Nike released a new ad that celebrates Middle-Eastern women in sports. The ad that highlights the challenges of 5 female athletes from across the Arabian countries and their aspirations for a career in sports has touched a nerve in the Arab World.
The ad has come at a time when the world is seeing a massive increase in hate crimes against Muslims, specially after Trump’s win. The ad has been welcomed by liberals and Muslims one and all. Launched on Feb 17, the ad has since gone viral with over a million views on Facebook, 400k views on Youtube and close to 100000 shares on Twitter.
Watch it for yourself to understand why this ad is so special:
Arab Women facing moral policing in their own country and in their own homes is not something new to the world. In nations where Hijab is compulsory and presence of women without a male companion in public places is illegal, it is highly challenging for women to participate actively in sport and fitness activities. For example, physical education for women is illegal and is not part of any school in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Gyms and Fitness Centers of any type are strictly forbidden in most Islamic nations. In the nations where sports is legal for women, they are allowed with large scales of limitations like wearing a hijab while engaged in athletic activities.
The ad comes as a serious boost for women’s rights activists specially in that part of the world with many popular personalities on social media vocally supporting the ad and the message it is sending across.
Like any viral social ad, this too comes with it’s own share of controversies and oppositions. But then, a change is always welcome!