Opinion

I Was Banned From Entering A Restaurant in Egypt Because Of My Veil

I Was Banned From Entering A Restaurant in Egypt Because Of My Veil

Women wearing the head-scarf are refused entry at most bars and night clubs in Egypt
Women wearing the head-scarf are refused entry at most bars and night clubs in Egypt

Riverside, a restaurant and bar in Cairo’s upscale district of Zamalek, has joined a string of bars, clubs and restaurants in Egypt that have discriminated against customers based on the veil or their social status.

The following is courtesy of Dr. Heba Hamed Arnaout, a well respected professor of microbiology in her 50s, who visited Riverside with her husband and two foreign friends only to be rejected because of her head scarf:

“Last night my husband and I were invited by our dear American friend and his lovely German wife to enjoy together the songs of a famous Jazz singer and his band in Riverside in Zamalek.

The first words said to us by the receptionist was that I was not allowed in because I’m veiled and that they serve drinks and there is live music and dancing. It was very embarrassing in front of my friends to be banned from entering anywhere in my own country because of my chosen attire (the veil).

When I told the female receptionist that it should be MY choice whether I want to go in or not, she turned her back and went inside to call her boss to deal with this critical situation”.

The manager was polite and claimed that their policy was carried out all over the world and in similar places. My answer was that I was never before stopped from entering any similar place in Europe (where alcohol is by default) or any night club or restaurant in Egypt where again alcoholic drinks are served.

I’ve been also allowed to attend weddings where they had an “open bar” serving alcohol beverages. I told him this was religious discrimination and my husband told him that if he insisted on refusing to let us in we would go to the near by police station and make a “محضر” (file a police report) stating that we insist on getting our rights as Egyptian citizens allowed their freedom.

Our friends were extremely embarrassed and tried to convince us to go anywhere else but my husband and I were not ready to even consider this option. I told the manager that it has nothing to do with them if I accepted to be in a place serving alcohol. Finally the manager said we would go in but sit in a place away from all dancing and singing. We wanted to prove a point so we accepted and the evening passed without being absolutely ruined.

However this incident has posed very important questions that need to be tackled wisely and objectively to try to “unveil” the root causes and as my German friend said “What is all this fuss about a piece of cloth?”

So here is what I came up with:

  1. Is the administration of this place and others with similar policies more concerned about my good deeds and my relationship with God than myself?
  2. Are veiled women considered “second class citizens” denied some of their rights?
  3. Is this banning or segregation exercised with other religious groups under any excuse?
  4. If I had been wearing a head cover for any reason other than Islamic recommendation (of course I would have to explain myself), would I have been stopped from entering?
  5. In regards to the administration of places sharing similar policies as Riverside, are they worried that “veiled women” would go to these places just to preach other clients or pick fights to spoil the joyful atmosphere?
  6. Are all establishments allowed to have their own policy even if they do not abide by constitutional law and regulations?

I can now understand feelings that I assume are felt by the less privileged: dark skinned Americans, Palestinians in Israel and others. I am writing this post not as a complaint against a certain establishment but
to try to stop discrimination against any Egyptian.

Please if any of you have encountered a similar experience please let us share this information. We are one people and we want to stay like this without division into sectors or groups under any excuse. We are one and I’m sure that such petty actions (which should not be accepted) cannot change this.”

If you have faced similar situations across Egypt, leave a comment below or on facebook.com/EgyptianStreets

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  • ahmed adel el halawany

    i believe in quran surah Al Kafirun verase 6
    In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
    ” For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”
    ” لكم دينكم و لى دين ”
    صدق الله العظيم
    Egypt has many places that allows veiled ladies ” cafes – malls – beaches – and some dance places ” and also has places and private beaches that has its rules .

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  • Krickle Casey

    Its not the material its what it stands for and the religion you should uphold if you don’t then why have a religion? Have you not read the book your ment to follow for your god.. whom likes to beat women and mutilate little girls and marry then to someone who could be there father… you people are fucking disgusting lower then the shit i just step in! You don’t like the counties rules then fuck off back to your own!

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  • DatBus

    It is WAY PAST TIME to stop enabling Islamist customs and to promote secular societies that keep “religious customs” OUT of the public square. Nowhere is this more necessary than with global Islamism which is being aggressively spread around the globe.

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  • crescent5

    As a veiled Muslim American living in Cairo, I have observed this disgusting attitude often. It is the attitude that veiled women are from the lower classes and not the elite, not Western, and that as such they don’t belong in establishments that cater to the elite. It’s a form of social discrimination, and that so many educated readers not only are unable to sympathize with the author, but also support this, is disheartening.

  • Ahmed El Menoufy

    Can you go inside a masque with your head uncovered? And if you are stopped, will you have the same urge to report the mosque to the police? I’m sorry, but this article is all about hypocrisy. There is no discrimination in enforcing a certain dress code in a privately run place. You like it, then go visit it willingly, if you don’t like it, then you willingly just refuse to go to that specific place. You can’t force privately owned business from enforcing their desired dress codes. It’s a fact that most of the veiled girls and women in this country are even forced into wearing it. Enough with this empty veil propaganda that is usually just a fake facade pretending to stand for personal choice when in reality it’s the unveiled women in Egypt who really face most of the discrimination from a religiously-fascist-veil-supporting-majority.

