EGYPT: 100 Women

The muezzins nearly fell out of their minarets. In mosques and bazaars, hadjis (pilgrims who have gazed upon Mecca's sacred shrine, the Kaaba) nearly tugged out their Prophetlike beards. For is it not written in the Koran: "It is for women to act as their husbands act towards them. ... Yet are the men a step above them?" But 100 women, representing seven Middle Eastern countries, had demanded equal rights for Arab women.

The 100 women, who had challenged the words of the Prophet, had traveled to Egypt by train and plane in search of emancipation. They were seated calmly,...

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