Nude activist brings Egypt into 21st century

When an Egyptian activist posted a nude picture of herself online in protest at the lack of freedom of expression, it sparked outrage in her country.

Now, a group of women in Israel have also stripped off in a show of solidarity.

Inspired by 20-year-old Aliaa Elmahdy, the 40 Israelis posed naked for a ‘copycat’ shot – holding a banner to cover their modesty.

The sign read ‘Homage to Aliaa El Mahdi. Sisters in Israel’ with theslogan ‘Love without Limits’, written in Arabic and Hebrew.

On the Facebook group, Templar wrote: ‘Girls, let’s give the world a good reason to see the unique beauty of Israeli women.

‘Regardless of whether they are Jewish, Arab, straight or lesbian – because here, as of now, it doesn’t matter.

‘Let us show the doubters that our international discourse doesn’t depend on governments.’

Templar’s plan came as a response to Elmahdy,  who posted the image of herself wearing only stockings and red flat shoes on her blog last week.

The country is currently preparing for elections following the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak.

Elmahdy’s blog received millions of hits but thousands took to her site to make negative comments.

Tepler told Israeli new website Ynet: ‘I got the idea the day that the blogger’s photo was posted.

‘I didn’t expect that she would get the response that she got.

‘It got on my nerves that she received a quarter of a million abusive comments and death threats.

‘I felt that when a liberal, enlightened woman in Cairo cannot express herself and gets threats from her state, I should show solidarity.

‘Of course there’s the nationalistic aspect, and I won’t deny being a leftist and a seeker of peace.

‘I feel like the governments don’t represent the enlightened, simple people who want peace.’

Elmahdy, a self-proclaimed atheist who recently dropped out of university, insists she will continue to fight for her freedom.

She told CNN: ‘Women under Islam will always be objects to use at home.

‘The sexism against women in Egypt is unreal, but I am not going anywhere and will battle it til the end.

‘Many women wear the veil just to escape the harassment and be able to walk the streets.

I am a believer of every word I say and I am willing to live in danger under the many threats I receive in order to obtain the real freedom all Egyptian are fighting and dying for daily.’

by Sasha Dubronitz


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