Saudi duo addresses domestic violence in 7-Day Brief for UN Women

At the Dubai Lynx 2015 awards, a young woman's makeup tutorial on "How to cover facial bruises" impresses the jury

Dubai — Shafiq Alam and Mohamad Sarhi from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, have won the third edition of the 7-Day Brief Competition powered by YouTube at the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity.

Their winning video, in response to a brief from UN Women, was a makeup tutorial. While it resembles popular beauty vlogs, the intent is much starker: to cover facial bruises inflicted by domestic violence. The 60-second film ends urging viewers to donate to hotlines across the region for women who are victims of violence.

In the Middle East and North Africa, UN Women aims to improve and expand mechanisms to protect women, including shelters, psychosocial services and legal support. Hotlines will tie these services together in each country, with women able to call 24/7.

"The silence surrounding violence against women in the region needs to be broken," said Mohammad Naciri, regional director, UN Women. "Violence against women and girls is the single most harmful practice in achieving equality. The winning entry is incredibly powerful; it’s a conversation starter and shows us that violence for many women is a lived reality."

Emma Farmer, festival director, Dubai Lynx, said, "We’re delighted to have partnered with YouTube to once again deliver the 7-Day Brief. It’s an incredibly effective competition that raises the profile of both the winners and the client. The UN Women’s mission is an important one, and the winning video has resonated with this resulting in a powerful campaign. I’d like to congratulate the team on their worthy win."

The brief was announced on Jan. 14, and videos had to be submitted in seven days. Entries were judged by a panel led by Ramsey Naja, CCO, MEA, J. Walter Thompson.

The two winners will be given the option to flying to the Cannes Lions international Festival of Creativity 2015 this June.

This article first appeared on

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