There is a tempest in Egypt these days, because the culture minister, in an informal telephone interview with a local newspaper reporter, expressed his nostalgia to older days when women didn't wear the head scarf or veils. In 1980, there were no Egyptian women covering their heads except two categories; nuns, and peasants in the countryside. I personally agree, and share the same feelings of the minister, however, this doesn't really matter. What matters, is what ensued, threats, and motions presented by the parliament requesting first the minister to apologize, then demonstrations at the universities, then, the formation of a joint committee from the religious, and culture committees in the parliament to interview the minister.
The thing is that this big reaction against the minister because he expressed his views about the veil, which is shared by many Muslims including myself. If you ride the underground, or attend any of the universities in Egypt, you will find a behaviour that amounts to coercion and prosecution of unveiled women to force them to wear veil!!! I know that first hand since I taught for 16 years at Cairo University, and my female colleagues were telling me about these stories.
The Muslim Brotherhood members of the parliament have given us a glimpse of we should expect if they leap into power. This is a sad day for freedom of expression. Many other public figures have voiced opposite opinions before during the days veiled women were a minority, and no one reacted.
I decided to start this blog partially because of this situation where the silent majority of Egyptians might end up paying the price of their silence and passive attitude towards matters that might shape their future and the future of their children.
I intend to analyze the socio-economic, cultural, and political situation in Egypt. I will also later on present my views on how progress can be made in Egypt.