Teacher sacked, divorced after belly dancing video goes viral; gets new job after outrage

Outrage after teacher fired over belly dancing video | Photo credit: Twitter


  • An Egyptian teacher has been fired from her school after a video showing her belly dancing to a traditional song went viral
  • Aya Youssef received support on social media and was also able to get a new job at another school
  • The case was settled after the intervention of the director of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, Dr. Hihad Abiu Qusman

The sacking of an Egyptian teacher over a viral video in which she was seen belly dancing has sparked outrage and national debate among conservatives over women’s rights.

Aya Youssef was reportedly fired from her job at her school and later divorced by her husband after she was filmed belly dancing to traditional music on a Nile cruise.

In the clip, she is seen wearing head-to-toe black as she dances in front of a crowd with male dancers.

There was outrage online over the video posted on YouTube which called Youssef’s dancing “obscene”. Subsequently, she was dismissed from her teaching duties and even divorced by her husband.

A discouraged Youssef recounted Independent Egypt that his “life was destroyed because of the video”.

“My life was destroyed because of the video of an unscrupulous person who tried to tarnish my reputation and brought the camera closer to me only to show me in a bad way,” she told the publication.

“I really made a mistake because I was happy and played with people who weren’t honest. People bullied me and insulted me. I lost my job, my husband, my house and my mother fell ill. My family was affected by what happened, she added.

The treatment inflicted on Youssef has sparked a huge outcry among women’s rights activists in Egypt. Some said that Youssef had been the victim of a witch hunt.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Teachers are supposed to be role models. This sets a bad example.

“It’s very sad. I don’t understand the double standards here. It just scares me to know that simple things like human rights that are [sic] taken for granted is still rare in some places,” another wrote on YouTube.

Following the outrage, the director of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, Dr. Hihad Abiu Qusman, contacted Youssef and helped her file a complaint against her unfair dismissal.

After an outpouring of support on social media, the Daqahlia Directorate of Education stepped in and helped Youssef get a job as an Arabic language teacher at a new school.

Youssef said the help from the education directorate in Daqahlia made her feel like she had regained her dignity.

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