The sirwal, saroual, seroual, sarouel or serouel (Arabic: سِرْوَال / ALA-LC: sirwāl; Turkish: şalvar), also known as punjabi pants, are a form of Arabic baggy trousers predating the Christian era. They are typically worn in the Arabian Peninsula and other primarily Muslim countries, but also extensively in the Greek countryside (and other places in the Balkans) prior to WWII. The drawstring allows the sirwal to be worn at either the waist or hip level. Sirwal are worn by men under the thawb, or alone with some sort of loose top.
There are two types of sirwal, long and short. Short sarawil are worn by most Saudi men. Men of the Western Region usually wear long sarawil.
The seroual formed part of the standard uniform for the Mameluke squadrons of Napoleon's Imperial Guard, and for the Zouave and other North African regiments of the French Army from 1830 to 1962. The French Army version of the seroual was notable for being cut so widely that it did not require two separate trouser legs. During the American Civil War a number of volunteer regiments, designated as zouaves, also wore seroual breeches, though these were usually of chasseur design, being simply baggier versions of conventional trousers.
- Strachan, Edward (2009) Russian Orientalism & Constantinople, p. 150. Sphinx Fine Art At Google Books. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Pawly, Ronald (2012) Napoleon's Mamelukes, p. 46. Osprey Publishing At Google Books. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Smith, Robin (1996)American Civil War Zouaves, p. 52. Osprey Publishing At Google Books. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- The word is of Persian origin; [shalwār] (F. Steingass: Persian-English Dictionary, p.758a) was borrowed into Greek as σαράβαρα sarábāra, "loose trousers worn by Scythians" (Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon). The words used in Balkan languages came through the Ottoman Turks and did not continue the Ancient Greek designation.
- Thomas, Nigel (2012) Armies in the Balkans 1914-18, p. 23. Osprey Publishing. At Google Books. Retrieved 23 August 2013.