Egyptian superhero breaks taboo on sexual violence
France 24 photo.Supermakh -- or, Superman with an Egyptian twist. Dressed in white underwear and a floral motif cape, the comic superhero is fighting against Egypt's rampant sexual harassment of women.
“I put a bit of myself in the character of Supermakh, and also a bit of the average Egyptian who would like to do something but is not always able to help out. It’s a superhero who succeeds, but not every time…” Makhlouf, the creator of Supermakh, told FRANCE 24.
After a brief appearance in the opposition newspaper El Doustour in 2007, the Cairo superhero reappeared on the cover of Tok Tok, the first Egyptian zine launched in the tumultuous pre-revolutionary days of January 2011.
In that story, Supermakh helps a young woman who tries to avoid the pressing demands of a strange Santa Claus.
“The story was popular, especially with girls,” said Makhouf.
In a country plagued by sexual harassment, most female readers probably identified themselves with the character of the girl in the comics.
According to a report from the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR), 83% of women have already been sexually harassed in Egypt – with no-one to save them.
Read more on France24.