Raising Their Voices

AYMAN MROUEH

HEAD-ON: Moukalled, who tackles topics such as Afghan refugees, says many Arabs "don't want to face problems that need to be dealt with"

Dozens of men scurry around a suburban Cairo art gallery, carrying out the rapid-fire orders issued by a tall, imposing woman in tight black jeans and a cream cashmere sweater. "Everyone out of the way!" barks director Inas El Degheidi, scanning the set to make sure everything is in place for the next scene in Women in Search of Freedom, her film about the harsh lives of female migrant workers. Even in a cosmopolitan hub like Cairo, most Arab men aren't used to being bossed around by a woman, but El Degheidi's confrontational style does not faze her crew; they "are...

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