Hijab-wearing blogger says she is stepping down from L’Oreal campaign

Amena Khan, who earlier this month became the first woman wearing a headscarf to feature in a major mainstream hair campaign for L’Oreal, appears to have stepped down. (L'Oreal)
Updated 22 January 2018
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Hijab-wearing blogger says she is stepping down from L’Oreal campaign

LONDON: Amena Khan, who earlier this month became the first woman wearing a headscarf to feature in a major mainstream hair campaign for L’Oreal, appears to have stepped down from her role in the campaign due to anti-Israel tweets she made in 2014 during the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Taking to Instagram on Monday, the British beauty blogger said: “I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologize for the upset and hurt they have caused.
“Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone. I have chosen to delete them as they do not represent the message of harmony I stand for.”
Making a reference to the L’Oreal campaign, she added: “I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity.
“With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment it set out to deliver.”

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Khan has since deleted the anti-Israel tweets she made during the 2014 conflict, but a screenshot shows them below:

In the campaign promo video, Khan wears a pink outfit with matching headscarf. Speaking to Vogue UK about the message of the promo, she pointed out that even though she does not show her hair in public, she spends most of her time at home or with family without a headscarf. She explained that hair care is important, whether it is seen or not.
The new ad for L’Oreal’s hair-care product line, Elvive, features a diverse cast of women and men with different hairstyles and the French cosmetics company has joined brands such as Nike and CoverGirl, who have also featured Muslim women in recent ad campaigns.


Baghdad gun shops thrive after Iraqi rethink on arms control

Updated 19 August 2018
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Baghdad gun shops thrive after Iraqi rethink on arms control

  • Shop owner sees increasing demand from women, says self-defence is main reason for buying
  • Customer says legalized gun sales will act as crime deterrent

BAGHDAD: In the middle of Baghdad’s busy commercial neighborhood of Karrada, where most retail outlets sell home appliances, shoppers can now also buy handguns and semi-automatic rifles legally for the first time in decades.
After the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, illegal weapons trade flourished across the country. Looted guns from ransacked police stations and military bases were sold in streets and public areas to residents seeking to protect themselves in a state that was largely lawless.
The authorities have since been battling to curb illegal weapon sales and the government has stepped up efforts to control gun ownership through regulation.
The latest initiative came into force this summer and allows citizens to own and carry handguns, semi-automatic rifles and other assault weapons after obtaining official authorization and an identity card that also details the individual’s weapons.
Previously, gun sales were restricted to firearms for hunting and sport.
Hamza Maher opened his new gun shop in Karrada after receiving official approval from the Interior Ministry and says there has been growing demand for his wares.
“Customers are mainly men, but the number of women buyers is growing,” said Maher inside his shop, where a variety of pistols and assault rifles are on display.
“The reason for buying is self-defense, and it’s safer for citizens to buy a weapon from an authorized store instead of from an unknown source.”
Pistol prices in Maher’s shop range from $1,000 to $4,000, while Kalashnikov assault rifles can be had from as little as $400 up to $2,000, depending on the brand and manufacturing origin, he said.
Haider Al-Suhail, a tribal sheikh from Baghdad, welcomed the legalization of gun stores.
“Yes, it will decrease crime,” he said on a visit to Maher’s shop to buy assault rifles for his ranch guards. “The criminal who plans to attack others will understand that he will pay heavy price.”