#Trending: Breaking stereotypes in Egypt

#Trending: Breaking stereotypes in Egypt
Blog: An irregular space to trace trending topics on social media; what Arabs are talking about online.
3 min read
26 May, 2015
Stereotypes can be hard to escape in Egypt [Getty]
An initiative aimed at breaking stereotypes in Egypt has been occupying Egyptians and much of the Arab world on social media.

Started by graphic designers Nourhan Moaz and Ghada Wali on Behance, the initiative highlights a variety of social aspects of life and how they've become Egyptian stereotypes.

"The main concept of the campaign is to correct some of the traditional beliefs that are the main reasons of slowing down the development of intellect in the Egyptian society and that are main causes of holding its progress way back," said the designers in a statement online.

The campaign is clear and concise; fighting stereotypes through changing public morality. How? Using a creative set of illustrations presented as pages of a book, each questioning a specific stereotypes.

Issues such as cultural misconception, labelling, generalization, discrimination and racism are some of the stereotypes the campaign aims to combat.

Social media reactions have varied from support to extreme disapproval. Reactions change depending on the stereotype in mention. When issues were related to men or were gender-less - Gulf employment, visiting a psychiatrist, or accepting that men can cry - the reactions were either weak or positive.

Caption: Who said that those working in the Gulf are millionaires?

Translation: May God forgive them


Caption: Who said that whomever visits a psychiatrist is crazy?


However, when it came to issues discussing stereotypes against women, reactions became more heated.


Caption: Who said that women who smoke are not worthy of respect?

Translation: I don't understand the viewpoint of those trying to convince me that women who smoke are respectable. If you accept this behaviour in your family, then she is respectable.


Translation: She is not only disrespectable she is also lacks morals.


Caption: Who said that women who laugh out loud are indecent?

Translation: Hmm, who said that a woman who walks with a swimsuit in the street is indecent? Now we want to be deep thinkers and believe in justice and so on. What is this crap?


There were many supporters of the campaign, with some finding negative comments to be "shameful". Others raised their own questions on stereotypes using the hashtag #مين_قال - "Who said?"

Translation: yes, said whoooo?


Translation: Who said that everything boys do is ok but not girls?

Translation: Who said that girls who befriend boys are not respectable?


The Meen Homma campaign wants you to "Think, Accept, Change". Do you think this campaign is an effective tool? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.