Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous Post | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next Post »

EGYPT: Female blogger elicits criticism

May 5, 2008 | 12:42 pm

Ghada_abdel_al

The “wanna-b-a-bride” blog has recently elicited a storm of controversy on Babylon and beyond for its unconventional content that mocks Egyptian patriarchal norms.

Since a piece was posted about the blog last month, more than 40 comments carrying divergent views have been sent to the author Ghada Abdel Aal. Some hailed the blog as a daring exposure of an unjust reality while many dismissed it as a sham.

“Ghada  u r really a wonderfull gilr, go ahead allah with u and always remember every sucessfull person has many difficulties & critics and please belive in your  opinion, it's yours :),” Wafaa wrote on Babylon and Beyond

Yet, Abdel Aal’s detractors had a different say on her blog which was turned earlier this year into a book. “To the worst example of unmarried girls. To the person  who only represents herself and sick people, enough dissoluteness. Where are decency and purity?” wondered a respondent. 

However, Blogger Abdel Aal claims that all negative comments are authored by the same person.  “It is the same person that writes all those comments; he sends the same comments to my blog and I found out that he used different names,” she said.

The funniest comment came from one of Abdel Aal’s previous suitors. “I would like to tell Miss Ghada that she should behave and not talk about her suitors the way she does. By the way, I am one of her previous suitors ... you should not put the blame for why you are still unmarried until that age on suitors. You better find another sound and convincing justification for your being unmarried.”

Abdel Aal could not believe it was one of her suitors, intimating that none of her suitors was smart enough to use the Internet. “None of my suitors used the Internet. If one of them had been an Internet user, I would not have rejected him,” said Abdel Aal sarcastically.

Nevertheless, Abdel Al contended that her work elicited too much criticism because it challenged the patriarchal norms of the Egyptian society.   

“They pose the question how I dare reject men who are elevated to canonical ranks; if you expose men’s flaws, you are perceived as a criminal.”

Yet, the 29-year-old pharmacist by training still receives a lot of positive feedback, especially from Internet users. “I expected people to be resentful when I first started my blog, but many turned out to be very encouraging,” she said. “The cyberspace community is more mature and open minded than those who don’t use the Internet, and this is why this community accepted [my blog].”

“Criticism comes mostly from men who have not read deeply into what I wrote. They feel they have to attack me simply because I use the expression ‘wanna be a bride ' and criticize men.” 

“When they host me in some TV shows, they treat me as if I am looking for a suitor and start telling me how audacious I am to say ‘I wanna be a bride'," added Abdel Aal.

Noha El-Hennawy in Cairo

Photo: Ghada Abdel Aal reads excerpts from her book at a book signing in a Cairo bookstore. Credit: courtersy of Ghada Abdel Aal

P.S. The Los Angeles Times issues a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East, the war in Iraq and the frictions between the West and Islam. You can subscribe by registering at the website here, logging in here and clicking on the World: Mideast newsletter box here.

Comments 

Advertisement










Video