When the Arab Spring came to Egypt, Hadir, twenty and from a strict Salafist family in Cairo, firmly believed that women must wear the hijab and never mix with men. However, after several days of protests, she ventured out into the streets. She was emboldened by a sense of equality with male protestors, and two months later decided that she would no longer wear the veil. Despite reprisals from her family—they took away her laptop and phone, and only allowed her out of the house for work—Hadir now feels empowered.
Review: Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of the Young Women Who are Transforming the Arab World by Katherine Zoepf