Egyptian blogger Aliaa Al Mahdy can easily pass as the girl next door, yet at a closer look, she is not the normal type of girl one usually runs into. In her words Aliaa describes herself as secular, liberal, feminist, vegetarian and individualist Egyptian. The day after she celebrated her twentieth birthday, Loleeta, as she calls herself on her Facebook page, was charged with inciting immorality, debauchery and defamation of religion. Aliaa’s crime is posting a nude self-photograph on her blog, A Rebel’s Diary.
Aliaa’s unprecedented act shocked the conservative Egyptian society. Her action not only raised eyebrows, but also questioned her sanity. But the young rebel defended herself and her freedom of expression. “I have the right to live freely in any place,” She wrote on her blog. “I feel happy and self-satisfied when I feel that I’m really free.” Under the picture she wrote one word Revolution.
On her Facebook page Aliaa explained that she posted this picture to defend her freedom that is being hijacked by conservatism. She wrote that she was “echoing screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.”
She refuses to be judged or criticized for her actions. “Try models who posed naked for Fine Arts students in the 1970s, hide all art books, and destroy all naked statues. Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror and burn those bodies of yours which you despise in order to get rid of your sexual complexes forever. Do that before you hurl your discriminatory insults at me or rob me of my freedom of expression.” She said.
There is a very high price for freedom, but it seems that Aliaa Al Mahdi is willing it pay it.
To read more:
Washington Post: Egyptian activist’s nude blog sparks controversy as liberals try to distance themselves
Washington Post: Egyptian activist nude self portrait causes online fury