American model Bella Hadid pays homage to Palestinian roots at Cannes Film Festival - GulfToday

American model Bella Hadid pays homage to Palestinian roots at Cannes Film Festival

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Bella Hadid.

Bella Hadid paid homage to her Palestinian heritage as she donned a red and white keffiyeh dress to the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday (May 23).

The 27-year-old made the statement amid the ongoing Israeli military action in Gaza which has sparked several gestures of solidarity across the media industry.

Earlier this week fans suggested that actor Cate Blanchett made a political statement with her dress on the red carpet at the festival, as she lifted the gown to reveal an emerald green lining.

Hadid’s dress appeared to have been fashioned out of a keffiyeh, a traditional Palestinian garment used to cover the head and face in hot weather, and originally used by farmers.

The pattern has been central to Palestinian culture for centuries, becoming a prominent symbol of nationalism around the time of the creation of the state of Israel in the 1940s.

The sarf has continually been used as a symbol of pro-Palestine support throughout Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza.

Fans admired the outfit as they said, “She always ate any dress she wears."

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Others suggested that the outfit was reminiscent of a “khaleeji shemagh”, a headdress worn in the Arabian Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia.

“That’s a khaleeji shemagh not a keffiyeh,” suggested one person.

Others believed the dress was a work around the ban on flags at the festival.

Hadid, who has been particularly vocal about her beliefs on the ongoing conflict for years, previously released a statement shortly after the October 7 Hamas attack as she urged people to speak out.

She expressed sympathy for victims of the Hamas attacks in Israel and advocated for “the people and children of Palestine”.

She explained that amid being sent “hundreds of death threats daily” and her phone number being leaked, she and her family have felt unsafe.

Despite these risks, Hadid wrote that “fear is not an option,” and added, “The people and children of Palestine, especially in Gaza, cannot afford our silence. We are not brave – they are.”

Earlier this month, Eurovision organisers rebuked Swedish singer Eric Saade for wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh on stage.

“All performers are made aware of the rules of the contest, and we regret that Eric Saade chose to compromise the non-political nature of the event,” said a spokesperson for the Europen Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The 33-year-old musician wore a keffiyeh tied to his arm at the competition’s opening performances.

The Independent 

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