Cairo Headbangers, Struggles Of Egypt's Heavy Metal Scene

There are around 20 to 25 metal bands active across Egypt. Though their concerts are increasingly rare and their audiences small, the fans they do have are passionate about the music, Cairo-based website Mada Masr reports.

“I was a metalhead since I was born,” Sherif Tarek, 24, told Mada Masr. “I’m a very hardcore metalhead.”

Tarek founded Origin, one of only three bands that play oriental metal — a genre unique to Egypt — in 2010. He started listening to metal when he was 15, and then began educating himself in Arabic music before deciding to combine the two. Origin did as well as a metal band could in Egypt.

But the rebellious anger and loudness that draws Egyptians to metal is also partly why the genre has attracted bad publicity.

In 1997, nearly 100 people were arrested and homes were raided when a local media campaign led to accusations that metal bands and their fans were practicing satanism. Police detained people they considered to have a satanic "look." Black make-up and T-shirts bearing the logos of metal bands were confiscated as evidence.

Although a second generation of new metal bands has emerged since then — such as Crescent (1999), Enraged (2005), Scarab(2006) and Ahl Sina (2009) — and the 2011 revolution seemed to open up a freer space for self-expression, metal has still proven an easy target for crackdowns by authorities.

Read the full article from Mada Masr here.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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