Exclusive Interview with Aliaa Elmahdy

November 30, 2011

A YouTube video has gone viral supposedly showing the young Egyptian blogger, Aliaa Elmahdy, being beaten in Tahrir Square.  CyberDissidents.org spoke to Aliaa yesterday and she confirmed that, in fact, she is not the woman in the video being beaten. Aliaa is currently in hiding after having gotten thousands of death threats following a nude picture she posted of her self on her blog.  On the eve of Egyptian elections, we asked Aliaa about her situation.

CyberDissidents.org: You've paid a heavy personal price for publishing your picture. Who is threatening you and why?

Aliaa Elmahdy: Individuals, unions and Islamists.  They are afraid that I might influence others and change the position of women in Egyptian society.  One woman who reported me to authorities said that she is afraid of my influence on her children. She is afraid she will lose control over them.

CyberDissidents.org: Has the political revolution in Egypt also sparked a social revolution? 

Aliaa: Not yet. 

CyberDissidents.org: What does freedom mean to you?

Aliaa: Freedom means doing what you want and making your own choices so long as you don’t hurt others.  Real freedom to me is not a gift.  I can say I’m free because I practice my freedom even though I know I can be hurt for doing so.