UK blogger Amena Khan joins viral campaign celebrating strong women

Amena Khan made headlines earlier this year when she stepped down from a L’Oreal campaign due to tweets she posted in 2014. (@amenaofficial)
Updated 03 March 2018

UK blogger Amena Khan joins viral campaign celebrating strong women

DUBAI: Hijab-wearing British fashion blogger Amena Khan is taking part in a campaign celebrating women with The Body Shop, she announced on her Instagram page on Friday.
Dubbed the #FORSTRONGWOMEN campaign, the drive encourages women to nominate a women who has “guided, empowered and inspired” them by uploading a picture and a brief description of the nominee to The Body Shop’s website. Nominations end on March 11 and the lucky winners will receive a weekend break away and beauty hampers.
The Muslim beauty blogger is taking part in the campaign and nominated make-up artist Paula Durance in a heart-warming video sponsored by The Body Shop.
Leicester-based make-up specialist Durance overcame a childhood of bullying over her hearing disability to build her own business.
In the video spotlighting Durance and her achievements, Khan explains why she is taking part in the campaign.
“This Mother’s Day, I’m working with The Body Shop to celebrate all the strong women who have inspired us.”
Of Durance, she said: “She’s positive, supportive, fierce and fabulous.”
“Having strong, supportive, authentic friends in your circle is a blessing. Today I’m celebrating strong women everywhere with @thebodyshop,” she added on her Instagram page, before encouraging other women to upload their own nominations.

Khan made headlines earlier this year when she became the first woman wearing a headscarf to feature in a major mainstream hair campaign for L’Oreal.
However, controversy ensued when just a couple of days after the announcement Khan stepped down due to anti-Israel tweets she made in 2014 during the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Taking to Instagram Jan. 21, 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.

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.”


Meet Aya Barqawi, the Saudi-born social media star

Updated 18 August 2019

Meet Aya Barqawi, the Saudi-born social media star

  • Barqawi promotes what she calls ‘high-street fashion’
  • Barqawi’s Instagram posts are designed with digital frames to add a unique touch to her content

DUBAI: Between the luxurious fashion statements and international runways, Palestinian-Jordanian Aya Barqawi continues to inspire her followers with thousands of on-budget styles.

“I always try to make people feel inclusive. I want to end this intimidation that comes with fashion,” the Saudi-born blogger told Arab News.

Barqawi promotes what she calls “high-street fashion” and finds the challenge of adapting to international trends “fun.”

“I am looking for new ways to make trends work for me,” she said. “You just need a little bit of creativity and imagination.”

Like many women her age with similar passions, the 24-year-old was unable to study fashion in college because of a lack of opportunity in the Middle East. Now, as a design graduate, she incorporates her field of study with a social media career.

Barqawi’s Instagram posts are designed with digital frames to add a unique touch to her content. “Studying design helped me shape my visual identity on Instagram because I do a lot of graphic work on my photos. It makes it easier for me to create digital content,” she said.

The stylist also worked as a fashion photographer for a brand in Berlin. “I never thought they would pick me over people who are actually from Berlin, who were actually German,” she said. “But my work spoke for itself.”

Barqawi is always looking to motivate other women. “No matter what the field of work you are in, never underestimate yourself. Never second-guess yourself and never compromise your standards for anyone or anything,” she said.

The fashion blogger has also worked in media as a TV producer and segment producer. “I have done digital, I have done TV, so now I am just open to anything that comes my way,” she said.