Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Mechanic

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Auto centre is based in We...

Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Technician

£20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established dealer gr...

Recruitment Genius: Contact Centre Team Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company is the UK's leading...

Page 3 Profile: Mayam Mahmoud, rapper

A hijab-wearing rapper you say?

That’s right. The 18-year-old Mayam Mahmoud, from Egypt, made it into the semi-finals of Arabs Got Talent last month, where she sang about female sexual harassment in the Middle East. Now, she is continuing to voice her views about the rights of veiled women.

But she raps them?

You still can’t get your head  around it then? Mahmoud, an economics undergraduate from Cairo, started writing poetry at the age of 12, before progressing into the world of hip hop.

However, she’s not following in the footsteps of rappers like Eminem or Jay-Z – the teenager avoids listening to western influences and instead focuses on challenging oppressive gender norms in Egyptian society.

She sounds brave. Tell me more.

Mahmoud is protesting against the normalisation of sexual harassment in Egypt (99.3 per cent of Egyptian women reported having been sexually harassed in a UN survey published in April) and the culture of victim-blaming. In one of her raps, she says: “I won’t be the shamed one. You flirt, you harass and you see nothing wrong with it. But even if it’s just words, these are not flirts, these are stones.”

So what do people on the ground think?

The reaction has been mixed. Mahmoud receives up to 50 messages of support on Facebook every day and has played five concerts to audiences at universities since her appearance on the popular television programme. But there has been a darker side to being in the public eye too.

“Some say I’m creating a bad name for Islam,” she says. “Or even that I’m an infidel.”

She’s breaking boundaries on all fronts then.

Exactly. Not only is Mahmoud daring to speak out, but she’s doing it in an artistic form that is mostly associated with men, even in the western world.

“It’s got a lot of people talking about whether it’s possible for a veiled girl, or even a girl, to do this,” she says. “The girls in this field are thought to have bad morals. So it’s hard to find someone to work with her, to create a beat, to master the track.”

This is one girl who’s not put off by hard work.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate