More about Sexual Harassment in Egypt

It is no secret that sexual harassment is a very dangerous phenomenon in Egypt streets. What is striking is that it is getting worse, not better. I have been suffering from street sexual harassment for years, and wrote 2 years ago that I no longer had any tolerance for it. I described how I would attack men in cars with rocks if they had stopped to harass me.Earlier last year, the day it was announced that Mubarak had stepped down, Tahrir Square was so crowded with people celebrating, and in … [Read more...]

Wall of Shame: Ramadan Television in Egypt

Now that Ramadan is over, I can get it out of my mind and scream hard on how women were portrayed in the Egyptian TV throughout the whole month.Women are seen as sex objects: there’s no better way to put it than this cliché; it is as simple, as shallow, and as degrading as it has always been. One would think that the so-called Arab Spring would make some difference, after people had watched women side-by-side with men, playing their crucial role in all the battles since the first day of the r … [Read more...]

Ramadan in Egypt: A Personal Perspective

Previously, I told you about Ramadan in Cairo, Egypt in a general way. Now I'm going to tell more personal details about what Ramadan is to me.This year it is very different, since it's my first Ramadan as a married woman. Yes it's exciting and nice to be married, but let's call a spade a spade: it's a mess! I mean, I can hardly maintain any energy for myself to stay awake to work, or study, recite some Qur’an and pray, and that is it. The idea of now being expected to stand up on my feet f … [Read more...]

Ramadan in Egypt

Ramadan in Cairo, Egypt is always special in its very traditional way.You wait for the Lunar confirmation that next day is first day of Ramadan, then you hear the Taraweeh Prayer calls in all mosques.A few hours later, the first Sohour begins, with a special guy (we call him “Messaharati”) banging on a drum in the streets calling for Sohour to each and every person in his neighborhood, especially kids.  Small confession: I used to make him call me by my nickname. Just imagine it, it's 3.0 … [Read more...]

Stop Using Us: Women’s Votes in the Egyptian Presidential Elections

During the Egyptian elections campaigning, women were, of course, targeted by those looking for votes.Akher Kalam – “Final Words” – is one of the most viewed TV talk shows in Egypt.  As with most Egyptian media outlets lately, it has been paying much attention to the elections, and its coverage of women’s issues in the Egyptian elections is typical of how many other media outlets were talking about these topics. That show had earlier had an episode with Christian guests, to focus on issues of … [Read more...]

I Wear the Hijab… So?

Last month, Egyptian journalist Dalia Rabie had an enlightening experience when she was banned from joining her own birthday party at one of Cairo’s fancy restaurants, L’Aubergine.Rabie relates that the guy standing on the door who stopped her asked her if the fact that she is – unfortunately – wearing hijab was mentioned prior to the reservation.Her response to those who always use the “It is a place that serves alcohol” excuse: “Some claim that the mere sight of a veiled girl at the ne … [Read more...]

Marching with Dignity – “Sisters” or Not

Just a month ago, here on MMW, I tried to highlight the fact that mainstream media was focusing on Islamists’ statements regarding what women wear, while, in fact, what was even more dangerous was their vision regarding women and child law. I referred in that article to quotations from Dr. Manal Abul-Hassan about allowing female genital mutilation, and to Abul-Hassan’s description of child protection laws as simply an imitation of the West (and therefore bad or unnecessary).Turns that Dr. … [Read more...]