Monday, August 2, 2010

Globalization In Action, Palistinian symbol now made mostly in China

In a rundown office to the side of a gloomy and deserted breeze-block factory, 76-year-old Yasser Hirbawi is hunched on a low couch turning his life's work over and over between his fingers.
In his lap – and on his head – are specimens of what has become the internationally recognised symbol of the Palestinian national struggle, the kaffiyeh, the chequered headscarf worn by politicians and militants alike and adopted not just by their supporters but by fashionistas across the globe.
But the kaffiyeh's ubiquity is of small comfort to Hirbawi, his two sons and the sole employee left in the last factory making the headscarves in the Palestinian territories. After almost 50 years, the family business is struggling to keep afloat amid a flood of cheap Chinese imports.
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