Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Arabisc: Egyptian Women a Cut Above the Rest

Dr Hala Sarhan

Prostitution, female circumcision and lesbianism aren't vices restricted to Egyptian woman, says Egyptian blogger Tamr Heneh, in an open letter to Egyptian talk show hostess Dr Hala Sarhan.

According to the blogger, the Arab world has much more problems which Dr Sarhan could focus on, instead of continuing to drag the reputation of Egyptian women to the ground.

تابعت حلقات فتيات الليل ….. أيون : أعترافات الساقطات المصريات و كيف انخرطن فى هذا المضمار و كيف تحولن الى مومسات و مدمنات و ساقطات ..بالصوت و الصورة …تابعتها ليه؟ لأن هالة سرحان أعلامية بارعة و ممتعة و قعدتها حلوة .
بس يعنى يا دكتورة هى كل المواضيع الشائكة بتاعتك تنحصر فى المرأة المصرية؟ بغاء .. سحاق .. ختان .. هباب ؟؟ للدرجة دى لحمنا رخص
“I followed the episodes on the girls of the night which was about the confessions of Egyptian prostitutes and how they got inticed into this business and how they became addicts. Why did I follow them? Because Hala Sarhan is an interesting media personality and her programmes are attractive. But seriously Dr, why are all your hot topics focused on Egyptian women? Prostitution..lesbianism..circumcision..other problems…Is our meat this cheap?” she claims.

Tamr Heneh
accuses Dr Sarhan of tarnishing the reputation of women in her country in exchange for her job and fame.

فضحتينا عالهوا .. يابنت السرحان …
طالعة تحاسبى البنات عالدعارة و الأدمان؟؟ عارفة الدعارة يا هالة؟ طب شوفى حلقة ست الستات اللى استضفتى فيها جمال سليمان و اللى قعد بين زميلاتك المغوارات و تولت ملهمتك الساحرة ايناس الدغيدى مهمة تأكيله التورته فى بقه .. دى مش مقدمات دعارة يامّا ؟ انتى و زميلاتك اللىصح و البنات هما اللى غلط؟؟
“You've ruined our reputation. You are questioning women about their involvement in addiction and prostitution? Do you know what prostitution is? Watch the episode in which you hosted (male actor) Jamal Sulaiman, who was seated among your other guests, who included (female movie director) Enas Al Dughaidi, who was feeding him cake (in his mouth). Isn't this a prelude to prostitution? Are you and your friends correct and all the other women wrong?” she writes.

Not content with rebuking Dr Sarhan, Tamr Heneh ventures into giving the famous presenter a few topics to consider for her future episodes. Tamr Heneh‘s list opens fire on a number of taboo topics in the Arab Muslim societies, which are not normally discussed on television and the media.

ماشى يا متعلمة يا بتاعت المدارس لو قلبك عالأسرة المصرية يبقى خدى بقى المواضيع اللى تتكلمى فيها ( و بعيدا عن السياسة) :

عايزين حلقة عن الشيوخ اللىفوقنا بشوية عالخريطة اللى بييجوا لينا هربانين من الكتمة و الكمكمة و لابسين الغطرة و العباية … بيستغلوا البنات الجعانين اياهم .. اللى ماحيلتهومش حاجة .. و مشوار للحوامدية يشتروا بت عيله قاصر أهلها مش لاقيين اللضا .. خمس تلاف يا قطة .. و ياخدوا البنية قانونى و تمام التمام .. و كام شهر و فايدها عيل ترجع لحضن أمها … هتعمل ايه تفتكرى؟؟ لأ و حددى بالظبط مين السبب فى اللى هتعمله.

“If you really cared about the Egyptian family values, then here are a few topics (which aren't political) and which you can discuss. We want an episode on the Shaikhs (members of the Ruling families in the neighbouring Arab Gulf countries *) who come here to escape their closed up societies in their traditional garb and who devour those hungry girls you were refering to. Those girls who have nothing. It only takes them a trip to Hawamdieh to purchase a young girl from her family, who don't even have food to eat. Five thousand for the cat. They can also take the girl legally (in marriage) but after a few months dump her back with her family, with a baby in her arms. What do you think such girls would do? Please tell me exactly what they will do,” she asks Dr Sarhan.

Another issue Tamr Heneh thinks Dr Sarhan could focus on is discussing Saudi novel: Banat Al Riyadh (Daughters of Riyadh) – a controversial novel written by a young Saudi woman which broke taboos in the Saudi Arabian conservative society.

The book speaks openly of sex, lesbianism and young women's desire to lead freer lives.

موضوع تالت : البغاء فى المغرب : فن أم شطارة أم ماذا؟

موضوع رابع : ظاهرة اللواط فى منطقة الخليج العربى – هل هى ظاهرة اجتماعية سببها قمع الحريات الشخصية و وجود المطوعين .. أم ماذا؟
موضوع خامس : نسوان لبنان يرقصن على أنغام الرصاص الطائفى و الصهيونى و حكاية ” رهاب المثلية” ………
موضوع سادس : لجوء النساء العراقيات للدعارة بسبب الحرب و الترحيل …
فيه مواضيع كتير يا هالة بعيد عن مصر و المصريات …

“A third topic is: Prostitution in Morocco? Is it an art or trade? A fourth topic is homosexuality in the Arab Gulf countries: Is it a social phenomena because of the repression of personal freedom and the presence of religious policemen? or what? A fifth topic: The women of Lebanon who are dancing to the tunes of sectarian and Zionist bullets. A sixth topic: Iraqi women turning to prostitution because of war and displacement. There are lots of topics Hala away from Egypt and Egyptians.

