How Trump 'Revived the Market' for Palestinian Flags & Kaffiyehs in Lebanon

Published December 12th, 2017 - 09:11 GMT
Palestinian women and children take part in a protest in the refugee camp of Ain el-Helwe on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon Dec. 8, 2017 to denounce the widely criticised U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)
Palestinian women and children take part in a protest in the refugee camp of Ain el-Helwe on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon Dec. 8, 2017 to denounce the widely criticised U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)

 

  • There are ongoing demonstrations in Lebanon in solidarity with Jerusalem
  • This has caused a surge in the sales of Palestinian flags and kaffiyehs
  • One shop owner said he ran out of stock
  • Another joked that Trump's decision "revived the market"

 

In the old city of Sidon, where ancient markets are reminiscent of Jerusalem's, Nasser al-Ahmad wraps Palestinian kaffiyehs around his grandchildren's heads, Adam and Ahmad, in solidarity with Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem.

The traditional kaffiyeh, a black and white scarf that has become a symbol for Palestinian struggle and armed resistance, was also covering shop fronts and clothing stores in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp on Monday.

“It’s high time we return to the kaffiyeh,” said Ahmad, a driver in Wadi al-Zeineh in the Chouf district. “I want to get the message across that we and our children will not forget Palestine.”

In the midst of demonstrations of solidarity with Palestinians and protests against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, demand for kaffiyehs, Palestinian flags, and other symbols of the Palestinian cause have spiked.

“I ran out of kaffiyehs and flags and had to restock from the Sidon markets,” the owner of a small shop called Khaled al-Sheikh said.

 

 

Owner of a small shop, Hani al-Shahabi, was selling Syrian-made kaffiyehs for LL5,000 ($3.31) to LL7,000 apiece ($4.62). “A lot of customers are interested in the scarves and flags. Entire families are coming down to buy them,” Shahabi said.

On the streets of the camp, students wore kaffiyehs around their necks and heads, with some women used the scarves as hijabs to cover their hair. “The kaffiyeh is the emblem of the Palestinian cause and a symbol of our struggles,” said Palestinian student Wafaa Miyari.

Ahmad Sablini, a Lebanese antique seller joked that Trump’s decision had “revived the market.” He said the majority of his customers were Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian youths.

Outside the old Sidon markets, Palestinian flags hung from shopfronts mingling with Christmas trees and Santa puppets decorating the city. Some shop owners dressed their mannequins in traditional Palestinian clothing.

One of the owners of Akkawi game shop just outside the old Sidon market said the kaffiyeh market was also bringing business to the surrounding shops. “I’m not exaggerating when I say that ... everyone is engaged with the Palestinian cause,” the co-owner said.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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