9 interesting facts about the Palestinian keffiyeh (scarf)
10 years after the death of Yasser Arafat who brought the keffiyeh to the international stage, we take a look at its cultural roots and how it became a symbol of nationalism and resistance among Palestinians.
1. The keffiyeh was traditionally worn by Palestinian farmers to protect them from the elements while working in the fields
2. It became a symbol of nationalism during the Arab Revolt in the 1930s and a symbol of the Palestinian resistance led by Yasser Arafat
3. Yasser Arafat would drape part of his keffiyeh over his right shoulder to make it look like the map of Palestine
4. Globalisation drove Palestinian producers out of business. The scarves are now mainly produced in China
5. There is only one keffiyeh factory remaining in the Occupied Territories- The Herbawi Textile Factory located in the West Bank
6. For some, different colours of the keffiyeh began to be associated with certain political parties
7. The keffiyeh’s chequered pattern is thought to represent historical trading: fishing nets or ears of grain
8. The black and white square keffiyeh originated in Syria
9. Despite its political associations, the keffiyeh is in fact a deeply cultural and historical garment and its development in to a symbol of resistance grew with Palestinian society
This International Women's Day, on March 8th 2019, host your own afternoon tea and support the legacy of extraordinary Palestinian women like the late medic, Razan al Najjar.
All funds raised will go towards our Razan al Najjar Scholarship Fund which provides training to even more paramedics in Gaza.