Women bodyguards for wealthy women in Egypt    

December 12, 2009

Egyptian actresses, pop divas, princesses, wealthy Gulf Arab businesswomen choose ‘ladyguards’ for protection.

Her hair neatly tucked under a Muslim headscarf, Dawlat al-Amine practices aikido regularly in a Cairo gym where she and her female colleagues learn martial arts to protect other women.
The blackclad “ladyguards” provide a niche service to women who have broken through the Arab world's glass ceiling and achieved fame and fortune, but who feel they cannot resort to male protection out of deference to the region's conservative mores.
The leader of neighbouring Libya, Moamer Gathafi, is famous for his female bodyguards, dubbed Amazons.
But clients of the “ladyguards” include Egyptian actresses and pop divas, as well as princesses and wealthy businesswomen from the oil-rich Gulf.
“We were the first to create a service of ladyguards, for several reasons,” said Cherif Khaled, managing director of Falcon group which first launched the service three years ago.
“Women in Egypt now have been able to break into different fields. They have become businesswomen, lawyers, judges, even marriage officials,” he said. “When given the opportunity, Egyptian women are able to succeed.”
But Khaled added that even when women do break through, they ignore the conservative traditions of a male-dominated society like Egypt at their peril. “At the end of the day, we are a Middle Eastern society. When a woman passes through a security check, she prefers to be searched by a woman rather than by a man,” he said.
“When you are dealing lady to lady, things are much easier.” The Falcon group, a subsidiary of Egyptian bank CIB, employs 3,800 security personnel, providing services ranging from personal protection to cash transfer to security systems.
In 2008, the company made net profits of 13 million Egyptian pounds (2.3 million dollars).
(Source: Middle-East.Online)