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Egyptian Women and a Fresh Outlook on Divorce

Divorce has always been a stigma in the Egyptian society. Today, the winds of change are blowing this away.

Blogger Shaymaa El Gammal blogged about  an online radio dedicated to divorced women. Quoting Mahasen Saber, the owner of I want a divorce blog and radio, she wrote:

“بعد تجربة المدونة، وصلت إلى التفكير فى عمل إذاعة على النت، أولا لأننا نسمع أكثر ما نقرأ، وهذا معناه أننى سأصل بذلك إلى فئة أكبر عددياً، وشرائح عمرية وطبقية أوسع، والآن حان الوقت لتنفيذ الفكرة وسأبدأ بـ4 برامج رئيسية، هى: برنامج اسمه “يا مفهومين بالغلط يا إحنا” ويناقش أبرز ما تعانيه المطلقة مع الرجال فى المجتمع، سواء كانوا زملاء العمل أو الجيران، أو الأقارب ، فقد لاحظت أن الجميع وبدون فوارق علمية أو اجتماعية يشترك فى نظرة مفادها أن المطلقة سهلة، والطمع فيها كثير، ومن الممكن أن تسقط أخلاقياً بسهولة، كما أن الكلام عليها سهل وكثير، وبالتالى لابد من أن تضع رقيبا على نفسها، وتبقى دائماً فى موقف المدافع عن نفسه والمبرئ لساحته.
After my blogging experience I decided to broadcast online; people prefer listening to reading and this will allow me to reach a bigger segment in terms of age, number, and social class. I will start with four main programs; the first is called “The misunderstood – yours truly” which tackles the main issues that divorced women deal with in a patriarchal society whether they are work colleagues, neighbors, or relatives. I have noticed that regardless of their educational or social backgrounds, men share the same view of a divorcee – easy, available, vulnerable, morally fragile, and gossip material. This turns the divorced woman into her own jailer because she is always guilty until proven otherwise.

Quoting Youm7 Newspaper Hayat blogs about the second program saying:

أما البرنامج الثانى فعنوانه “من تحت سريرى” ويناقش المشكلات العاطفية التى تتعرض لها المطلقة، وذلك بالاشتراك مع نخبة من الاختصاصيين النفسيين.
“From underneath my covers” deals with the emotional baggage of divorce and will host specialized psychologists

And about the third program she writes:

أما برنامج” طليقك على ما تعوديه” فسيكون بمثابة المرشد الأمين للمطلقة لكى تتعامل مع طليقها بما هو لائق لها أولا ثم لأولادها ولطليقها، باعتبار الجميع أطراف فى التجربة، سنقول لها كيف تتعامل مع الطليق الشرس الذى منعها ومنع أولادها من حقوقهم، ومع الذى اتقى الله فيها وفى أولادها ولم يبخسها حقوقها بعد الطلاق، ومع الطليق المراوغ.. وهكذا، وكل هدفى أن نصل بالمطلقة إلى علاقة محترمة مع الطليق.
“Your Ex is your own making” is a safe guide on how to deal with the “ex” in terms of what is appropriate for her and for her kids – whether the ex is aggressive, fair, or manipulative.

While the fourth one is:

وأخيراً برنامج “ابنك على ما تربيه” وهو عن أبناء الطلاق ومشكلاتهم الخاصة، وهذه قضية كبيرة تحتاج للكثير من الضبط والترشيد الدائم، فهؤلاء الأبناء لا ذنب لهم ولا ينبغى أن يترتب على انفصال والديهم معاناة من جراء ذلك.
“Your children – you have them as you make them” is about caring for the children of a divorce – their discipline, guidance, coaching, and support.

Blogger Eman Hashim posted a coinciding article entitled “We are to blame”:

اللى بتخاف من الارملة لتخطف جوزها الست
و اللى بتخبى حملها على صحبتها العانس الست
و اللى بتفكر فى الحسد و الأر و النبر و تعمله الف حساب عادة الست

اللى ربى الراجل على ان المطلقة دى واحدة هاتموت و تبقى مع اى راجل و لو نص ساعة الست
و اللى قبلت انها عشان كبرت فى السن فمش من حقها تطلب اى طلبات و عادى انها تتجوز متجوز عشان تشتغ له شغالة ست
اللى ربت بنتها انها تقبل اى اهانة فى الخطوبة عشان تتجوز لحسن ده خلاص مفيش عرسان ست

