close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
October 23, 2020

UAE woman in viral UAE-Israel flag photo speaks up

Top Story

October 23, 2020

DUBAI: Norah Alawadhi or “the girl from the picture of the UAE and Israeli flags in Dubai” was just “King Norah” on the social media platform Twitter till Emirati businessman-cum-writer Hassan Sajwani posted the photo of her and an Israeli woman—covered in their respective flags, holding their hands and facing Burj Khalifa from atop a skyscraper on October 6.

Within hours, the picture went viral and by that night, among the thousands who tweeted/retweeted/quote tweeted that photo were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ivanka Trump, daughter of and adviser to the US President Donald Trump.

“Exciting picture from Dubai. Peace for peace creates new friends in the Middle East,” Netanyahu posted while sharing the photo with the flag emojis of both the countries. Quote tweeting his post, Ivanka Trump wrote: “Great photo from Dubai.”

Sharing the story behind the viral photo, Norah said she happened to be in the historic picture quite coincidentally, international media reported.

“The woman holding the Israeli flag is Ronny Gonen, a travel blogger from Israel,” Norah said. “She was on a visit here and I was introduced to her by someone I know.” She said she had already started talking to people from Israel ever since the UAE first spoke about normalisation of ties with Israel.

Norah said she had met Ronny casually and that is when she asked if Norah could join her for a photo shoot she planned for her blog ‘to make an impact’. Norah readily agreed. But it was only when they reached the terrace of an 80-storey tower facing Burj Khalifa that both the women realised the risk they were taking for the shoot, she said. It was windy and they had to climb some steps and jump down a few to get on to the place that gave the perfect background of Burj Khalifa.

It took about half an hour for them to get the perfect shots of both of them facing Burj Khalifa with their backsdraped in the flags. But when the pictures came out, Norah said she noticed that in one of them they were still holding hands and smiling looking at each other. “It wasn’t staged. See, she trusted me,” she said. Ever since her picture became viral, Norah said she has had many critics on social media, whom she is completely ignoring.

“People have asked me — you are getting a lot of hate, are you leaving social media? Nay!,” said Norah who calls herself ‘King’ like the females who make a clear statement about notions of gender and power.

“I am proud of myself and what I did for my country. I want to create more things for my country. You have to have the guts to do it. And I was raised with that guts, thanks to my dad who is my biggest inspiration.”