Thursday, October 28, 2010

Emancipated women

Who was traveling in Arab countries in the early 1960s to the late 1970s, it seemed that the Mediterranean was not doomed to forever separate the West from Islam and the northern and southern shores approached gradually little. While the dialogue of cultures was a reality: men and women from these civilizations were trying to understand in spite of prejudices. Alexandria belonged to the same world as Naples. In the streets of Cairo, Algiers, Rabat, Beirut, one would have thought in Athens, was the plaintive music aired loudly in cafes. The women came out of their homes without being supervised by a male, dressed like French: a little outdated and less likely to short. What made the charm of these countries was the joy of living. The light step, the lively conversations, the future smiling, cheerful recklessness, all indicated that civility restored benefited women and the sweetness of manners changed their lives. The Mediterranean was poised to recover the unity that the conquerors from the deserts of Asia had broken in the seventh century Appearances were deceiving, but at least the hearts trembled with hope, despite the urges of hatred which, in the depths, began to undermine the happiness we knew then how it was fragile.

In 1923, the Egyptian Hoda Charaoui and her friends, who returned from World Feminist Congress held in Italy, have removed their veils down on car harem: the people who thronged the railway station of Cairo and its surroundings has acclaimed. Seventy years later, the feminist writer Nawal el Saadawi, death threats, among other reasons, because she would not wear the veil, took refuge in the U.S., because nobody, neither the authorities Neither the police nor his countrymen, would not ensure his safety, for fear of having to deal with Islam triumphant. The status of women in Arab countries suffered from two or three decades a tragic regression.

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