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The Keffiyeh

scarfOne of my Russian friends refers in his post today to the Palestinian headgear called the keffiyeh. I often wondered if it had any significance.

Apparently it has been a symbol of Palestinian Nationalism since the Great Revolt in the 1930s but since Yasser Arafat chose to wear it draped over his right shoulder in the rough triangular shape of Palestine it has signified the beginning of the Palestinian resistance movement of the 1960s. Arafat was rarely seen without his distinctively-arranged black-and-white scarf.

As with other articles of clothing worn in wartime, the T-shirt, fatigues and khaki pants, the keffiyeh has been seen as chic among non-Arabs in the West. For a while it became symbolic of socialist activism and of rebellious behaviour in many parts of the world.


"Activist Chic" also seems to include pictures of Ernesto Guevara, who was in charge of executions in the Cuban police state. Always entertaining to see who "Humanists" idolize.