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Anti-American, Pro-Palestinian T-shirts Newest Fashion Fad

February 19, 1991

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ The Gulf War has inspired another fashion fad - T-shirts and buttons bearing catchy pro-Iraqi, anti-American slogans that are letting trendy Jordanians display their views on the conflict.

The T-shirts, emblazoned with fiery political messages in English and Arabic and especially popular with teen-agers, flutter like banners outside shops in Amman’s main bazaar and fill the windows of fashionable boutiques and souvenir shops.

″It’s too cold now to wear the T-shirts in the street, but we wear the buttons all the time. They express how we feel,″ said 16-year-old Lina Adwan, who owns three of the shirts.

The best-selling model bears a bright red Scud missile and the caption, ″East or West, Al-Hussein is best,″ a reference to the name of the modified missile fired by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein against Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Another shows a blue world map resembling the logo of the United Nations, believed by some Jordanians to be an American tool, marked with a red stamp declaring ″Out of Order.″

Jordan is officially neutral in the Gulf War. But, with a majority of Palestinians among its 3.4 million people, popular sentiment has been for Saddam since he proposed linking a settlement of the gulf crisis to an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Linkage is reflected on another shirt, which pictures a map of Palestine dripping blood and one of Kuwait dripping oil.

Beneath each map are listed the U.N. Security Council resolutions that demand Israel’s withdrawal from Palestine and Iraq’s pullout from Kuwait. The two columns are linked by an equal sign and the question, ″Why not?″

Sadia, the commercial artist who has designed hundreds of the shirts since the war began, said she was inspired ″by the double standards employed in the case of Kuwait and Palestine.″

″U.N. resolutions demanding Israel’s withdrawal from Palestine have been unimplemented for years,″ she said. ″The United States and other major powers have been doing nothing about it ... yet they pulled all stops out and even went to war to see that similar resolutions referring to Kuwait are implemented.″

Part of the profit from the shirts, which sell for $10, is being donated to Palestinian relief funds. The buttons sell for $5.

Trendy Jordanians aren’t the only ones snapping them up.

″Foreign journalists like them very much. I have sold a great many,″ said the manager of a shop at the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman, where about half of the 400 visiting reporters are staying.

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