Egyptian life: On TV, in a veil
|Egyptian television presenter Ghada El Tawil was allowed back on air last week after a six-year absence, in which she won the legal right to wear an Islamic headscarf, known as hijab, on screen. She tells BBC News about her fight.
Ghada can wear what she likes on screen as long as it is doesn’t look ‘strange’
I have waited six years for this moment – to present television wearing my hijab.
I only started wearing it in 2002. The rule is, when a girl gets her first period, she has to cover her hair. I didn’t – but sometimes you don’t do many things you should.
But as the years passed, I began to feel I wanted to do what God wanted. I struggled for about a year, before deciding to wear it.
More and more women are wearing the hijab, especially here. Only one or two in 10 Alexandrian women are not covered, so I was part of a wider movement of change. But I don’t think I was aware of that at the time.
Cairo is different, because it is such a big, cosmopolitan city.
Anyway, when I put the hijab on in February 2002, I was banned from being on screen.
There have been many cases like this – female presenters losing their jobs when they want to wear the hijab on air. A colleague, Hala el-Malki and I were the first to take it to court.
We got two rulings in our favour, the most recent in July 2005. It said we could wear what we liked on screen so long as it wasn’t ‘strange’. It’s taken until now for our employers [Alexandria's Channel 5, a state channel] to apply it.
There are now five of us wearing the hijab on screen.
I don’t know for sure why the management doesn’t like us wearing it. Maybe they thought we belonged to a very religious group, or something. They never gave us a proper reason.
But the reality is, most women here cover their hair. I come from Alexandria and as a presenter, I now reflect and represent my audience more closely than before.
I present a discussion programme focussing on social issues, it’s mainly aimed at women. On my return to the programme last week, so many people congratulated me in live phone calls on air!
However, my employers still haven’t let me return to my other job of reading the English-language news bulletins. I did this job for 12 years before I was stopped – but now they said I needed to pass another test. I refused to take it on principle.
When I covered my hair, I didn’t lose my ability to read the news. I can’t see the point of the ban, can you? To let me do one of my previous jobs, but not the other.
I hope I will win this next case, too.
Category Archives: Art
Okay, so I’ve been shopping day and night for my new home, and I came across this at Pottery Barn.
Framed New York City Mural
Bring bold style to a big space with our wall-sized multiframe mural. The striking aerial image of Manhattan and the Empire State Building is presented in nine individual 18 x 24″ prints that form a grid when mounted together, creating the illusion of seeing the city through a large loft window. Simple black wooden frames surround the prints, which are covered in glass.
I was feeling the design and idea, but not the price. 799? What?
Nonetheless, I came to the conclusion that it was a must have for my study/office/guest room.
I got a great photo in black and white of the net…and I am having it blown up at Kinko’s…
I’ve asked them to cut it up in 9 pieces equal size. I bought some large black frames at Ikea, and voila I am on my to having my own customized art piece. I’ll post some photos soon. Of the actual turn out. I am really impressed, and no where near 800 dollars…
The wonderful Eyes Over Africa shows aerial photographs by Michael Poliza, taken on an epic helicopter adventure from the north to the south of Africa.
Nile cruise ships, Luxor, Egypt. © Michael Poliza.
A Maasai market scene North-East of Maasai Mara, Kenya. © Michael Poliza.
Grassland plains in Northwest Katavi, Tanzania. © Michael Poliza.
Water meets land in Cabo Delgado, Mozamibique. © Michael Poliza.
Deserted flamingo nests in the red salty patches of the Pans, East of Kubu Island, Botswana. © Michael Poliza.
I was just searching the web as usual and came across this uber-chic site. It’s called: Catwalk to Closet…
Here is a little about them…
CatwalkToCloset.com is an on-line designer sample sale offering the most wanted international runway collections at sample sale prices.
Attracting over 40,000 visitors a month and a world wide customer base we offer carefully edited collections from designers direct and boutiques.
We often find exciting, hard to find pieces sourced from press or buyer samples, these items have detailed descriptions of their use.
Sample sales allow designers and stores to clear their garments and accessories used by the fashion press, stylists and retail buyers. These can include waiting list items which cannot be sold through traditional channels because they have been handled.
CatwalkToCloset.com works with designers and boutiques to sell sample stock as well as over produced stock, order cancellations and occasionally pieces with minor manufacturing or handling imperfections.
Just like a regular on-line boutique. However, we may have many of one item or we may have only one, we may have limited sizes and colours – and when they’re gone they’re gone. Be the first to know when new stock hits the website by registering with us. All handled pieces or imperfections are clearly photographed and described.
If you are a designer or retailer and would like information on how we work with our suppliers please call or send an e-mail to honorriley@CatwalkToCloset.com.
Be sure to check them out. I know I will be in the future.
Happy weekend to all!!!