  • EmZEm

    Extincticus,, ur centuries ahead of your rivals here bro,, gluck conveying
    your thoughts.. Yes ofcourse shes a hypocrite with a gigantic ego she
    couldn’t stand hurting.. Lets say my religion says i cant wear a dress
    shirt, will i make a fuss and try going in an upscale place that
    requires one? NO,, Ill find another place that has no dress code and
    RESPECT the ones that do… PERIOD..

  • Val Cocora

    in islam, women always come as some man’s property.
    frankly, the veil is islam’s last problem right now, seeing how isis is showing the world islam’s true face.

  • MARIE

    I can understand it in a place of worship but daily? I believe that you can love your higher power and not be covered daily, I mean what is the significance if HE know your heart anyway, and if you are not dressing provokatively or like a prostitute and are a goo person, does it really matter? NOOOOO it doesnt, like i said other than in a place of worship for respect, So who put that law into effect some male that wanted total domination over women otherwise he would of said ONLY in place of worship otherwise HE KNOWS YOUR HEART, why cover up? You sweat in summer and your beautiful hair styles cannot be seen by anyone other than your relatives or husband or friends in an invited event. but not in public places, I dont get it, why not?there are so many pretty women that cover all t hier beauty with a scard,I truely believe a man wrote that in order to control women so that the men would not want to have unclean thoughts, cause THEY ARE WEAK I dont believe it was religious i believe that it was cultural cause men back then were ass wipes and knew they would and still will stray . SO IT IS THE MAN;S PROBLEM NOT THE WOMEN AND THE WOMEN ARE BRAINWASHED TO BELIEVE THEY HAVE TO EVERYWHERE, Male dominance, that is all it is all about!!!!!

  • Rawan Tarek

    I had a similar experience. I had a birthday party in Opium (Blue Nile) for a dear friend of mine. And while people were entering they told me I’m not allowed to enter and when I asked why they told me “Because our guests will be uncomfortable and unhappy because of your presence”… He didn’t talk about serving alcohol or about music or any other things mentioned above. So I went like ” Don’t you think that I’m also called a ‘Guest’ and that I came here to celebrate a birthday and not for any other reasons” he didn’t reply, in fact, he ignored what I said and continued to let people in after they pay their minimum charge. I called my friend and when she asked the guy to let me in he asked her “heya ma3 7adretek?” (is she with you?) and I was like “What the hell…”. The only reason I wanted to go in was that I didn’t really want to miss my friend’s birthday and I came a long way from katameya and didn’t want to go back that easily. So after he knew that I was with “7adretha”, he let me in but after some instructions “Don’t sit near the other guests… Don’t come and go because people will see you and we don’t want any complaints” … I pretended that I didn’t here a thing and 5 minutes after I got in I got a phone call and wanted to go out to be able to talk because the music was so loud. When I got out and wanted to get in another time the same man told me ” Please we don’t want to ask you to leave” , consequently, I got VERYY angry and furious about what he just said, I asked him to give me my money back, took my things and left…

  • Mostafa Ismail

    For the people talking about dress codes , what alcohol and bars got to do with veils?! , wearing a veil isn’t an indication of being Muslim , and if dress codes are applied as you say then it should be formal or casual not women with veils aren’t allowed , that’s just stupid

  • Zeina Amr

    To be honest I think the woman wasn’t supposed to insist on getting in, or claiming its her right. At the end of the day it’s not a public service we have a right in, it has a private owner and he can choose to have a ”dress” code (even if it’s obviously a not very subtle form of religious discrimination) for his own place and people can then can go with their own free will if it suits them. However we are allowed to be disgusted by the presence of such mentalities to start with, of thinking certain people will ruin the ambience and the sight of them will bother others. Or even worse, of regarding them as hypocrites, who are you to judge people and decide the barriers to their personal freedom? She wasn’t even going there to drink, a recommended restaurant was her destination and she doesn’t care what the other people are doing around her, so why should they? And even if she decided to do whatever, I hope people would mind their own business and start becoming more accepting; develop thoughts that are less puke-inducing please.

  • Nad

    Maybe this lady is ignorant or maybe she’s part of the Freemasons in Egypt trying her best to destroy Islam in disguise. It’s not only forbidden to drink alcohol in Islam but also to be with people who drink it, to make it, to sell it, to purchase it or even present it, all of these are cursed according to the hadith. Musical instruments (except for the duff in weddings) is also prohibited in Islam, it’s the instruments of Satan, it’s cultivates hypocrisy in the hearts. Looking at almost naked women dancing in front of men no doubt doubt forbidden in Islam, it’s a sinful for the man to look at her and for the woman not only is it sinful but she also gets the sin of every man who looks at her. So this “veiled” women wants to fight for the right to go this environment, no doubt she wants to fight for Satan. The people who are having this kind of business if they are Muslim are having a haram/forbidden business and promoting it too.

    It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab ra: The Prophet sas said: “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him not sit at a table where wine is being drunk.” Narrated by Ahmad, 126; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 7/6.

