Aliaa Elmahdy’s crucifixion in Tahrir Square

“Aliaa Elmahdy, the 20-year-old college student was there, chanting with the Tahrir comrades songs of liberty while passionately beholding what she thought the dawn of her freedom.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

Freedom… is the allure of the Tahrir square saga and perhaps the indisputable motto of the Egyptian revolution.

The Tahrir Square was packed with thousands of Egypt’s youths; boys and girls in their teens who witnessed the rare and magical moments of the system bending to their demands and the regime crumbling down before their vigorous and starry eyes.

For them it felt like the world had just been created, the sun and the moon had taken up their positions, the heavens and earth had split, and the center of the earth was right there … at Tahrir square where Horus, the mighty falcon and god of the sky hovered above those teens’ heads and blessed their struggle for freedom.

Aliaa Elmahdy, the 20- year-old college student was there, chanting with the Tahrir comrades songs of liberty while passionately beholding what she thought the dawn of her freedom.

But her freedom was defined by her ability to break loose of what she perceived as dead legends of piety and hypocritical compliance with the society’s so called conservative values.

I’m not talking about some indecent streetwalker here, rather a young and educated Egyptian who grew up as an intellectually independent girl and who won’t yield to the tide of obscurantism that could only see women from behind veil or covered up from head to toes in some long and dark medieval garbs.

Aliaa is a liberal teenager, living the “imagine” world of John Lennon where there is no hell below us and above us only sky. She is a dreamer who kind of hoped not to be the only one and that others would join her some day

Last month and days prior to the eruption of the second wave of the Egyptian revolution the photo of that dreamer Aliaa, undressed except for red shoes and stockings, with emotionless face except for unwavering and defiant eyes, posing in classic nude posture and with a bit of artsy black-and-white presentation hit the web audience on her blog titled : Diary of a Revolutionary [Woman].

Aliaa’s nude photo that was posted on her blog

When I first saw her bold nude statement, I thought what a brave young girl; she was so young to have experienced life well enough to choose to pose naked and spit in the world’s eyes as she wrote underneath her nude photo that she was “echoing screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.”

But that same antagonistic society received Aliaa’s statement- as typically expected- with resentment and despise, confusing the nudity she used as a solemn declaration of anger with the erotic and scandalous pornography she never meant to subscribe to.

And thousands of feedback comments insulting and most often accusing her of debauchery came hammering down like rain on her blog.

Aliaa, being the young and inexperienced girl that she was and believing not that the cyber world had rejected and failed to decipher her message and her longing to be free decided to hit the street, give her back to the virtual world of the web and face her doubts and feel the warmth she once sensed in the real world of Tahrir square.

But what the dreamer girl thought of as the last resort for her salvation, proved to be the place of her crucifixion as the gathering in Tahrir square mobbed, molested and beat up the young Aliaa the moment they recognized her.

In Egypt, while the revolution accepts oblations of the mutilated and the maimed, the religious fanatics and political opportunists it rejects the offerings of the nude and the sincere revolutionaries.

Few weeks have passed since the second wave of Egypt revolution that witnessed the most violent confrontations between the security forces and the protesters and that left the highest death toll …the scuffles stopped and the tear gas fog has settled down … things have calmed down… deals in closed rooms have been made and the vigor of the revolution faded away as the ultraconservative Islamists began to slip into the political arena through the polls …they tend to drag the Egyptian society back to antediluvian age and pledge to stone the likes of Aliaa to death.

Tahrir square is almost barren now except for some scattered tents that harbored the few left die-hard secular activists, the chilly breeze of December and … the broken dreams of Aliaa Elmahdy.

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8 thoughts on “Aliaa Elmahdy’s crucifixion in Tahrir Square

  1. Extremely touching post. Please keep us updated on the trials of this young woman. The Brotherhood is simply not good news for anyone who opposes oppression of spirit ~ you captured that well.


  2. Its written in the protocols to get the “goyims” young to debase themselves through sexual devolvement into recreation rather than the higher and more spiritual ideas of love and marriage and children. its done to destroy the roots of “family” and disconnect these children from anything resembling a stable home life and with that instability, like any country, the child becomes isolated, confused, and vulnerable to the agenda of the evil ones. Once they become adults they become easy prey to those wishing to control a nation and its people. We see how that turned out in the United States where it was done to a high art form. Its destroyed the nation and its people. Be careful what you wish for as you might get it.


  3. Islamism is simply defined as animalism. What a tragedy? I wish Egyptian women to raise up and defend their right, say no to slavery by their husband or in general no to boys dominance.


  4. This young woman is extremely brave and one must respect her conviction to stand up for what she believes. However, I remember when Germaine Greer (a well known Australian feminist) did something similar in the 60s 70s had to endure a torrent of abuse (verbal) for her defiant act highlighting the oppression of women in the West. She later acknowleged, as an older woman, her naivety in this particular action. Not everyone in society is open minded or aware enough to understand the difference between a political, defiant act for liberation and the stereotyped, misoginist, exploitative images promoted by the western media. In the Middle East I would imagine the cultural mind set that has been promoted by certain religious groups will take a long time to evolve into a more liberated view on women’s place in a liberal democracy.


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