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A new television channel operated and managed only by niqab-clad (full face veil) women will be launched in Egypt on the first day of the month of Ramadan, it has been reported.

Even the employees and guests of the new channel named 'Mariya' would be niqab-clad women, reported al-Ahram, an Egyptian daily.

Initially the channel will launch programmes for six hours a day through the ultra-conservative Islamic Umma Channel which will focus only on niqab and marriage related issues.

As the channel is exclusively managed by women, men will not be allowed to appear, manage or even participate in phone-in programmes of the channel.

If there is a situation when a guest does not seem to wear a niqab, the person will be asked to wear the veil temporarily, else the face will be blurred.

According to el-Sheikha Safaa Refai, who will be the head of Mariya, the main focus of the channel would be to educate Egyptian women about their religion.

One of the important programmes titled Memories of a Woman will deal with infidelity among married women, said the report.

Niqab was banned in Egyptian television channels during the period of the dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, the decision to launch a fully veiled women television channel has created mixed response among the media sector.

Aljazeera's television anchor and Egyptian Mona Salman was rather shocked at the initiative. She is of the opinion that facial reactions are important for television presenters.

"They are vital tools in connecting with your audience, including eye contact. There are certain types of programmes in which the TV presenter does not appear. These include documentaries or other programmes where the presenter is not on camera. However, once the presenter is in front of the camera, then yes, facial expressions become very important," Salman was quoted by al-Ahram.

Meanwhile the source of funding for the channel was not revealed.

Critics suggest although the channel may attract a handful of audience in the beginning, it will not be able to sustain as the media industry has a tight competition.