Kuwaiti model and influencer Rawan Bin Hussain’s new song is a rallying cry against domestic abuse and calls on women to break free from toxic relationships.
This comes nearly one year after the mother-of-one, who's been dubbed the “Brooke Shields of Kuwait”, announced she was getting a divorce from her husband as she was "mentally abused".
The song, which is Bin Hussain's first foray into the music industry, other than a cover with Emirati star Fahad Al-Arif, is called Kan Ya Ma Kan (Once Upon a Time) and was released on Monday to coincide with International Women's Day.
It begins with a simple but empowering statement: “To all the women in the world, you are not alone.”
A lilting string section and a pensive rhythm then set the tone for Bin Hussain’s velvety vocals. The accompanying music video, directed by Richa Sarkis, amassed more than 150,000 views in 10 hours after it was posted on YouTube.
The video begins by showing a couple arguing in a ransacked living room. The man then pushes Bin Hussain, yelling at her as she breaks down in tears.
“Once upon a time, I used to talk to you about how I feel. My heart was filled with hope,” Bin Hussain sings in Arabic in the chorus. “But now I declare, I want nothing to do with you.”
As the song picks up, she sings: “Look where we are because of your heartless self. The stranger by my side is not the one I fell in love with.”
The video juxtaposes pleasant memories with more traumatic ones, showing the couple having candlelit dinners as well as scenes in which they are embroiled in heated arguments.
As it nears its conclusion, Bin Hussain calmly and coolly walks out of the house with the man yelling after her.
The song seems to have had an impact on its listeners, as many are posting their own experiences with domestic abuse in the YouTube comments, alongside encouragement to others to extricate themselves from abusive relationships.
“OK, this is deep,” one commenter, Hedaya Husain, wrote. “To all women out there, if you are in a toxic relationship. Leave it. Don't wait for it to get better, just leave.”
“For all women who are victims of coercive control and abuse,” another commenter, Leena Farouk, wrote. “Listen to this and walk away. Narcissists are not worth wasting your life over.”
This is not the first time that Bin Hussain has spoken up against domestic abuse.
When she announced her divorce, she wrote on Instagram: "Today I’m here to explain this without the filter and I’m hoping people, especially Middle Easterners who still follow the worst traditional rules, would understand me.”
She added in an Instagram Story: “Every time I got upset, I was blamed for his mistakes, I was called out as a crazy, psychotic, unstable person ... I was mentally abused to the extent I did go to therapy because I thought I am unstable … But the reality is, my husband is a narcissistic psychopath."
She added that she was "proud" of the move she was making. “If this will make me ‘less of a human being’, then that’s totally fine! I am super excited for my new chapter."
In October 2020, Bin Hussein was accused of assaulting her ex-husband, Libyan businessman Mohammed Youssef Migariaf, in London's Hyde Park. The influencer, who has more than five million followers on Instagram, denied the accusations.