Dubai Lynx

An Ode to Arab Feminism

FP7/BEY, Beirut / MASHROU' LEILA / 2019

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Supporting Content
Case Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

The western "roman" media’s narrative of feminism and women empowerment, does position itself as incompatible with Islam and the Arab world.

And with Islamophobia rising in the Western world, the western media does not fairly showcase the progress by women in the Middle East.

Instead, they continue to exploit the cultural and religious prejudices that people and governments are using to victimize Arab women.

Idea

CREATING A MUSIC VIDEO THAT CHANGED THE MEANING OF “ROMAN”. (AN UNRELEASED SONG COMPOSED MANY YEARS BACK):

Instead of promoting the album with a traditional campaign, we identified an unreleased song, composed 5 years back, called, “Roman”. Now, its lyrics were about “betrayal in love”. But, the way they were written, they could work to address the prejudice, bias and betrayal towards Arab and Muslim women, by western media and the world-at-large.

NOT JUST ANOTHER MUSIC VIDEO, BUT AN ODE TO ARAB FEMINISM.

We didn’t want to create yet another music video; all bands do that. We chose to give the lyrics of “Roman” a new meaning through the music video’s visual treatment; transforming the original song’s lyrics from being about “betrayal in love” to “dancing in rebellion against prejudices”.

Strategy

GALVANIZING SUPPORT BEHIND MASHROU' LEILA BY TAKING ON A DEEP-ROOTED TENSION IN THE WORLD TODAY:

Stay true to the nature of the band’s stance against socio-political issues, focusing on anxieties and tensions in the world, We wanted to promote the album by focusing on the band’s core ideologies of taking on socio-political topics affecting people in and from the Arab world.

There has been a rising trend against Islam but there’s also another trend countering the hate and bigotry.

We needed to show Arab and Muslim women expressing a power the world didn’t think they had.

And this representation and narrative would influence perceptions from all those who were against Islamophobia and hatred towards Muslims.

Earlier, no one would've imagined a music video showing Arab women, in traditional and religious garbs, dancing. But, with Mashrou’ Leila, we made one happen, creating the ultimate conversation driver.

Outcome

Influential media platforms endorsed the music video, such as NBC News, CNN Politics, The New York Times, NewNowNext, Voice of America, The Stable, Adweek, Scroll, Native, Egypt Today, StepFeed.

Travelled across 50% of the world, in multiple languages.

Became the most trending content on feminism.

Influenced perceptions across foreigners: “Life-affirming and joyous rather than the timid, “oppressed” vision the West is used to from media reports.” (Alex Clifton, The Singles Jukebox).

Was ranked the most popular Arabic song worldwide on music platforms.

3.7 earned media value.

580 million impressions.

100,000+ shares from women who endorsed the music video as their voice against prejudice.

The Saudi government used a part of Roman to promote their more ‘open’ view on their city with women finally driving.

This also helped the band become more popular, with +36% iTunes downloads and +24% album sales, encouraging further messages from them to the world.

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3 Dubai Lynx Awards
An Ode to Arab Feminism

FP7/BEY, Beirut

An Ode to Arab Feminism

2018, MASHROU' LEILA

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