* The Arab Gulf countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Photocredit: Dr Hala Sarhan's website


  • LOL! How could you say because she was feeding him cake, its a prelude to prostitution!! …Lighten up and relax your fundementalist view on things before you give yourself a heart attack

  • interesting…i would like to know what the perception of feminism is in the arab world…is it considered negative by women? here in poland, it still has negative connotations…different ideas about it from east to west…

    and actually, i dont’ understand why women think that such issues are unconnected with the bigger issues in egypt and beyond, aren’t they really the symptoms of those bigger problems in the arab world? what about domestic violence, is that really so trivial?

  • Thanks Modern Pharaoh for dropping by. I hope what you are writing is directed at the blogger who wrote the original article in Arabic and not the translator, who only translated it to give readers a flavour of the conversations taking place in the Arabic blogosphere.

  • Oh..Thanks AMira! Yes it is directed at teh Blgger not the translator ;)

  • :o
    so according to tamr henneh, an egyptian tv personnality hosting a talk show in egyptian dialect on a Cairo based tv must not talk about egyptian topics to please her?! who will discuss these issues then? Moroccan or lebanese Media?
    “Don’t discuss what i am ashamed of in my country, but you can talk about the same issues everywhere else…” that is hypocrisy!!!

  • HS

    So you want hala to talk about all countries except egypt. Woow very interesting. Wake Up Egypt

    third topic is: Prostitution in Morocco? Is it an art or trade? A fourth topic is homosexuality in the Arab Gulf countries: Is it a social phenomena because of the repression of personal freedom and the presence of religious policemen? or what? A fifth topic: The women of Lebanon who are dancing to the tunes of sectarian and Zionist bullets. A sixth topic: Iraqi women turning to prostitution because of war and displacement. There are lots of topics Hala away from Egypt and Egyptians.

  • نبيل رزق

    اولا الست هالة بتختار الموضوعات اللي ترضى ذوق أسيادها اللي بيأكلوها عيش من أصحاب الغتر الحمرا واللي يسرهم أي شيء يؤذي سمعة مصر و يكون فيه اهانه لأبناء وبنات بلدها.ولأنها عارفة أن هي دي الطريقة التى تضمن لها الاستمرار أطول فترة ممكنة للظهور علي الشاشة الصغيرة بعد ظهور الطوفان الكاسح من المذيعات الجدد علي الهواء وسحب البساط من تحت أقدام الحرس القديم. ولا أعرف السر في الاصرار الغريب علي تقديم الموضوعات التي تقرف الرأي العام وموضوع العادة السرية لازال عالقا في الازهان ثم الأثارة التي تفتعلها مع ممثلين وممثلات في عمر أ بنتها وغيرها وغيرها… كفاية كدة وحسبي الله ونعم الوكيل ومثواها جهنم وبئس المصيروبصحبة أسيادهاالغير الموقرين.

  • Hi every body, I am the blogger who posted this topic, the womwan is adopting a new approach that we are not intimate with in Egypt, our traditions, for those who forgot, prohibit that intimacy among different sexes,modern Pharoh, bet modern, i was not able to relax ,sorry, I am Arabian, Egyptian, Muslim, I have my traditions that I will stick to.

    Jordan&Maria, for my country, morals’ violence is also a problem, we are not USA, not Poland, we are what we are.
    We give these issues some care for they are what left for us to control, other issues , we are deprived from discussing them.

    Any way, while Hala was discussing this issue she had some actress to take over the role of the hooker, the girls went to the DA and will sew her as 2 of them were divorced and one is chased by her folks as Hala promised them to cover therir faces , but didn’t.
    Hala’s show was fake, Hala broadcasts in a satalite channel where most of Egyptian intermidiate level families couldn’t afford to watch, the owner of the Channel is Saudian, Hala’s hectic way of conversation realy provokes eveybody, and what she wants is to SELL , her tv has Ads , and what she wants is spectators.


  • mslim masri

    تقوم الفاضلة هالة سرحان بنشر رسالة عظيمة ولها أهمية فى المجتمع ألا وهى تدميره من جذوه. فى تقوم بما لم يستطع المستعمر القيام به من تشويه لسمعة مصر ونشر البغاء فيها . انها تدعم حلقاتها بالساقطات من أهل الفن مثل ايناس الدغيدى التى تفتى فى الدين الأن ولها أرارء شرعية فى العلاقة بين الرجل والمرأة. وطبعا رجال الدين لا حياة لمن تنادى. عليه العوض يا بلد أصبح الكلب له فيها قيمه والحر فيها انسجن . اتباعت البلد من زمان لأمثال هالة وايناس

  • hasan

    يا جماعه والله أعطيتوا هاله حجم أكبر من حجمهاوالغريب انو محطة الجرس هاجمت هيفاء وهبي واليوم تدافع عن من احتضنت هيفاء وهبي, الله يسامحك يا نضال الأحمديه

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.