The weather in DC this past week has been extremely cold. Walking around the city I can’t help but notice everyone bundled up; wearing their hats, boots, gloves and keffiyehs. Yes, keffiyehs. I see them everywhere. From the college students running to and from class to the professionals out on their lunch breaks. While there were always people who wore the keffiyeh, it’s become a popular fashion accessory as of late. Celebrities are now wearing them and fashion designers are making clothes inspired by them. Just the other day, my co-worker showed me a picture of a runway model wearing a dress that looked like a red and white keffiyeh. Even DC street vendors are selling them. I think it’s great to have what is largely a Palestinian symbol become mainstream. It’s cool.
However, I wonder if the people who buy the keffiyehs from the street vendors or the chic boutiques know that the keffiyeh is a symbol of Palestinian heritage, nationalism and solidarity. Some might. But most who buy them now, I fear, do not. There are some people, like conservative biaatch Michelle Malkin (remember the Dunkin’ Donuts/Rachael Ray controversy?), who would like you to believe that the keffiyeh, or apparently anything resembling it, is “hate couture”. She thinks that the symbolism behind our beloved accessory is “violent” and has “anti-Israel” overtones. Whatever hater! Thank God there are lots of people in this country who don’t listen to that kind of crap. But it’s scary the amount of people who actually do and believe it.
Like I said, it’s totally cool if people choose to wear the keffiyeh for its fashion appeal. Cause let’s face it; it does look pretty awesome. But people should also wear it knowing and being proud of what it truly represents; Palestinian heritage and nationalism. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.