20 February 2010

Leaving Part of my Identity Behind

I love winter.
I love it for private reasons, but I also love it because I like to wear my scarves. I have scarves of every color imaginable.
But the scarves I love most are forbidden to me.
If I wear the red-and-white Kafiyya I get suspicious looks. I feel like people stare at me like I'm a strange kind of cheese and they try to figure me out. But it's not that bad - I can manage with that.
The problem arises when I walk out of the house with the black-and-white Kafiyya. It has long lost its meaning.
It has been politicized and then de-politicized.
Politicized when the west has turned it into a symbol of terrorism.
De-politicized when it started being mass-manufactured by brand labels in all colors of the rainbow and become a fashion statement.
So before I leave the house in the winter, I put on my black-and-white Kafiyya, wrap it around my neck, and contemplate the woman with the olive skin in the mirror for a few moments.
Then, with a thread of sadness unspooling from a corner of my heart, I take it off and hang it back, leaving a part of my very identity at home.


  1. It is strange how objects make our identity. Take the scarf for instance -- all said and done it is just a piece of cloth but the meaning and significance it has is just mind-boggling. Its interesting how these identities are formed and how they are retained long after the period has ended.

    It seems a bit ridiculous to even imagine that one cannot wear something without having any meaning attached. The world seems skewed!

    I liked the piece.

    Joy always,

  2. kafiya or not kafiya as long as we continue to have the olive skkinned woman!!!


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