  • salem

    why would a veiled woman want to go out in a place that serves alcohol!!! isn’t it clear that true good muslims shouldn’t be around alcohol! or was it just a bad hair day!!!

  • Mai Attia

    Lets do campaign to bycott every restaurant /place that do such discrimination. This campaign will need the support of unveiled women who visit these places and disagree on such discrimination because the veiled ones already banned and already are not visitors to the place. this situation has happened to me before in a place unfortunatly i don.t remember /not sure of its name in zamalk too. i wasn.t even intending to sit there but i was with a friend from colombia she wanted to enter the place to inform her friends inside that she will be with me and won.t join them . The body guards refused to let me in because i.m veiled just to search for those other people and talk to them for 2 minutes not even have a seat. My colombian friend was surprised i.m banned to enter and started to quarel for me and she entered alone for this one minute! LETS DO CAMPAIGN TO BYCOTT SUCH PLACES. PLACE NUMBER ONE RIVERSIDE

  • Guest

    Wouldn’t do *

  • Farida Amin

    I’m sorry that you were upset & felt rejected.. This is what every unveiled girl & woman has to endure every day walking in Cairo. Yes in my own country. So I understand what you’re going through except we have to face this much more often & it’s not a question of ego as much as it has become a question of security. But i don’t complain.. We just have to accept that as a non veiled, I dunot roam around the streets of cairo as i would want & so for you as well, to preserve this choice/commitment you made by wearing the veil, you should accept that there r certain places that won’t welcome you & it’s okay 🙂 why would you want to make a problem out of it when you can just accept politely, and thank God in your good faith for what you have. Criticizing a place & jeopardize people’s jobs & families is not something i would do. So here is when God truly tests your faith (love vs ego) which has nothing to do with wearing a veil.

    • Mai Attia

      Unveiled Girls r screaming always that they r not walking in street safely not only unveiled but all women . When we can do something against harsement we do ,awareness, events, protesting etc but women r not in silent and its wrong u r not defending ur rights to walk safely in streets. At the end its because of the bad behaviour of people not of policy or rules .changing behaviour of people is harder to change and takes longer time than changing policies . The rule against harashment is created after women screamed out and movements started to adopt the issue. So women r not accepting it and not complaining but trying to find a way of change . At this time why some places put such strange policy of not allowing unveiled women to enter place should be a public place

  • Mahmoud

    This is disgusting!!

  • Maan Majali

    not fair

  • Adel Darwish

    Many restaurants and clubs ( some have membership ad some don’t) do have a dress code poicy ….many restaurants would not permit men in janes and I sister in gentlemen wearing necktie not open shirt…I was visiting Tallinn in Estonia in October ,a friend invited me to opera .i followed the English custom hired a tuxedo bought a party shirt and often blacktie ( it turned out to be unnecessary in Estonia but in lnfon you can’t attend without blacktie ).,,, while it was right for restaurants to set a dress ode It was foolish for restaurant receptionist and manager to engage in laughable argument about drinks and dance not to stick to a simple dress code rules

    • Ikhwanii Extincticus

      Totally agree

      Her delicate Egyptian doctor pride was hurt and there wasn’t anything she should do about it

      It shows the usual arrogance of the nouveau riche who think they can buy or demand special treatment. Hello this is 2014 not 1904 Cairo.

  • Aya A.R

    I’m all in for freedom of choice, appearance etc, but seriously WHY on earth would a woman in Hijab out of ALLLLLLL Cafes and Resturants in Egypt just decided to go into a bar/night club with her veil on ? Like come on, you won’t die if you don’t get in, ya know..

  • shahan

    Hahahahaha … u guys are hilarious … I get refused entering bars wearing shorts … dors that make them racist against my freedom ???? No its called a dress code … a LOT of bars and clubs in the states wouldnt accept me in because of wearing sporty shoes … would that make them racist against sporty ppl or against casual ppl ? No … ITS A DRESS CODE ….

    • Ikhwanii Extincticus

      agreed
      It’s beyond their mental capabilities to see that a club can have a dress code and they can’t EVEN if they are DOCTORS and having a tantrum outside in the street don’t have the right to demand entry against the code. These people defending her are nuts! LOL

      • Rawan Tarek

        I agree with the fact of having a dress code, it’s even mandatory to have a certain dress code at some public places. But if it’s something religious then it should be respected. Taking into consideration that even if they don’t allow veiled women to enter, the minimum they could do is asking her to leave politely, maybe the receptionist was polite so we can’t blame him, or maybe not. Back to point, talking about shorts, you have the possibility of wearing shorts or casual clothes in many other places, the fact that they ask you to wear a specific kind of outfit won’t harm you or make you feel uncomfortable because you have the possibility to wear something else. But when a woman is wearing a veil, by choice, and she’s very commitment to what she’s wearing (and mostly when a woman decides to wear the veil, it’s a lifetime decision unless she decides to take it off for the rest of her life and not only to attend an event or hang out in a certain places), she’ll feel offended and harmed. As we all have different opinions here, I do respect your point of view and I’m asking you to try to understand other people’s mentality, even if it doesn’t make sense according to you 🙂

        • Ikhwanii Extincticus

          If she was really committed to it she would not be trying to get into a bar for goodness sake. It’s like the niqabis taking them off when they go on the Nile Boat nightclubs then putting them on again to go back home. Hypocrisy.

