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Egypt's first veiled news anchor appears on state TV

Published on Sep 2, 2012 10:33 PM

CAIRO (AFP) - A veiled anchorwoman read the news on Egypt's state television for the first time on Sunday, reflecting a shift in official media since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and the subsequent rise of Islamists.

Ms Fatma Nabil made her first appearance on the Channel 1 midday broadcast, wearing a black suit and a cream-coloured scarf or hijab covering the hair and neck.

Until the revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year and brought a Muslim Brotherhood president to power, women in Islamic headscarves and particularly full-face veils had been kept firmly out of the media. Women who wore hijab were allowed to work in Egypt's Radio and Television Union as long as it was off-camera.

But new Islamist Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsud told a private satellite channel on Saturday he could see no reason why a woman in hijab could not present the national news. "Finally the revolution has reached" Egyptian media, Ms Nabil told the Muslim Brotherhood's daily newspaper, Freedom and Justice.

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