An Egyptian film star has been charged with public obscenity after she attended the Cairo Film Festival wearing a sheer dress that revealed her legs, according to state media.
- The actress wore the dress to a film festival in Cairo
- Social media is divided over whether the dress was appropriate
- Youssef will face court in January
Rania Youssef wore a black beaded dress that was opaque at the top and sheer on the bottom half at the closing ceremony of the festival on Thursday, exposing what some commentators described as a swimsuit beneath it.
Her attire caused a storm of complaints accusing the 44-year-old of inciting immorality and promoting vice.
A complaint was made to the country’s chief prosecutor by a group of lawyers, the Al-Ahram Gate website reported on Saturday..
Rania Youssef in dress
Youssef will go to court on January 12 to face the charges.
Pictures of Youssef’s dress divided social media, with some users calling her names and others defending her right to wear what she wants.
“This dress and design is called ‘I forgot my trousers while going to be honoured,” wrote one Twitter user.
Rania Youssef 2
Another user said Youssef’s appearance would help her get more work.
“This entry has at least 15 films, two television series and 13 television and radio show appearances,” wrote Karim Ahmed on Twitter. “Congratulations.”
Another Twitter user writing under the name Zakaria MJ frowned at the criticism.
“Rania Youssef is looking gorgeous,” he wrote in a message in English. “I don’t get why everybody is mad at her.”
Egypt is a mostly conservative country with a Muslim majority. The Arab country of 100 million people has retained vestiges of secularism despite decades of growing religious conservatism.
But Ms Youssef’s case serves as a reminder that Islamic fundamentalism still pervades society five years after an Islamist president was ousted by the military.