Mona Prince, an English language professor at Suez University, Egypt, posted a video in March of herself belly dancing on Facebook, for which she received a lot of criticism and backlash.
As her video went viral, students called out Prince for what they termed as “disgraceful” behavior on the part of a university professor who is supposed to be a role model for the upcoming generation.
She was then placed under investigation as her behavior goes against Egyptian universities' code of conduct under Article 94.
However, Prince argues regardless of her profession, what she does in her private life is a matter of “personal freedom” and, therefore, it should be no one’s concern. She further claimed none of her actions made her feel ashamed of who she is and neither should it be linked to the integrity of her job.
"The university should only be authorized to investigate me when I do not perform well as an English language professor. No one can comment or criticize my actions away from my profession and the university,” Prince said on a local talk show.
However, the university dean insists: "The footage is not acceptable behavior from a university professor who should be a role model for students. The code of conduct bans such behavior, even in a country like Germany a university professor was referred to investigation for being in a night club.”
Meanwhile, Prince remained unaffected by the criticism. She then went on to release another video of her dancing on Facebook with the caption: "I will never stop laughing, dancing, singing and writing."
She has now made her intentions public to run in the upcoming 2018 presidential elections. A Facebook page called "Professor Mona Prince Egypt President 2018" was soon set up and her slogan reads: "With science, art and freedom, your golden sun will be restored, Egypt. And Egyptians will again be productive people who contribute to human civilization."
Prince, who is determined to make Egypt more liberal and accepting of people of all kinds, says she wants to “work hard with efficient young people to lay sound foundations for building a modern Egyptian state and to restore the Egyptian identity to Egyptians in the four years [term of office].”
"Because I am a cheerful person who loves life by nature, I will be a lighthearted president and I will pamper the people," she added.
Prince is still being called out for her bold views and for refusing to succumb to the university’s pressure. However, how much support she will receive in her quest to become president remains unknown and can only be determined with time.
In November 2013, a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey ranked Egypt as the worst of 22 Arab states with regards to women’s rights. Prince is just one of the many women whose personal life is being impacted by the country’s strict religious laws.