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Egypt actress incites violence against key workers who ‘break the curfew’

Egyptian actress Dalia Al-Behery waves as she arrives to the opening of the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF), 14 October 2007. [KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images]
Egyptian actress Dalia Al-Behery waves as she arrives to the opening of the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF), 14 October 2007. [KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian actress Dalia Al-Behery has been heavily criticised after saying she will “answer with the slipper” to anyone who goes outside, even for the purpose of work.

The actress has called on authorities to implement a stricter lockdown. Egypt has not put in place a country-wide lockdown similar to European countries, only a curfew at night from 8pm to 6am.

Her comments have ignited outrage as the former Miss Egypt urged violence against workers, including medics, who she called “irresponsible animals”.

“I am imprisoned at home, my family and I are entering our 36th day. We are respectable people and God forbid one of us gets sick and can’t find a hospital bed because some irresponsible animal went wandering or didn’t care about our current state.”

“Whoever will talk to me about daily work, I will answer with the slipper. Most charities started begging before Ramadan even began, so no one can tell me they will not eat, and many will avoid working all year anyway.”

READ: Egypt promises ‘utmost force’ against spring break curfew violators

Many posted under the Arabic hashtag “Dalia Al-Behery you are an extra” comparing her to vital key workers on the front line, including medics, binmen and food sellers.

Egypt’s medics are risking their lives every day and many continue to work despite the severe lack of PPE, gloves, masks and sterilisation equipment. They are vastly underpaid and undervalued by the government.

Egypt’s informal sector are thought to be the hardest hit by the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and some have continued to work as government promises to support them financially have not materialised.

A third of Egyptians live below the poverty line and survive on less than $2 a day. In the coming months it’s thought their conditions will worsen and many more will slide into poverty.

Many asked why Dalia didn’t level her criticism against fellow actors who have continued to film Ramadan series, despite calls that they should be practicing social distancing.

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