Youths in Gaza complain of curbs against saggy pants, haircuts


Young people in Gaza Strip are complaining that their freedom to wear saggy pants and have haircuts of their choice is hampered by security officers as they might be arrested.

Both Khaled and his brother were arrested by a security officer for wearing saggy pants and for him wearing a silver chain around his neck.

Initially Khaled and his brother did not know the reason of their detention until one security man said to his boss “look at his outfit.”

The security men did not respond to Khaled when he asked them to outline “if there is any Palestinian law that prevents young people from wearing saggy pants or silver chains?”

Young men can also be scoffed at for wearing shorts.

Ahmed, another resident from Gaza, said that he was going to buy some food from one of the city’s restaurants but was scolded by a police man for wearing shorts and showing his legs.

According to the police man, Ahmed shouldn’t be wearing shorts in front of girls unless he was at home.


These young people say that these public incidents are embarrassing.
“To reduce the chance of enduring such situations, I shaved my head but I still wear saggy pants,” Khaled said.

He stressed that what he is wearing must be conforming to his own personal choices and not of others.

“My saggy pants did not harm anyone,” he emphasized.

Sameh also a young man from Gaza tried to explain reasons behind youths’ way of expression.

“As young people, we are enduring a difficult situation; we do not have a role model that would inspire us. Our future is ambiguous and we lack ambitions, yet we are not complaining, so let them leave us alone,” he said.

Sameh also voiced a similar opinion to Khaled when he said, “we are not breaching the law with our haircuts or outfits.”

As the news of a campaign by security officers against saggy pants started proliferating, Islam Chahwan, the spokesman of the Ministry of Interior denied that there is such campaign.

He said that his ministry does not interfere in the personal lives of citizens in Gaza.

“We have not received complaints from the citizens regarding such issues, but maintaining the morals and values of the Palestinian society is highly required.”