In Attire
The keffiyeh
The keffiyeh

The keffiyeh is more than a piece of fabric. It is more than a headscarf. And it is most definitely more than a prop Hollywood movies use for a character playing a  “terrorist.” Instead, it serves as a symbol of my culture, a culture that is rich in history, resilience, and unity. For me, I was given my keffiyeh in the desert of Petra, Jordan, one of the seven wonders of the world. I was making my way to the ancient treasuries when a local Bedouin handed me my very own keffiyeh. He offered to place it on my head, and I quickly agreed. With careful hands, he wrapped the distinctive fabric around my head. As the Bedouin was tying the last loose end, he spoke to me in Arabic, saying, “You look like a beautiful Arabian.” At that moment, I felt more connected to my culture than ever before. Not only were his words a kind compliment but they were connected to a heritage that I am proud to have. Growing up, my grandma taught my sister and me about our Jordanian culture. I learned very quickly that my family's journey wasn’t an easy one. Coming to this realization gave me a deeper sense of appreciation and compassion. When the keffiyeh was placed on my head a slew of emotions flooded my mind. It reminded me of the hardships my family endured, and although I had not lived through them firsthand, my grandma's stories made them seem real. The keffiyeh holds many stories for people across the Middle East, but to me, it stands as a symbol of my culture and holds the importance of family. 

Place(s): Jordan, Middle East

– Victoria Khoury

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant