Young Egyptian men work years to save enough money for marriage, an event that certifies manhood. But Egyptian society often treats women as mere objects to marry, and teaches young girls that their futures rely on becoming a bride. Twenty-nine-year-old Ghada Abdelaal has turned the tables — the female author wrote I Want to Get Married, a fun book which challenges Egypt's patriarchal norms, showing that Egyptian women have desires similar to men. The popular book about looking for Mr. Right, began as a blog, and Ghada is now making her story of entertaining Egyptian characters into a sitcom.
The book speaks to the crises surrounding marriage in Egypt. Young people cannot get married until they save enough to buy a pricey apartment. Marriages are often arranged between strangers and Egypt's newlywed divorce rate is high. One Egyptian sociologist believes high levels of sexual harassment of women and rape result from conservative norms, including no sex before marriage. Others blame violence on gender disparity, instead of sexual frustration.
Perhaps the humor and entertainment featured in Ghada's book will help Egypt shed some of its oppressive norms.