          • Rawan Tarek

            No, it’s not hypocrisy. I would call it hypocrisy if she went there to do things opposing the veil. If she went there for another purpose, like hanging oit with her friends or attending an event she want to attend and not to drink alcohol for example, which will be something that opposes her appearance, then you have all the right the call it hypocrisy.. You can’t generalize , you don’t know the reason behind her visit. And talking about niqabis, this is another story, when they do what you just mentioned i would also call it hypocrisy but they don’t represent the niqab or the veil in any way. They are maybe hiding behind the niqab or sometimes they may be wearing clothes and makeup they don’t want to wear in the streets.. You never know their reason and you can never judge them. And at the end, you can’t also call it hypocrisy because it’s never that obvious you know..

  • Noha Mersal

    I am not veiled and I had a similar situation with my non-veiled friend as well, when we have tried to go to a cafe in Nasr City and we have been stopped at the door as we are not veiled and we don’t have a “mehrem” to accompany us as this is an islamic cafe for families, guy groups or veiled ladies groups! This was beyond the joke and we did not speak up actually until today!! What is wrong with them? Would we go in and cause fetna for any reason? and please no one question what we were wearing back then!!!

    • Sherifa M. El Tabei

      This is crazy ! I would advise what I did to another lady who was victim because of her veil, you should have reported it wallahi to the police. They probably would be shut down for a while and would think twice before such an illegal act again. I have never heard of such an expression “Islamic cafe” !

  • Nadia Leyla Ahmed

    This happens a lot. I’ve tried to speak up several times when my veiled friends were stopped at the door. It’s so embarrassing and humiliating at the same time. And the only reason they do it is because of their so called image. People would feel uncomfortable being around veiled girls. Fucking bullshit. As Dr Heba said this doesn’t happen in Europe. Never has anyone of my veiled friends been rejected in Sweden where I live. This is just smother elitist bullshit way of thinking. And to answer Dr Heba second question if veiled woman are considered second class citizens, the answer would be yes in the new elitist Cairo your veil means you’re less intelligent.
    But again this is the group of people that consider you less open minded because you don’t drink alcohol… no where else in the world would anyone question why you’re not drinking. I’m sorry for your experience Dr Heba. And I’m sorry for all the other women who are treated this way. It’s a disgrace, but let’s remember it’s about ignorance.

    • Sherifa M. El Tabei

      Next time threaten to make an official complaint at the police. Believe me they will fear that since what they are doing is unconstitutional and illegal

    • Ikhwanii Extincticus

      Why do you call her Dr Heba here? the fact she is an Egyptian doctor has nothing to do with the issue. It just proves my point that Egyptians love to call themselves doctor and love any little tiny fragment of prestige they can get however shallow and pathetic.

      • yazpistachio

        Why do al safwa hate doctors so much????

        Seriously go crawl under a rock. Your beloved Sisi illegally voided out what so many Egyptians wanted their democracy to be just so al safwa can have what they want.

        You won. Stfu.

        • Ikhwanii Extincticus

          Cretin hahahahaha

      • Dina

        You are totally missing the point of the discussion and are using groundless arguments to support your pseudo logic. You do not have to wear a veil to go into a mosque and if any woman is discriminated against and is forbidden to enter a mosque because she ia not wearing a veil then she has the right to complain just like the lady who wrote the article did. Also, the lady mentioned she is a doctor to indicate that she’s of a certain calibre who knows how to act in public. The fact that her attire implies that she cannot/will not abide by the restaurant’s code of conduct is a classic example of bigotry. Also I bet this place doesn’t have any rules regulating menswear. What troubles me is people such as yourself who defend discrimination in the name of secularism and liberalism, whereas your attitude is the exact contrary of what you so vehemently pretend to stand for. The world you live in is a world where people judge one another on face value, which is what brought this country to what it is today (nonveiled women are harrassed because the way they are dressed indicates they are asking for it, men with piercings are homosexual, macho men are heterosexual, veiled women are expectedto behave in a certain way otherwise they are hypocrites). You are not God…none of us is. Live and let live.

        • Ikhwanii Extincticus

          Oh God!!! the old ‘I am a doctor’ therefore I am special and elite and must be respected even though my degree can only be used in Egypt and I can’t get a job outside of Egypt line again. *sigh*

  • Mariam Fayez

    I always never leave things ambiguous, when I make a reservation somewhere, I usually ask all the necessary questions and ask for clear statements from the reservation team. (I know this is not the core problem, but at least it would have made your night less stressful)

    • Sherifa M. El Tabei

      its illegal Mariam. These rules would not hold in court they are informal. Legally they can be shut down for what they did as an act of religious discrimination

      • Ikhwanii Extincticus

        This is utter bullshit and shows how far Egyptians have to go to understand law and rights. European establishments have every right to refuse entry to anyone. The DO NOT have to sell or serve anyone and that is their right and the police will laugh at you if you tried to report it in Paris London or Cairo.

    • Nadia Leyla Ahmed

      You shouldn’t have to call before.

