October 7, 2022


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Unbeknownst to him, his life was shattered, “This story is dizzying!” (Video)

In Egypt, a video of an exploding cocktail – the Nile, a boat, a teacher wearing a headscarf and dancing without her knowledge – never stops making people talk and tries to get themselves heard between ministries and feminist activists.

Aya Youssef, an Arabic teacher for three years at an elementary school in Mansoura, north of Cairo, never thought to make headlines in the most populous Arab countries.

However, it took a little while: his colleagues – women and men – danced during leisure time on a boat on the Nile to provoke controversy.

The video, shot by one of the participants and posted on social media, was viewed millions of times.

The 30-year-old teacher has been showered with derogatory comments, questioning whether it is possible for her husband to accept such behavior.

Add “crude”, some, “violation of teaching ethics”, and others.

The husband, shocked by these comments from strangers, immediately filed for divorce from the mother of his three children.

The case was taken up by the Ministry of Education itself, Ms. Ordered to nominate Yusuf and his five colleagues to the Regulatory Board.

Divorce and slander

On social networks, a few voices were still filmed as a video and above all released without permission.

Because the question of distribution is the slander here.

In a country like Egypt, which has been a beacon of Arabic cinema and song for decades, everyone from Rabat to Aden dances at the corporate parties, weddings or parties that make them dream.

But since the 1970s a firm view of Islam has spread, and the conservative traditions of a tight society and the struggle against women’s rights have built a wall of shame around mutually accepted practices, but are generally condemned.

Mrs. Yusuf took some time before speaking in public.

To the local media, he finally said that this filmed scene was “normal”. “We were on a boat trip over the weekend and not only me, a lot of people danced,” she repeated.

He also promised to prosecute “his family” for “slandering” the person or person who posted the video.

But at this point, the damage was done: the young mother saw her children leaving and her marriage falling apart in a country where husbands are usually detained.

On Twitter, actress Heidi Karam protested against “an illusory story where everyone is quiet”.

Actress Soumaya al-Qassab condemns inequality: “Why don’t husbands support their wives when many women do not abandon their husbands when they go to jail or lose all means of it”.

“Rules of Dance”

In a video posted on Facebook, lawyer Nihat Abo al-Qumsan, the director of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, offered to appoint Ms Youssef as a reviewer at his law firm.

Increasingly isolated, the Ministry of Education re-employed the teacher.

But the lawyer did not stand by. “We will go to court to find out whether the person who posted the video on the internet was guilty or danced,” he promises.

“The court can also tell us what are the laws in force for dance,” he repeats paradoxically. “We can state the rules that women (…) must follow to stay within the framework of legal dance and to avoid pornographic dances.”

Pictures of women online have already caused a stir in Egypt.

On December 23, local media reported that a 17-year-old student had committed suicide after a nude photo was posted online.

Prior to that, in July 2021, after videos released on TikTok and Likee processors, two influencers were sentenced to six and ten years in prison for “corruption in family life” and “incitement to fraud.”

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