May 26, 2012
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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – At a mall in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, a courageous woman defied official “religious police” who were attempting to expel her from the mall for wearing nail polish and leaving her hair exposed.
The woman was able to capture a 2 minute, 49 second video of her defiance, which is now going viral on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Demanding to the woman that she “get out of the mall…move it” and telling her, “you don’t see other women here showing their hair”, the “religious police” did their best to intimidate her.
Instead of complying with their demands, she replied, “Get out of the mall? I’ll show you who’s getting out of the mall”, “I’m free to put on nail polish if I want to” and “I’m not getting out, what are you going to do about it?”
When actual security arrived on the scene, they were taken aside by the “religious police” and the woman made it known that “the video is on its way to Twitter and Facebook as we speak and it will reach Abd Al-latif Aal Al-Sheik, and he will deal with your mess.” She then let the religious officials know “You are not the boss of me, and you can’t tell me not to wear nail polish” and shamed them as men of God for looking at her mouth, as well as accusing her of wearing lipstick.
Walking away in defiance, the woman then spoke to the mall security, “Don’t let him follow me. I am free to walk around this mall as I like.”
Women in the Arab world have been inspired to stand up to backwater ideological oppression and violence against them through the courageous actions of people like Manal al-Sharif, whom in defiance of one of the world’s most repressive societies, steered a car through the streets of the city of Khobar, where it illegal for women to drive.
We do not yet know the identity of the woman in this particular video, however, standing in solidarity against the rampant oppression of women’s rights on a global scale, we hope that her act of bravery will garner even more support for gender equality around the world. Blessings upon her, for her courage.
The AELLA Team
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