Marwa Rakha · April, 2009

Born and raised in Egypt, I was brought up to be a good middle class Egyptian girl; but somehow being good did not suit my notions. Deep down I have rejected the heavy heritage of traditions and norms that made no sense to my inquisitive mind. I could not understand why girls were killed, committed suicide, or lived in eternal shame when they lost their virginity. I failed to comprehend why such a rule applied only to girls and their male counterparts were spared. After my grand mother passed away we stopped celebrating Christmas, New Year's Eve, Halloween, and Thanks Giving … does being a Muslim deny me all my childhood memories? Why do I have to get married? Why can't I date? Why do men cheat? Why do I have to accept it? Why? Why? Why? And many more unanswered questions.

I have come a long way from the scared little girl that I once was … I found my passion in writing, my voice in teaching & training, and my strength in marketing … I took off my mask … and I decided to speak up and loud .. as loud as loud could ever be.

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Latest posts by Marwa Rakha from April, 2009

Egypt: Plans for Sexual Harassment Film Unveiled

After the success of Egypt's Anti-Harassment Day, Egyptian blogger Asser Yasser invited women to share their personal experiences with this issue. Women and young women will be filmed going about their everyday lives, registering the different forms of harassment they are subjected to. Marwa Rakha has the story.

Egypt: Stigmatized by AIDS

A group of Egyptian bloggers and independent media personalities are putting their hands together in support of the “Openness” initiative, which aims at anti-stigmatizing AIDS patients, and calls for integrating them in the society instead of alienating them further by educating people on how to deal with them to avoid getting infected, reports Marwa Rakha.

Egypt: Wandering Internet Trolls

Wandering Scarab posted an interesting note on the four types of Internet trolls: “creatures that wander into forums and blogs, with malicious intent to generally interrupt online discussions by flinging their excrement everywhere, and inciting others into responding emotionally.”

Egypt: Interviewing a Baha'i Assailant

Egyptian blogger Ibn Rushd interviewed one of the Baha'i assailants. Marwa Rakha translates the interview, in which the assailant admits to his role in the burning of six homes belonging to Baha'i families in the village of Shoraneya, from Arabic.

Egypt: Cleanliness Day on April 10

We have been paying close attention to the creative ways in which Egyptian bloggers and activists have been using online social networking to rally support for their causes and initiate social and political change. In this post, Marwa Rakha writes about a Facebook campaign by Mostafa Ahmed and more than 4,500 enthusiasts, who joined hands to mark Egypt's first Cleanliness Day on April 10.

Egypt: Should rapists be hanged on TV?

Between examining the profile of a sexual offender in Egypt and rallying against sexual predators, an Egyptian member of Parliament proposed a law that allows broadcasting the hanging of rapists live on television. Should rapists be hanged live on television?

Egypt: April 18 Declared Anti-Harassment Day

A Facebook campaign calling for a silent demonstration on April 18 against the harassment of women and girls in Egypt is slowly gathering momentum. The call for allowing Egyptian women to move around in safety in their country, was sparked after blogger Asser Yasser's harassers were acquitted. Marwa Rakha reports on the campaign in this post.

Egypt: Baha'is attacks spark outcry

  3 April 2009

On April 2, several human rights organizations headed to the public prosecutor in solidarity with the Baha'is who were assaulted in Sohag after a journalist called them reverts and urged people to kill them. Marwa Rakha covers online initiatives and the outcry which followed.

Egyptian Baha'is under attack

  2 April 2009

Earlier in March, Marwa Rakha wrote a post congratulating Baha'is in Egypt when the Supreme Administrative Court removed any grounds for preventing them from receiving proper official identity documents. Today she reports that after a television appearance featuring Baha'is, Baha'i houses were burnt down in Upper Egypt's governorate - Sohag.

Egypt's First Adult Graphic Novel on Trial

  2 April 2009

In April 2008, freedom of speech and creativity in Egypt was hit in its core with the confiscation of Magdy El Shafee's adult graphic novel - Metro. Marwa Rakha sums up reactions from the blogosphere about the court case awaiting Shafee and the book's publisher Mohamed El Sharkawy.

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