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Egyptian Founder of Bel Bicycle Speaks at European Parliament's 'Islam and Women' Conference

The conference aims to tackle Western stereotypes about Muslim women.

In an attempt to tackle Western stereotypes towards Muslim women, the European Parliament is holding an Islam and Women conference in Brussels today, bringing together inspiring Muslim women from different parts of the world to share their stories. Egypt's Nouran Salah, founder of Bel Bicycle, is the only Egyptian woman to participate in the event.

Salah founded the Bel Bicycle over a year ago to empower Egyptian women to roam the streets of Cairo with bicycles, an act Egyptian women usually stray away from. Not stopping there, Salah also cycled her way through Cairo's slums in Ramadan 2016 to feed the poor and homeless with food cooked by Syrian refugees, in an effort to economically-empower them. 

"I am very thankful for the chance to be representing the Egyptian youth; the youth who led the revolutions that happened in the last few years in Egypt. The youth who are working to develop, support and transform the country, instead of waiting for someone else to do it. We, the youth, decided it is our responsibility to strive to take our country to the next level through creative ways. To me, that meant combining charity with women empowerment," is how Saleh commenced her speech. "People think that the problem in the Middle East is wars but the problem is poverty; our nations are divided by classes."

Salah was speaking alongside established Muslim women from many countries, such as England, Tunisia, Germany, Turkey, and Morocco, who have shared their inspiring stories on how they made it in a world where Muslim women are increasingly portrayed as oppressed and victimised, which, for those women, couldn't be farther from the truth.


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