Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Baha'i Named as One of Egypt's Most Influential Women

Cairo's newspaper "Al-Youm Al-Sabeh" [The Seventh Day], in its end of the year edition, has just named 15 women whose influence in Egypt has been most noticeable, most controversial and most thought provoking for the year that had just ended.

Among these 15 women, and named in the article's primary title, is Dr. Basma Moussa, who is publicly known in Egypt as a Baha'i. The other names mentioned in the title are: Hayda Alaa Mubarak (wife of the President's son), Dr. Nawal El-Sadaawi (a prominent activist & former Cabinet Minister during the Nasser rule), Muna Zaki (a well known actress), and the Virgin Mary.

In a detailed article, the writer (Nahed Nasr) expounded on the struggle Basma Moussa has endured over the years, simply because of her religious affiliation, and her constant refusal to submit to oppression no matter what the cost is or the involved risks were. Regardless of the various tests and difficulties she had been subjected to, she remained steadfast in her Faith and continued unabated to serve the Egyptian society with absolute dedication and devotion to her profession, her students and to the progress of science in her own field of medicine. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Cairo University's Faculty of Dentistry. She is subspecialized in oral and maxillofacial surgery. She has exemplified the good citizen who loves her country and who is committed to serve its citizens.

Despite the Egyptian Government's current efforts to address the civil status inequities in the country by ensuring that every Egyptian enjoys his or her full and unrestricted civil rights--most recently by granting several Baha'is their identity documents--there remain some procedural barriers that have prevented several Egyptian Baha'is from the acquisition of their ID cards.

One of these obstacles concerns married couples who have not been able to obtain their identity documents while the authorities continue to search for a mechanism by which the civil status department can officiate their marital status prior to granting these documents.

A married individual must submit a proof of marriage in order to obtain an ID card, which must state the person's marital status (thus far, Baha'i marriages are not recognized by the Egyptian authorities).

In naming Basma Moussa, the newspaper has also indicated that she was unable to obtain her ID card because, as a married woman, she refused to state on the application that she was celibate, as instructed to do so by an official, if she desires to obtain her document without any further delays.

A few weeks ago, however, Egyptian media reported that a senior government official has stated that he is actively pursuing a solution to this procedural obstacle. Fortunately, one can be optimistic that a solution will be found, just as has been the case with previous impediments, even though the process might be tedious and complex.

This demonstration of excellence is yet another acknowledgment by an independent Egyptian media outlet of the contributions to the well-being of the Egyptian society effected by Egyptian Baha'is. Even though they are a tiny minority, they have shown, once again, that they are integral threads to the the fabric of the Egyptian society, whose only aspiration is to assist in promoting its well-being and to serve it to the best of their abilities.

1 comment:

  1. This link reminded me of the following passage:

    Consider how meal needeth leaven to be leavened with. Those souls that are the symbols of detachment are the leaven of the world. Meditate on this, and be of the thankful. ~Baha'u'llah


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