Royal Jordanian airlines debuted a new ad on Thursday that addresses the discrimination many Arab and Muslim travelers face on airplanes.
The poignant ad puts the viewer in the mind of an Arab man as he observes fellow passengers boarding the plane and looking at him with contempt and fear.
The man is visibly uncomfortable but attempts to appear calm as his mind races with distressing thoughts about what’s to come of this flight.
“I'm afraid I’ll end up somewhere I don't want to go," he says. "Afraid of being stuck in a place with people who look at me differently. I'm afraid of the 'what ifs.' What if something wrong happens and they don't believe me? What if they don't ask and just act on their fear?"
The man also notes how his physical attributes prompt people to jump to conclusions about his character.
“They don't know who I am," he continues. “They look at me and only see a color, a name, a beard, a book.”
The minute-long ad concludes with the man anxiously fidgeting in his seat while being glared at by an elderly white woman as the words “Don’t be afraid to say no to discrimination” appear in white lettering on the screen.
Royal Jordanian is certainly no stranger to shaming xenophobia. Earlier this year, they released a satirical list that compiled “12 things to do on a 12-hour flight with no laptop or tablet” after President Donald Trump’s administration initiated an electronics ban on devices larger than a smartphone from 10 Middle Eastern and North African airports.
The airline even trolled United Airlines after the infamous dragging incident of a Vietnamese-American doctor with a clever message to customers reinforcing its policy on cigarettes by stating that dragging is “strictly prohibited.”
It’s no secret that xenophobia and Islamophobia are at an all-time high since 9/11, particularly amid the rise of the right-wing nationalist movement in the west.
Public figures and entities like Royal Jordanian deserve applause for using their platform to stand up against the hate and divisiveness that has cast a dark shadow over the world.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters