The Palestinian Keffiyah or shemagh is an iconic symbol for the history and heritage of Palestine. The Middle Eastern countries have a rough past and the keffiyeh is a symbol of their spirit and their survival. Originally the Keffiyah comes in a black and white pattern. The cloth being light and of the best quality, the originality of the keffiyeh is its true essence. The market place is full of cheap keffiyeh that have been produced at a very low cost, not keeping the quality and authenticity of the culture in mind.
The Hirbawi textile factory is the only and the last Keffiyah producing factory in Palestine. The authentic Palestine Keffiyahs are made with great honor here. Originally established around half a century ago, this factory is now managed by Hirbawi’s three sons and a family friend who works together to keep the tradition alive. The pattern has a lot of interpretations. While some believe it to be a symbol of the dirt and sweat wiped off from a worker’s brows, many think it to resemble a honeycomb. Some also believe it to a symbol of joining hands.
The keffiyeh or the shemagh represents true Palestinian culture and it is because of the multi-purpose utility that it has become a necessity for most military forces too.
In many parts of the world, where the environment is harsh, keffiyehs are worn to protect oneself from the dust and the sand. It is beautiful the way the world has adopted this culture. However, if you truly wish to respect Palestinian culture, it is best that you wear a Hirbawi Keffiyeh to support the Hirbawi factory.
Different colors and different patterns adorn the shelves of shops that claim to sell kufiya but most of them are not authentic. The black and white pattern is the original pattern, however, the cloth makes a huge difference too. Different colors have different meanings when it comes to keffiyehs. The descents of the prophet wear a dark blue one as a symbol of their lineage while the pure white keffiyehs are often associated with Persians or those along the Arabian Gulf. Talking about a very loose version of the black and white pattern of the original Keffiyahs, it is often related to Yasser Arafat and Palestine. There also comes a Keffiyah with white and red pattern which is associated with Jordan while the black and white ones are related to Iraq.
Different colors symbolize different origins but the authentic Hirbawi Keffiyeh is renowned all over the world.
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