Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Middle East



Today's picture was taken in 1921 in Amman, Jordan. Hat wise, it gives us a lot to look at. The man in the center is Herbert Samuel, and he is wearing a dashing British style hat, but I don't know what it is called. I have a hat shaped like that, and it is a wonderful hat to wear in the sun. It keeps the head very cool, and allows air to circulate around the top of the head much better than other hats. Mrs. PJM asks that I not wear it, however, as she feels it makes me look like a "Dufus". However, when she is not around, I will wear it to town.

The small man to the left of Samuel is Lawrence of Arabia, looking very much out of character in a western business suit and felt hat. To the right of Samuel is King Abdula.

Overall, a very interesting picture!

16 comments:

  1. pith helmet. so is the man to the right of lawrence.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A Wolseley Pith Helmet, you can tell by the little knob on top.
    Yes, but a "Dufus" with a cool head.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lawrence of Arabia doesn't look at all the way one would imagine. He looks almost frightened and ill at ease.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would bet because he is a military man, and probably does not like politicians.

      Delete
    2. He looks much more refined, strong etc in other photos, but yes, he does seem uncomfortable here.

      Delete
  4. Interesting photo. T E Lawrence has been sort of a hobby of mine for many years. The photo comes from the Cairo Conference where once again the ‘colonialism’ of France and England stuck their political noses in the lives of those in the Middle East. A lot of the problems in the Middle East can be traced back to this conference where Iraq was established out of three other territories and the Kurds were not given their own country. The Palestine area was divided in half and the Zionists had their eye on the area.

    Lawrence was on the side of the Arabs despite being a British military man. He realized that the Brits and the French had lied to and shafted the Palestinian area people with both the Sykes Picot agreement and the Balfour agreement earlier. The Cairo Conference was established to ratify both agreements.

    T E Lawrence was a very interesting man. Well educated he was considered by higher ranking ‘gung-ho’ officers as a bit of a ‘geek’ but when fighting against the Turks he alone organized and made the Arab armies a formidable force. He got to know the Arab people and understood them and he ended up conflicted personally as he tried to serve two masters…….Britain …………and his conscience.

    Oh, the hats. Yes the pith helmet keeps a person very cool, my uncle wore one during his time in the military in the Middle East during WW2.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You forgot to mention the hats the Arabs are wearing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Arab headwear is called a keffiyeh or a ghutrah and is held around the head with a band called a agal. Some keffiyehs are worn loosely and others are made into a turban. It has been worn for centuries and both keeps the sun off the head as well as being able to cover the mouth or face from blowing sand.
    I own one of these and sometimes wear it when riding one of our Arab horses. Needless to say I end up being called ‘Lawrence’.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is good to see a photo of T. E. Lawrence, whom I've seen referred to as Prince Dynamite, but I couldn't find that reference on the Web. Thanks to Anonymous for the intriguing extra info, and PJM, your excellency, sir, I must comment that you are in no sense a dufus (I usually spell it doofus). Thanks for the photo.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can't help but notice that all the hats of "hat week" are of the male variety. Did I miss that it is men's hat week, or have you just not gotten to the female variety. Not complaining just noticing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Whoa. I'm not used to them being in color.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I’ve never heard of Lawrence referred to as Prince Dynamite, but I can see where he might have been. It was probably a nickname given to him because of his use of dynamite to blow up railroads in the desert that were used by the Turkish military. It was a constant problem for the Turks and slowed down their transport of food, ammunition and troops which threw the Turks in disarray. Many times when the train stopped the Turks came under fire from sand dunes hiding Lawrence’s Arab military tribes using the reliable and deadly Vickers machine gun.

    Also in the photo Lawrence is wearing a ‘Homburg’ hat which came into popularity when it was worn by Kind Edward V11. The same style of hat was worn in the movie the Godfather by Al Pacino. (just a bit of trivia if you ever end up on Jeopardy final answer)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok, this is the first time I’ve posted here. I’ve been following OPD for about six months.
    I have enjoyed it so much I’ve sat for hours and looked through the archives as well. I was very happy to see the domestic update and I very much enjoy your writings.
    I’ve been fascinated with the different hats and their functions but what about shoes?
    I’d love to see shoes of the past, especially women’s fashions and how they’ve changed over the years.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Shoes? Ask and you shall recieve. This is the largest collection of historic shoes in the world.......... http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/collections/permanent/index.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  13. I got one of those hats (although it was merely styrofoam, not pith) as a kid while the family vacationed in Florida. It was a prized possession of mine as a boy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. As an old geezer whose grandfather served in the Indian army, I've always know that hat as a sola topi and according to the Oxford Dictionary: a sun hat made from the pith of the stems of sola plants, formerly worn in India.

    I also believe the traditional "Bobby's helmet" was also based on the same design but lined with cork to ward off blunt instrument trauma.

    ReplyDelete