Ascia AKF Talks Modest Fashion, Navigating Islam As A Top Influencer In Global World


Ascia AKF Talks Modest Fashion, Navigating Islam As A Top Influencer In Global World

Ascia Al Faraj,  also known as Ascia AKF, is a leader of the pack of influencers promoting modest fashion with a streetwear edge. Writing for Fashionista, Whitney Bauck talks frankly with Ascia about redefining Muslim fashion, how K-beauty changed her life and what the West doesn't understand about Arab women.

With 2.3 million followers on Instagram, Faraj strikes "the coveted perfect balance between aspirational and relatable" writes Bauck. She is a true global citizen, raised by a Kuwaiti father and American mother. Signing on to her original blog 'The Hybrids', we meet the message 'Let's talk eating disorders', confirming that Faraj is willing to deal with complex topics head-on.

In what is an excellent interview and not a hits-generating puff piece, Bauck and Faraj explore serious questions, including a common one about covering your head as a Muslim woman.  AOC has written about modest fashion, hijabs and burqas for years, and we learned some new facts in their exchange.

How did you start covering your head, and when? I noticed your mom doesn't cover hers.

Redtracker | TIME Remembers 50,000 People In New York City Demanding Women's Equality

Women's News Headlines August 26, 2016

Second-wave feminism flexed its mighty muscle on Aug. 26, 1970, as 50,000 women marched down New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Joined by a coterie of men and anti-war protesters, the marchers were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving American women the vote. They were also demanding changes to the policies that affected women's lives: childcare and abortion policies, education and employment opportunities. Many women abandoned their usual duties for the day, joining with spiritual sisters across the country staging sit-ins and takeovers of all-male bars.

One year to the day after the Women’s Strike for Equality March, Congress passed a resolution designating Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day, and 45 years later, the day continues to be a moment to reflect on exactly what has been achieves in the arena of women's rights. 

With no Equal Rights Amendment in place for American women, and with the latest research from PEW affirming that over 70% of Republican men and 40% of Democrats believing that sexism is dead in America, older women are challenging younger ones to get real about deep refusal among American men to give women more rights. Particularly precarious for women are the Personhood bills littering state legislatures: Republican-sponsored laws that equates the rights of women with those of a fertilized embryo. 

Related:  AOC Channels the History of America's Equal Rights Amendment

More Headlines

France's top administrative court overturns burkini ban @ The Washington Post

Nate Parker's Alleged Sins Won't Keep Me From Seeing 'The Birth of a  Nation' @ The Daily Beast

The Hacking of Leslie Jones Exposes Misogynoir at Its Worst @ The Daily Beast

Read On: Women's News Headlines August 26. 2016


Gisele Bundchen Burqa Disguise Comes As More Burqa Bans Take Effect

Gisele’s Burqa Disquise Busted

Did Gisele Bundchen really think she and her sister would remain unknown, scurrying into Paris’ International Clinique du Parc Monceau in open-toed shoes On July 15? Worse yet, the two femmes rode in a car driven by the supermodel’s regular chauffeur.

For real women who must wear burqas or die, open-toed shoes are not permitted.

Gisele reportedly was seeking a nip and tuck on her eyes and her breasts, after having breast-fed two children. The next day her driver picked up the supermodel and sister Rafaela at the Bristol Hotel and drove them to the exclusive Les Sources de Caudalie spa, where the former Victoria’s Secret Angel, who reportedly made $47 million last year as the top model in the world, recovered for five days.

Burqa or not, Gisele was silly to think she could keep her plastic surgery visit under wraps.

On the subject of women wearing burqas, the French are quite sensitive, having banned the burqa on the streets of Paris in 2010.The fact the Gisele pulled the stunt during the month of Ramadan, causing strict Muslims to be offended over her disrespectful act. Her action came at a time when several African countries have instituted new burqa bans, now that the disguise is being used by terrorists.

Then there is the minor matter of Gisele telling her adoring fans that there is “no way” she’d ever have plastic surgery.

Note that there are a few naysayers who insist that the story isn’t true. There have been no denials from the supermodel or members of her staff.

