Under the Black Blanket

01/12/12

Beer and Clothing in Cairo

mickey.jpegI'm in Cairo this week, interviewing feminists and Islamists, whose post-revolutionary aims are on a collision course. Many of the men have shaved off their mukhabarat mustaches (so 20th century) and are busy growing out the long chin whiskers of their heroes, the holy ancients.

Cab drivers carry flash drives of the Koran and ask young Egyptian men to recite the holy lines with them as they careen through insane traffic.

It was great to sip a beer in a room full of them last night, glowering at me.

To be a visiting western female in Cairo right now is a bit like being an African visiting pre-civil rights America. You really have to think about how much skin you're showing.

More on these adventures as time permits.

Meanwhile, over in Israel, the ultra-orthodox are running a conference this week on advances in gynecological medicine, for men only. The story here. (Thanks to Candace Dempsey for alerting me to this one.)
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