The phonetic pronunciation for the Arabic word "keffiyeh" is kuh-fee-uh. The keffiyeh is a traditional Middle Eastern wool or cotton headdress that resembles a loose turban.
The keffiyeh is fashioned from a square scarf and is typically worn by Arabs and some Turks. Arabs residing in Arabia, Jordan and Iraq have worn the keffiyeh for over a century. The black and white keffiyeh grew as a symbol of Palestinian nationalism during the 1960s, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat adopted it as a symbol.
The keffiyeh is a practical attire item commonly found in arid regions, as it protects against sunburn, dust and sand. Keffiyeh have a distinctive checkered pattern, which may have originated from an ancient Mesopotamian representation of fishing nets or ears of grain.