Who represents the women of Egypt?
Bikyamasr - over 4 years
Egypt women protesting in Cairo. -image courtesy WNN
Who, exactly, is “Egypt’s everywoman?”
A June 28th New York Times profile suggests that she is Naglaa Ali Mahmoud, wife of newly elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. Mahmoud’s history and path to the position of Egyptian first lady make her a bit hard to pin down.
At first glance, she appears wholly conservative: the veiled wife of an Islamist, she was married to her cousin as a teenager and prefers to be called “Um Ahmed,” or Mother of Ahmed, one of her five children. As the Times notes, some fear her with her veil, she will be an embarrassment when greeting world leaders—a “comic scenario”—and that her image runs counter to aspirations for a modern, cosmopolitan nation.
Yet upon closer examination, nuances emerge: she studied English at university, lived for years in Los Angeles, and frequently appeared with her husband during his campaign. Furthermore, Morsi once stated publicly—breaking with traditional customs