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Media personality stands up against honour culture

Elaf Ali's relatives have criticised her for photos posted on Instagram. "They've found photos where they think I'm dressed way too lightly."
Kristianstad • Publicerad 3 oktober 2019
Elaf Ali.
Elaf Ali.Foto: Jakob Romin/Kristianstadsbladet

Elaf Ali comes from Kristianstad. She is a journalist, lecturer and debater. She is a well-known journalist on SVT's Rapport and P3 Nyheter among others.

She has debated honour culture in the past. Now she has done it again.

Her relatives in Iraq found photos posted on her Instagram account. Something the magazine Expressen has written about.

– They think I'm dressed way too lightly to be an Iraqi girl in the photos. They have sent them to my dad, as though he should be held accountable for it. Because that's what honour culture looks like. As though I've done something bad, Elaf Ali tells Expressen and continues:

– The photo they thought was the worst was one where you saw my legs and I had a tank top on. If the thighs are on show, they think it’s the same as if you’re showing your genitalia. In their eyes, it's like being naked. They see lightly dressed photos and think I'm a bad girl. I just get extremely frustrated and sad.

Elaf Ali has now posted another photo on Instagram, addressed to her relatives.

“I have lived in Sweden all of my life. Here, we wear shorts and tank tops when it is warm. It doesn't make me a bad girl, and it doesn't mean that my dad should be ashamed of me. I love my dad and he loves me,” she writes.

During her upbringing, Elaf Ali has experienced both racism and honour culture. It forms the basis of her columns and lectures.

Growing up, she was ashamed that she couldn't do the same things as her friends; no socialising after school, no sleepovers and no boyfriends.

When she was 24 years old, she began to talk about what it is like to live in an honour culture in Sweden.

She has an open Instagram account. There she uploads photos of herself to show the world that she has the right to do so.

– It's a statement from me to them. You don't own me and you don't control me.

Catharina SigalaSkicka e-post
Så här jobbar Mosaik Kristianstadsbladet med journalistik. Uppgifter som publiceras ska vara korrekta och relevanta. Vi strävar efter förstahandskällor och att vara på plats där det händer. Trovärdighet och opartiskhet är centrala värden för vår nyhetsjournalistik.