging from XS to 4XL. In addition to jackets, the brand also sells tote bags, T-shirts and kimonos.

Updated: November 04, 2023, 9:32 AM