Mona Eltahawy is a writer and public speaker on the Middle East, Islam, and feminism. She is the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution (2015), and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. (June 2018)

Follow Mona Eltahawy on Twitter: @monaeltahawy.

NYR DAILY

World Cup 2018: Fear Kills Flair for Egypt

Fans watching the World Cup match between Egypt and Russia on a screen in downtown Cairo, Egypt, June 19, 2018

In Egypt, we have been living under an almost unbroken series of military-backed dictatorships since 1952. This has ruined our political life, filled our prisons with some 60,000 political prisoners, and destroyed many forms of creative expression. Even our imagination is repressed—and you could tell from the timid way we played against Uruguay that we lack the flair and boldness necessary to succeed on soccer’s international stage. The World Cup is both the mirage we endlessly chase and the uncomfortable reflection of questions we refuse to confront.