While we are always focusing on the conservative Islamic political stream, fake liberals, secularists, communists, etc.. we are turning a blind eye on the vast space of freedom that the bloggers acquired by going to the far extreme of using every way to express themselves freely on the virtual world.
Yesterday, an Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy – Kareem Amer‘s girlfriend – posted a nude picture of herself among other nude pictures under the title of “Nude Art” which started a wave of anger among internet surfers who started comments ranging from sarcasm passing through anger and insulting and finally people who just don’t care.
“I don’t mind people posing nude I’ve photographed a nude girl before but please don’t call the photos of #NudePhotoRevolutionary art. The lighting is aweful & the composition is dreadful. Break all the social boundaries you want, but don’t call it ART”, Lilian Wagdy – A revolutionary photographer/activist and a citizen journalist – tweeted
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Hossam Eid – A Muslim Egyptian activist tweeted quoting the bible ( John 8 )
“Whatever her message was/is it was gone unnoticed.even if it was a simple expression of freedom, the message didnt get because sadly, people payed attenion to her body and not the message, I think the message would have been more effective if a bunch of men did it ’cause no one will be talking about their bodies. Still I support her choice to do whatever she likes with her body ’cause its her body after all”, @EgyptianLiberal – One of the anonymous group activists – commented on the post.
“It is the same thing that happened with Bouazizi, people said he will go to hell as he committed suicide then it turned out that he inspired a whole region to revolt, they just didn’t see the message behind the ‘crazy’ thing that he did; people who are looking at her body without thinking about the message are just like the people fasting Ramadan with their stomachs instead of their souls”, Sarah Sayah an Algerian tweep living in Denmark commented.
“You will definitely burn in hell”, A lot of comments were exactly like that on the blog post.
The majority of course were against what she did, but still I personally believe that it is her right to do whatever she wants as long as the blog is rated for adults only.
On the other hand, I saw a tweet for an event called “The national day for homosexuals in Egypt“. The link was for a Facebook group calling for Egyptians to accept homosexuals as human beings with equal rights.
I would have to say that I was amazed by how it got 1,011 likes, I scanned the group to see the responses and out of thousands of insults and threats, I found a user saying “I am gay, I do not like it, I don’t want to be gay, I just want everybody to accept me and not force me to get married ’cause I don’t want to let a girl suffer because of me”. Yet, the majority would refuse admitting neither their existence nor their rights.
“people tend to think that gays demand things like marriage but really what they are asking for are basic rights such as safety and freedom from prosecution or violence whether by the state or society”, Ahmed Awadallah who works in the field of human rights, health, sexuality and gender commented.
Finally, my opinion does not matter if I agreed or not but I am proud to see bloggers from Egypt going wild, breaking all kinds of taboos and expressing themselves on the virtual world as I believe that it is the first step towards the real democracy and the freedom of expression in the real world.