Friday, 30 May 2008

Dilemma: Keffiyeh or Krama?

The blogosphere (and cable news) are buzzing with the hilarious news that a bunch of ideologues forced Dunkin Donuts to pull an ad featuring a celebrity chef because she was wearing what was erroneously seen as a keffiyeh. The ideologues of course, consider the keffiyeh as a "symbol of violence and of anti-Israel sentiments".

This utter stupidity is compounded by the fact that the scarf is a traditional head gear worn by many tribal societies in the Middle East. The king of Saudi Arabia (currently our administration's best friend, our suppliers of oil and buyers of our government's Treasury Bills) wears one...the king of Jordan (another of our allies) wears one, as well as members of Jordan's elite military forces.

But setting this silliness aside...what are photographers and photojournalists to do now? Do we wear our keffiyehs (right) and risk being labeled as Arab sympathizers by xenophobes? What if we wore our krama (left) scarf instead? Would we be labeled as Khmer Rouge sympathizers? Oh my gosh, this is a "serious" dilemma, folks.