Tying a Keffiyah (كوفية)

Keffiyehs (كوفية) are extremely beautiful traditional Arab head wear found throughout the Middle East. They protect from the harsh desert sun and also do well in the bitter desert cold. They come in many colors, which often signify various groups and countries – the red ones are associated with Jordan. Most have a very distinct, stately checked pattern. They have come to really represent the region and are a symbol that is still a huge part of Arab life and a point of genuine, unassuming pride. Students at school wear them as scarves when it’s cold out, many older men wear them daily and they are found often in elements of design (like pink breast cancer ribbons here are designed like little keffiyehs!).

One great thing about keffiyehs is that they can be worn in literally hundreds of different ways. Often they are seen worn un-folded with a black rope-like thing circling the heard, though they can just be tied on the head, which is how I prefer to wear it. Now, some of you that knew me 3rd year in college, or that have done manual labor with me on an ASB trip or something know that I am a little bit enamored with bandannas. Naturally, I just as enamored with keffiyahs, which are big, pretty, glorified Arab bandannas. Awesome.

Here’s how I tie mine:

  1. First, fold it in half to make a triangle and put the middle part of the big side of the triangle in the middle of your forehead right below your eyes.
  2. Then, let the top of the triangle hang down behind your head and grab the other two corners.
  3. Take each one and wrap it all the way around your head and tuck it into itself.
  4. Then, take the part covering your eye and fold up around the parts that you wrapped around your head.
  5. Tuck all the frillies into this fold, adjust and ENJOY!

Posted on November 21, 2009, in Jordan, Living Abroad, Travelling. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. you and your bandanas. I love it– and you!!!

  2. i actually meant to tell you i saw someone running with a bandana on the other day and it reminded me of your obsession.

  3. wait…are those photos supposed to correspond with your steps? i dont really see it…

  4. May I have the YouTube link of this Keffiyah-how to?

  5. i used to have to make a keffiyah around your buttocks. it was hard though because you used to lay such monster dinosaur eggs.

  6. all right…who’s the jokester posing as “mom”? Is that you Donovan?!?

  1. Pingback: An Arab Bow Tie « Bowman in Arabia

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