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Support Aliaa Magda Elmahdy against death penalty

I share here article on the revolutionary action of feminist and activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy Please do stand for her please report the page calling for her death penalty on facebook and looking forward hearing your various opinions on that ..

Please Go to "Violence or Harmful Behaviour" then choose "Credible Threat of Violence"

A message from Aliaa Magda Elmahdy :

For facebook adminstration and my friends out of the arabian country please support my account and my pages , most of the arabian people on the facebook insulting me and report my pages and trying to block both my account and my pages and also making fake pages for me .

Who Is Afraid of Alia’s Nudity?
[ 10 ] November 18, 2011 | Sara Emiline Abu Ghazal
Sara Emiline AbuGhazal


Alia Al Mahdi, Nude Art, 2011
What is the difference between Alia Al Mahdi’s nude picture, and the forced virginity tests that 17 Egyptian women activists were subjected to on the 9th of march 2011? What is the difference between her body standing steadfast, chest open wide, legs spread a bit showing her clitoris, and the unknown body of a female mutilated and left to rot by the pro-Assad thugs in Syria?
The absence of force, that’s the difference, that makes all the difference. Her ownership of her body as expressed by the photo, have led to the “Alia” frenzy, as the media hovers around her trying to abuse the topic as much as they can. And now that many activists ( men and women) have shamed her, denounced her, and went as far as exiling her from her rightful participation in the Egyptian revolution ( be it as simply the act of sleeping at the Midan El Tahrir), and now that a plead has been made against her to be sued infront of the “law” ( the same old Mubarak law in the admission of the same activists), we need to pay attention to the kind of revolution we are talking about, and the space that this revolution is opening up, or keeping closed.

What is so offensive about a woman owning her body? What is so threatening about a woman deciding to expose her body bare to the eyes of the “anonymous” others. I think some tend to forget that women’s bodies are a fixed symbol of possession in patriarchal societies, where everything else is negotiable: economy, social justice, election, and constitutions. The diverse sects of patriarchy renegotiate who takes what, what should gain more or less value. But never the women question. Women are to live as the inferior others.

Alia asks those viewing her body and condemning it to look at the mirror and burn their own bodies. She asks the person who can’t accept the body of the other, to not accept her/his own body, to mutilate it, burn it, and use force on it. As if the only way one’s body can exist freely, with out the judgement of others, is by using force on it.

She recognizes that ownership and freedom do require big productions, masses marching, and gunfire sprouting. She recognizes that the simple act of reclaiming your body, and understanding the need for the “other” to own her body, is an act of liberation and emancipation. Claiming ownership of one’s body can’t be a colonial agenda, for those insisting on it, body ownership is an instinctive act of freedom. Remember that “slavery is the act of owning other humans, human bodies and their workforce”. On a similar note, wasn’t the mutilation of Khaled Said’ body one of the main causes that started the revolution against the regime?

In Egypt, as everywhere in the Arab region, Alia’s photo is being used to terrorize vocal women and feminists. It has become the reason to silence women calling for immediate emancipation and freedom. It has become the example of how deviant the feminist and women’s right agenda really is, it can all be summed up in a nude picture. As ridiculous as it sounds for many of us, we shouldn’t be really provoked to the extent of denying Alia’s right to do what she needed to do to break free. We must not engage in it if we aren’t planning to deconstruct the attacking choirs and bringing them to face their own demon: their fear of seeing the female body free from their possession. Whatever the arguments are, Islamist or radical leftists, we should be steadfast, this is our body on the line here. These are the times where many of us have a great understanding that the only reason why patriarchy has been reproducing itself is because our bodies haven’t risen up to the challenge, we haven’t radicalized our bodies as much as we have radicalized our minds.

It’s a bit early to have a clear understanding of how Alia’s action will impact the discourses we carry as feminists, and even if this will bring many voices within the movement to “bare” themselves and finally stand in the light, allowing us to asses how many hypocrites are willing to compromise, for personal power or heroic “token” positions within our movements. If there is a lesson we ought to learn from Alia’s action and its reverberations, it is that what’s always been powerful about being a feminist is that we don’t comprise, and the many victories we’ve been gaining is exactly because patriarchy is always in the mood to compromise. We are in a position of power, and Alia’s action is one of the many expressions to re-emphasis this. Alia owning her body scared many, and this is exactly what should we paying attention to. How and why female bodies are greatly feared?


Stella Paul's picture

I am confused

First of all, I totally condemn of what the army did/does/is doing/will do to women detained or imprisoned, guilty of a crime/not guilty. Violation of dignity is never ever justified, under any circumstances or pretext.
I also condemn the death penalty. To me, death penalty is a crime against humanity and it should be abolished all over the world.

But the action of Alia Al Mahdi confuses me. I am confused because I can't see the connection between her posing nude and bringing justice to the Egyptian women tortured by the army.

