Today, Egyptian Muslims celebrate Prophet Muhammad's birthday (PBUH); known in Egyptian colloquial as Mawlid Elnaby. On this day, Egyptian Muslims eat special desserts (halawet elmwalid), exchange visits with relatives and acquaintances, and hold religious sessions to remember Prophet Muhammad. It is an intensive spiritual course that gives power to Muslim's soul and heart.
This is my first time, in five years, to celebrate Mawlid Elnaby at home. This year, I insisted on seizing the opportunity to purify my soul away from the usual concerns of daily life. Early in the morning, I woke up on the beautiful lyrics of Mohamed Tharwat, singing for Prophet and praising Allah! His song was so touching. I had my breakfast with my sweet mother and three siblings. Then, we ate desserts, recited Qura'an and made wishes. I was extremely happy and I hoped if this hour of my life could last forever.
After performing prayers, the idea of making a religious trip to
I ran, immediately, to my lap top and searched Google for quotes and procedures required for making O'mra (minor pilgrimage) trip. There, I had a great shock, which spoiled my day: I am not allowed access to
Do you know what a male chaperon is? A first-degree male relative: father, brother, husband, or son! I am in a big trouble. On one hand, my father is dead and my two brothers are not interested. Even if they are, I cannot afford their tickets. On the other hand, I do not have a husband; and of course I do not have a son!! What can I do, now?! I am terribly confused! I have already traveled to several places around the world. I was completely alone! I did not do something wrong, and nothing wrong was done to me!!
I was told that this unjust restriction on young Muslim women is the pure invention of
Thereupon, I call upon international feminists, moderate Muslims, and those who believe in women rights in the Muslim world to join my upcoming fight against the Saudi government for getting my right (as a woman) to practice my religion without the unreasonable and unjust restrictions imposed by extremists and patriarchal governments like that of Saudi Arabia.