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Biography of Bouthaina KAMEL

Egypt > Politics : Bouthaina KAMEL

Bouthaina KAMEL
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Biography :

Bouthaina Kamel born in 1962 is an Egyptian journalist, activist and politician woman; She wants to replace the former president Hosni Mubarak after a popular revolt ended his three decades in power.

Bouthaina Kamel, rose to fame with her radio call-in show Eterafat al-Leyali (Night Confessions) in which Egyptians spoke freely of sexual abuse, infidelity and mistreatment by relatives.

She now aims to be Egypt's first elected female leader, saying her experience of engaging with people from all walks of life will appeal to voters frustrated at a growing rich-poor divide, the impunity of corrupt officials and pressure to conform to a strict moral code.

"I think it's good to talk about everything. It's not good to try to cover the truth," said Kamel, who plans to set up a reality TV channel that will follow her electoral campaign.

"Transparency is very important," she said. "We are beginning a new era. If there hadn't been a revolution, I would never have run in the presidential elections."

Night Confessions was banned after a state committee for religious issues said it damaged Egypt's reputation and "implied that all Egyptians were involved in sinful relations".

Kamel said it was the most popular show in the Arab world but the government pushed newspaper editors to lobby against it. Callers to her show included young men and women struggling to find a job, and victims of domestic abuse.

Kamel says her priority is fighting poverty and corruption, issues she said were deliberately avoided by the media under the influence of Mubarak's now defunct National Democratic Party.

A founding member of Egyptians Against Corruption, she has begun a "Campaign for Saving Egypt" which lobbies for strong civil institutions free of graft, back-scratching and nepotism.

Last update : 09/11/2011

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