The Yellow Man is quite a distinctive characteristic of my hometown, Aleppo. Nothing distinguishes him from the millions of other people who inhabit the city except his choice of clothing. I’d heard about him before seeing him in person. But a picture is really worth a thousands words. This guy roams downtown Aleppo dressed in a yellow suit, yellow shirt, yellow flat cap, yellow shoes, yellow socks, and holding a yellow rosary. This outfit would never change year round. Would never be added to or subtracted from. Rain or shine, hot or cold, summer or winter. The Yellow Man never stopped being himself. And he'd been keeping up the tradition since the early '80s.
Abu Zakkoor before Ramadan
There had been gossips and wild speculations about his occupation. All involving nefarious affiliations and unsightly people. Some, especially kids, were scared of him and kept their distance. But in general, the guy didn't bothered anyone and just kept up his yellow facade at all times.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise, given his popularity, that when this guy makes a radical revision to his outfit it becomes a news article. Abu Zakkoor, as it turned out, owns in the excess of 400 yellow suits of more or less the same color gradient and fabric. Complete with accessories. He decided, however, that for the month of Ramadan he should change into the traditional Galabeya (a traditional Arab dress for men, which in the Gulf is called a dishdash). Complete with the Yellow turban and, one would hope, a more functional yellow rosary. The refurbishment helps him pray the Taraweeh (the post-Isha prayers during Ramadan) more comfortably, as he claims. It’s also more adaptive to the sweltering heat in the month of August.
Abu Zakkoor during Ramadan
Upon asking him about his real job, the Yellow Man said: “I receive a stipend from certain groups in return for communicating the grievances of the poor and downtrodden citizens to the proper government officials in Damascus. If any citizen had been wronged we hope he’d come forward without hesitation because there are people who are prepared to help him.”
Does self publicity get better than this?
PR experts behold. You’ve been owned by a man in a yellow garb.