Nude photo revolutionary returns

Egyptian feminist revolutionary Aliaa Magda Elmahdy is not only safe, she's blogging again. 


Lauren Rae Orsini

Internet Culture

Published Jan 2, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 11:13 pm CDT

Egyptian revolutionary Aliaa Magda Elmahdy has resumed blogging after a prolonged absence in which several people speculated that she had been attacked or crucified.

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The 20-year-old feminist and activist rose to equal parts acclaim and notoriety in October after she posted nude photos of herself on her blog. Since then, Elmahdy has become the face (and body) of the Egyptian feminist movement with 30,000 Twitter followers and 43,000 Facebook subscribers. She had 860 subscribers when we last wrote about her.

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Now, it’s apparent that Elmahdy has been keeping busy. She’s rewritten her original October blog post and added two more posts within the past week.

Her original blog post, which contained photos of herself and others in the nude, has since been updated with artistic tributes to Elmahdy, depicting the revolutionary in everything from pencil to watercolor. The one constant: she’s always shown nude.

She’s added links to others inspired by her daring act including a #NudePhotoRevolutionaries calendar in search of submissions, and the blog of an Iranian woman named Ziba Nawak who decided to take some not-safe-for-work pictures herself in the name of freedom.

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In a subsequent blog post on December 26, Elmahdy put out a call to Egyptian women “who were veiled and took off the veil and women who are veiled and want to take off the veil,” to contact her with their stories. The post has prompted 27 replies, with some anonymous commenters agreeing to send Elmahdy their stories.

“I hope this survey turns out to be a success and I hope that people don’t shy away from associating with you because of the overblown media controversy,” one anonymous commenter wrote.

In her latest blog post, added on December 29, Elmahdy addressed “Death and Rape Threats, Sexism and Religious Racism.” The post consists of nothing but harassment and threats of violence toward Elmahdy on her Facebook page. The post has elicited 43 comments, primarily praising Elmahdy for her bravery.

“Go on Aliaa you brave amazing woman, don’t give one single fuck about those threats,” wrote one commenter.

Elmahdy’s latest posts show that her earlier nudity was no simple stunt for attention. As she continues to elicit ever-polarizing reactions of love and hate, this young revolutionary is finding her voice.

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*First Published: Jan 2, 2012, 3:29 pm CST