Taking to Instagram a few days ago, Bella Hadid shared a nostalgic photo of her father, Mohamed Hadid‘s expired American passport with a caption that read “my baba and his birthplace of Palestine.” The photo was removed from Instagram shortly after, on account of the content breaching the company’s “community guidelines on harassment and bullying.”
In response, the Dutch-Palestinian model took to her stories to challenge Instagram’s decision, noting it was in fact their actions that had expressed an act of harassment. “Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram?” the Hadid said in a post. “This, to me, is bullying. You can’t erase history by silencing people. It doesn’t work like that,” she wrote.
Continuing to question their motives, Hadid remarked, “@instagram exactly what part of me being proud of my father’s birthplace of Palestine is ‘bullying, harassment, graphic or sexual nudity?” Reposting the original photo of her father’s passport, she wrote “do you want him to change his birth place for you?” before encouraging her followers to post where their mothers and fathers were born, as a celebration of heritage and pride. “Remind them how proud you are of where you come from! I am proud to be Palestinian,” Hadid wrote.
Speaking to Page Six, a spokesperson for Instagram’s parent company Facebook said the decision was made in a bid “to protect the privacy of [their] community. “We don’t allow people to post personal information, such as passport numbers, on Instagram.” Noting that the passport number had indeed been blurred out, the representative confirmed the post should not have been removed and said they have since “apologized to Bella for the mistake.”
Frequently vocal about her roots, Bella has taken to social media numerous times in the past to express pride in her Palestinian heritage. In a lengthy caption written in 2017, the model expressed grief over US president Donald Trump‘s declaration that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “The treatment of the Palestinian people is unfair, one-sided and should not be tolerated,” read a part of Hadid’s caption. “Jerusalem is home of all religions. For this to happen, I feel, makes us take 5 steps back making it harder to live in a world of peace.” “I stand with Palestine,” she concluded.
Read Next: How Saudi Arabia is Preserving an Unprecedented Collection of Palestinian History