Muslim Brotherhood students perform Freedom Festival for women at Helwan University

Deena Douara
2 Min Read

CAIRO: In a sign of the growing awareness of liberalism and activism on university campuses, female students in Helwan University held the first “Freedom Festival to highlight their collective voice in calling for their rights.

This was not a demonstration however, it was a women’s freedom festival, and instead of chants and stomps observers found songs and sarcasm.

Helwan University receives top honors for applying freedom nationwide, chided one Muslim Brotherhood presenter, in sarcastic reference to the 28 Muslim Brotherhood students who were arrested earlier this month, most of whom were running in the student union elections.

The message was not subtle, If you give up a part of your freedom, you give up all of your freedom.

The students used puppetry to convey the dangers of security police intervention in university affairs, the domination of the government in all aspects of life, and the prevalent corruption marring student union elections.

Similar skits were performed by women and young male siblings, referring to current inhibitions on freedoms. One actor remarked, I read newspapers and I know how those who call for freedom of thought and expression end up, so I won t talk about anything again.

Iman Mohamed said the event was organized to protest injustices, most notably this month s flawed student elections and arrests, but also including expensive tuition and book fees and faculties without bathrooms or prayer areas.

Rasha Fikry, this year’s Free Student Union vice president, told The Daily Star Egypt, Through this campaign, we aim to raise the students awareness of their rights, explaining freedom as practicing your rights and obligations within the boundaries of religious rules and social traditions.

She promises similar events to highlight civil liberties in the coming weeks.

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