Egypt Independent: Life Style-Main news en Renee Richards still amazed she broke transgender taboo <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>More than three decades after putting down her tennis racquet, Renee Richards is still astonished she had the moxie to join the women&#39;s professional tour after living the first 34 years of her life as a man.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For all the frenzy around Olympian Bruce Jenner&#39;s reported decision to transition to a woman, the transgender pioneer Richards, born Richard Raskind, believes nothing could be tougher than what she endured in the 1970s.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;How could I have actually gone out there in front of thousands of people as this notorious transsexual and compete against young women?&quot; Richards, 80, told Reuters by phone from New York state.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I didn&#39;t know whether I was going to be shot at, or whether I was just going to be yelled at.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jenner, 65, was once considered the world&#39;s greatest athlete after winning the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics. That same year Richards says she was &quot;outed&quot; for her sex change, a revelation that reverberated, and not just through the sports world.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Richards laughs about reports she is counseling Jenner. &quot;It&#39;s not true,&quot; she said. &quot;That&#39;s insane. It would be preposterous for me to say anything to him.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jenner&#39;s transition would make him the most high-profile American to come out as transgender, a boon to the community&#39;s increasingly visible fight for equality and acceptance. A reality star via the Kardashian family&#39;s TV series, he has not publicly commented on his plans.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But Richards believes that, with no chance to begin his new life privately, Jenner will have a challenging time.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Still practicing ophthalmology, Richards doesn&#39;t like being called a trailblazer or role model, saying she was &quot;only one of a lot of pioneers.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I was certainly the one in the world of sports,&quot; she said. &quot;But there have been others. There have been great strides made by other courageous people.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>&#39;We have to let her play&#39;</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Richards, captain of the Yale tennis team as a man, was denied the right to play in the 1976 U.S. Open at age 42 after transitioning the year before.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favor in 1977 allowing her to join the women&#39;s tour, Richards got death threats, needed bodyguards, and saw scores of women rivals drop out of events she entered.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Billie Jean King, who founded the Women&#39;s Tennis Association in 1973, after discussions with doctors, went to Richards&#39; Manhattan home to hear her story.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I just listened,&quot; recalled King. &quot;I didn&#39;t know anything about transgender. I went back to the players and said, &#39;We have to let her play.&#39; Everyone was up in arms. It was tumultuous.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But King said she told women: &quot;&#39;All of you who are upset right now are going to end up thinking she&#39;s your best friend.&#39; And many of them did.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A 6-foot-2 left-hander, Richards played four years on the tour and in grand slams, reaching No. 19 in the world.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I never thought of her having been a man because she was so feminine, other than maybe her voice,&quot; said Hall of Famer Nancy Richey.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Richards, the author of several books, including her latest, &quot;Spy Night and Other Memories: A Collection of Stories from Dick and Renee,&quot; nevertheless wonders if playing tennis as a woman was the way to go.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;If I had it to do over, I would have my sex change because that&#39;s what I was destined to do,&quot; she said. &quot;But would I have tried to play professional women&#39;s tennis? Maybe not.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;But as it turns out I&#39;ve had so many wonderful experiences, I guess that was my destiny.&quot;</div> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:49:00 +0000 Reuters 2446830 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/26/501184/photooo.jpg Study: Housework and families to blame for girl school dropouts in Uganda <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Excessive housework and lack of parental support are the main reasons why girls in Uganda drop out of school, research showed, highlighting the importance of family in achieving gender equality.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In contrast, girls whose mothers completed secondary education were 67 percent less likely to drop out of school, the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) found in a survey of more than 800 girls in Uganda&#39;s northwestern West Nile region.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Girls must feel support and encouragement from their parents, the school itself, as well as the wider community so that they come to believe in themselves, their capacity, and can thrive,&rdquo; the study&#39;s lead researcher Kirsten Stoebenau said in a statement.