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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Egypt: Pictures of a belly dancer in mosque spark outrage

Dancer Ekaterina Andreeva, a famous Russian dancer, recently had a photoshoot in an Egyptian mosque. The Muslim community in Egypt voiced their disapproval for the photoshoot, calling it improper.

A photoshoot of a Russian belly dancer in a mosque in Egypt sparked outrage among the global Muslim community.

Dancer Ekaterina Andreeva, a famous Russian dancer, known as Johara or ‘jewel’ in Arabic, posted her images on Instagram. The dancer was seen wearing a long white abaya and a hijab headdress while standing in the courtyard of the famed Al Meena (Port) Mosque in the resort town of Hurghada.

“Ramadan Karim to the Islamic nation. May God makes it filled with blessings for you and your families,” the dancer said in a post, referring to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.


Pictures sparked anger among the residents of Egypt who said that the mosque cannot be left for the photoshoot of a belly dancer. “It is improper to leave the mosque courtyard for a dancer to take photos while we are in the blessed days of a holy month,” said Tareq Rushdi, a Hurghada resident.

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Hamed Sayed, another resident, said: “There are many tourist sites in Hurghada. So, why should a dancer hold a photo session in front of the mosque while we are experiencing the spiritual atmosphere of Ramadan?”

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In response to the online backlash, the Awqaf official said that the pictures were taken in the outer courtyard of the mosque when there were no prayers.

“The mosque courtyard is a site of tourist tours as part of itineraries arranged by travel companies,” the official added.

The department also added that the Imam responsible for the mosque will be not be punished. “The incident did not violate related instructions,” a ministerial source said. “The photo session took place outside the mosque and in its courtyard. The woman wore decent clothes. Moreover, the mosque is open to tourists, and photography is allowed in its courtyard as is the rule in Hurghada.”