World Keffiyeh Day was thought up by a Palestinian student who wanted to use what is considered the most iconic symbol of Palestine, the Keffiyeh, as a visual means to raise awareness about the Palestinian cause and their right to justice and dignity. With the strong backing of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) – a student-run organization at Concordia University – Montreal, Canada, World Keffiyeh Day was established.
World Keffiyeh Day – May 11th
Wear your keffiyeh on this day & show support for Palestine #keffiyehday
— Keffiyeh Day (@KeffiyehDay) April 26, 2017
It was first launched and celebrated on May 11, 2016, and the response to the movement was heart-warming. People from all over the world shared photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram wearing their Keffiyeh with messages of support for a nation of people who simply want the right to self-determination and freedom.
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) May 11, 2016
The Keffiyeh itself holds no affiliation with any political groups but has personal meaning to many Palestinians and its supporters worldwide as a symbol of patriotism, hope and resistance. The founders of World Keffiyeh Day want to use the scarf as a way of positively encouraging people to learn about Palestinians and their culture but also to understand the “Nakba” (meaning the catastrophe in Arabic) the day that led to the displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes leading to millions of Palestinian refugees all over the world today.
With the extraordinary power of social media, the dedication of student groups and the support of charitable organizations the movement has been possible. World Keffiyeh is to be commemorated on an annual basis on 11th of May. To be a part of the movement photos can be shared under the hashtag #keffiyehday.