Fifty shades of hijab in Egypt
'The revolution has reached state television,' stated the first woman to wear a hijab on Egyptian state TV this month. The hijab phenomenon – an estimated 90 per cent of Egyptian women cover up – has gained ground for a mix of religious, socio-cultural, and political reasons. It is a more complicated equation than just religion or harassment.
A few weeks ago, Fatma Nabil, an anchor for Egypt’s state-owned TV Channel 1, became a news item herself when she appeared on air wearing the previously banned hijab covering her ears, neck, and hair. “At last the revolution has reached state television,” Nabil told the BBC.
Under Hosni Mubarak’s regime, news anchors were forbidden from wearing the hijab, commonly translated as...