The Knafeh T-Shirt – A collab with Alana Hadid

In deciding how to launch FYVP we felt it was important to start with Palestine. Supporting humanitarian assistance to Palestinians is a social issue we care deeply about and one we intend to return to in various ways over time. 

When I see Knafeh, I think about celebration. If I wanted to eat Knafeh on any given casual day, the dessert calls for a celebration, even if I had to make one up. I’ve also never eaten Knafeh alone. I think that’s the beauty of it. It’s traditionally made on a large circular pan that feeds a large party of people, therefore it’s enjoyed in a congregation.
--Saj Issa

Knafeh is a sumptuous, floral pastry dish traditionally served from large round saucers. It originated in Nablus, Palestine and is eaten in various forms throughout the Levant. To the Palestinians we spoke with in LA, the taste of Knafeh brings sweet memories of time spent with loved ones. It symbolizes home, and is an important form of national identity.

Knafeh is one of the most amazing desserts. My grandmother (my teta) made knafeh and it was sweet and crunchy and left me feeling loved. I think it’s a love note from Arab culture, tradition and it’s incredibly delicious.
--Alana Hadid
Our Knafeh T-Shirt displays Alana Hadid’s handwritten recipe, passed down from her family. The tee is reverse printed on recycled cotton, which gives the recipe image a delicately faded feel. The neck labels are designed with shirt sizes handstamped next to the Palestinian flag. 
I love Knafeh because it is a reminder of home and our culture. I always remember my grandma waking me up and telling me that Knafeh is ready, and the excitement I would feel hearing those words.
--Ali Sami Deeb

35% of proceeds from the Knafeh T-Shirt are donated equally to The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera). We chose these organizations for their transparent and effective work. The PCRF provides medical and psychiatric resources to children in Palestine and supports their journey abroad. Anera provides emergency relief as well as sustainable assistance to vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan.
FYVP’s mission is to use design to start conversations while funding humanitarian assistance organizations. We are an LA-based brand, and realize this location is far from Palestine and the experience of many Palestinians. This project is based on engagement with the Palestinian diaspora in LA, and together defining what it means to support Palestine. We are committed to the ongoing discussion of how to do our best, individually and communally.

In preparation for our release, we asked Alana a few questions about Palestine and her.

FYVP: Where are you, and your family, from? What brought you to LA?
Alana: I was born outside of Washington D.C. in Virginia. My father is Palestinian. He was born in Nazareth and my mother was born in New York. My father moved to LA when I was young and I moved here after college. LA has always felt like home.

FYVP: What are your three greatest passions?
Alana: Freeing Palestine and amplifying Palestinian voices, giving back to my community, and having fun and living a happy exciting life… oh wait and travel (sorry that’s 4).

FYVP: What will you be doing in 5 years?
Alana: Probably eating dinner in my house with family and friends.

FYVP: Does the diaspora have responsibilities to Palestinians in Palestine? If so, what are they?
Alana: Yes, we do. We have the responsibility to be loud, to remind our brothers and sisters back in our homeland that we haven’t forgotten them and their daily fight and to amplify the cause, speak with pride about not only the present but the rich long history. We have to never forget and never stop fighting.

FYVP: What were you taught about Palestine growing up?
Alana: That our family tree, just like that of so many Palestinian families, is firmly planted on Palestinian soil. That Palestine was a place for all and that freedom is possible, equality is reasonable and we will return.

FYVP: How do activism and fashion best work together?
Alana: They are a wearable reminder of the impact that we can have on people’s real lives.

FYVP: Describe your perfect day.
Alana: Sitting on my porch in Palestine, in a home that my family owns, next to my friends and family, no checkpoints, no differences, no injustices. Drinking tea and talking about who we can help with their freedom next.

Purchase the Knafeh T-Shirt in our shop.