  • Mariam Fayez

    There are many places in Egypt now that impose its own rules and we usually abide. We need to be educated about this issue to be able to take a stance; a very simple example is allowing your car to be inspected by security of a mall or a male security guy checking your purse.

    • Sherifa M. El Tabei

      As a former Equal Opportunity officer I can assure you that this is both unconstitutional and illegal. Most of these house rules are informal and not officially declared. They are factually against the law.

      • Nadia Leyla Ahmed

        I didn’t know this while I lived in Egypt, had I known I would have filed a police report and encouraged everyone else to do so as well.

        • Ikhwanii Extincticus

          Yeah good luck with that yarab!

          • Morgan

            OMG! people wake up & stop trying to play victim here, a dress code policy is simply that a DRESS CODE!
            Stop being ignorant this is not a religious issue, I as a foreigner in Egypt had to follow the venues dress code policy if I wanted to enter I did not accuse the venue of any form of discrimination! U need to move on & actually tackle bigger more critical issues happening!
            males in Australia are refused entry at some venues if they look a certain way, are not wearing collard shirts, do not fit in a certain age group etc !
            This is a joke if u keep raving on about this & FYI the law will not support ur ‘incident report’!

          • Reem Rafik

            I’m aware that a lot of establishments all around the world enforce dresscodes. However, I think if it really was a matter of dress code and it was an official rule, the manager would have stood his ground and not uttered some crap about seating them away from the dancing and singing as you said yourself.
            On a side note, I feel like veil should not be considered as part of a dresscode since, contrary to popular belief these days, it is not a fashion statement. Both veiled and unveiled girls can dress up and down.

          • yazpistachio

            If you want people to reject religion entirely then you first. Stop saying yarab you donkey

      • Ikhwanii Extincticus

        nonsense! utter nonsense! you cannot refuse according to race or disability or something someone has not full control over. A person has full control over religion and dress so an establishment has every right to refuse entry according to religion or their own specified dress codes. Try getting into certain clubs in London wearing denim jeans or certain places with no shirt and tie and you will see what I mean.

  • Ikhwanii Extincticus

    Hijab Hypocrisy

    • Reem Rafik

      What does this have to do with anything? 😀

  • Ikhwanii Extincticus

    Women MUST veil to enter a mosque. They have no choice in that decision. They cannot demand their rights to go in un veiled. If veiled women want to go into bars with alcohol and dancing then they should REMOVE their veils and stop being hypocrites. You either wear it for a reason or you don’t.

    • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

      How is that similar! A mosque is a sacred, while the bar is not.

      • Ikhwanii Extincticus

        Both have the right to refuse entry according to dress code but that obviously was beyond your comprehension

        • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

          Thank you for your polite reply. I guess religious discrimination is ok then. And by this logic, maybe schools and universities can prevent people who wear revealing clothes, because oh! they disturb the environment.

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            Back on topic

            If she wears hijab and wants to sit in bars she should either take off the hijab or respect the owner of the bars dress code. Why any hijabi would even want to sit in a bar serving alcohol is beyond me and most people anyway.

          • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

            why do you even care? It’s her choice. And why is the concept of personal freedom so hard for you to understand?

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            She can wear what she likes, she can go naked if she likes but she has no right to demand entry into a bar selling alcohol if it has a dress code which refuses Hijabis as it should. It was her pride that was hurt as she was embarrassed in front of her foreign friends and had to make a a scene instead of just accepting the bars dress code.

          • Loud Mouth

            What you said was true, and it was also very funny, please let me explain: I can imagine a public sign in the streets of Cairo: “Women are allowed to walk naked, but are prohibited from entering bars without their veils.” Wonderful. I would love to see that.

          • nissaba

            my guess is religion, the choice ans signal of a veil means you are VERY observant and so as many would think that alcohol and dancing are prohibited by Islam…. but they are not, just getting drunk is! not drinking and staying sober. My guess is the owner forces muslims (or visible muslim) to be observant of his version islam where allcol and dancing his prohibited, so he tried (in his mind) to prevent her from sining. (sic)

          • Loud Mouth

            Okay, hey, let’s not argue. Let’s agree that there are two sides to every coin: Yes, a customer should respect the restaurant’s traditions. And yes, personal freedom is very important. Sometimes this double situation produces anger on both sides. I encourage both sides to try to be a little more flexible. Hard to do!

          • farahhaniahmed

            You don’t have the right to ask “why any hijabi would even want to sit in a bar serving alcohol” it’s her choice.

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            I don’t like or support hypocrites when it comes to religion. It’s bad enough dealing with the religious nutters every day roaming the streets bombing and killing and terrorizing us in Egypt!

          • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

            You are a hopeless case!

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            you have a lot of growing up to do

          • disqus_kkd29Xjvkc

            How would you like to look up the word “hypocrite” in a dictionary?
            She’s not a hypocrite, it’s personal freedom. Where I live every single restaurant serves alcohol, if she was to go in there, does that make her a hypocrite? It is a public place, no one should be banned from going in somewhere! According to your definition of “hypocritical”, since women have to be veiled to enter a mosque, does that mean that non-muslims aren’t allowed to enter as they could belong to a religion or none that breaks many islamic principles? Is that still hypocritical or not in that case?
            If going into a place where people drink alcohol as a veiled woman is hypocritical, is it hypocritical then to visit family members who drink alcohol in their house? To each their fucking own, she chooses to wear a veil but she also chooses to accept that other people have different beliefs which is what that arsehole manager should also do.

