Learning English - Words in the News
27 April, 2005 - Published 11:06 GMT
Paternity dispute in Egypt
In Egypt, a young mother is taking a famous religious TV talk show host to court in a paternity suit. The high profile case has been discussed all over the country, as it is quite unusual for Egyptian women to act in this way. This report from Magdi Abdelhadi:
The case has caused a stir in Egypt for months. Instead of doing what many young Egyptian women in her situation do, that is, have an abortion, Hind Al-Hinnawi, an upper middle class professional, had the baby, went public and took the alleged father to court.
The man, Ahmad Al-Fishawi, hosts a television programme about religion for young people. He's also the son of a film star and a famous actress.
The young mother says that she married Mr Al-Fishawi according to what is known in Islam as a Urfi marriage, an unregistered marriage contract. After initially denying he had anything to do with the mother, Mr Al-Fishawi relented, but refused to accept that he was the father of the baby girl, sparking an outcry among Egypt's feminists and liberals.
The mother's unconventional behaviour also raised many conservative eyebrows. In February, a court ruled that Mr Al-Fishawi should undergo a DNA test. The ruling was considered a landmark and regarded as a huge victory for the mother and her supporters. But equally significant is the debate about sexuality, freedom and responsibility that the case has generated.
The family's unstinting support of their daughter is also remarkable, in a society where many parents would have put the blame on the girl, and some - particularly in Egypt's rural communities - might even have killed her.
a paternity suit
caused a stir
have an abortion
had anything to do with
sparking an outcry
raised many conservative eyebrows
a DNA test