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The Jordanian keffiyeh has decorative cotton or wool tassels on the sides; the bigger these tassels, the greater the garment's supposed value and the status of the person wearing it.

This way of wearing the keffiyeh became a symbol of Arafat as a person and political leader, and it has not been imitated by other Palestinian leaders.

Another Palestinian figure associated with the keffiyeh is Leila Khaled, a female member of the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In Malaysia, the keffiyeh has been worn by Muslim women as one of hijab fashion and during Palestinian struggle against Israel that has caught the attention of international media, many Malaysians wore it to show solidarity for Palestine.

The keffiyeh, especially the all-white keffiyeh, is also known as the ghutrah.

The keffiyeh is worn by men of all ages, whether on the head or around the shoulders.

In Jordan, the red-and-white keffiyeh is strongly associated with the country and its heritage, where it is known as the shemagh mhadab.The scarf gained popularity during the Iran-Iraq war as a sign of Shi'a resistance against Saddam.The Chafiyeh is also worn by Basij members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as occasionally by members of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces.Several photographs of Khaled circulated in the Western newspapers after the hijacking of TWA Flight 840 and the Dawson's Field hijackings.These photos often included Khaled wearing a keffiyeh in the style of a Muslim woman’s hijab, wrapped around the head and shoulders.The tasseled red-and-white Jordanian shemagh is much thicker than the untasseled red-and-white shemagh seen in Persian Gulf countries.