Potential Egyptian presidential nominee Bothaina Kamel turned down the nomination of the world’s bravest woman award, presented by the American government.
Kamel said her name was added to the list of candidates for the International Women of Courage award, but refused to be nominated.
The award celebrates women’s achievements and bravery.
“The International Women of Courage come from all walks of life and share the same deep felt commitment to promote the rights and freedoms of women and children,” the award organizers said on their website.
“The awardees are committed to helping women improve their lives in the workplace, gaining freedom of education and improving the status of women around the globe,” it added on the US State Department’s website.
The award is to be given on Women’s International Day on March 8, 2012.
“The award comes from the American administration [and] that is why she turned it down,” Amr al-Ansary, general coordinator of Kamel’s presidential campaign told Bikyamasr.com via phone.
“They participated, even if indirectly, in the crackdown on the revolution, importing weapons that were used on Egyptian protesters,” he added.
“She cannot accept an award stained with the blood of the martyrs,” Ansary added.
Kamel’s decision was hailed from people and her popularity is growing among Egyptians in the street, who find standing up to American policies a step in the right direction.
“She is braver than 100 men, she is courageous,” said one supporter on the social networking site Facebook.
“I truly respect her position, even if it was for election reasons, she at least appreciates and respects our minds,” said another.
Kamel, who has dubbed herself as a “corruption fighter,” has a constant presence at all protests and is widely known for supporting the revolution and its youth. Forming human shields upfront to protect the back rows at protests or standing close to the line of fire, she has won the hearts and the minds of the revolution.
Kamel was recently arrested by police during the 6 days of violence against protesters in Mohamed Mahmoud street, near Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, and she reported being sexually harassed by police officers and soldiers.
She was arrested with her daughter, who also reported being harassed by the security forces, who arrested them both not far from Tahrir Square.
Kamel, Egypt’s first woman to run for the presidency, is not a stranger to activism. She started a watchdog committee called Shayfenkoum, or “we are watching you” to monitor the 2006 elections.
She also participates and advocates against corruption regularly in Egypt.
By Manar Ammar