Joined on May 06, 2013
An Iranian - Australian Refugee and social media influencer is making headlines after she was reportedly turned away from the Louvre because of her outfit.
Newsha Syeh, a 25-year-old model, is known to her more than 231,000 Instagram followers for sultry photos and edgy sense of style. However, during a recent trip to Paris, the model says was “heartbroken” when she was denied entry to the world famous museum.
Syeh shared a photo of the low-cut dress she was wearing to Instagram with the caption, “Yesterday at the Louvre, I was stopped at the entrance by a guard for my outfit.”
She was born Zahra Sheikholeslam, the daughter of a Persian father and an American mother, and grew up in LaFayette in the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis. Her father, she says, was a curiosity in the small town, where folks would drop in on Saturdays to invite the Sheikholeslams to church. “We didn’t get called names or anything, the way some people did,” she says. “People stood up for us; they protected us. They accepted my dad; and they had intellectual and religious conversations with him that you would never expect in small-town Georgia. That’s the beauty of a small town, which I didn’t always appreciate when I was young. But then I got out and saw what it was like in other places. And I appreciate it now.”
Lake Forest council race takes nasty turn with mailers seeking to smear candidate
In what could be seen as a #MeToo moment for local elections, a Lake Forest City Council candidate and her supporters are denouncing mailers that use pictures of her in a bikini and list bogus case numbers to suggest a criminal background.
Neeki Moatazedi, a project manager for the Southern California Gas Co., and Sonny Morper, a retired school principal, are running for the District 2 council seat.
Recent mailers paid for by a political action committee called the California Education Project show photos of Moatazedi posing in a bikini for a body-building competition and a stock photo of a woman in shackles and an orange jail jumpsuit next to three purported criminal case numbers; two of them could not be found in Los Angeles or Orange County superior court online records, and the third was for a 2003 traffic infraction.
“These mailers cross the line on so many issues, including lying about the candidate,” Orange County Taxpayers Association President Carolyn Cavecche said Monday at a press conference in support of Moatazedi.
Moatazedi said the mailers demonstrate “a microcosm of a tired, misogynistic ‘good old boy’ attitude” driven by desperation that a young political newcomer like her could upset the status quo.
The California Education Project, which has an Oceanside mailing address, has been involved in past Lake Forest elections, including recall campaigns, according to prior campaign finance filings, but the group filed two reports with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters this year indicating it has not spent or received any money from July 2017 through June 2018, according to documents Cavecche provided. No recent filings were found in online searches of state and Orange County records.
Moatazedi’s supporters have reported the group to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to file a report on spending related to the mailers, Cavecche said. They also plan to ask the Orange County District Attorney’s office to look into the matter.
Morper, who is shown on one of the mailers that touts him as a longtime city resident and upstanding community member, said he’s “tried nine ways to Sunday” to disavow any knowledge of or participation in the mailers, which he described as “absolutely horrible.”
Once he learned they’d been sent, he said, he reached out to Moatazedi to alert her.
“I assured her I had nothing to do with it,” he said. “It’s offensive. I don’t buy into that stuff.”
Morper said he holds former councilman Adam Nick responsible and added that he refused Nick’s offer to support his campaign.
Nick turned up at the press conference and defended the mailers as accurate, but said they should not have used pictures of Moatazedi in a bikini because “they take away from the message” that she is unqualified for the council.
Reached later by phone, Nick said he hired a political consultant to help Morper win the election, but Morper was not involved. Nick said he didn’t “micromanage” the consultant or have input on the mailers’ contents. The consultant could not be reached for comment.
The information on the mailers is “accurate to the best of my knowledge,” Nick said. To back up the allegation that Moatazedi has a criminal record, he forwarded a report from Instant Checkmate, an online background checking tool that searches public records for a fee, but does not guarantee the accuracy of its results.
The mailers also point out that Moatazedi lives with her parents and has moved multiple times in recent years, living in Lake Forest for about two years.
Moatazedi said the criminal reference is particularly upsetting to her because she once filed for a restraining order. At the press conference, she called on Morper to apologize and drop out of the council race, to which Morper said, “That’s pure politics. That’s not going to happen.”
