Potentially one of my biggest achievements to date was this summer being recognised as part of a new generation of "globetrotting Arab women" in the July / August issue of Harpers Bazaar Arabia. I have strong ties with my Middle Eastern heritage, as well as with my London roots, and so it was such an honour to be included in the latest issue of the magazine...
This month, it made news when Hollywood seemed to have an abundance of trouble finding someone to play Jasmine in the new depiction of 'Aladdin', out next year. This potentially wouldn't jar quite so much, were it not for the fact that when it comes to finding someone to depict the veiled wife of a terrorist, there are apparently hundreds of candidates. And yet when it comes to finding someone to represent our *only* fictional character (because yes sadly Jasmine is basically that), Hollywood couldn't really find anyone.
Last month, some of Iran’s top models were arrested for posting pictures of themselves on social media without the veil.
The arrests came under Operation Spider 2, a crackdown launched two years ago that appears to predominantly target those in the fashion industry in a bid to renew “Islamic values” and “monitor the use of social media by the Western imperialist powers to change the Iranian-Islamic life-style.”
Indeed, the Internet and social media has arguably democratized the whole world. But whereas some consider this a negative change, it’s more productive to view as potential for growth, rather than a moving away from fundamental values that are intrinsic to the core of a society.