Friday, May 30, 2008

Cheeseburgers, Coca-Cola, and Keffiyehs... We'd Americanize the Air if We Could.

courtesy of

In May 2008, Dunkin' Donuts discontinued an online ad featuring Rachael Ray wearing a scarf after conservative columnists like Michelle Malkin claimed the scarf resembled a keffiyeh. Fox News stated in a report that it symbolizes Palestinian terrorists.

[Full MSNBC article here.]

More about keffiyeh's from Wikipedia...

The keffiyeh is a traditional headdress of Arab men, made of a square of cloth ("scarf"), usually cotton, folded and wrapped in various styles around the head. It is commonly found in arid climate areas to provide protection from direct sun exposure, as well as for occasional use in protecting the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand. Some wearers wrap the keffiyeh into a turban, while others wear it loosely draped around the back and shoulders. The Jordanian keffiyeh has cotton decorative strings on the sides. It is believed that the bigger these strings, the more value it has and the higher a person's status. It has been used by Bedouins throughout the centuries and was used as a symbol of honour and tribal identification.

In the 1960s, the keffiyeh became a symbol of Palestinian nationalism as a result of its association with rural areas (as opposed to the city-dweller's fez). Early on, he had made it his personal trademark to drape the scarf over his right shoulder only and arranging it in the rough shape of a triangle, so resembling the outlines of the territory claimed by Palestine.

This symbol of Palestinian identity is now largely imported from China, in 2008 Yasser Hirbawi who for five decades had been the only Palestinian manufacturer of keffiyehs told Reuters that "Two years ago I had to close down my factory because I couldn't compete with Chinese-made Hattas (keffiyehs) that sell for 40 percent less."

In 2007, the American clothing store chain, Urban Outfitters, stopped selling keffiyehs after "a pro-Israel activist ... complained about the items" and issued a statement that "the company had not intended 'to imply any sympathy for or support of terrorists or terrorism' in selling the keffiyehs and was pulling them."[

[Read more at wikipedia.]

I guess Urban Outfitters decided to ignore the flack from 2007 and sell them again?

Even if they change the patterns and colors, the inspiration is unmistakable:

Enter... A PEACE TREATY, an evolving collection aimed at creating ethically-produced, artisan-level accessories and apparel for the luxury fashion marketplace.
Their website states that the company began as a personal treaty between Farah Malik, a Pakistani Muslim, and Dana Arbib, a Libyan Jew. A PEACE TREATY creates employment for skilled artisans working in places of socio-political strife. A PEACE TREATY also donates to Counterpart International, helping bring medical supplies to Darfur.

(ranging from $88-$109 for the larger scarves)

Wear it with a cause. Fashion for a benefit. Urban Outfitters has nothing on that...

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