Since his unlawful murder on May 25, George Floyd‘s death has sparked outrage all over the world. From Syria to Scotland, protesters have marched for justice and will soon enter into their fourth week of mass-protests. Among the outrage, organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement have encouraged celebrities, public figures, and influencers to use their platform to amplify Black voices. The latest to respond to their call to action is Kuwaiti-American influencer Ascia Al-Faraj.
Hosting a ‘Black Arab Content Creator Takeover Week,’ between 11 and 18 June, the blogger, model, and mother of two has handed over her Instagram, and the 2.7 million followers it comprises, to the voices of Black-Arab men and women who for too long have gone unheard.
“For the week of June 11 to June 18 my account will be taken over by Black Arab content creators to discuss important issues on race and discrimination in the Middle East,” wrote Al-Faraj on Instagram last week. “You’ll also get to see their work and projects! They will be here in Stories. They will be on my feed. And each will have a highlight if you miss their Stories,” she concluded.
Following the death of George Floyd, Al-Faraj has consistently used her online presence to overtly and unambiguously denounce the racial injustice disproportionately impacting the African-American community. Speaking primarily to the issue of systemic racism, the influencer took to Instagram earlier in the month saying “I stand in the middle of two countries that need massive reform to their systems in order to protect every soul that sets foot within them- & I’ve let my fear of saying the wrong thing silence me.” Posted alongside a black-and-white photo of 15-year old Elizabeth Eckford, the Black girl whose presence in an integrated school sent shockwaves through America in 1957, the caption concludes, “it’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable .”
Thus far, the Kuwaiti-American influencer has showcased the work of Zainab Elhaj, Abdullah Al-Ameeri, Wid AlEnzi, Maryami, Rola, and Ana Hamdto. Yet to come are features by Omar OT Tom and Colette Dalal.