Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ubah Hassan for Ralph Lauren S/S 2009
S: scanned by Luxx/TFS
The Somalian beauty's career has been taking off since the travel restrictions on her Canadian residency were lifted in 2007. Once that was out of the way she signed with Click and within a month of living in New York she got a call informing her that she was chosen to be part of last July's "black" issue of Italian Vogue. In a Glamour UK interview she remarked:
I still hate the word refugee. It’s associated with being a victim and I certainly don’t feel like a victim. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect my career. For example, I couldn’t take part in Paris Fashion Week because I have no passport or birth certificate. I have residential status in Canada, but travel visas take up to two weeks to come through. But I’m just glad I’m able to make a living. My dad is so proud of me. There is still sadness in his eyes. I often want to tell him that he did his best, and though all the constant upheavals have been painful, none of it is his fault. At least we can get on with living again now. I often think people take freedom too lightly. Being able to pop across to another country for a holiday or go shopping for shoes are things I never take for granted.
I’ve often thought about returning to Somalia but I’m terrified of what I might find. Right now, the best thing I can do is draw attention to the country’s plight. And I hope that my example will give women from other war-torn countries some hope, and go some way to halt prejudices against asylum seekers. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel like the luckiest person on earth. I’m earning my own wage, living a happy life, traveling the world and meeting extraordinary people every day. I was given that chance. Some people might say that fashion is a shallow, frivolous business. You’ll never hear that from me.