Of all the astounding things that Rihab Assad has witnessed during these days of tumult, one stood out for her: the sight of a woman with a megaphone leading a crowd of demonstrators in chants.
“And all of these men just chanting after her, repeating what she said,” said Assad, an office manager in her 40s who lives in Cairo. “To me, this was something entirely new.“
For many Egyptian women, the massive street demonstrations that have shaken the authoritarian rule of President Hosni Mubarak have also raised hopes of a more personal brand of liberation. Long treated as second-class citizens, the women say they have found an unexpected equality on the front lines of the protest.
And look what it took to get there. File under “silver lining.”
But the real silver lining will be a truly free and democratic Egypt. Stay tuned.