Hirbawi Textile Factory produces Kufiya, the iconic patterned scarves worn around the Middle East. The factory is “the only and the last” to produce Kufiya in Palestine, says manager Abdul Hirbawi with some pride. Other countries in the Middle East where the Kufiya is popular, like Jordan or Syria, produce their own -slightly different- versions. Hirbawi is the only factory in Palestine producing the original Kufiya, which usually awaits sale in the factory's small backroom shop.
A street vendor in Bethlehem offers foreign-made kufiyas to a group of tourists. Because kufiyas imported to the West Bank are typically loosely woven from cheaper material, they can cost a quarter of the price of an original kufiya.
Poorly produced imported kuffiya hangs outside a shop in Bethlehem. Yassar Hirbawi says that while the popularity of the kufiya is increasing, his factory's sales are down dramatically, due to cheaper imports, primarily from China.
all rights @Palestine Speaks