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            I know the definition of hypocrite and she fits it perfectly.
            Id she wants to sit in a bar where there is dancing and drinking alcohol she should stop being a hypocrite and take the veil off along with the rest of the hijabi hypocrites in their tight skinny jeans and faces like clowns full of make up. The veil is supposed to be a sign of modesty but many Egyptian hijabis wear it while looking like hookers. The very fact she created a scene at the bar also proves she thought nothing of the embarrassment she was causing to the foreigners she went with who would have been mortified IF she acted like the average Egyptian woman and started shouting ‘I am a doctor’ screeching like a dog in the street. It’s enough to know she has no shame at all and even contacted Egyptian Streets to further the shame on herself.

            She most definitely is a hypocrite. As are all the other who wear the hijab while wearing their skinny jeans and hooker thigh length boots and lingerie type tops over the tight Carina skin tight body’s they wear with the huge leather belts placed tantalizingly over their groin but saying they are devout Muslims because they wear a piece of material on their head with so many colours and designs to attract the most attention possible from the Egyptian males they are cat walking past.

            This is the reality in Egypt and you can deny it if you like and join her in hypocrisy.

          • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

            You’re so twisted! Damn!

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            I’ll take that as a compliment considering some of the idiots commenting here 😉

          • Jean

            Why are people wasting their time talking to this idiot? I mean look at his name. LOL. He says that people have the freedom to do what they like but that she has no right to go inside the restaurant because she is a “hypocrite.” Let’s go along with it. Fine, (even though I completely disagree), let’s say she’s a hypocrite. Are hypocrites not allowed to go into restaurants? I am sure we can find something this filth has done that is anti-Muslim. I’m sure he has watched porn, smoked hash or whatever it is those ikhwangis claim they don’t do. Guys, do yourselves a favor and don’t waste your time with these idiots. They won’t change their minds. They are indoctrinated. They are hypocrites and they know it, that’s why they are projecting their own mistakes onto others.

          • nissaba

            She would be hypocrite if she drank and got drunk. and danced with other men etc… But she did not.

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            Definition for the word Hypocrite for you to study.

            “a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.”

            Dictionary.com

          • nissaba

            as in saying don’t eat chocolate its bad! its unholly! !! then turns around and eats a hershey kiss. !

          • Loud Mouth

            True. It reminds me that religious leaders of all faiths talk against evil, while they are raping children. That is the kind of psychotic thinking which religion causes.

          • Loud Mouth

            I love the way you think.

          • Loud Mouth

            Okay, your feelings are understandable, so let us all relax a little bit.

          • Loud Mouth

            He meant that it was unexpected. Perhaps he did not mean she was behaving badly.

          • Loud Mouth

            Your comment is probably the most calm and reasonable, instead of angrily opinionated like everyone else’s comments. I approve.

        • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

          And by the way unveiled women aren’t prevented from entering mosques, they are advised to cover up out of respect to the place.

          • Nissaba

            In Quebec you can not enter a mosques if you are female and unveiled.

          • Loud Mouth

            Would I be allowed to enter if my zipper was down?

          • Loud Mouth

            Right, but if you declined their suggestion to cover up and entered anyway, you would find some hostile people inside.

          • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

            I as a veiled person sometimes encounter hostile people as well. These people are found everywhere

        • Loud Mouth

          True; hot issues can cause commenters to delve into side-issues sometimes. Try to be a bit more patient.

      • Ahmed El Menoufy

        A mosque is only sacred to people of its faith, it’s not a universally sacred place. In the end it’s just another place that forces a certain dress code so it is exactly the same thing.

        • Sherin Ahmed Helmy

          It does not force anything. And the rules in sacred places are imposed by religion not racist humans. If I were to enter a sacred place belonging to another religion, I would follow the rules. And no other religion tells you to take off your clothes to enter a place!

          • Ahmed El Menoufy

            Lol, really rules are imposed by religion? Why did you see God imposing those “sacred” rules himself? It’s humans who interpret God’s words and enforce it the way they want to. It’s still human, and it being a sacred place to its followers doesn’t make it a rule enforced by humans!

      • Loud Mouth

        To those unfortunates whose god is drink, a bar is a sacred place.

    • Nadia Leyla Ahmed

      People wear the veil for different reasons. Whether it’s religious reasons or not. Not for anyone to question eh women dress the way they do.

      • Ikhwanii Extincticus

        yeah tell that to the ISIS and the other fanatics roaming Egypt and the world

        • AgnosticEgyptian

          You do realize that you’re using the same rhetoric ISIS is by denying women the freedom to wear the hijab for whatever reason?

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            I couldn’t care less if they wore cabbages on their heads, the fact is they are hypocrites if they wear hijabs then have a tantrum if they are refused entry to bars due to the bars dress code. It’s the hypocrisy that gets me.

          • Jean

            EVEN IF THEY ARE HYPOCRITES THEY ARE ALLOWED TO DO WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY WANT.

