Washington D.C. [USA], June 18 (ANI): American model Bella Hadid apologised to fans, who were offended by her recent post and accused her of disrespecting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The model took to Instagram to set the record straight for once and for all. She issued an apology and opened up on her beliefs regarding the conflict in the Middle East.
The 22-year-old model clarified that she meant no "disrespect" to the nations.
Hadid apologised in both English and Arabic, saying that the photo had "nothing to do with politics," and in a separate tweet on Monday added that "this was an honest mistake on an early morning.""I am posting this to clear up a few things that have been weighing on my heart," Hadid wrote on her Instagram stories.
"To begin, I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautifulpowerful heritage. I love and care so much about the Muslim and Arab side of my family, as well as my brothers and sisters throughout the world," she added.
"Not only do I have so much respect from the bottom of my heart, I have always tried to stand up for what I feel is right, especially regarding the great Middle East," she continued.
The model continued to express her respect for the Middle East, saying "I have never and will never be the one to talk down on these countries... Only to spread love, and the true beauty of them, as the way I was taught by my Teta and my father. To feel as if I have disappointed you is what hurts me the most.""The photo of my shoe on my Story yesterday had NOTHING to do with politics. I promise," Hadid said.
"I never noticed the planes in the background and that is the truth. I would never mean to disrespect these airlines, let alone these amazing countries. I absolutely love these airlines, with the best planes and people," she added.
She concluded by sending "a sincere apology to those who ever thought I would put blame on them, especially to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.""This was never the case, and I hope you can understand the misunderstanding. I will be more responsible when bringing awareness to all causes, including my beloved Middle Eastern community. Thank you for taking the time. I love every single one of you," she told her fans.
The controversy started after Hadid posted a photo on her Instagram story which showed her shoe up against an airport window. In the background are airplanes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Fans were upset as in the photo, her foot was positioned in a way that showed the sole of her foot towards the flags on the plane's tails which is disrespectful in Arabic culture. The major misunderstanding led to the viral hashtag BellaHadidIsRacist. Several users on Twitter also called out brands that work with Hadid, like Dior and Calvin Klein, to stop using her in their ad campaigns, reported People.
The model has frequently spoken about her desire to show the true beauty and truth of the Muslim/ Palestinian community. (ANI)