Lifestyle & Belief

The Keffiyeh issue and fashion

This up and coming Lebanese designer says this is her best seller, and comes in all kinds of colors: these pocketbooks made with swatches of the keffiyeh. Different patterns mean different things and can show political affiliations. At $250 each she can barely keep these on the shelves, because this is the first time the West, or anyone outside the Middle East, has been interested, she says. Keffiyehs are sold all over the place in Beirut. This American was walking in a tourist area this week and she bought a pile of keffiyehs for family and friends back in the U.S. Her friends say this is something that people associate with the Middle East and don't know what it's about. This local college student just was bought a keffiyeh for a holiday present from his mother. He says he doesn't think at all about what the symbolism of the keffiyeh means, and that's offputting for the million or so Palestinians living in Lebanon. This man says the keffiyeh is just for Palestinians. This man says the black and white keffiyeh means one thing: that Palestinians suffered at the hands of Israel. He says if you don't get that, don't wear one. They're not very touchy about people wearing keffiyehs in other colors, they hope in fact that it sparks discussion. The keffiyeh has actually been in fashion for decades, but some in America still regard it as �Jihadi chic.� However the keffiyeh has been used for many political purposes. And that's why this man who runs a head shop of sorts in Lebanon refuses to sell the keffiyeh. For the moment there is no shortage to buy the popular scarf.

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