//Skip to content

What Does the Palestinian ‘Keffiyeh’ Symbolize?

October 23, 2023

One of the most popular symbols of Palestinian resistance over the last decades is the Palestinian keffiyeh (scarf). Although it seems like a mere checkered black-and-white scarf, the Palestinian keffiyeh resembles the epitome of solidarity with the Palestinian cause and its campaign for freedom. This traditional Palestinian scarf was originally worn by farmers. However, between 1936 and 1939, during the Arab revolt in Palestine, Palestinian resistance fighters wore the keffiyeh over their faces to protect their identity from British soldiers. According to several sources, the Palestinian keffiyeh became linked to the history of the country’s struggle. Worn by Palestinian men and women, the keffiyeh has multiple patterns, each representing different symbols. Historically, Palestine was a hub for importing and exporting goods to the entire region, with a long history of merchant travel and cultural exchange. Consequently, the interlocking bold squares reflect trade routes that connected Palestine to other parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, and the historical significance of trade to the Palestinian economy. On the other hand, the fishnet pattern represents the fishing traditions of the Palestinian coastal communities. Some like to consider it a metaphor…

Hi guest,

You've read all of your free articles.
Subscribe now to support independent journalism and to enjoy:

Unlimited access to all our articles

Exclusive events and offers

First access to new premium newsletters

Ability to comment on articles

Full user profile