Mariah Idrissi to host celebration of African change-makers

Mariah Idrissi is set to host an event in New York. (Instagram)
Updated 02 October 2018
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Mariah Idrissi to host celebration of African change-makers

  • Mariah Idrissi is set to host a MIPAD event in New York on Wednesday night
  • Idrissi made headlines in 2015 when she became the first model to wear a hijab in a major international fashion campaign

DUBAI:British-Moroccan model Mariah Idrissi is set to host a Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) event in New York on Wednesday night.

The event, which is set to honor the most influential people of African descent under the age of 40, will be held at the One UN Millennium Hilton Hotel and will be co-hosted by business mogul and self-described “leadership genius” Vusi Thembekwayo.

The event will also feature a valedictorian speech by Fatima Maada Bio, the first lady of Sierra Leone and an actress, screenwriter and film producer.

Other influential speakers include Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda and chairman of the African Union. Meanwhile, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Atta Annan is set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Recognition.

For her part, Idrissi took to Instagram to express her gratitude toward the organization.

“Honored to be part of a network connecting Africans globally who are creating positive change for people of African heritage. The influence starts with us first changing ourselves and I thank @mipad100 @unitednations and @momentumeducation for providing us with the tools and knowledge to help us become the best versions of ourselves!”

Her co-host took to the social media site to share a friendly message.

“Made a new friend .... actually, built a new family,” Thembekwayo captioned a photo in which he is posting with Idrissi.

The evening will end with a special screening of Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther” as the event celebrates the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent.

Born and raised in London, Idrissi is of Moroccan-Pakistani descent and made headlines in 2015 when she became the first model to wear a hijab in a major international fashion campaign, starring in H&M’s “Close the Loop” adverts.
Since then, the 26-year-old has been at the forefront of the modest fashion movement, stylishly representing contemporary Muslim women and working with major retailers including MAC cosmetics and ASOS. She also featured in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty campaign.
Idrissi has also established herself as an international public speaker promoting female empowerment. Her talk at TEDxTeen in 2016 — “Changing the Face of Fashion” — gained global media attention.
Referring to the feedback from her H&M campaign in that talk, she said, “It made me realize that I’m not only a hijabi model, I’ve also had this weight placed on me as a spokeswoman for hijab, for modesty, for fashion, for Islam… And, of course, I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it shows me that we still have a long way to go in changing people’s mentalities.”


Gigi Hadid hits back at paparazzi ‘stalking’ as photographer threatens legal action

Updated 21 October 2018
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Gigi Hadid hits back at paparazzi ‘stalking’ as photographer threatens legal action

DUBAI: US-Palestinian celebrity model Gigi Hadid is hitting back at a paparazzo who she says threatened her with legal action over a photo she posted on Instagram.

The model took to the social media platform over the weekend to reveal that she is being “legally pursued” for reposting a street style photo taken by a paparazzo, a snap which she has since removed from her social media feed.

“The photo is by a paparazzi and is of me on the street outside an event last week,” the 23-year-old told her 43.8 million followers. “I posed/smiled for the photo because I understand that this is part of my job,” Hadid wrote.
“These people make money off us every day, legally stalking us day in, day out,” she continued.
“It is not spoken about enough the mental/emotional toll that this kind of pressure has on people, days I (and countless others) have stayed inside because I don’t want my photo taken or to have that attention/suffocation while just trying to live as normally as possible,” the model added.

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A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

Hadid went on to reveal the dangerous position some paparazzi put celebrities in on a daily basis.
“They drive dangerously close and extremely recklessly; they put the general public in danger in pursuit of a photo (I and many people I know have gotten in car accidents in cabs/car services because of paparazzi) and it seems that they can never get enough,” she wrote.
In the post, Hadid wrote that she found the uncredited image on Twitter and reposted in on Instagram, adding that she “had no way of knowing which of the 15+ photographers outside that day took these exact photos.
“If the person had just commented on my photo I would have been happy to tag and give you credit,” she added.
“To the paparazzi, I understand that this is how you make your living, and I respect that this is something I must accept with my job. But there is a line. We are human beings, and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to engage with you because of the resentment I feel for the negative parts of these experiences.”
Hadid’s statement garnered support from celebrities and models alike, with reality star Khloe Kardashian sharing her own experience in the comments section.

“I was sued for hundreds of thousands for posting a picture of myself. I don’t understand how it’s right that they literally stalk us and taunt us and they are allowed to sue us for posting our own photo,” she wrote.

Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowksi Candice Swanepoel and Olivia Culpo also left messages of support on the Instagram post, which had more than one million likes as of Sunday afternoon.