CAIRO  - A veiled anchorwoman read the news on Egypt’s state television for the first time on Sunday, reflecting a shift in official media since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and the subsequent rise of Islamists. Fatma Nabil made her first appearance on the Channel 1 midday broadcast, wearing a black suit and a cream-coloured scarf or hijab covering the hair and neck. Until the revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year and brought a Muslim Brotherhood president to power, women in Islamic headscarves and particularly full-face veils had been kept firmly out of the media. Women who wore hijab were allowed to work in Egypt’s Radio and Television Union as long as it was off-camera.
But new Islamist Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsud told a private satellite channel on Saturday he could see no reason why a woman in hijab could not present the national news . “Finally the revolution has reached” Egyptian media, Nabil told the Muslim Brotherhood’s daily newspaper, Freedom and Justice. The 2011 uprising opened the way for the long-banned but powerful Brotherhood, as well as other Islamist movements, which won a crushing victory in parliamentary elections. President Mohamed Mursi resigned from the Brotherhood - Egypt’s largest and most organised political force - when he was elected president in June.