Technology has empowered us in more ways than we can fathom. With the click of a button or the tap of a screen, we can have access to a myriad of entertainment and educational opportunities. We can share our proudest moments with hundreds of thousands of others and we can start online threads and conversations with strangers on the other side of the world. This power, however, has, at times, caused many of us to be worse people. With our laptops and smartphones as our shields, we can spew judgemental, offensive and hurtful comments that we would otherwise be too embarrassed to say to a person’s face. Here are horrific instances of major cyber-bullying that have taken place in Egypt this year:
Nelly Karim’s Beach-Side Instagram Picture:
All of us folks of the internet saw how the massively talented and well-acclaimed Egyptian actress, Nelly Karim, was attacked and slut-shamed for posting a picture of her spending a day at the beach wearing a bikini last month. An act that, in rational circumstances, is not at all out of the norm, but rather quite standard. The comments’ negativity, as well as insulting tone were appallingly out of line, as if she was at fault for owning her own body and dressing according to her own comfort. Some have even gone as far as speculating on her religious identity- something that should be completely considered absolutely personal.
Hadia Ghaleb’s Engagement Posts:
For those who do not know the backstory, Ghaleb is an Egyptian fashion blogger and the CEO of Ghaleb Production House who she recently got engaged. When she posted her engagement pictures, she made some very race-focused comments regarding her Fiancé who carries the now in-famous ‘half-Egyptian, half-French’ nationality. Whereas, yes, we can all have our reservations about Ghaleb’s statement that did include many out-dated racial stereotypes that glorified an overexaggerated contrast between the openness of foreign cultures and the traditions of our own, many of the comments went too far. From insulting Ghaleb to insulting her fiancé, commenters were ruthless and a slew of inappropriate memes, posts, and even videos started filling our news feeds.
Dina El Sherbini’s Post On Amr Diab’s New Album:
If you haven’t been living under the rock the past few months, you’ve probably heard about the rumor that romantically links the sensational Egyptian singer Amr Diab with rising Egyptian starlet Dina El Sherbini. This is again, just a rumour with none of the artists ever confirming it. Diab’s latest album features a song in which he mentions that his hypothetical love interest’s star sign is the ‘Aries’ coinciding with that of El Sherbini’s. So, when she asked fans on her Facebook page what they thought of Diab’s latest album, she was showered with countless comments, many of which were genuinely hurtful. From comments degrading her looks to comments downgrading her talent, many commenters took cruel jabs at El Sherbini.
Amir Eid’s Post-Weight Loss Pictures:
When the super talented lead singer of Cairokee started posting pictures post his major weight on Instagram loss, many commenters reacted in an, to put it simply, extremely unkind manner. Everyone started critiquing his new appearance and he was even accused abusing drugs. Many of the commenters seemed to forget a simple fact: the reason for Eid’s weight loss is something private that he chose not to publicly share and talk about.
Nour El Sherbini’s Athletic Attire:
The record-breaking Egyptian squash player has been countlessly criticised online for her sportswear. Despite being the number one female squash player in the world, this impressive athlete has been a victim of cyber-bullying. She has spoken out on the issue saying that many people have ruthlessly commented on the fact that she wears skirts during her matches even though this is completely irrelevant to her athletic achievements.
Mohanad Kojak’s Personal Fashion Choices:
This talented young Egyptian fashion designer who is surely on is to become a global name is the constant target for cyber bullies. His personal clothing and fashion have been offensively called out by commenters on his Instagram account in the form of sexist, gender-biased comments. The ex-Project Runway contestant has dressed local and international sensations, the likes of Lara Scandar, Shereen Reda, Dorra Zarrouk, Maria Bernard and Izabel Goulart amongst other. Yet, many online commenters seem to be fixated on other matters such as his fashion choices.
On an ending note, by ignoring cyber-bullying will only serve to normalize it. Silently accepting this phenomenon that hurts and offends others will surely encourage its growth. It is about time we all started educating ourselves and others on the art of expressing our views and opinions while still respecting the personal choices of others.