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Egypt

Niqab On Air: A New Egyptian TV Station Of Only Fully-Veiled Women

Salafi sheik Abou Islam Abdallah had a dream: a television channel run only by women wearing the full-face veil. He would have to wait years, and the fall of the Mubarak regime, to see the all-niqab network launch this week for the first time.

A woman wearing the full-body veil on Saudi Arabia TV1 (Emitron_68)
A woman wearing the full-body veil on Saudi Arabia TV1 (Emitron_68)
Claire Talon

CAIRO - Egyptian Salafi sheikh Abou Islam Abdallah woke up one morning in 2005 with a brilliant idea. It was a dream he'd obsess over for seven years: a television channel run only by women wearing the full-face veil. No hijabs, headscarves or other partial forms of covering: on Ummah TV, a fig leaf wouldn't be enough. Niqabs, gloves, socks. Period.

He was tired of the tacky Egyptian television anchors with their sparkly, frilly blouses, blow-dried hair and shimmering lip-gloss. He wanted a simpler, more sober style, for the anchors on Ummah TV: there is black, black and more black. In short, a paradise like no other.

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