Figure 1.--While we have little information on Lebonese schools at this time, we do have some information on the French schools in Lebanon. French schools in Lebanon, like this school in 1964-65, appear to have been very insistant that boys and girls wear smocks to school. The smocks here look to be the same color although there were styling differences. One older boy in the backrow is wearing a pinafore style smock.
We have no information on Lebanese schools at this time. France played an important role in Lebanon. Lebanon had been a part of the Ottomon Empire until the British drove them out at the end of World War I. France created a protectorate for Lebanon and thus help found the modern school system. While we have little information on Lebonese schools at this time, we do have some information on the French schools in Lebanon. French schools in Lebanon appear to have been very insistant that boys and girls wear snocks to school. Most of the smocks appear to have been a light color, perhaps blue. Styles varied widely. Almost all were sleeved smocks. We note very few pinafore-style smocks. The detailing, waistband, buttons, pockets, ect. were all done in different ways. Most of the boys' smocks were colarless. Curiously many girls wore front buttoning smocks. The boys appear to have more commonly worn side or back buttoning smocks. Given the warm climate they were usually wirn with short pants. The girls always wore dresses.
School smocks are worn in many other Arab countries from Syria to
Morocco. I believe that this is at least in part the impact of French and Italian colonial rule and influence, but we have also noted them in areas influenced by the British like Palestine. I'm less sure about the origins of the smocks Turkish school children wear. The boys at the French school seen here wear their smocks with short pants. Arab boys generally wear their smocks with long pants.
A Swiss reader tells us, "These photographs of Lebanese schools could have been taken in schools in Geneva. But it was for other reasons that Lebanon was called the Little Switzerland of the Middle East.
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