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Iraqi Social Media Influencer, Umm Fahad, Shot Dead In Baghdad

TikToker Ghufran Sawadi, also known as Umm Fahad on the platform, was shot dead on Friday night by an unknown gunman. The surveillance footage shows a man riding a bike, probably disguised as a food delivery man, killed the social media influencer.

Umm Fahad became famous on TikTok due to her dance reels on pop songs and her sharing of fashion inspiration, which includes her wearing figure-hugging short dresses. The country’s social media monitoring committee found Umm Fahad’s posts offensive and contrary to Iraq’s modest values.

Hence, she was sentenced to six months in prison due to the crime of “producing and publishing videos that contain obscene language violating public decency and morals,” said the Judiciaries in a statement.

Many are speculating the “unknown gunman” could be an extremist targeting social media influencers who are known for “promoting indecency.” Before Umm Fahad, another social media influencer, Noor Alsaffar, followed the same fate in 2023. Alsaffar was known as Noor BM on TikTok and primarily published videos on makeup and fashion. She was abruptly killed by a gunman as well.

The interior ministry has acknowledged the murder, saying, “A woman popular on social media platforms was killed by unknown assailants on Friday.” The statement further mentioned a “special committee” to investigate the murder carefully.

According to AFP news agency, the gunman was riding a motorcycle and looked like a delivery man. The incident took place in the Zayouna area of Baghdad. Local media reports also point toward the feud between Umm Fahad and another popular TikTok celebrity, Dalia Naeem. Dalia is more popular as “Iraq’s Barbie” as she has undergone several plastic surgeries to improve her appearance.

Reportedly, Dalia had a clash with Umm Fahad as the former threatened to expose Umm Fahad’s secret affair with an Iraqi senior government official.

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