Nude Egyptian Blogger Becomes Hot Button Election Issue

By
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy.
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. Photo: Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

The 20-year-old free-speech activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy is fighting for sexual equality in Egypt, using the Internet as a battleground by posting nude pictures of herself online. But as Egyptians jockey for power post-Mubarak, not even the young liberal activists want to be associated with her: "We are conservative youths, and we always encourage our members to be role models as far as ethics are concerned," said a spokesman for the April 6th Youth Movement, which helped lead the January revolt. He insisted that "the movement does not have any members who engage in such behavior." But the blog post, which also includes nude art photographs and drawings, has more than 12,000 likes on Facebook, some 3,200 comments, and more than 1.6 million views.

Along with the images, according to a translation by the New York Times, Elmahdy writes:

Try nude models who worked in Fine Art Faculties in the early 1970s, hide all art books and smash naked archaeological statues. Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror, then burn your body that you so despise to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before subjecting me to your bigoted insults or denying my freedom of expression.

The Times, while devoting an entire article in today's paper to the issue, fails to link to Elmahdy's actual blog. It is Not Safe For Work because it contains nudity, obviously, but appears to be located here.