Cairo: An Egyptian woman schoolteacher, who appeared in a viral online video dancing with colleagues during a Nile journey, said her husband divorced her in a backlash, days after she had lost her job.
Last week, education authorities in the Delta province of Dakahlia said they referred five teachers, including the woman, to prosecution after they had danced during a recent journey, accusing them of misconduct. The footage showed them dancing to the tunes of a popular Egyptian music as some other picnickers clapped in applause for them.
The provincial authorities also terminated the contract of the part-time female teacher, named Aya Youssef, according to media reports.
The video has stirred up a massive controversy with some people condemning the teachers for dancing in public while others decried what they saw as a violation of the privacy of the five.
Youssef said the release of the video had ruined her family life.
“After the spread of the video, everything went upside down and my husband divorced me,” she told Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm.
“I did nothing wrong. All what I did was that I enjoyed myself as everyone else who was in the journey. But people have condemned me as if I had committed a crime when I shared laughter and played with my colleagues,” she added. Youssef said her three children had accompanied her during the trip organised for families.
“My job as a teacher ends at the school gate. Like all other people, I have the right to live my life, please myself, play and dance.”
As a sign of joy, dance is popular in picnics and wedding parties in Egypt.
An inquiry, conducted by education authorities in Dakahlia, found that the five teachers had acted in a way deemed inappropriate to their job by dancing during the trip.
The investigations were launched in response to a complaint from their colleagues who had been irked after a local teachers’ union honoured the female teacher, which had danced in the journey, as an ideal employee.
The complainants had backed up their claim with a CD showing the five teachers engaged in dances on a Nile boat.