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Egypt: Residential Independence

OTV is a private Egyptian satellite TV channel which has attracted the attention of its viewers from the day it was launched, thanks to its liberal approach, the issues it tackles and the way it tackles them, which is different from conservative and traditional TV channels.

Egyptian blogger Zaman El Wasl (Ar), discusses here an episode of a talk show that was aired about women's independence.

أتابع بشغف -كلّما تسمح الظروف- برنامج “مساءك سكّر زياده” على “أو تى فى”
من ضمن فقرات البرنامج فقره لحل مشكلات المشاهدين العاطفيه تعرّفت من خلالها على كاتبه شابه اسمها “مروه رخا” ترد على مشكلات المشاهدين بنصائح تعجبنى فى معظم الأحوال
المهم فى حلقة بداية هذا الأسبوع يوم الأحد كانت “مروه” و معها “جورجيت قللينى” عضوة مجلس الشعب و المذيعه “بثينه كامل” ضيوف على البرنامج لمناقشة فكرة استقلال النساء من خلال التعليق على فيلم تسجيلى -غالبا- اسمه “ست بنات

I love to follow – whenever it is possible – a program called “Masa'ak Sukkar Zeyada” on OTV.
And one part of this program tries to solve people's emotional problems. And through this part, I got to know a young writer called Marwa Rakha, who tries to help in solving the viewers problems, and gives them advice that I normally like.
Anyway, during last Sunday's episode, Marwa, Georgette Quelleny – a parliament member, and the Radio/TV host Buthaina Kamel were invited to discuss women's independence through their commentary on a documentary called Six Girls.

The blogger then continues:

حسبما فهمت الفيلم يدور حول فتيات و سيدات اضطرّتهنّ الظروف لترك بيوت الأهل و الاغتراب للعمل أو الدراسه فى مدن أخرى .. لم يحظ الفيلم بقدر كبير من النقاش قدر ما حظيت فكرة الاستقلال نفسها بالقدر الأعظم منه
فكرة الاستقلال كانت تدور حول ترك الفتيات منزل الأسره حين تسمح لهنّ الظروف بهذا و الانتقال لسكن مستقلّ!! الدفاع عن هذه الفكره كان من نصيب “مروه” و بثينه” بينما كان موقف “جورجيت” -الذى اتّفقت معه- هو عدم الترحيب بالفكره طالما لم تحتّمها الظروف
ليس سبب تحفّظى على الفكره سبب دينى أو أخلاقى وليس سببه التخوّف من نظرة المجتمع لفتاه تقيم بمفردها فى مسكن رغم وجود أسرتها بنفس المدينه !! تحفّظى على الفكره منبعه أنّى لا أعتبر الاستقلال -المكانى- هو المعنى بفكرة استقلال أى إنسان ناضج رجلا كان أو امرأه
أعتقد أن الاستقلال يعنى القدره على اتّخاذ القرارات الشخصيه دون الحاجه لدعم أو مساعده اللهم إلاّ طلب النصيحه و المشوره ثمّ القدره على اختيار الأنسب .. وقد يعنى الاستقلال كذلك الاستقلال المادّى و القدره على تحمّل الإنسان نفقاته الخاصه أو حتى تحمّل نفقات البعض من أفراد أسرته

As far as I understood, the movie is about girls and women who were forced to leave their parents’ homes and live alone to work or study in other cities. Most of the discussion was about the idea of women's independence – more than discussing the movie itself.
Their opinion about independence was related more to the departure of women from their parent's home and living alone whenever it is possible. Marwa and Buthaina were defending this point of view while Georgette – and so am I – were against it, as long as women are not forced to do so.
My stance against this idea is not because of religious or moral reasons, and not because I am afraid of what society will say about a girl who lives alone in a separate house while here parents live in the same city!! I am against this idea because I do not consider – residential – independence is the real symbol of a human being's independence, whether he is a man or a woman.
I believe that independence is the ability of someone to take decisions without the need of others — unless he is asking for their advice. Independence can also be someone's financial independence and his ability to depend on himself in getting his daily needs as well as taking care of his family members’ needs.

One of the viewers of the show had a different point of view.

إحدى المتّصلات -يبدو من صوتها و كلماتها أنّها أم- تساءلت : لماذا يحرم الأبناء أنفسهم و يحرموا أسرهم من التفارب و الترابط و تبادل المودّه قبل أن يحين وقت الرحيل

One of the viewers – whose voice seemed to be like a mother's voice – asked: Why do children want to deprive their families from being close to each other and share love and care till it's time for them to leave.

In fact, people here in Egypt are used to living with their parents until they get married. And that's why many of those who commented on this post were against the idea of people moving from their parent's homes, especially for girls.

1 comment

  • A friend of mine sent me the link to this post and I am honored that you follow my segment and enjoy my opinions – most of the time:)

    I just need to clarify one tiny point … the independence that I call for is not “residential”:) A lot of men live in private apartments but their mothers still take care of the cooking, the cleaning, and what-have-you.

    I am pro the independence that allows a person to grow and to mature from within .. the independence that goes hand in hand with learning a new dimension of responsibility and self-fulfillment:)

    Thanks again Tarek and feel free to join my OTV group on facebook (Marwa Rakha – OTV)

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