One way ticket Muslim women in uprising

Interview with Azza Kamel Mohamoud, 
Leading activist in Tahir,
Friday 21 December 2012 in Cairo, Egypt

by Donald Boström

I am a feminist and a human right activist. Basically I advocate for women’s right, but also for human rights. I become engaged when I was fourteen together with an informal group of women. We started to do research about the history for women in the world and Egypt.

We started to educate our self concerning the struggle thru our history. I am from a middle class family and my family was very open, no one ever oppressed me or put obstacles in my life. I could continue they way I wanted. Even when I got married when I was only sixteen years old, I loved my husband and really wanted to marry him. He was nine years older then me a promising movie director. He encourage me all the way, pushed me to continue my education

Later on he become very famous, but. My life went through a tragic turn when he passed away ten years ago. He is still the love of my life, and he always will be.

I become feminist after travelling around in Egypt and observed the situation for the women, especially in the rural areas. They were poor and oppressed. Most of them were not able to take decision about their own lives. The father and the brothers took the decision to stop their education. As a middle class girl I felt different, I had a freedom they didn’t have. I saw and study it. They learned me about their circumstances and made me inspired. Together we become activated and we had a mission and a vision, and from that point we started to advocate for the women’s right. We started to produce a magazine and travel around the country and spoke to the women. After that I get engaged in voluntary in a heavy populated and poor area, The first thing I did was to open literacy classes for women, and after that we open a cinema club. That was the first time those women saw a film. I started to become more and more mature and developed my writing and reading and exchange experiences with other women. Of course my husband supported me, he was leftist and had strong visions. With his open-minded character we helped each other to see what was important in life. It could be different things that my colleagues and I in my age couldn’t see. The

It all started in my mind during the eighties, when Muslim brotherhood started to separate men and women I different classes in the university. They continue to advocate the women must be covered. All this made me more and more angry and gave me the strength to start fighting for our rights. Yes, we have developed our self as a group, the whole movement for women have developed since then. Especially after the recent revolution there was positive development. Not only among the educated and young activist women, it came to us all, old as young. The problem we face now is very strange visions appear.

After this entire struggle and development for women, after the revolution and victory for justice and dignity, we now suddenly find people who want to stop what we achieved. Very sad, but it gives us more power to continue. We are not feed up, we are not afraid life is life. Without justice and dignity life is nothing. The more the movement has grown, the more women joining, even older women now participating to improve women’s rights, an important direction of the development. This is the first time that I, and many others, now advocating to write the women right in the constitution. As a matter o fact, the women issue is now up to the surface.

I’m privileged, I don’t feel there are any obstacles for because I am a women.  I frankly do what I want, really. Both for others its not possible of course.

I like my work and I write every morning. I decide what I would engage in or not.

After my husband died, the surrounding treated me like a widow, I didn’t.

Azza Kamel Mohamoud, 48 year
Widow and mother of one boy and one girl, 10 and 12 year.
PHD in Psychology
Human right activist

Publicerad i tidningen ETC 2014