The Egyptian blogosphere: home of a new feminism

Laura Pitel

Has there been a time in your life when you experienced, felt or even heard about a story at the heart of which lay the oppression of a woman because she, a female, lives in a male society?1These were the first words of an email sent in 2006 to Egypt‟s female bloggers, calling upon them to speak out about the problems faced by women in their society. The authors of the invitation were a group of five female Egyptian bloggers who, weeks earlier, had begun We are all Laila – a blogging initiative set-up in order to shed light on the frustrations of being a woman in a patriarchal society. On 9th September, over 70 bloggers contributed to We are all Laila day, successfully creating a storm both in the world of blogging and beyond.The group formed at a time of enormous growth in Egypt‟s online sphere. The popularity of blogs – websites usually run by an individual, made public for anyone to read – took off in the three years up to 2007: pre-2005 there were around 40 Egyptian blogs,2 by 2005 there were about 400,3 and by September 2006 that number is estimated to have been 1800.4 This parallels the growth in the global blogosphere5 which was home to 70 million blogs by April 2007.

Filed Under: EgyptMiddle EastStudies & Researches


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  1. Dr. Mohamed Hossam Ismail says:

    I have participated in an international conference in Paris on July 2007 with a study about (We are all Layla) campaign titled: “Layla’s Soft Screaming: Discourse Analysis of Cyber-Feminist Resistance on the Egyptian Women Blogosphere”. The researcher has mentioned it in the list of references, however, she has never returned to it at least one single time just to let readers know that there is another side of the story. As far as I am concerned, that attitude defies the benign academic values.

    I hope the researcher is not another “feminazi” just like “Bent Masria”, the blogeress whom I sent my study in 2007 and ignored it, whereas she and her disciples put the full text of Laura Pital in their blog.

    I have thought that exclusion of the “Other” is something to be frown upon by people searching of equality and justice.

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