Every culture looks for creative inspiration to other cultures, but is there a point when this is just outright theft?
I committed my first act of cultural appropriation when I was three years old. I was given a keffiyeh, the checkered scarf that is a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. My grandmother had more important things to worry about than Middle Eastern politics, and keffiyehs were readily available in the markets in Dubai where she lived. It became my comfort blanket when my mother took me there on a long visit. I brought it with me when we returned home to suburban London and I dragged it around for a few years, occasionally using it to dress up as a shepherd for school nativity plays. Towards the end of the second intifada in 2004, a cousin came to stay and spotted it at the back of my wardrobe. She was desperate to borrow it because, she said, ‘terrorist scarves’ had become ‘all the rage’ at school.