The whole story started on the 19th of July 2017 when a young Yemeni woman called “Kholoud Al-Yafee” was arrested by Saudi authorities for posting a video on social media. Al-Yafee appears in the video walking in a historic area in the Kingdom wearing a short skirt. Some people perceive the video as provocative and demanded Al-Yafee to be detained by state authorities.
Young women in KSA launched a campaign in solidarity with Al-Yafee, writing their names on their bare legs and challenging the patriarchal order adopted by both the Saudi Arabian society and the state. In Egypt too, a lot of women seem to be taking the hashtag forward and some have even headed to the Saudi embassy with their photos wearing short skirts to show support for the campaign!
While some may assume that there is no cause here, Saudi Arabian culture has always been clear about the culturally accepted dress code for women and mini skirts are considered way out of line. Some can argue that no one should have the right to tell us what to wear or even accuse us of something that we are entitled to decide for ourselves, while others think that a country’s cultural traditions should be respected even if you come from a world of different mindsets or beliefs.
To be honest, we personally feel that the campaign is a bit over the top even if the intention is different. A hashtag that asks women to take photos of their bare legs is quite provocative for our conservative community! We may agree that Al-Yafee’s situation could have been handled differently, but the debate will always be should we fight boundaries we believe are too extreme or support cultural norms and traditions? We leave that for you to reflect on!
we Egyptians or Arabs as always like to see the light side of anything, so we share with you some of the hilarious tweets that cracked us up!
To wrap up, we hope justice can find its way and people can eventually reach a common ground between granting freedoms and respecting cultures. Till then, we’ll just keep following those tweets!