Cairo clubs witnessing backlash against hijab

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Cairo, Feb. 27 (ANI): In what is being seen as a backlash against hijab, nightclubs in Cairo are refusing to allow Hijab-wearing women in.

Yasmine al-Mehairy, 29, didn't really want to enter a nightclub. But she had been invited to a friend's birthday party in the Four Seasons hotel. She only planned to hand over a bouquet and spend ten minutes inside.

But when the bouncer pointed at her headscarf as the reason she could not enter, al-Mehairy decided to fight.

"I ended up arguing with the guy for longer than I would have stayed in the first place if he just let me in," The Times quoted al-Mehairy, an IT professional, as saying.

Egypt's steady drift towards religion has been well documented. But now there are signs of a backlash.

In trendy clubs and cafis across Cairo, the hair and neck-covering scarf known as the hijab is increasingly being shunned as unacceptable dress.

Several bars and restaurants where alcohol is served now essentially ban veiled women from entering.

"They always give you the 'there's going to be alcohol' reason. In Egypt it's mostly that they don't like the look of it. They want to maintain some sort of prestige," said a Western-raised veiled Arab woman.

Club and restaurant managers questioned why a devout veiled woman would even want to attend venues that served alcohol.

Egypt's complicated relationship with class could play just as big a role in the trend.

"I'm sure there's an element of class dynamics. It's a remnant of the old days when the hijab was considered low class," one regular nightclub patron said. (ANI)

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