In times of such political turmoil in the United States, where thousands of citizens are against President Donald Trump's refugee travel ban and deem it targeting Muslims particularly, one intriguing trivia has surfaced about America's Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty -- America's symbol of freedom and acceptance of diversity -- could actually have been modelled on a Muslim woman, after all. This news is of significance considering Trump's executive order has banned people from at least seven Muslim-majority countries to enter into the United States, citing 'terrorism concerns.'
Reports state that the statue's designer, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, was enamoured with Egyptian pyramids and monumental sculpture. According to historian Edward Berenson, Bartholdi, in the 1860s, decided to build a monument to commemorate the opening of Egypt's Suez Canal.
"And that monument was going to be a woman in the southern opening of the canal holding up a torch over her head and that woman was dressed in Arab peasant garb," Berenson says. However, when the ruler of Egypt, Khedewi Ismail Pasha, went bankrupt, the structure was abandoned.
It wasn't until very long that the sculptor decided to make some alterations to his design, Brenson explains, "A couple of years earlier, Bartholdi and his friends decided they were going to give a gift to the United States that was going to celebrate the centennial of the American Revolution." It was then when the artists decided to reuse the sculptor and alter it to fit the American Revolution, PRI reported.
The result of that alteration was a woman, who was originally dressed in Arab garb transformed into a Greco-Roman goddess of liberty Libertas. The statue was a gift from the people of France to the United States and celebrated America's liberation, and served as a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from different nations to the country.
Today, the current American government's anti-immigrant stance has alarmed many nations abroad, and has caused uproar within American cities where many call the move unconstitutional and against the country's ideologies.