Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #585 - I am wearing my Keffiyeh in solidarity and support
Back in 1989, a friend of mine gave me this Keffiyeh. At the time, I did not understand it's significance.
I wore it for many years like many white "hipsters" (I don't really consider myself a hipster but whatever) without really knowing its meaning.
Later, when I learned of significance as a symbol of Palestinian Nationalism, and I decided to stop wearing it.
So I have started wearing it again because I do support the Palestinian nationalist movement while also seeing that the Keffiyeh is a well known symbol of struggles throughout the Middle East, especially for people who do not fully understand its origins and variations (different colors).
I am sympathetic to the issues Jews have with the Palestinians, but then I also know a lot of pro-Israel Jews who are vehemently opposed to the actions Prime Minister Netanyahu.
But for many, the Keffiyeh has been linked unfairly with violent terrorism.
This is an unfair depiction.
Given the recent actions of the Trump administration, it is time to call attention to many of the real issues of the Middle East and of its truths.
There are Syrian refugees in our country traumatized at what they have been through and what they had to escape.
Our so-called "president" is trying to bar entrance of people from Syria and six other Muslim nations from our country in the belief that this makes us safer from terrorism.
It's this same thinking that sees the Keffiyeh as symbolic of a "murderous jihad" rather than as a symbol of peaceful protest.
The current "presidential" administration is fueling hate that may make muslim people, some of whom that were actually born in this country, feel unwelcome simply for being muslim, simply because of fear-mongering.
I want to raise awareness.
I want to stand beside my Muslim friends. They belong here.
I want to hold the hands of Syrian children suffering PTSD from what they have experienced that's too much for adults let alone small children under the age of ten. They are welcome here.
I am so proud of my university for not just paying lip service to this solidarity but being proactive about it as an image farther down displays.
And yet some white reactionaries find any use of the Keffiyeh by other white people objectionable. I have shared some of this text here.
But it's the piece by Ben Norton that may be the best. It's okay to show solidarity, especially if you understand the meaning of the symbol you wear.
I am happy to say that my Keffiyeh was made by Palestinians.
Here we are.
We stand united.
Hate has no home here.
Some are repeated below.
|me at WMU 1702.09|
The keffiyeh, for those that don’t know, is an Arab headdress for men, usually woven with a distinctive check pattern and lined with knotted tassels. It may not sound familiar, but trust me, you’ve seen one before: Yasser Arafat wore one, Lupe Fiasco wears them, and chances are that one third of postmodernism-loving Rhodes BA students wear them on a regular basis.
“So what?” you may ask. Well, bluntly put, the keffiyeh is a potent symbol of Palestinian nationalism. Much in the same way as the old driekleur flag is a symbol of Apartheid and repression in today’s South Africa, the keffiyeh represents a range of strong values: to Jews, it would represent terrorism; to Arabs, political resistance and nationalism; to young Western youth, a cute accessory to match with your edgy Che Guevara (“Oh, he’s that bicycle guy, right?”) t-shirt.
The keffiyeh began its ascent into Western fashion culture in the early 1980s when it caught on as a symbol of support for Palestinian freedom amongst politically-active non-Arab American students. Wearing the keffiyeh was a potent political statement to make too: The Independent called the keffiyeh “a symbol of Islamic militancy” while Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero was criticized by opposition parties after posing with a keffiyeh and was accused of “anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and Israelophobia”.
At this juncture in history, however, the keffiyeh is usually labeled as “cute”, “stylish” and “edgy” by fashion kids who know nothing about politics or current affairs outside of what they read in underground Cape Town fashion magazines. Vacuous hipster culture strips any sort of historical or cultural significance from garments in a ridiculous race to find the most ironic or esoteric clothes available. While Hollywood celebrities and American rappers may find the keffiyeh a radical accessory, the mass production and ignorant wearing of the keffiyeh cheapens the very values that it stands for, good or bad. To put it into perspective, I would liken the wearing of the keffiyeh by politically-retarded youths to the story of a friend of mine who wore a silver ring from the Silver Ring Thing (a movement that persuades youths to promise to not have pre-marital intercourse) while she consummated her relationship with her 16 year old boyfriend for the first time: she said afterwards that she only made the promise so that she could get “the sweet-lookin’ ring”.
Dumbass hipsters wearing keffiyehs is equivalent to gorilla-brained gangster rappers spouting ineloquent and violent lyrics while wearing giant crucifixes and, better yet, encrusting them with diamonds and rubies. The keffiyeh is as ubiquitous with Western perceptions of terrorism as HAMAS is, as symbolic of Palestinian and Arab liberation in so much as Timothy Leary is symbolic of LSD. Instead now, the keffiyeh is now symbolic of the constant and indifferent ignorance of “indie” hipsters today, of disrespectful Western society and part of a symbolic dumbing-down of intellectual culture. Along with Nietzsche and Chuck Palahniuk, the keffiyeh is now on the road to hipster decontextualisation, cultural stripping and assimilation into a self- and image-obsessed culture that feeds off of its own vanity and superfluousness.
(Dunno what a keffiyeh is? Bloody look it up, then!)
|me at WMU 1702.09|
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
I miss you so very much, Mom.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 587 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1702.09 - 10:10
NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.