Kaffiyehs: Scarves And Minds

The pronunciation is tricky. So are the provenance and political implication of the scarf on sale from sidewalk vendors all over the East Coast. Say ka- fee-a, and the sound will be right. Wear the large, brightly checked square of cotton around the neck, shawl style over the shoulders or wrapped around the head, and the look will be perfect 1988 American street style. It is also what millions of Americans see on their TV screens practically every night, worn by Palestinians defying Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories.

There are indications that the kaffiyeh style, now competing with running shoes...

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