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            Delightful language, You must be American. And no they are not allowed to do what they want. You as an American should know that better than most. You can’t even step on a plane without every one of your rights being taken from you. You jail whistleblowers who expose American war crimes and terrorism. You support Israeli war criminals. ISIS would agree with you though. They seem to think they can do what they like also just because their interpretation of a religion says so. the Jews also, the crazy Evangelical Americans nutcases also.
            Idiot!

          • Loud Mouth

            Yes, unfortunately passionate adherence to religion results in unpleasant and at times psychotic and violent behavior. “Duty to the Lord” (in any religion) enables and encourages believers to do what ever they feel compelled to do. In moderation, religion is pleasant and harmless. But when it becomes strongly passionate, that is the time to start worrying for your life.

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            classy LOL

          • Elaine Stokes

            No they are not if they violate the fucking dress code. Get over it! That’s the bloody trouble with these dickheads they think they are entitled to do what they want, and everyone’s supposed to kowtow to them. I’m really pissed that the restuarent let them in!

          • Loud Mouth

            Excuse me but watch your language, you are not being lady-like. Were you raised in an alley in back of a bar?

          • Loud Mouth

            Jean: you and I may allow them, but the point of the article is that the restaurant didn’t allow them.

          • Loud Mouth

            Relax, friend, it is not worth becoming upset about. Serenity will soothe your angry soul.

    • Sherifa M. El Tabei

      These dogmatic declarations are very dangerous . The lady in question entered a restaurant which happens to have a bar as well. So let us not mix facts. She had every right to enter where ever she wishes without the likes of you and others trying to play God because that makes such conduct very biased and prejudiced. Religious fanaticism and Secular fanaticism are two ugly sides of the same rejected coin. You cannot turn the victim into the culprit !
      And as another veiled lady wrote(she is another university professor of high caliber)
      ما حدش بيشيل ذنب حد. اذا انا عاوزة أتواجد فى أماكن شرب الخمر وفيه ذنب انا بس اللى هاشيله.

      • Ikhwanii Extincticus

        The bar in turn has every right to refuse entry to whoever they like. Just as every felefel shop owner can choose not to serve any customer if he chooses. Who gives shit if she is a professor of high calibre or not either? what the hell has that to do with anything? Why the hell do Egyptians have to constantly bring their occupations into the mix? High calibre professor means zero outside of Egypt. That’s why they have to completely retrain to get a job outside of Egypt. The very fact she felt the need to add that she was a professor of microbiology just proves my point. That has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue. She got chucked out. Her pride was massacred in front of foreigners. Deal with it and move on or remove the hijab if she wants to go into bars.

        • Morgan

          Well said Ikhwanii Extinctions!
          This bar is not promoting racism against this ladies religion, you need to actually look at the bigger picture. Dress codes are writren with regard to clothing not religion, clothing like other aspects of a humans physical appearance has a social significance with different rules & expectations being valid depending on circumstance & occasion. Whether clients are male or female the dress code has built in rules/signals indicating the message being given by a persons clothing & how it is worn.
          Once a venues policy is not followed this can allow for any random persons that does not fit the accepted criteria to jeopardize the reputation, scene or atmosphere which clients are actually going there for. Again it is not a question of religion rather just a venues policy requesting their dress code be followed & in this incident this has not been acknowledged by this lady. Here’s some insight into the dress code policy in Australia, this applies for any male or female!

           

          Dress Code

          Dress Standard Policy

          *Smart Attire Essential

          *No Thongs, Sandals, Work Boots or Sport Shoes

          *No Sporting Attire

          *No Hooded Jumpers

          *No Hats or Beanies

          Policy of Management

          *No Entry to Intoxicated or Abusive Patrons

          * VIP Members and Pre-Arranged Functions Receive Priority Entry

          Forms of Acceptable ID

          * Current Australian Drivers Licence

          * Current Passport

          * Proof of Age Card

          Management reserves the right to refuse entry.

        • Dina Tarek

          Doctor Heba is the head of the microbiology department in Kasr Al-Ainy university, Egypt’s number one ranking university. She didn’t feel the need to add that part so obviously she was only stating her profession for the record as proof that this story is legitimate. People are referring to her as ‘Doctor’ Heba because we add prefixes out of respect for the person. We don’t know this person, we’re not friends with her, so we don’t address her on first name basis. With that being said, a dress code refers to a specific attire. Be that casual or smart casual or black tie or whatever. Hijab is NOT something to fall under restrictions of a dress code. It is something the wearer would add to ANY piece of clothing and is definitely not something any restaurant owner has the right to ban based on dress code. Instead of just claiming people are idiots, get your facts straight first.

          • Ikhwanii Extincticus

            Utter nonsense you just contradicted yourself in the above! you said you don’t call her on first name basis then call her Heba!
            Once Egyptians get over the need to call each other doctor and basha and all the other Ottoman nonsense then maybe they can start to develop as a nation properly without all this outdated antiquated ya basha, ya doctor, ya mohandes nonsense.

      • Minymina

        In a way I agree with you but you also have to keep in mind that bars, clubs and restaurants have every right to choose who they let in.

        In Europe, bars and clubs tend to only let good looking people in as it effects the image of their business with young people / party goers.

