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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mona vs. Makarem

Okay, I know that it is slightly unfair to compare both women since they are not running against each other, but I feel that this comparison would be some what telling of what we are dealing with here. I mean they are both college professors, both come from interesting families, both put religion as an important part of their campaign and both have names that start with the letter M. Come on, this should be great! First we have Dr. Makrem El Deiry, the only MB female candidate. Here is what she stands for: The only woman candidate backed by Egypt's influential Muslim Brotherhood, the 55-year-old mother of seven insists there is no point arguing for sexual equality as such a demand "goes against nature." "Women are men's partners at all levels but their main role is to be good mothers who look after their children," Deiri told AFP in Nasr City, the middle-class constituency in northeastern Cairo where she is standing for election."Would women be happy if men were to stay home to look after the children while they worked outside?" she asks rhetorically. "We believe that domestic chores are not less (than other types of work) and we oppose battling against men's superiority to women." She talks about house chores and how men are superior to women. No mention of any other issue that bothers her. She is also a legacy candidate mind you.. Her father was a Brotherhood leader and her husband, Ibrahim Sharaf, was its secretary-general. Sharaf, who died in 2000, spent nine years in jail because of his Brotherhood activities. Oh, and here are her educational qualifications.. Eldery, who has a doctorate in Arabic literature and teaches at the revered Islamic Al-Azhar University, makes no secret she is not a feminist. She does not believe in Western concepts of equality between men and women, blaming them for rising divorce rates. Dr. Makarem El Deiry everybody. Give her a big hand. Now to Dr. Mona Makram Ebeid: Being a woman and a Coptic Christian in Muslim-majority Egypt, the odds are against Mona Makram Ebeid, but the feisty politician has embarked on a campaign to win a seat in parliament and break the back of "sectarianism and sexism." "Facing 10 men, growing Islamism and corruption money, it's a real obstacle race," said Makram Ebeid, a relentless political activist, academic and veteran politician. The political science professor who also heads a literacy NGO is contesting a seat in the capital's mixed Muslim-Christian constituency of Shubra in the parliamentary elections kicking off on Wednesday. She teaches political science in the American University in Cairo. Makram Ebeid complained that the confessional atmosphere had become tense in recent years in a neighbourhood she said "used to be a model of coexistence, of shared interests if not of genuine love" between Copts and Muslims. She also comes from an interesting family... She pointed that her grandfather Makram Ebeid Pasha, who was a leading figure of the struggle against the British mandate, was several times appointed the head of the Egyptian bar association. "This is unthinkable for a Copt today," she said. So equal rights for copts, more representation of women in politics, restoring secterian harmony. That's what she wants to accomplish. Hmm... Let's recap, ok? Makarem is an arabic professor at Al Azhar university who comes from a line of MB members, wants to enforce political Islam and demands that women admit men's superiority to them and stop demanding equal rights. Mona is a political science professor in the American University, she is the head of an NGO and a political activist who her grandfather fought the british invasion. She wants more representation of women in politics, equal rights to christians, real democracy in Egypt and the relationships between muslims and christians restored. Now, here is my question: which one do you think has a better chance to win tomorrow? Yeah, thought so.


At 11/09/2005 05:32:00 AM, Blogger Papa Ray said...

So, get out there and talk to people, make a small difference.

One vote counts, one vote not cast counts more.

Papa Ray
West Texas

At 11/09/2005 08:48:00 AM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Well, probably neither has any serious chance of winning. That's telling too, I guess.

But what if Dr. Makrem El Deiry DID win? How could she avoid ordering men about at some point? Will she be responsible for serving coffee to the other male representatives?

At 11/18/2005 10:24:00 PM, Blogger Bent El Neel said...

i know the elections are over now, but i have no idea which one had better luck than the other (forgive me i don't live in Egypt...but i will try to find out)
However, i do hope you voted. And personally if i still lived in Egypt i would have voted for Mona Makram Ebeid...I'm from Shobra you see :)


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