Egypt's new hijab-clad superheroine

I wanted to send a message about the general Islamophobic backlash, and if I was going to address that, I needed to make a statement

Deena Mohamed

Her website got hundreds of thousands of hits – more than 500,000 since September alone. Egypt is the top country of visitors to the site, followed by the US.
Deena also found enthusiasm among local publishers who asked her to create a printed version as well.
“It is insane. Way more exposure than I ever expected,” the 19-year-old art student says.
Inevitably perhaps, the creation drew some negative reactions, mainly from people not convinced about adopting the Western concept of a superhero.
Deena, though, does not agree.
“We are all exposed to the idea of comics and superheroes. We are exposed to Western media so often. So I guess I was just responding to that in my own way.”

Hijabi and strong

The name Qahera is the Arabic word for Egypt’s capital, Cairo. It also means the conqueror or the vanquisher.
Deena says she had her superheroine with the all-powerful name wear a hijab to combat a widespread stereotype that women wearing the Islamic attire cannot be strong.
“There is already so little representation of women who wear the hijab, although that is the majority of women I see around me, and it did not make sense not to make her wear hijab,” says Deena, who does not wear a hijab herself.
Hijab – the principle of modesty in Islam that includes manners of dress – is a religious obligation stipulated by the Koran, according to scholars at Al-Azhar, the highest seating of Sunni Islam.