Ägypten vor dem Schleier

aegypten-vor-dem-schleier„Egypt Without Hijab is an Arabic Facebook page which goes way past its shortened name, with a main focus on the portrayal of Egyptian society and women during a time when Cairo was dubbed one of the most beautiful and progressive cities in the world. The page is essentially a photography archive, featuring a myriad of images from a bygone time; a time where women were able to wear what they wanted on the streets without being subject to harassment. (…)

The Facebook page sheds light on the progression and freedom that thrived in Egypt, prior to the Wahhabi-inspired wave of Islam that is said to have been imported from Saudi Arabia as it became an increasingly powerful socio-political force in the late 1960s. Wahabisim is described as a strict and orthodox sect of Sunni Islam which advocates a return to the early days of the religion, rejecting modern innovation and interpretations. Many sociologists attribute the rise of hijab in Egypt to the 1970s, when Egyptian workers living in the Gulf returned to their homeland, bringing with them the cultural symbol, normalising the head scarf. The page also invites other members of the Egyptian society to share photos of themselves or of their parents and grandparents who were part of the ‘Golden Era’ with some photos tracing back to as early 1901.

(May Mansour: „On Women and Egyptian Society: Remembering Female Empowerment“)

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