Fresh from collaborating with Kano, Craig David is set to return with a new album and single this autumn.
His fourth long-player ‘Trust Me’ hits the shelves on November 12 through Warners, with the single ‘Hot Stuff’ preceding it a week earlier.
‘Hot Stuff’ features a sample of the David Bowie classic ‘Let’s Dance’ – a move that will no doubt earn the track some much needed airplay.
‘Trust Me’ was recorded in Havana, Cuba with K T Tunstall producer Martin Terefe and is said to contain Cuban influences on album tracks.
A UK tour is being scheduled to coincide with the record’s release. I can’t wait…
The inaugural issue of Vogue India hit stands today, featuring Bollywood stars Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra and Preity Zinta, local supermodels MoniKangana Dutta and Laxmi Menon, and Australian supermodel Gemma Ward all on the cover, shot by fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier.
This new edition of Vogue is expected to be more colorful and more vibrant than the western models, according to Alex Kuruvilla, managing director of Conde Nast India. He also expects it to draw attention to Indian designers, Indian photographers, and even Indian models.
The Vogue India woman has the best of both the eastern and western worlds: she wears Jimmy Choo shoes along with her traditional Indian garb.
I was pretty upset when Conde Nast International Chairman Jonathan Newhouse angrily rejected a proposal to print a Middle East edition of Vogue pointing to the region’s “violent elements.”
Hopefully, this is just one more step to creating more diversity in the western magazines. I will definitley be getting a copy of this!
Languages Die, but Not Their Last Words
Chris Rainier/National Geographic
Of the estimated 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, linguists say, nearly half are in danger of extinction and likely to disappear in this century. In fact, one falls out of use about every two weeks.
Some languages vanish in an instant, at the death of the sole surviving speaker. Others are lost gradually in bilingual cultures, as indigenous tongues are overwhelmed by the dominant language at school, in the marketplace and on television.
New research, reported yesterday, has found the five regions where languages are disappearing most rapidly: northern Australia, central South America, North America’s upper Pacific coastal zone, eastern Siberia, and Oklahoma and the southwestern United States. All have indigenous people speaking diverse languages, in falling numbers.
The study was based on field research and data analysis supported by the National Geographic Society and the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. The findings are described in the October issue of National Geographic and at languagehotspots.org.
In a teleconference with reporters yesterday, K. David Harrison, an associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore, said that more than half the languages had no written form and were “vulnerable to loss and being forgotten.” Their loss leaves no dictionary, no text, no record of the accumulated knowledge and history of a vanished culture.
Beginning what is expected to be a long-term project to identify and record endangered languages, Dr. Harrison has traveled to many parts of the world with Gregory D. S. Anderson, director of the Living Tongues Institute, in Salem, Ore., and Chris Rainier, a filmmaker with the National Geographic Society.
The researchers, focusing on distinct oral languages, not dialects, interviewed and made recordings of the few remaining speakers of a language and collected basic word lists. The individual projects, some lasting three to four years, involve hundreds of hours of recording speech, developing grammars and preparing children’s readers in the obscure language. The research has concentrated on preserving entire language families.
In Australia, where nearly all the 231 spoken tongues are endangered, the researchers came upon three known speakers of Magati Ke in the Northern Territory, and three Yawuru speakers in Western Australia. In July, Dr. Anderson said, they met the sole speaker of Amurdag, a language in the Northern Territory that had been declared extinct.
“This is probably one language that cannot be brought back, but at least we made a record of it,” Dr. Anderson said, noting that the Aborigine who spoke it strained to recall words he had heard from his father, now dead.
Many of the 113 languages in the region from the Andes Mountains into the Amazon basin are poorly known and are giving way to Spanish or Portuguese, or in a few cases, a more dominant indigenous language. In this area, for example, a group known as the Kallawaya use Spanish or Quechua in daily life, but also have a secret tongue mainly for preserving knowledge of medicinal plants, some previously unknown to science.
“How and why this language has survived for more than 400 years, while being spoken by very few, is a mystery,” Dr. Harrison said in a news release.
The dominance of English threatens the survival of the 54 indigenous languages in the Northwest Pacific plateau, a region including British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Only one person remains who knows Siletz Dee-ni, the last of many languages once spoken on a reservation in Oregon.
In eastern Siberia, the researchers said, government policies have forced speakers of minority languages to use the national and regional languages, like Russian or Sakha.
Forty languages are still spoken in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, many of them originally used by Indian tribes and others introduced by Eastern tribes that were forced to resettle on reservations, mainly in Oklahoma. Several of the languages are moribund.
Another measure of the threat to many relatively unknown languages, Dr. Harrison said, is that 83 languages with “global” influence are spoken and written by 80 percent of the world population. Most of the others face extinction at a rate, the researchers said, that exceeds that of birds, mammals, fish and plants.