Mrs. Dictatorship, criminals are not stylish
I was moved by an article I read about how the efforts of Human Rights Watch led to cancel a planned fashion show by Uzbekistan dictator's daughter in New York Fashion Week. Gulnara Karimov, the eldest daughter of the autocratic ruler of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, lives a luxurious life style while every year her father's government force hundreds of thousands children to leave their schools and pick cotton, this cotton is also used by Gulnara to make her cloths. The country's economy depends on natural resources like cotton and gas, but these resources go to the dictator's pockets and his family while 80% of the people lives in poverty. Reports about methods of torture in Uzbekistan prisons talk about assassinating people by throwing them in boiling water.
Such step will send a message to many abusers in the world that no matter how rich or powerful you are, assaulting human beings will not make them chic or important in the eyes of public opinion, it will only means that we see them as they are, just despicable criminals. I would like to see more campaigns like that, do not encourage them to steal and kill more in order to show us a false image and brag about it.
An article issued several months ago in Vague fashion magazine about the wife of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. But the most annoying thing was the title of the article: The rose of the dessert! I was very angry by this ignorance. Syria is not a desert, this is a country were the oldest civilizations in the world thrived, were many talented and smart people are, and by humiliating Syrians like that and claiming how Asmaa Assad will "fashionize" the face of Syria by wearing brand shoes she paid for by ripping Syrians' pockets and keeping about 40% in poverty, is outrageous. Amidst the "Oh" in world media about how Asmaa dress and how she wanted to support Syrian youths to participate in the political process in Syria, the case of Tal Al-Malohi, an 18 years old blogger girl without any political activity accused for being a U.S. spy and sentence for 5 years in prison. Asmaa did nothing, not even a word, she continued her attempts to wash the blood off her husband's hands. In 2008, a massacre took place in Saydnaya prison were 500 prisoners were assassinated, again no words. But fashion magazines and industry continued their promotion for this family as the modern face for Syria without any regard for Syrian people's sufferings.
We received news that EU will impose sanctions on Asmaa because she is the one running the ruling family's money estimated by $200 billion taken from a country were children are kidnapped, raped and killed by security forces.
Fashion media is not only deforming the spirits of women and men by altering their unrealistic and humiliating standards of beauty in their conscious, but it is also promoting criminals and human rights violators. To celebrate such individuals regardless of the source of their wealth and how they treat their employees and people will send a message to new generations that no mater what crimes and violations you do, no matter how you collect your wealth, you will always be celebrated and honored because you can afford a skirt or a shoe from this brand or that, and because you please fashion industry by abiding to its standards.
It is our responsibility. Our public opinion must be activated, we must make clear to those criminals and their associates that they are not accepted in our media as long as they take part in oppressing and killing or even supporting such acts against innocent people in order to polish their own images.