The popular black and white checkered scarf has long been fashionable

The popular black and white checkered scarf has long been fashionable
The headscarf was worn by Bedouins. It can be cotton, silk, some people had a scarf around their neck. The scarf officially entered political life in 1968.
The black and white checkered scarf originates from Quf, a city in Iraq. This is where the name of the scarf “kufija” (Arabic kifiyya, kafiyya, kefiyya) comes from. The headscarf was initially worn by local Bedouins and farmers. Over time, it becomes a part of traditional clothing in the entire Arab region.
A scarf is a square piece of white fabric. Part of the scarf is fringed. The scarf is made of cotton, silk, semi-silk, linen, wool, and now more and more artificial materials. The scarf is roughly square in the middle. Stripes are woven or embroidered on the ends (most often in black or red, but also in blue, lilac or another color). Design and material vary depending on the area. Thus, the “kufia” in Saudi Arabia is almost always white, in the United Arab Emirates it is red, while in Palestine it is black. The common mark is roughly “Made in China”. Quality kufiyya are recognized by the woven and interlaced patterns and the quality of the material. They can be bought in stores with various clothes, but also in other specialized stores.
The scarf “kufiyya” protects from the strong sun. It protects against desert storms, i.e. dust and sand by covering the eyes and mouth. With this scarf, you can also inconspicuously hide your face in accordance with your needs.
There are 2 basic ways to use a scarf. Diagonally bent, it is an ideal scarf for tying a turban, which is attached to the head with a strong cord made of red goat’s hair (Arabic “aqal”). In Palestine, the kufi is placed directly on the head. In the Emirates, a special cap is placed under the headscarf (which somewhat contributes to the better appearance of the kufi). The ends of the scarf are worn forward, backward, folded and otherwise. Thus, to some extent, it can be concluded (by looking at the color and the way the headscarf is worn) where the person wearing the headscarf comes from. In Europe and the rest of the world, scarves are mostly cheap products. They are worn around the neck as a scarf and can be seen more and more often in street fashion in recent years.
In the era of the Arab uprising against the British colonial rule in Palestine (1936-1938), the kufi (until then only a part of traditional clothing) acquired political significance for the first time. She used Muhammad Amin Al-Husseini as a symbol of recognition for the insurgents of that time. Today’s popularity and the name “Palestinian scarf” gained 70 years in the 20th century. This happened thanks to the leader of Fatah – Yasser Arafat (who was also the most important person of the PLO-Palestinian Liberation Organization). Jasser Arrafat appeared with a black and white kufia, which became his trademark and world-famous at the same time. Hence the name “Arafat’s scarf” in German. He wore the kufi in his own way (the headscarf fell over the right shoulder and ended in the shape of a pleated triangle. Its shape thus resembled the borders of Palestine.) Thus, this black and white headscarf became typical of Aarafat’s nationalist Fatah. Sympathizers of the “left” organizations preferred the red kufiya (with the fact that in Palestine this commitment was not followed to the end).
The scarf “Kufijyya” is also used in the army mostly due to its practicality
The headscarf was also adopted by British soldiers in the Second World War. British soldiers were engaged in the Middle East and North Africa. They wore a headscarf all the time, although it did not become part of their official military uniform. A similar phenomenon has also been observed in recent years with Western armies, American and German, which were engaged in Afghanistan until September 2021. Kufis were used there as camouflage in olive-green or khaki color with a black pattern.
Kufija also entered daily politics from the time of the student protests in 1968. Palituch has become a symbol of solidarity with the PLO among the “left” oriented youth and also in the subculture. Wearing a kufi was then also the most obvious confirmation of expressing personal affiliation (especially to the anit-imperialist current within the political left camp and the alternative scene. Thus, the kufi is understood as a sign of resistance to repression and a symbol of personal freedom. Members of the Hippy movement also wore it in this sense.
Kufija found its own way as part of the fashion scene, that is, a fashion detail (without this political symbolism). This happened especially among young German-speaking people (Germany and Austria). The anti-German political current, on the other hand, and parts of the anti-national left criticize the wearing of the kufia as a symbol of the struggle and terrorism against Israel.
Finally, since the end of the 90s in the 20th century, this scarf is increasingly worn among “right-wing” extremists as well as neo-Nazis (thus expressing their own anti-Israeli-motivated support for Palestine in the Middle East conflict or, simply, anti-Semitism with implied references.

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