Thanks in part to the internet, and to the years since then that people have had to research these things, there is a better understanding of correct costuming for the cultures of the Near and Middle East. An entire community and culture has grown up in the SCA around this facet of the Society. At last, newcomers have access to good examples and good teachers to help them find their path (something I didn't have at that point in time).
Please don't think I feel that Ghawazee coats and traditional ATS costume and dance have no place in the SCA, I actually think they do. The Society requires that one make an "attempt" and I feel very much that both of those meet that criteria. I do believe in honesty though, and in knowing what it is that you are wearing/doing and where it came from. This way, if asked, you can state that it's not period, but it's perhaps something you already had or something you thought might work for nights at Pennsic. It helps prevent further confusion. More on all this later at a later date, as I actually have a lot more to say on the subject.
The point of this bit of background is that in the early days there were not a lot of resources at events like Pennsic and it was often hard to wade through the massive class list to find exactly what you wanted and even more difficult to find locations for classes in private camps. I remember those early Pennsics where I roamed around the lake for hours trying to find Orluk Oasis and the classes that were being held there. It was frustrating.
That all changed about five or so years ago, when a friend asked for help putting together a Middle Eastern supplement for the official Pennsic Schedule. There were some issues that were going to prevent all of the classes from being published and he wanted to make sure that good things did not get missed.
I offered to do the task and to that end I created Haberci... a flyer not only of the official classes on the Middle Eastern track, but also an unofficial schedule of haflas, roundtables, henna parties and the like. The publication (which is available for free on site at Your Inner Vagabond and at Touch the Earth) was such a hit that I have continued the tradition. Haberci even went to Gulf Wars this year, thanks to another enthusiastic individual! It is my hope that there will be non-War Haberci issue this winter. Maybe it will be Haberci: The Peace Edition.
For those interested in learning more, check out the Facebook page for Haberci news: https://www.facebook.com/PennsicHaberci
For those who want to see the last few issues, click below :-)