It was supposed to be a leisurely Sunday in May like many others for Mayssa Hanouni Yaafouri. But her regular jaunt at Saida Public Beach in Lebanon’s coastal city of Sidon was interrupted.

On May 14, two men who called themselves Muslim sheikhs approached Yaafouri and her husband, demanding that the pair leave because Yaafouri was wearing a one-piece swimsuit.

Yaafouri stood her ground and told the men she can wear whatever she wants at a public beach. But the men refused to listen.

“They said it’s their law – the power of the sheikh,” Yaafouri told Al Jazeera.