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Iraqi actress sues Economist 'to defend Arab women rights'

Iraqi actress Enas Taleb in Baghdad, Iraq on 28 October 2021 [SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images]
Iraqi actress Enas Taleb in Baghdad, Iraq on 28 October 2021 [SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images]

An Iraqi actress, whose photo was used by The Economist to illustrate an article about obesity in the Arab world, criticised violations of Arab women rights by the West, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Enas Taleb, 42, has sued the British weekly newspaper for violating her privacy after using her photo without permission in an article about why women are "fatter" than men in the Arab world.

"The magazine has insulted all Arab women after using my picture in an article about obesity and overweight in the Arab world," Taleb told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

"I'm against valuing a woman based on the shape of her body," she said.

Taleb, a talk-show host, said she has taken legal action against the British weekly newspaper for using a photo of her taken nine months ago at the Babylon International Festival in Iraq in the article.

"I felt offended when I saw my picture in the article. The magazine has used my photo in an offensive context," she said. "I'm an artist and have my social status. The newspaper did not respect my status among fans."

There was no comment from The Economist on the actress' statements.

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Taleb said she sued the British newspaper for defending the rights of the Iraqi and Arab women.

"How would a girl feel when she goes, for example, to school or workplace and hears any (offensive) comments about her body," she asked.

"The newspaper made a big mistake by using my picture in an offensive context in this article," Taleb said.

The Iraqi actress argued that The Economist has used her photo "to promote the article".

"The newspaper could have used one of its own images to support the information they published in the article, but they deliberately used my image."

"This is my case now," Taleb said. "My message to every woman who faces bullying and difficulties in her professional life is to stay strong and to confront her bullies, and to always be reconciled with herself and respect her mind and herself."

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