        • Abigail Dax Toner

          I’ve been to bars in the US that refuse to let in guys wearing shorts (in the summer), jeans or sneakers…

    • Mahitab Al-Aasser

      Women are not obliged to wear a veil while entering the mosque and it’s not any one’s right to force someone to wear or remove her veil at any place….

      • Minymina

        Try going into a mosque without a Vail and see what happens. I’m serious, do it. Think of it as a social experiment. This issue isnt just one sided, the problem is with both religious and secularist groups.

        • Rawan Tarek

          Well, women can actually enter a mosque without a veil. But when it comes to prayer, according to Islamic preaching, they must wear it as a sign of respect and so that their prayer, also talking according to Islamic preaching, will be accepted. I’m only talking from a personal experience and you must understand that comparing a Mosque (sacred place) with a Bar or even a restaurant makes no sense since the dress code in sacred place (mosque, church or even synagogue) is imposed by the religion itself, which means that it will have no sorts of discrimination or segregation. But when it comes to bars, night clubs or restaurant, it can be a racist decision (religious or ethnic) Thank you 🙂

          • No different from old school rules in a Catholic church. No satisfying bigot apologists for male domination and idiotic bias against women.

        • Jean

          Ive done it before.

          • Minymina

            And?????

    • Mahmoud Hussein

      بص انا حكلمك عربي ياكسمك! انت يابن القحبه بتقارن بار بمسجد؟

    • Nourhan

      so – going by your words – a non-veiled woman isn’t allowed to pray if she wants to pray in a mosque!?

      • Ikhwanii Extincticus

        Try going into any mosque as a woman to pray without a veil and you will see what happens.

      • Ikhwanii Extincticus

        correct show me one photo of unveiled women praying in the mosque

  • kåre jakobsen

    I have some egyptian friends, and I am not Egyptian. Once, one of my male friend and I agreed to attend a small bar to enjoy a glass of wine. Entering was not a problem, but the waiter could see (or assumed) my friend was Egyptian. Thus he was rejected his wine just because of this assumption. I asked the waiter who was paying his salary ? The boss, he answered. Wrong, I said, the customer. Please serve the order or we leave. After some hesitation we got our wine. So, there exist many levels of discrimination or “shut-out” practice. Therefore its very important what Dr Heba did – not accepting such practice. Without people like her, there will be no change.

    • yazpistachio

      The difference is that Egypt has a facade of Sharia in place on top of their French common law legal system.

      Sisi, the savior of Al Safwa and secularism, has yet to remove this facade and will not remove this facade because it keeps the rest of the nation happy.

      Welcome to the hypocrisy of a supposedly secular Egypt which is really just a police state endorsed by the 1% and their groupies AKA Al Safwa (the elite)

  • Ayah Abo-Basha

    While wearing hijab, I was (regularly) told by several friends that I could not go out with them in Cairo, North Coast, and Sharm because I wouldn’t be able to get into the places they wanted to go. I’m an Egyptian American. The fact that I felt more accepted in my hijab in America than in Egypt, where the sartorial practice is much more prevalent, is really telling of the social climate in Egypt right now. Patriarchy exists in America just as it does in Egypt (and, like, everywhere else). But in my everyday encounters ( going out with friends, or going to the swimming pool – where men also feel entitled to stipulate what women are allowed to wear in their establishments), I felt like I was reminded of global patriarchy more painfully in Egypt. Perhaps it was because it wasn’t coming from an islamophobic bigot in the US. But rather fellow Muslims who distort Islam into an antithetical advocacy of patriarchy that interprets womens’ religiosity for them.

    We can dress however we want and determine our religiosity for our own selves without gendered establishments telling us that our clothing is a barometer for our religosity and acceptable existence in certain spaces. That is our call to make. And it’s sad that in 2014, that’s a radical statement to make. Thank you for your voice, Dr. Heba. It’s so incredibly needed.

    • Sherifa M. El Tabei

      Allow me to share your comment on my page and a group that I have and where I also posted this article. Thank you!

      • Ayah Abo-Basha

        Of course!

    • Adel Darwish

      Greetings Ayah……spoked you are hosting a party …and you decided to have a dress code Like blacktie dinner, or 1920s fancy dress….don’t you have the right to inositol that only those sticking to dress code have the right to attend? I see no difference of a club , restaurant or theatre sticking to dress code… The choice is not what to wear but to go to the restaurant ( and follow their dress ode and serving policy or minimum charge) or not yo go

  • Salma Mohamed

    The Lemon Tree in zamalek didn’t allow me to enter because I am veiled and many other places do the same !

    • Sherifa M. El Tabei

      You should stand up for your rights and you should report them. They would be shut down for a while and will think twice before doing it another time!

  • Sherifa M. El Tabei

    As much as I detest, abhor, reject and fight against religious fanaticism, I also detest, abhor, reject and fight against religious discrimination. I am a non veiled Moslem myself and I support Dr. Heba all the way. It is her choice to choose what is suitable or not for her and not by the Restaurant’s administration! no wonder we are such a mess! fanaticism of any sort, religious or secular can only breed more fanaticism! the danger itself is the fanaticism regardless of its content.

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