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Education is a cornerstone for women&rsquo;s empowerment and a critical part of any effort to end poverty.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Girls who said domestic chores had interfered with schooling when they were 12 years old were three times more likely to drop out, and those who said their parents did not support their education were twice as likely to drop out, the study found.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I used to do [housework] while my brother went to school without having to do anything first,&quot; Unzia, an 18-year-old wife and mother, told ICRW. &quot;I would reach school late and find the teacher already in class.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When her father died, the family stopped payed her school fees but not her brother&#39;s.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>West Nile has the highest gender gap in school enrolment in Uganda. There are eight girls for every 10 boys in primary school, and six girls to 10 boys in secondary.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;When girls are dropping out of school at such alarming rates, it&rsquo;s a signal to the community and activists that current efforts to keep girls in school are just not adequate,&rdquo; Stoebenau said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Financial problems were the main reason girls gave for dropping out of school, at 42 percent, while pregnancy came second at 13 percent.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>African governments and teachers should discuss with families and students how gender discrimination interferes with girls&#39; education, the report said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ICRW also called for sex education to be introduced in schools. The majority of girls surveyed did not know how to prevent pregnancy, and one in two of those who had had sex became pregnant.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In West Nile, 20 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds are mothers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:49:00 +0000 Reuters 2446836 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/26/501184/uganda0312_620_411_100.jpg After film, Bosnian woman agrees to meet son born of wartime rape <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>A Bosnian woman has agreed to meet the son she bore as the result of wartime rape after having read of a film made about the now 22-year-old and his search for his biological parents, the film director said on Thursday.</p><p>Director Semsudin Gegic said the woman, a Muslim Bosniak who lives in the United States, had called him after she saw a Reuters article published on Tuesday about the premiere of Gegic&#39;s film in Bosnia.</p><p>&quot;This has taken me by such surprise,&quot; Gegic told Reuters. &quot;She called me from the United States and said she was ready to meet Alen and agreed that I can film their encounter.&quot;</p><p>Gegic quoted her as having told him: &quot;I don&#39;t want any sin on my soul.&quot;</p><p>Alen Muhic&#39;s mother was repeatedly raped by a Bosnian Serb soldier early in Bosnia&#39;s 1992-95 war, and gave birth to a boy she abandoned. She testified as a protected witness at a trial and her name cannot be published.</p><p>Gegic&#39;s second documentary film about Muhic, &quot;An Invisible Child&#39;s Trap&quot;, documents his painful bid to track down and meet his parents, a quest that had ultimately proved fruitless.</p><p>The film confronts the stigma still surrounding Bosnians born of wartime rape, a war crime that up to 30,000 women are believed to have been subjected to during the Bosnian war.</p><p>The film was premiered on Monday in Muhic&#39;s hometown of Gorazde in eastern Bosnia.</p><p>It shows Muhic, who was adopted, visiting his mother&#39;s sister, who tells him how his mother suffered because of the rape and that she was unable to see him.</p><p>Muhic was not immediately reachable for comment. Gegic said he had asked for time to digest the news of his mother&#39;s change of heart.</p><p>According to a Bosnian association for women raped in wartime called &quot;Women - The Victims of War&quot;, 62 Bosnians are recorded by the authorities as having been born of wartime rape.</p><p>In the documentary film, Muhic&#39;s biological father is shown in 2007 being convicted of rape but later released on appeal, conditional on having to meet Muhic if requested. Muhic does so, but his father fails to turn up at the agreed meeting and has to date avoided any contact.</p> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:43:00 +0000 Reuters 2446833 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/05/01/484151/burqa.jpg Mohamed Ali Manial Palace: an artistic masterpiece <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><span style="font-size: 14px;">Prince Mohamed Ali Pasha Palace or Manial Palace is an architectural masterpiece of art situated in Manial area, Giza, and surrounded by gardens.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The palace was built using Morroccan architectural style and is currently used as a museum.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ali built the unique palace in 1901 to revive the Islamic architecture. The prince developed the engineering and decorative designs of the palace himself and supervised its construction. He used to reside in the palace from time to time.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The <u><a href="http://"><span style="color:#0000ff;">video </span></a></u>shows parts of the palace&#39;s interior.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:44:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2446811 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/26/16030/manyal.jpg