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Egypt's immigration minister responds to criticism over 'inappropriate clothes' Open in fullscreen

Nada Ramadan

Egypt's immigration minister responds to criticism over 'inappropriate clothes'

Nabila Makram was sworn in as Immigration Minister in Egypt's new Cabinet [YouTube]

Date of publication: 23 September, 2015

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Blog: Nabila Makram has responded to the backlash over the short-sleeved formal shirt she wore as Egypt's new Cabinet was sworn in before President Sisi on Saturday.

Egypt's newly appointed Immigration Minister Nabila Makram has responded to the abuse she has faced over the short-sleeved formal shirt she wore as Egypt's new Cabinet was sworn in before Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Saturday.

"I stand for myself," Makram told local televison channel Dream TV. "I believe my appearance was appropriate."

"I respect the views expressed about my appearance during the ceremony," she added, "but I would like to hear views about my work first before people look at long or short sleeves."

Shortly after the new Cabinet was sworn in, many people - including Egyptian TV host Ahmed Moussa - criticised Makram for wearing a short-sleeved shirt during the swearing-in ceremony, describing it as "inappropriate".

"I respect you," Moussa said in his TV show, addressing Makram, "but this not the right place, it was inappropriate."

Some social media users opposed Moussa's criticism of the new minister.

"How is it that no one considers Ahmed Moussa's talk about the immigration minister's short sleeve as sexual harassment and accusations of indecency?" one user tweeted.

On social media, Twitter users launched the Arabic hashtag "Egypt is getting prettier" to comment on the fact that the three ministers were good-looking and elegant, which many others considered sexist.

In her response, Makram said that she was well aware of protocol, as she came from a diplomatic background.

Makram, who is one of only three women among the 33 new and returning ministers in Egypt's new Cabinet, had served as Egypt's consul-general in Rome and deputy consul-general in Dubai.

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