You might already know that I write regularly for a few Egyptian magazines in English; Egypt's Insight, Enigma, and Campus. I started writing because I needed a voice; I needed to vent, breathe, and detoxify. In October 2006, I created my first blog (Jenny) and in December 2006 I came out in the open - mask off. In February I began posting for the American Chronicle and their 21 affiliate chronicles, and in March Ex in the City linked me to their experts. This is all great news and progress. Now what am I bitching about?
I will tell you. Yesterday I got a call from my editor in Campus Magazine who informed me that my article for the April issue has been removed by "rekaba" - censorship. The 65 year old veiled lady interpreted it as "a call soliciting incest" - Please do not ask me where that came from.
Then I called my editor in Enigma to see if they had any issues with censorship. She was as sweet as ever, and told me that my Bloggers feature and my relationships article we removed because of spacing issues. A multinational advertiser took a few pages and they had to take out half of their content!
I was a bit frustrated but I was thankful for blogging and eternally grateful for the world wide web. When I first started blogging, I used to post one article each month, then they became three when I began writing for three publications. Last month I noticed that I run to my blog every time anything disturbs my peace. It is no longer about articles; it is about me living and breathing.
Every time one of my articles gets censored, removed, postponed, or even edited I feel like a gagged woman watching a thief break into her house. It is a suffocating feeling for a control-freak like myself. On the other hand, blogging is an extremely liberating experience - this is where I get relief, support, understanding, acceptance, and a genuine warm welcome.
Bye Bye magazines!