GLOBAL VOICES - MARWA RAKHA
On February 3, 2006 Al-Salam ferry sank in the middle of the Red Sea killing more than 1,000 people who were coming to Safaga, Egypt from Saudi Arabia. The passengers were mainly Egyptian workers in Saudi Arabia, who were returning home on vacation or who were bringing their savings home to retire in their homeland. The Egyptian criminal court has found the owner of a Red Sea ferry and four others not guilty of manslaughter.
The families of the victims as well as Egyptian bloggers were shocked and angered.
Wandering Scarab, in "The Dreaded Ferry" wrote:
On July 24th, Maggie Michael reported:
Egyptian authorities shut down the Cairo office of an Iranian TV network, a security official said Thursday, as the two nations spar over a film that justifies the killing of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat by Islamic militants.
Blogger Dina Ayoub in her post Egypt vs Iran takes us back to the time when President Sadat signed the peace treaty with Israel:
Emotional Deficit. For several decades, the Egyptian society was being Islamized, making the chances of having a natural and healthy pre-marriage boy-girl relationship ever diminishing. Marriage itself, it would seem is becoming more unaffordable than ever. The average age for marriage in Egypt for men has consistently increased. It is normal to see someone who is thirty years old who still has a few years to go before he can afford to provide the extensive requirements for marriage. In many cases, a young male in Egypt had to travel to the Gulf and work for a few years "building his fortune" to be able to afford the hefty burdens of marriage. Knowing that boys probably reach puberty at the age of 13 or 14, this means that a male in Egypt will spend some twenty years suffering from this emotional and "physical" deficit.
Reuters published survey on sexual harassment in Egypt is still stirring angry responses from Egyptian bloggers.
In her post titled "Shame and Sexual Harassment in Egypt", Mona Eltahawy took a trip back in time and visited her early experiences with sexual harassment:
Dina - now living in Vancouver - remembers what every Egyptian woman identifies with saying
There's this look in an Egyptian man's eyes that makes me want to poke his eyes out, mutilate his body parts, and then kill him. A psychotic, undressing, invasive and violating look. A look so disgusting that it makes me shiver in my own skin, and wish that the earth would just swallow me up to cover me from it. A look so filthy, that you can see the virtual assault on you in his sleazy eyes. I hate that look so much.
In a not-so-rare scenario in Egypt, the man has the right to beat his wife and children as much and as severely as he wishes and no criminal charges can be filed against him - unless one of them dies as a result of this beating. Why?
"Because some crazy sadistic men have claimed that this is an authorized tool for disciplining a man's wife and children in Islam! Which is absolutely not true" explains the infuriated Fantasia.
Back in March 2008, Eman Hashim wrote a post [Ar] questioning why do Muslim Egyptian women need a "wakeel" - a man who has to sign her off to her husband. Let me give you a bit more insight here: unlike western cultures where the father gives away the bride as a jest of his approval and blessing, in Islam the marriage is "flawed" if the father, or the uncle if the father is deceased, has to speak on the bride's behalf through out all the paperwork and marriage procedures. Many sheikhs frown upon the thought of a girl - especially one who has never been married before and who is supposedly a virgin - marrying herself away.
One particular post about Egyptian women getting married to foreign men caught my attention.
In her post about The Whores, Ghawayesh starts by saying:
"Times are changing and many ‘respected' families have come to accept the fact that their daughters can make their own choices of choosing to marry whoever they want, if they EVER CHOOSE to marry, which is also a new trend in Egypt."
Wandering Scarab - an Egyptian girl living in Canada - prior to her last visit to Egypt, decided to visit the Canadian Consulate website to register with the consulate in Egypt just in case her Canadian husband or her baby girl needed assistance with travel or local authorities. What she read on the site was appalling and ended up in her writing this post.
Women, particularly foreign women, are frequently subject to unpleasant male attention, sexual harassment, and verbal abuse. This often takes the form of staring, inappropriate remarks, catcalls, and touching. The Department publishes a booklet entitled Her Own Way: A Woman's Guide to Safe and Successful Travel. Its prime objective is to inform Canadian women and encourage them to travel safely.
Politics is not my thing but this was too good to resist. When I came across Wael Nawara's writings I knew that I stumbled on a goldmine. In his post - Too Secular to Win? - Wael asked four tough questions that left his readers wondering: What is the world coming to? Where is Secular America? When did people stop thinking that a person's religion is their own business? Can Obama, if he ever wins, try to help change that? Help pick our world from these trends of rising religious-mania ... starting with the US? But will he ever win?
Wael started his post by citing an average American woman who was interviewed on CNN saying:
"I do not trust him (Obama) he is a Muslim ..."
Moving from Secularism and diversity to the Rantings of a Sandmonkey on Why Obama will Fail;
"In my house , right now, I have the electoral programs for both Obama and McCain, and reading them has provided me with hours of constant amusement. McCain's program is under the impression that the world is great and everything is fine and dandy, and all we really have to do is to bomb a couple more areas in the world (a bomb here, a couple there) and all will be well with the world again. I personally love it, but that's because I am Pro-Death and would welcome anything that would bring the world's population down a notch, but I doubt the rest of you exactly share my sentiment, so, ehh, yeah, bad electoral program, bad!"