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Sacked belly-dancing teacher sparks Egypt debate over women's rights


In Egypt, a viral video of a teacher belly-dancing has sparked a national debate about women's rights and the country's socially conservative values.

Aya Yousef was sacked, and divorced by her husband, after she was filmed by a colleague at a work social event on a Nile boat without her permission.

Footage shows her moving to the music alongside male teaching staff.

Belly-dancing is said to date back to Pharaonic times but it is often frowned upon now for women to dance in public.

The video of Ms Yousef, who is wearing the Islamic headscarf and a long-sleeved dress for the daytime river trip, looks very tame by Western standards.

However, as it was widely shared on Arab social media in the past week, it prompted an outcry among Egyptian conservatives.


Her critics claimed she had acted shamefully: "It clearly expresses the poor times we live in!! Anything is permitted," wrote one Twitter user.

"Education has reached a low level in Egypt," another commented, calling for intervention by the relevant authorities.

Ms Yousef was then sacked by the primary school in Dakahlia Governorate in the Nile Delta, where she had worked for several years teaching Arabic.

She has vowed she will never dance again and said that she had contemplated suicide during her recent ordeal.

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