Egypt's first veiled news anchor appears on state TV

Published: September 2, 2012

An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows Egyptian anchorwoman Fatma Nabil wearing an Islamic headscarf or hijab while reading the news on Channel 1 in Cairo on September 2, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO: A veiled anchorwoman read the news on Egypt’s state television for the first time on Sunday, reflecting a shift in official media since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and the subsequent rise of Islamists.

Fatma Nabil made her first appearance on the Channel 1 midday broadcast, wearing a black suit and a cream-coloured scarf or hijab covering the hair and neck.

Until the revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year and brought a Muslim Brotherhood president to power, women in Islamic headscarves and particularly full-face veils had been kept firmly out of the media.

Women who wore hijab were allowed to work in Egypt’s Radio and Television Union as long as it was off-camera.

But new Islamist Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsud told a private satellite channel on Saturday he could see no reason why a woman in hijab could not present the national news.

“Finally the revolution has reached” Egyptian media, Nabil told the Muslim Brotherhood’s daily newspaper, Freedom and Justice.

The 2011 uprising opened the way for the long-banned but powerful Brotherhood, as well as other Islamist movements, which won a crushing victory in parliamentary elections.

President Mohamed Morsi resigned from the Brotherhood — Egypt’s largest and most organised political force — when he was elected president in June.

Most Muslim women in Egypt wear the hijab, which covers the hair. The niqab, which covers the entire face, is also becoming more popular on the country’s streets.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • The Truth
    Sep 2, 2012 - 11:57PM

    Well Done Morsi..Keep it up..


  • nskhan
    Sep 3, 2012 - 12:07AM

    Next step to be with “Wuzu” During news casting if Wuzu breakes will ask excuse for renewal of Wuzu.


  • Usman Iqbal
    Sep 3, 2012 - 12:23AM

    I hope that she wore the hijab by her own will and not bring dictated like our ptv news anchors in the era of Zia….


  • indiantroll
    Sep 3, 2012 - 12:37AM

    good news.


  • Parvez
    Sep 3, 2012 - 12:46AM

    The lady in the picture is not veiled.


  • us
    Sep 3, 2012 - 1:50AM

    Absolutely! There is no reason in banning woman just because they wear niqab. The point here is to get information about the event, not about woman’s make up or body.


  • Faisal
    Sep 3, 2012 - 2:26AM

    SubhanAllah!! and it’s a pity what is happening in Pakistani electronic media nowadays is totally opposite of that.


  • kailash sethy
    Sep 3, 2012 - 2:46AM

    She should have full veil to be true muslim for Mullah. way to go for Egypt. One small step in direction of Aganistan/Iran for Egypt


  • gp65
    Sep 3, 2012 - 2:48AM

    This woman has the hijaab not a veil. A veil is a niqaab which will hide the face.


  • umer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 2:53AM

    ”subsequent rise of Islamists.” – shame on ET for using that word. If she wants to wear a hijab so what? its her choice.


  • Siddique Malik
    Sep 3, 2012 - 4:19AM

    If she is wearing the hijab by her own free will, I support her right to do so, and I condemn anybody who opposes her freedom of expression. However, if she is under pressure to wear the hijab, I condemn those who are pressuring her.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 3, 2012 - 6:05AM

    More important is Truth in news not veils.


  • Umer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 6:37AM

    If Zai ul Haq mentality does not follow it like it did in Pakistan then its fine.


  • DevilHunterX
    Sep 3, 2012 - 8:56AM

    Hijab (head covering) <> Niqab (Face covering)


  • John B
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:13AM

    The issue now is will non hijab women can be a TV anchor in Egypt?


  • Sep 3, 2012 - 11:24AM

    President Mohamed Morsi resigned from the Brotherhood — Egypt’s largest and most organised political force — when he was elected president in June.
    A message for our leaders.


  • S
    Sep 3, 2012 - 1:51PM

    Excellent, may ALLAH help them and us in establishihng Islam in our countires.


  • Malik
    Sep 3, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Mash’Allah. May all our sisters be modest and protect themselves as Allah Subhanwa’tallah has ordained. A slap to the French for banning the hijab. Allahu Akbar *3~


  • Bilal
    Sep 3, 2012 - 5:42PM

    My heartiesht congrajulations to Misri people for having their own Zia-ul-Haq shaheed. All you need now is a sick country like Aphganistan next to you.


  • Katarina
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:52PM

    France has not banned the hijab. Only covering your face in public is banned and that is a good thing. Who would like to live in a society where a certain group of people are expected to cover their phases.

    Sad news about Egypt. Let’s hope freedom and democracy will win …


  • Noori
    Sep 5, 2012 - 3:36AM

    @ Lanatik Malik, France has never banned hijab, it’s banned NIQAT, full cover of face, BTW, its their country and they’ve all the rights to do so. For your information, those who wish to protect their dignity, they do so without hijabs and niqabs, whereas there are a number of women who do all the filthy work behind the veil.


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