Mayor Jim Gardner, who is up for reelection in November, called the mailers “distasteful” and “a cheap shot,” but said it’s not surprising in the current political environment, especially in Lake Forest.
The California Education Project made a robo-call in support of Gardner in 2014, according to campaign filings, but Gardner said he didn’t know about it at the time and is unaware of whether the group is backing him now.
While Cavecche said the Lake Forest mailers are one of the worst attacks she’s seen in a local election, she and Gardner seem to agree that it’s more or less typical of the city, which Cavecche said is “starting to get a reputation county-wide.”
Gardner said he tries to stick to the issues in his campaign, but from the presidential level on down, nasty attacks are common.
“I have sympathy for her,” he said of Moatazedi, “but somebody should have warned her that that’s just the way it is.”
Nazemi has been selected to referee the final of the Youth Olympics Women's Futsal Tournament Buenos Aires 2018 between Portugal and Japan, which takes place on Wednesday in the Main Futsal Hall.
FIFA.com chatted with the Iranian 34-year-old official to find out a little more about her career path, covering topics such as choosing futsal over football and her situation today, where she is one of many female referees working under the auspices of the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran.
"It’s a very important assignment: the best referees from each country are here and the level of competition is very high. I’m happy," said Nazemi.
"About 15 years back, I was playing football in Iran when my brother, who was a referee in the SuperLiga, urged me to give it a try. He said, 'You can do it, you can be one of the first'. In Iran, the first group of female referees only got started 15 years ago."
Nazemi elaborated on her decision of choosing futsal over football and how the sport has shaped her career.
"Because futsal in Iran is played to a really high standard, higher than football. To start off with, I refereed football matches, but it wasn’t enough for me. In futsal, we’re the number one team in the AFC; it’s a very good level. It was a way of improving – futsal enabled me to develop my refereeing."
"At the beginning it was hard, but just like in any other country, if you want something enough, you can do it. People have often said that women aren’t good referees. But in order to stick with my decision, it was important to me to tell them and show them that I could do it. I used it as a motivating tool. And my brother and family were very supportive. That was very important.
"I do see myself like a pioneer – and the other female referees back home – in that way, yes. There are a lot of them who are keen to develop. When I was called up to this tournament, perhaps at the beginning it wasn’t looked upon as a positive thing. But after this appointment, and others within the AFC, my countrymen saw the progress I was making and accepted it. Now they believe in me and trust me," Nazemi concluded.
A Bunch of Mops, Cleaners, and Trash Bags Delivered to Saudi Consulate Ahead of Khashoggi Murder Probe
What does it say about the credibility of an investigation when a cleaning crew fully equipped with boxes of chemicals, mops, trash bags, and... milk arrives at the scene of the alleged crime right before the probe begins?
"You couldn't make his up!!! Literally minutes after Saudi authorities said Turkish investigators could enter the consulate—a cleaning team arrived and entered the building."
—Jamal Elshayyal, Al Jazeera
At around the same time Saudi King Salman insisted in a Monday morning phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump that his regime had nothing to do with the disappearance and alleged murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi—a denial Trump dutifully echoed to reporters while suggesting that perhaps "rogue killers" were behind the gruesome crime—video cameras captured a team of cleaners hauling several buckets of mops, two large cases of trash bags, Dixi cleaning solution, another carton of what appears to be bleach, and two cases of Pinar milk through the front door of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.
The cleaning crew was seen entering the consulate shortly before Turkish investigators were set to arrive to carry out an "inspection" in search of additional evidence of who was behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the Saudi royal family.
If the Saudis were concerned about the optics of a well-prepared cleaning crew arriving on the scene of an alleged murder just moments before the start of an investigation that is being closely watched by the international community, they did not show it—the crew walked in the front entrance of the consulate in full view of Reuters and Associated Press cameras and journalists.
Independent reporter Borzou Daragahi joked in a tweet that "the way to preserve the integrity of a possible crime scene and bolster confidence in the investigation is to bring in a bunch of cleaners through the front door before the detectives arrive."