Maybe this is because for me a battle always starts by winning the heart and trust of those around you, your confidants. And I am unable to understand how a nude picture of Aliah is going to do that of the ordinary women on the streets of Egypt. Yes, it can catch a lot of media glare (which it has done, as I see) and create a Benetton As style effect( publicity through public outcry), but will it make an ordinary pro-democracy woman feel that Alia did it for her? I am not convinced about that!

Can anyone throw more light on this?

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

transformation's picture

i think she is claiming the

i think she is claiming the ownership on her own body and i think she has the right and the freedom of expression to do so and not being sanctioned for this action .
i think freedom of expression has no barrier and it is symbolic in term for claiming space and revolting , symbolism in itself is taking a stand of a no to a space captured by the symbolism of patriarchy .
i think to capture her action and detain her of its content would be in other words detaining 'women body' and the women body is the language of the feminine that has been captured and detained since decades in various languages and forms .
for this reason i encourage the courage of alia and certainly she in any case should not be killed for doing that !

Nosotros los más pequeños, debemos convertirnos en un nudo de resistencia en contra de la mentira y guardar la verdad, mantenerla y difundirla. (subcomandante Insurgente Marcos)

transformation's picture

i do not think neither her

i do not think neither her aim was to free detained women or people however i think she shouldnt be sanctioned for freedom of expression .
i am aware of the politic and the how hard things are happening on the ground field but should this harsh reality should silence people like alia ??
or should revolution mean specific dynamism castrating multi forms of speaking out ones own thoughts ?
i do not think so in the contrary the space is wide for all in their differences and their singularities and it should stay wide like that if voices like alia should be silenced this means the space cannot contain such form of freedom and i am not saying this the only form of it .

Nosotros los más pequeños, debemos convertirnos en un nudo de resistencia en contra de la mentira y guardar la verdad, mantenerla y difundirla. (subcomandante Insurgente Marcos)

Stella Paul's picture

Not getting my answer

Dear Maria

Please read my first 2 sentences. I said, I condemn violence and that Aiaa should never be given death penalty. I condemn such penalty and Alai must live.

My question was, how do ordinary women in Egypt view Alia? Do they feel that Alia is one of them, helping them? Do they think Alia's act will help their cause?

That is the answer I am looking for,

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

transformation's picture

I do have the same question

I do have the same question of you Stella .

Nosotros los más pequeños, debemos convertirnos en un nudo de resistencia en contra de la mentira y guardar la verdad, mantenerla y difundirla. (subcomandante Insurgente Marcos)

nasreenamina's picture

My opinion about

Even when is very sad and I am against the punishment on Aliaa I think she didn't do anything in favour of feminist movements or women rights. I feel insulted as a woman and feminist, with the idea being naked is useful in some way to built awarness about freedom. I would give an opportunity to this idea If all this show about Aliaa will be put in the service of the attention to Samira Ibrahim case. Do you know about? She is in fact courageous and in need of support after the abusse she suffer. I think we must to put the situation in perspective. Noone forced Aliaa to get naked and make the pics, Samira and the others were forced and humilliated. Aliaa manipulated the real meaning of freedom of expression in her interest it was just that. At this moment while many people is putting their lives in the line in tahrir square claiming for their rights, the case of a girl who exposed herlsef by own decision... sorry I dont see the link, even when as muslim, woman and feminist I am against of punishment.

If she wants to claim freedom, she should be asking for support to the women in egypt in general and not to her facebook page? Dont you think it seems so a Public relations actions? I can tell that as a Publisher myself. If I need to expose my body to make stronger my arguments.. so, my arguments are not stronger at all.

One of the strong controversy about what is happening in post-revolutionary Egypt is the virginity tests made to girls, a scandal and abuse on women's bodies and the right to privacy. The conflicts about the body and sexuality of women and how they are used, exposed and violated in the context of patriarchy are unfortunately well known to everyone. Also, we know very well the huge efforts women are doing in the context of Arab spring and how they are raising their voices in behalf of their rights and taking the chance to end with stereotypes that consider them “object”.

And now, we have to buy the idea that exposing in Blogger the naked body showing private parts is the easy way to freedom for Egyptian people? I don’t have taboos about naked body at all. I don’t link nudity to something dirty or sinful, we have been created perfect and naked. Body is a precious wrap of our soul, so there’s nothing bad about it. Nudity is as natural as we are. But I don’t agree with Elmahdy’s performance.

I cannot accept the underlying idea that is necessary to be naked and exposed to catch the attention of citizens about their own rights. Be aware of our rights is a thing of ... yes, awareness, gained with intellectual abilities. I don’t agree with the idea of “Freedom” as valuable it is, could be object of merchandising or worse, using the women body as commodity to sell “Freedom and Civil rights” the same as is used to sell beer, washing machines and perfumes. Using the body as a marketing strategy doesn’t become more acceptable or better for linking it to proclaim Freedom and power to the people.

