BEING elected as First Minister will bring increased scrutiny to Humza Yousaf and his family.

However, while some of this scrutiny will no doubt be unwelcome, it also provides an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the ethnic and cultural diversity in Scotland that his victory is testament to.

On the day he was officially nominated to the office of First Minister by MSPs, Yousaf’s wife, Nadia El-Nakla, took the opportunity to do exactly that.

Walking the halls of the Scottish Parliament, El-Nakla wore a traditional Palestinian thobe – a garment that has come to embody the movement for a Palestinian state.

El-Nakla, an SNP councillor for the West End of Dundee, was born in Scotland to a Palestinian father and has previously spoken about the worry she feels for her family members in Gaza.

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In recent years the thobe – a intricately embroidered ankle-length robe worn throughout the Levant – has gained popularity as a means of subtle identification with Palestine.

The first female Palestinian member of the US Congress, Rashida Tlaib, wore her mother’s thobe at her official swearing in ceremony and called it an “unapologetic display” of her culture.

Women around the world have also posted pictures of themselves wearing thobes on social media as a means of political expression.

Farah Saleh, a Palestinian choreographer and dancer based in Edinburgh, told The National that about the thobe’s significance to Palestinians.

“We have so many different variations of thobes in Palestine,” she said. “Every city or even village has its own version.

The National:

“They look different according to whether you live in the mountains or close to the sea.

“We wear them during festive times but also as a sign of pride. There’s a big movement to reaffirm it as a traditional Palestinian dress.”

She added that seeing El-Nakla wear one in Holyrood filled her with pride.

“I felt really proud because as a Palestinian it really represents our struggle for existence.

“She’s representing herself, her own family, but it also means a lot as it represents resistance and the rights of all Palestinian people.

“It’s encouraging, and also somehow reassuring, to have a figure like her become so prominent in UK politics.”