Meet the first single mother in Egypt

Yesterday the Egyptian Journalist Hadeer Mekawy has published a photo on her facebook account for herself with her first son. She called him Adam.

Hadeer friends who are mostly activists from what we call the “downtown community” which represent the well educated middle class youth from the capital. those who were the first spark of the Egyptian revolution six years ago. those friends were very excited because they know the inspiring story behind this baby. they started to share the photo with what they know from the story. and piece by piece the social media started to know that Hadeer is a single mother. it’s really not acceptable to be a single mother in Egypt. on the society scale. for instance, people might refuse to rent you a home if you are a single mother.

Hadeer photos got Viral and it became controversial between those who made the hashtag #ادعم_هدير which means Support Hadeer. and the majority who were accusing hadder to be a sinner who violated the Islamic values.

Hadeer had published another post after her inbox got filled with harassment, threatening and maybe some support. she explained her situation. she was in a relationship with a guy. her family has refused to make her marry him so they got a civil marriage. there is no civil marriage for real in Egypt. it’s just a contract that each partner have a copy of it. and the state will have no record of it. and then when she got pregnant she decided to keep the baby (abortion is illegal in Egypt even for rape victims but some doctors can do it in secret) and that’s how we came here.

Hadeer isn’t really the first single mother in Egypt. but she was the first one who can say loudly I’m a single mother and I don’t care. usually when women reach this stage in Egypt they make up stories about an immigrant husband who never returned. or when they discover the pregnancy they just got married to anyone so that nobody notice. In Egypt men can got married up to 4 women so it’s not really a problem.

the discussion on social media has been expended since yesterday. now the Egyptian social media discussing the civil marriage, women rights, the relation between the state and religion. which I believe is very useful, even if the majority of comments are very reactionary.

where is the media?

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” — George Orwell

well, usually it’s a journalism duty to cover such a story and lead the conversation. but as we used to since the 2013 coup there is no media coverage for anything that might bring problems to the media institution. except two or three piece of content on the news websites there was nothing!