و اللى انضربت قدام ابنها و بنتها و ما قالتش حاجة لحست تتطلق و المطلقة دى سبة … برضه ست

She who fears the “home-wrecking divorcee” is a woman.
She who hides her pregnancy from her “spinster” friend is a woman.
She who fears the evil eye of another woman is also a woman.
She who brought up the man to believe that a divorcee would do anything to have a man for half an hour is a woman.
She who gave in to despair and agreed to get married to a married man and become his “servant” is a woman.
She who raised her daughter to accept all sorts of insults from her fiancee for fear of ending up outside the marriage institution is a woman.
She who was beaten up in front of her kids and put up with it to avoid the divorce stigma is a woman.

And finally Asser Yasser shared some recent statistics (September 2008) about Egyptian women lest the state of panic over finding a man resides:

بلغت نسبة الذكور 51,1% فى تعداد 2006 من عدد السكان ونسبة الإناث 48,88%
The percentage of males is 51.1% versus 48,88% of females

Previously it was noted that the ratio was 1 male : 4 females.

1 comment

  • Malikha Abdullahwali

    Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim-As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
    Insha Allah, I hope that each of us (women) who are participants on this blog site and particularly those responding to these threads will reference our source of knowledge (Al-Quran Kareem) in order to arrive at sound and correct decisions related to our relationships-whether spousal or otherwise. A marriage between two people is a union sanctioned by Allah SWT and these individuals have the responsibility to educate themselves about the Islamic values pertaining to this union under Shariah-(The rights of a wife and the rights of a husband). Let us not be misguided into believing that the current understanding about marital relationships is in accord with Islamic principles and values. There is unfortunately a strong connection to western ideals and pre-Islamic practises that is influencing the men and women within our ummah thus causing a severe and sometimes irreparable break in the bonds of marriage. First of all in order for a marriage to be successful both parties must play by the rules that have been outlined in Al-Quran. For instance, the simple instruction of acquiring a wali before any nikkah can take place have become a thing of the past. Adherence to simple instructions are no longer part of the plan. The other major problem that lays the cornerstone for divorce is a wife who totally(blindly) depends on her husband without any motivation to contribute to her own personal and professional development. When a woman believes that her husband is the one whom she should depend on for all her needs, she has unraveled the first knot of the relationship. Furthermore, let us not forget the insurmountable demands that families are placing on a man who asks for a woman’s hand in marriage these days i.e. a furnished flat, car, money in the bank, a 20,000Le dowry and sometimes plane tickets to bring other members to the event. If a man endures all of that and sticks to his commitment to marry this woman;I can assure you that sooner or later he will realize how much he has been abused by greedy self-centered in-laws and may decide that it was not worth his time; especially when the woman also does not show any sense of gratitude. Some women on the other hand are bartering their virginity; reminding their husbands that they married a virgin therefore he should be honored by this???!!!! This type of woman apparently forgets that a good man wants a woman who prides herself in practising her deen and maintaining her dignity and self-respect. One who understands that if she feels oppressed in a relationship she should seek help from her Rabb before things get out of control. In other words most divorces are caused by both parties involved; it is certainly not a one-sided act. Women need to stop whining and complaining and turn to Allah SWT for answers and solutions to their problems. Stop trying to see if the man is suffering as you are suffering. Stop using sex, make-up and other trivialities to attract your husband while remaining clueless as to who is the source of your rizq. (I am not saying that you should not beautify yourself at home). However you should establish your priorities and spend your time strengthening your relationship with Allah SWT; who is by the way the best Marriage Counselor! Your husband can’t do anything for you unless Allah SWT allows him to. Stop putting your husbands on pedestals and creating abnormal expectations of him. Even your most intimate moments with the man of your dreams is due to Allah’s Rahmah! If a man decides he wants to leave you then you need to examine yourself to see how you have contributed to this dilemma. Stop blaming the man and take responsibility for the objectives that you have established. Pray Tahajjud frequently and seek abundant Rahmah from our Rabb regarding all of your affairs. And do not forget the meaning of Qadr Allah…Nothing will happen unless Allah SWT allows it to happen-Qadr Allah!
    Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves(Quran 13:11)
    So when you have finished [your duties], then stand up [for worship]. And to your Lord direct [your] longing.(Quran 94:7)

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