Many young people in Egypt live a modern, Western lifestyle. But traditional attitudes and strong family ties continue to play a major role.
On DW's program Shababtalk from Cairo, presenter Jaafar Abdul Karim discussed social issues with 150 guests willing to speak their minds freely. The show will be broadcast at various times (airdates on dw.com/p/1Gv74) and is available online on demand.
Cairo is one of the cities the Shababtalk crew visited on their "Arab World Tour". Just days after the parliamentary elections in Egypt, the discussion on the show was one of the most controversial ones so far. Conservative points of view clashed with liberal attitiudes. The wide range of topics included education and emancipation, relationships and sexual harrassment.A 21-year-old female media student said: "Traditions and a male-dominated society are preventing ambitious women like myself from reaching their goals, simple because we are women."
Award-winning film director Amr Salama argued that "freedom begins with rebelling against certain traditions. For example, stop judging a woman by her hymen, it is not a measure of her honor."
Bestselling author Ghada Abd El Aal said: "Clerics instrumentalize religion to keep women in a lesser role in society." She stated that "as an independent woman living alone in a society full of traditions, I am considered a woman who has lost her mind."
With its critical take on issues facing society, Shababtalk reaches an audience of millions in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region. In Egypt alone the show has several million viewers. Since the summer, the "Arab World Tour" has taken the program to Baghdad, Tunis, Rabat and now Cairo, the next destinations will be Beirut and Amman. Each show is produced with a DW partner station on location, in Egypt in cooperation with Al Nahar TV Network.