Friday, January 11, 2008

More kufiyaspottings (#30-32): Israeli Version with Star of David, Bush/Olmert/Peres, Hip Elbow Patch

Three more recent kufiya (كوفية) items.

(1) From a very informative blog, Culture et politique arabes, authored by Yves Gonzalez-Quijano, who teaches Arabic literature at l'université Lyon2. (Warning, francophobes, it's all in French.) He does a very nice job of providing an overview of the history of the kufiya and its recent inroads into the world of fashion. Two observations of particular interest. First, that, in response to the explosion of kufiyas in Western fashion, an Israeli designer has come up with a blue-and-white kufiya, in the colors of the Israeli flag, with the design of the Star of David. (You might have to look at the photo for a minute, like I did, to see the six-pointed star.) I've not been able to determine which designer is doing this.

Gonzalez-Quijano concludes by observing that despite its current fashionability, and much like the image of Che Guevara, "the Palestinian keffieh hasn't totally lost its evocative power," as evidenced by this photo of Hugo Chavez.

If you weren't convinced, how about this poster, plastered around Israel by extreme right-wing activists in anticipation of Bush's visit?

Six activists were arrested on the charge of vandalism, for putting up the posters, as reported by Ynet. The belong to the extreme right Jewish National Front, founded in 2004, which calls for Palestinians (both in Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza Strip) to be "encouraged" to emigrate. They oppose the withdrawal of Israeli civilians and military from any Palestinian territory, and therefore consider Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and Israeli President Shimon Peres (depicted here along with W) to be traitors.

Note that the kufiyas on their heads are arranged in the very distinctive style of late Palestinian president and PLO leader Yasir Arafat, as if to associate them with the ultimate "terrorist." (Note: Bush's niece Lauren has actually been kufiyaspotted.) Thanks to John L. Knight for alerting me to this item.

Finally, kabobfest has spotted another kufiya fashion line, this one from a New York outfit called Kiser. Read about it here. A "Kefia Shawl Collar Sweatshirt." Only $86. Very hip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


3 hours on a saturday in 5 big german cities.