Supporters of the Palestinian struggle will don the black and white checked Palestinian scarf on Wednesday on World Keffiyeh Day. The day of solidarity is marked globally on the 11 May 2016. The Keffiyeh which is a traditional Arabian black and white scarf is a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against colonisation.
World Keffiyeh day which is celebrated ahead of Nakba Day on the 15 May, a watershed event in the history of Palestine. Nakba Day is a reminder of the forced removals of Palestinians after start of Israel’s occupation in 1948. In 1948 an estimated 700 000 people were either expelled or fled from Palestine and this resulted in hundreds of towns and villages being depopulated.
The keffiyah was famously worn by Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat and resistance fighter Leila Khaled. She shot to global fame after two aircraft hijacking operations she was involved with in 1969 and 1970. She became an icon for resistance when she was captured in a photo wearing her keffiyeh while clutching an AK-47 rifle.
On World Keffiyeh day people are asked to wear the Keffiyeh to remember the fight for Palesitnian freedom and the resistance against occupation. This year, the South African Muslim Network (SAMNET) will be creating awareness via many social networking sites.
“This initiative needed a voice and so we decided to assist,” says Anisa Essack from SAMNET.
There is only one factory that still produces the Keffiyeh. Most of the Keffiyehs today are the ones which are mass produced in China as well as India.
The original Keffiyeh is black and white and a silkier cotton than the mass produced ones.
“If you buy the Keffiyeh, make sure it’s an original one as the money goes toward the factory,” said Essack.
If you are wearing your Keffiyeh then take a picture and post on Instagram, Twitter or even Facebook with the hashtag #Keffiyehday.
VOC (Quaanita Satardien)