Between Tunis’s Bouazizi and Egypt’s Magda Alia Al Madhi a portray of a cultural intake on life and death


When a man protested social injustice with a suicidal move of burning his own body, he triggered a whole revolution that broke the boundaries of his own country to hit many other Arab countries. He was crowned as a hero, idolized a copied many other times!

Now comes a woman who protests social injustice by posting a nude pictures for herself on her own blog. She triggers much press and chat around her action. She gets attacked severely by the religious groups in her country and disowned by the so-called-liberal ones. She is faced with jail and death threats and depicted as a shallow stupid unstable person and even a devil!

Bouazizi  faced harassment and humiliation by a municipal official and her aides for years according to his friends. Those officials was most probably trying to apply a certain law that bans street vendors. They most probably abused the power they have and failed to see the struggle against poverty this man was facing. Society has failed him, and he chose to protest the injustice with an act of death.

Magda Alia Al Mahdi, and like many other women in her country, has faced sexual harassment and humiliation on a daily bases just walking down the street. Her own body has never been her with the social rules that limit the way she dressed, the way she moved, the way she talked and the way she expresses her sexuality. It is a constant struggle of many women in Egypt and other Arab countries, one that became worse after the revolution in Egypt where some women was humiliated in a very ugly way by being exposed to a virginity test.

Like Bouazizi, society has failed Magda!

Unlike him, she protested with an act of LIFE. An act of reclaiming and celebrating her own body rather than burning it.   Unlike him, her heroic act was shunned as a shallow stunt. Instead of being idolized she got cursed!

I can’t help but ask myself over and over again about what screwed our culture to value death more than life? Why do we celebrate acts of violence instead of acts of peace? For many years, we cheered for suicide bombers. When Mortada Al Zaidi throw his shoes to the face of George Bush, we all clapped, and got copied.

This woman is a hero. She is a real hero. She is so beautiful, so real. She is in touch with her humanity than most of us. She should be sacred and respected for her purity. Bouazzizi should not be the only one who got copied. She should be copied and others nude Arab bodies should carry up the torch of sexual liberation on other blogs.

I wish I have some of her courage to be the 2nd one!

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