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One of the leading neckwear manufacturers and suppliers in China, Shengzhou Jinfa Necktie Co., Ltd is specialized in producing and customizing competitive and quality neckwear products either OEM-based or self-branded, including Jacquard or woven, yarn dyed or printed silk or polyester neckties, scarves, shawls, stoles and bow ties, etc. more>>

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printed silk scarf that tell a cover story

Font Size:big - mid - smallejinfatie   Release time 10-04-01 14:43     view:1164   coomment:0   source:

printed silk scarf  that tell a cover story

I had no idea that my distaste for photographers wearing keffiyehs — those black-and-white chequered Palestinian scarves made famous by Yasser Arafat — was so transparent until I worked on a magazine feature in Iraq with a Belgian photographer named Bruno. He told me that one of his fellow snappers had warned: “She’s great to work with, but for God’s sake, get rid of the keffiyeh — she hates them.” (For the record, I also hate those khaki vests with lots of pockets that some people feel the need to put on the moment they are anywhere near a war zone.)

For a female reporter working in the Islamic world, some form of head covering is de rigueur. Not only does it show respect for local culture, but a niftily placed shawl to hide my telltale blonde hair has enabled me to sneak into many a place, or travel along roads without any would-be kidnappers realising I was a foreigner. After more than two decades of reporting, I have the whole range, from colourful floaty dupattas to full-on black hijab with slits for eyes.

I recently moved to Washington, and you might think that I would be glad to shed them. But I now have my first-ever walk-in wardrobe, so after years of keeping my collection of scarves stuffed away in drawers, I can actually display them all on shelves.

Different scarves tell different stories — there’s the large gold-embroidered black shawl I used to sneak into Saddam’s Basra; the blue burqa that my female Afghan friends spent so long teaching me to walk in like an Afghan in; the gauzy green and yellow affair that got me my first interview with a military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, because he appreciated me wearing local dress; and the sequined Baluchi shawl from a fundamentalist friend who used to run reception centres for Arabs going to Afghanistan for jihad.

The floaty dupattas remind me of Benazir Bhutto, who had difficulty keeping them on her hair — as I do. There’s one of fine cream Kashmiri wool, embroidered with pink and blue flowers and tiny mirrors, which she gave me when I accompanied her on a trip to the mountainous Northern Areas when she was prime minister of Pakistan. It was presented to her by local people and — rather rudely, I thought — handed it straight to me. Less happily, there is a Sindhi ajrak, a black and red calico shawl, given to me by her husband, the current Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, after her death.

By far and away my favourite is a swathe of mint-green silk, delicately threaded with gold. I only need to look at it to be taken straight back to the glass-blower’s shop in Herat in November 2001, just after the fall of the Taliban. I found the shop near the Big Mosque, on the square where they sell peacock feathers to write with and fight with boiled eggs. The windows were so coated in dust that it was hard to see inside, but I was welcomed in by a white-bearded old man, who showed me rows of hand-blown coloured glasses, all slightly different in shape. He told me that with each one blown, he had whispered the name of an Afghan killed in the war. While I was marvelling at the glasses, he disappeared into the back with a lamp and returned with this magical silk. It was worn with use, and I imagined it on a princess in those Persian miniatures. Whenever I wear it I can smell the pines and hear the jangling horse carts of Herat, and remember both the cold and hunger, but also the hope of those days.

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