About Us

Our Mission

AragApparel's mission is to design distinctive apparel and accessories that fuse together the rich legacies of African American, African, and Arab cultures, and to empower the individual with a long heritage to hold one's head and fist up high. 

What is a Keffiyeh? 

A Keffiyeh is a handmade traditional headdress that has been worn in North African and Arabian deserts for thousands of years. Keffiyehs have served as protection from the harsh elements of desert life. Their distinctive woven pattern may represent fishnets or ears of grain from farmers in ancient Mesopotamia.

Each culture has its unique stylistic preference and way of wearing Keffiyehs. Historically they represent solidarity with the Palestinians in their fight for justice. Recently however, they have become a very popular fashion trend worldwide. 

The A-rag

Our initial product that represents this cultural fusion is the A-rag. The A in A-rag stands for the African American, African, and Arab cultural legacies. It embodies aspects from all these cultures as a premium velvet Du-rag embellished with a customized Keffiyeh inspired design and traditional African patterns. 
To keep with the Keffiyeh's long-standing tradition as a handmade work of art, the original design of the A-rag was hand-drawn by the founder. It features the main characteristics of the Keffiyeh and also incorporates nuanced adaptations and artistic touches that take into account the shape, size, and texture of premium velvet Du-rag fabric. Each A-rag represents a specific cultural or historical theme, giving each one its unique story and identity. Visit our AragAcadamy page to access resources and read more in-depth about each of these unique themes. 
Founder Story

Youssef was born in Cairo Egypt and grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He taught Spanish in Washington DC for 5 years and currently works as a high school teacher in Philadelphia.

From brothers in his Washington DC neighborhoods to his students in the inner city, he learned of art and style of the wave culture. As all wavers know, waves are life and wearing the right Du-rag is an important decision we face every day, especially while in public.

Given his North-African cultural heritage, he’s been accustomed to wearing Keffiyehs on various occasions. However, their cotton material is not ideal for wavers since it sucks out moisture, causes frizz, and damages waves. He solved this problem by creating the A-rag, a product that functions as a premium Du-rag and provides the aesthetic appeal for the fashion conscious waver.

As an avid reader and consumer of good conversation with folks from a wide spectrum of cultures, he wanted to design a Du-rag that protected the splendor of a head of waves and made a fashion statement. AragApparel represents the historical and stylistic fusion of cultures that make up his collective cultural identity. Wearing an A-rag reconnects and reminds our communities of the legacy of these cultures. He hand-designs each A-rag style to empower the individual with high fashion and a long rich heritage to hold one’s head and fist up high.