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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Welcome back dear friend...

... it's been such a while that I was busy with other projects, that I couldn't bring myself to even write down random thoughts and observations about what occupies my mind. Too bad really, as the focus of this blog, human rights and the middle-east, is an issue that needs a lot of thinking, analyzing and writing these days.

One issue is that of Aliaa al Mahdy, the Egyptian blogger who posted a picture of herself on her blog: http://arebelsdiary.blogspot.com/?zx=7722a5512dce8618

The result was hundreds of thousands of hits, thousands of comments (in favor and against her action) and a lively debate about the position of women in Egyptian society. Let me state here that I am a fan of Aliaa, and am impressed by her bravery (she posts with her own name, always, risking her life and more). However, what interests me is if the discussion is had within Egyptian society, or if it's only feminists outside of Egypt supporting her and advocating women's rights based on this action?

For instance, how will this Israeli women's initiative help the discussion in Egypt? http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4150344,00.html

Or the hundreds of Iranian women for that matter, who've spoken up in support, and in some cases have even shed their clothes. At any rate, I want to hear about Egyptian women! Let's see if we can find a few.

Conservative elements in the revolution are quick to brush her aside as a plot to derail the revolution. Here's an article in which it's claimed even the April 6th Youth movement denies such a person could ever be part of their revolution: http://www.albawaba.com/editorchoice/naked-blogger-egypt-aliaa-ostracized-401455

Anyway, now you know who she is and why you should follow developments around this story. I'll post more as the story develops.

PS. You'll be happy to know that my friend Arturo (de)Simone is opening an exhibition of his work in the Mezrab. In the exhibition he features two drawings of Aliaa. Two other drawings of her made by Arturo are currently up on her blog, so go check it out.

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