Jordanian designer, Samia Al-Zakleh, bedazzles medical masks to raise awareness about the importance of wearing masks amid the global health crisis.
In 2017, Samia Al-Zakleh opened a store in the capital city of Jordan, Amman, with the aim of offering quality accessories that had one thing in common; crystals and sparkling stones. "I'm obsessed with crystals" said Al-Zakleh in an interview with SBS Arabic24. The young designer believes any 'ordinary' item can be transformed into a masterpiece with the magical touch of fancy Swarovski crystals.
When Coronavirus pandemic hit hard, many people in affected countries rushed to pharmacies to secure a stock of medical masks to minimise the threat of the virus. However, the young Jordanian designer had another plan: "I came up with the idea of creating this mask to raise awareness on social media about the importance of taking safety precautions."
Despite the positive feedback, the 'sparkly' mask also stirred controversy among those who believed accessorising a medical mask that's meant to be worn only a couple of times, diminishes its function and turns into a trend that's neither usable nor useful beyond taking 'selfies' for social media accounts.
While Al-Zakleh admits she personally wears a regular mask in her day-to-day life, she also believes triggering a discussion about medical masks was essential to highlight safety precautions during the outbreak. "When fashion influences started posting photos wearing the mask, others started realising how important it is to wear one." she added.
Jordanian authorities have locked down wide parts of the country, sealed off the capital and enforced a 14-day mandatory isolation on international travellers who entered the Kingdom. Few days ago, a full closure of borders has been in place to contain the virus which infected 56 cases so far.