Viral Egypt dance video fuels girls’s rights debate – Occasions of India

CAIRO: A video of an Egyptian mother-of-three dancing that went viral on-line prompting her husband to divorce her and her employers to sack her has reignited fierce debates over girls’s rights.
The transient cell phone video of Aya Youssef, a 30-year-old main college trainer, exhibits her carrying a scarf, trousers and a long-sleeved high as she dances alongside colleagues, smiling as she enjoys a river cruise on the Nile.
However the video, which has been shared broadly on social media because it was posted earlier this month, has break up opinion.
Some critics accuse her of breaching the conservative values of a largely Muslim society — whereas others stand firmly along with her in solidarity.
Lately, Egypt has witnessed a number of circumstances during which girls have been subjected to defamation campaigns on social media, stirring offended calls for for these accountable to be held to account.
It comes as rights teams warn of a broadening crackdown on freedom within the more and more conservative North African nation ever since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took workplace in 2014.
Youssef, in a latest interview with a personal TV channel, stated she had been “blissful” on the journey and that her strikes have been “spontaneous”.
Different colleagues have been dancing alongside her on the boat within the sunshine, some waving their arms within the air. “All of us have been dancing,” she stated.
However after the video was shared on-line, some who watched offered scathing feedback on what they noticed as “unbecoming” behaviour.
One Twitter person, Jihad al-Qalyubi, stated the trainer’s actions have been “shameful”.
One other, Ahmed al-Beheiry, stated he “could not fathom how a married girl would dance on this lewd manner”.
However — in a rustic the place 90 p.c of ladies aged between 18 and 39 reported having been harassed in 2019, in accordance with a survey by the Arab Barometer analysis community — others have been supportive.
After the video went viral, Egypt’s training ministry in Dakahlia area — northeast of Cairo — referred the trainer to a disciplinary committee, the place she was sacked from her job within the metropolis of Mansoura.
Amid a subsequent outcry, she was this week reinstated.
Nihad Abu al-Qumsan, head of the Egyptian Centre for Ladies’s Rights, defended the trainer and provided her a job.
“We are going to ask the court docket concerning the right dance guidelines — so that every one girls would conform to the fitting guidelines in the event that they dance of their brother’s or their son’s weddings, or at birthdays,” Qumsan stated sarcastically.
The truth that Youssef’s husband additionally divorced her after watching the video prompted an offended response from well-liked Egyptian actress Sumaya al-Khashab, saying it confirmed double requirements.
“Why do not males take their wives again?” Khashab requested.
“There are such a lot of girls who stand by their males once they even go to jail, for instance, or do not abandon their husbands when their circumstances deteriorate,” she added.
Youssef advised Egypt’s Al-Watan newspaper that she didn’t know who had revealed the video on-line, however vowed authorized motion gainst those that “defamed and ruined her dwelling”.
It isn’t the primary such case of on-line shaming to have triggered anger in Egypt.
Two younger males have been arrested this week after a 17-year-old schoolgirl dedicated suicide final month.
She swallowed poison after she was allegedly blackmailed with digitally altered pictures after she reportedly refused to have an affair with them.
And in July 2021, a Cairo court docket sentenced two girls to 6 and 10 years in jail for “breaching public morals” after they’d revealed movies on the social media channel TikTok.
They have been amongst a dozen social media “influencers” arrested in 2020 for “attacking society’s values” in Egypt.
Opinions are shifting; Egypt has lengthy been thought to be the birthplace of stomach dancing, however a number of stomach dancers and pop singers have been focused lately over on-line content material deemed too racy or suggestive.
Egypt has seen its group of homegrown dancers shrink, largely as a result of occupation’s rising notoriety because the nation has turn into extra conservative over the previous half-century — and to a broadening crackdown on freedoms.

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