Global Burqa Ban News July 2015

The Dutch debate the burqa — and ban it Politico

The areas covered by the ban — schools, transportation, hospitals and government buildings — are those places where concerns for interpersonal communication and safety are especially critical, said Afshin Ellian, a professor of jurisprudence at the University of Leiden and an expert on multiculturalism, citizenship, and human rights. “People have to be recognizable in such areas,” he said. “And anywhere in a free society, it is crucial that people are able literally to look each other in the face.” In a statement to the press, Plasterk echoed that importance, noting that “in schools you have to be able to look one another in the eyes. If a mother comes to pick her child up at school you need to be able to see if it really is the mother.” (Indeed, in January, 2013, a woman wearing a niqab kidnapped a Muslim child from a local school; the five-year-old girl, who could not see her abductor’s face, thought the kidnapper was her own mother, who also wears a niqab.)

Niger Bans Full Islamic Veil In Diffa After Suspected Boko Haram Bombings International Business Times

Niger banned the full Islamic veil in the country’s southeast border region of Diffa following a spate of suicide bombings by women dressed in the religious garment, an official told Agence France-Presse Wednesday. The attacks have been blamed on the Nigeria-based Boko Haram terror group, which Niger’s army has been battling since February.

“Women in the region are forbidden from wearing the full veil until further notice, in order to prevent suicide attacks by Boko Haram,” Diffa Mayor Hankouraou Biri-Kassoum told AFP.


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Lady Liberty Collides With Fundamentalist Hardliners In Paris

Lady Liberty Collides With Fundamentalist Hardliners In Paris

Our thoughts are with the people of Paris today, the dead satirists who pushed the envelope of free speech and free expression will speak no more, although a request has gone global for media outlets to publish the anti-Islamic, Charlie Hebdo cartoons tomorrow.

Anne of Carversville will not be among them, as I am blacklasted in the Arab world already and my focus is women’s rights. If Islamists had launched a terrorist attack against the women of Paris for not wearing burquas, we would print anything needed against these brutes who kidnap little girls and decapitate aid workers on international TV.

Probably no single issue in France has done more to divide Muslims and non-Muslims than the burqa ban, a topic at the core of Anne of Carversville’s values and dialogue with women worldwide.  Read on for a look at AOC’s long history on the topic of banning burqas in France.

Eye | H&M Jumpsuit -- When Style & War Collide | Amazon Women | Burqa Bans


H&M Apologizes

Radical chic? Kurds Say H&M jumpsuits mimic fighter garb Los Angeles Times

AOC has written frequently and is following the dire situation in Kobani, Syri where beleaguered but incredibly brave Kurdish forces — about one-third of them women, says the BBC — are fighting ferociously against ISIS.

Social media broke out in hives yesterday with H&M’s $19.95 khaki jumpsuit drawing comparisons to those worn by these brave women. It doesn’t matter that khaki jumpsuits have been a staple in fashion almost as long as I’ve walked the face of the earth.

We are presently in a fashion cycle of celebrating strong women, warrior goddesses and even feminists. This mood has nothing to do with the Kurdish women fighters — except that we are all inspired beyond our stylish cocoons by their determination, skills at confronting ISIS and courage.

If Karl Lagerfeld, whose never-closed mouth said in 2009 —purporting to be the voice of Coco Chanel said:

I was never a feminist because I was never ugly enough for that


— can now end his Spring 2015 ready-to-wear show with a ‘feminist demonstration’, it’s clear that the Kaiser knows that his long-expressed views around strong are suddenly out of step with the global movement to empower women. Lagerfeld is on the wrong end of his walking stick, and he knows it. Not even his precious fur ball Choupette can put him on the right side of this subject.

Karl Lagerfeld’s flimflam feminism won’t hurt the real thing The Guardian

At AOC, we tell women’s stories from fashion to flogging — often finding intersections between the two. An inherent theme of all our channels is the historical, international shakedown of women’s rights for the sake of male advancement and patriarchal power.

Scholarly Evidence of Amazons On Vases | Kurdish Women Fight On In Brutal ISIS Battles | Fashion’s Warrior Woman Moment AOC Salon

Knowing about the H&M fracas, wanting to call out a new book The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World, important new research cementing the reality of Amazon women warriors in the ancient world, an update on the Kurdish women fighters AND show a few fashion editorials acknowledging the women as warriors trend, we pulled it all together in one cohesive statement.

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