Made in Palestine: Kufiya Scarves as a Symbol of Liberation

Resistance. It has many forms. In Palestine, Palestinians are using stones to keep Zionists out, but what can we, outside of Palestine, do to help? Maybe the only things we can do look pretty insignificant, but the Palestinian Yassar Hirbawi will show us why it does mean a lot.

We all know the typical Palestinian kufiya’s, the often black and white scarfs, that symbolise the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Those scarfs were traditionally worn by the Palestinian farmers, but became one of the most powerful symbols for the Palestinian resistance.

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The prominence of kufiya’s were mostly because of Yasser Arafat’s clothing style, he would wear kufiya’s throughout his career and in 1960 it truly became the symbol of the Palestinian liberation struggle.

Kufiya’s from Hirbawi

The beloved ‘made in Palestine’-scarves are unfortunately threatened with extinction. There is only one kufiya producer left in al-Khalil, Palestine, which already is producing half of the amount it was producing two decades ago.

Yassar Hirbawi founded the ‘Hirbawi’-business at the age of 33. The business soon became a family business, his sons picked up his talent and are now working together.

For Yassar, his business is a fight against the occupation. “It’s our past, future…It means everything,” he says. Hirbawi encounters a lot of global competition, because of the lower prices big companies offer in, for example, China. “But what can we do? It’s our work and our life, and, if God will, we will never stop producing original kufiyas made in Palestine.”

A Palestinian man wears a keffiya headdress in the West Bank city of Hebron

Let’s save Hirbawi together!

Buying products from Hirbawi could save this beautiful authentic business. And what is more beautiful than walking in the streets with our head high because of our precious, Palestinian-made scarves?

You can order a kufiya at their site.

Yallah! We are all Palestine, كلنا فلسطين !

Written by Mayada Srouji

Mayada Srouji

Mayada Srouji is a 23-year-old student Gender and Diversity at the UGent and has a bachelor in Arabic and Islamic Sciences, with a minor in political and social sciences. She is interested in women rights, philosophy, literature and history.