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Who Else Wants To See Egypt’s Boldest Superheroine?

“Not so fast! BANG!” The man falls defeated to the floor. But Qaheera, Egypt’s first-born webcomic superhero, is combatting more than crime.  

She hangs misogynous men on a clothesline, skillfully fights street harassers, and dares to stand against a FEMEN’s demonstration to confront the ‘save them’ discourse. It’s all in a day’s work for superhero Qaheera: she’s here to turn the stereotype around.

“I’ve always wanted to do a webcomic starring a badass Muslim superhero who defends women while shutting up all the feminists who try to co-opt the struggle”, says its young creator, Deena Mohamed.

The women who bear the brunt of Islamophobia, she claims, are invariably hijabi Muslim women because they are visibly Muslim. “All of the Islamophobic stereotypes, and many others, are heaped upon their heads”, she explains.

Creating a veiled superhero did not spare the artist from criticism, as some young girls felt un-represented. But Ms. Mohamed asserts that the real issue is not clothes, but lack of representation.

“It is not that I want to portray a Muslim hijabi character as being superior to others. It is actually about clothes being irrelevant when it comes to sexual harassment. Nobody can defend themselves in that position, unless they have superpowers,” she explains. “The point is showing how ridiculous it is to need superpowers in order to deal with your daily life.”

For more information — Qaheera’s Tumblr and Facebook page.

 

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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