Egypt’s first female captain said she was the subject of a fake news campaign accusing her of landing an Evergiven container ship on the Suez Canal, despite working on a ship hundreds of miles away at the time. I will.
Marwa Elselehdar worked as chief officer of Aida IV in Alexandria when 220,000 tonnes of Ever Give stalled and blocked one of the world’s busiest routes for six days.
The 29-year-old is a famous feminist in Egypt. In 2015, she became the youngest and first female Egyptian captain to cross the newly expanded Suez Canal.
Two years later, she was honored by Egyptian President Abdel Fatta Elsisi during the celebration of Women’s Day. Her Instagram (a collection of motivational messages and her life on board) boasts over 30,000 followers.
But when Evergiven created a sensation online, the rumored factory told the world that she should be responsible.
“I felt I might be targeted, maybe because I’m a successful woman in this field or because I’m an Egyptian, but I’m not sure,” she told the BBC.
Headline, who had previously celebrated her success, was made a doctor to say she was responsible and a fake social media account was set up in her name. Rumors were widespread in Egypt, and Ms. El Seredal was worried that her reputation would be damaged.
“This fake article was in English, so it spread to other countries,” she said. “I worked hard to deny the content of the article because it affected my reputation and all the efforts I made to become where I am.”
In an interview with the BBC Arabic, Ms. Elselehdar said she faces sexism at every stage of her education. She studied at the Arab Academy of Sciences and Maritime Transport in Alexandria at a time when only men were allowed. She applied despite the restrictions, told Arab News last month, and was accepted only after legal review by then-President Hosni Mubarak.
“People in our society have not yet accepted the idea that girls work in the ocean away from their families,” she told the BBC. “But when you do what you like, you don’t have to ask for everyone’s approval.”
After dealing with fake news in a video on her Instagram account, Elselehdar said she was encouraged by the response despite the comments she received.
“My message to women who want to participate in the maritime field is to fight for what you love and not have a negative impact,” said Marwa, a Master of Business Administration from Cardiff Metropolitan University. Stated.
According to the International Maritime Organization, women make up only 2 percent of the world’s seafarers.