After 15 minutes of fame for Aliaa and their friends’ sexual organs in the global media: What will be solved in favor of civil rights in Egypt? Is the body of Miss Elmahdy persuasive enough to lead people to a new and democratic nation? The only people will profit from these pictures will be teenagers and lonely men searching for some action online.Regarding the impact of these photos in Egyptian society, I have no doubt many men and women will be very happy to have a "tête à tête" with the nudity of others, curiosity is stronger, but at the end of the day: How many of them will be better and more aware of the value of freedom as a right and the importance of ensuring it in the construction of a new state? Let's talk a week about Aliaa and what’s Next? What changed?

The Nudity of Aliaa has nothing to do with Revolution. Being a revolutionary is to be original. Being naked is the most ancient, easy, fast and cheap way fool people use to gain attention. Just look at the media, especially TV, full of women who have made a career exposing their physical and emotional intimacy in prime time. In an ultra-eroticized society where all we see is mediated by sex as a part of trading, the greatest revolutionary act is to be able to go further and better – and full dressed- than all this, protesting, claiming, raising our voices, betting oppressors with a struggle based in arguments and ideals. Aliaa Elmahdy must learn that freedom is not a good to sell and buy, is a conquest! A conquest where women and men must to play fair to ourselves and face it based on the active, unreserved and persistent using of the organ we have between the ears, the brain!

One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion

Follow me @DivinaFeminista

usha kc's picture

Yess, Aliaa must be alive but

Yess, Aliaa must be alive but me to agree with Stella and Nasreen. I respect the rights of express own opinion but in what way we should do is most important.

By the way,I strongly condemn the death penalty.

transformation's picture

if we want to think gender as

if we want to think gender as performative we might question how alia s action is evoking this topic .
also i do evoke the point that alia might not be a muslim , so as atheist how to see that performance and what about the voice of atheist persons .

this is what i mean when i insist into her reclaiming for space hegemonized .
if she was and millions are codemning this action of her the question remain the same . because i think atheist would reclaim intellectual view and debate and for what reason the action of her is detained and seen as violating the means of what a 'revoltion' or 'revolutionary' might mean ?
i am not getting my answer for that neither on that .

even if millions are against her this would not be codemning to her because this would be the voice of majority against a minority which is one thing that i see not convincing in itself not enough to even datain her action and raise hate speech toward her even so she would be freed from sanctions ..(as a possibility)

i think the hate speech is codemning in itself in a space that should be free .
other wise what is and who can tell the meaning of FREEDOM if it is seen only in respect of established speech .

i think it is controversial in term to think alia's action and i think the action itself is being detained in the speech about it and the exposure .
did alia really wanted that ??
my reply in fact is extending my previous posts not necessarly replying to nasreen amina 's post

Nosotros los más pequeños, debemos convertirnos en un nudo de resistencia en contra de la mentira y guardar la verdad, mantenerla y difundirla. (subcomandante Insurgente Marcos)

transformation's picture

and i add that one should see

and i add that one should see on her page and comments some times written in arabic languages with all the insults and hate speech toward her and toward her possibility of being an atheist , atheism is a religion as well , does it have a space in actual egypt ? and i do not speak on muslim-atheist or christian-atheist however i do speak on non-theism and non-theolgy does this form of beleif and practice insulting in its form to other communities and theism ??
is really the main now-discourse free from that in its criticism to the action of alia ???
i post that to question here the very notion of secularism in now-egypt .

Nosotros los más pequeños, debemos convertirnos en un nudo de resistencia en contra de la mentira y guardar la verdad, mantenerla y difundirla. (subcomandante Insurgente Marcos)

transformation's picture

i do share with you and again

i do share with you and again one article :
WAITING FOR ALIA by Maya Mikdashi

'Before we condemn or praise Alia's decision to take a naked picture of herself and circulate it as either revolutionary or not we must understand the context in which her statement was made. It is not a context where the nude female form is foreign, and it is not a context where people don't talk about sex. In fact, sex is at the center of much public anxiety and government policy. This is not surprising, given that at times of great social upheaval, much of a public's anxieties about political change are fought on the terrain of sex and gender roles. But it is surprising that an adult woman's decision to take a nude picture of herself and publish it on her blog has created more controversy across the political spectrum than the fact that Egyptian soldiers were administering “virginity tests” with their fingers on and in female protestors. It is less surprising that a photo meant to challenge, not titillate the viewer, has inspired more rage than film posters that pose a naked woman trying to escape the strategically placed grasps of a man, who is posed as a would-be rapist.'

Nosotros los más pequeños, debemos convertirnos en un nudo de resistencia en contra de la mentira y guardar la verdad, mantenerla y difundirla. (subcomandante Insurgente Marcos)

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