Harassment is one of Egypt’s most tapped into issues, yet no one seems to really be doing anything about it. It seems that people are only willing to share their views as long as it’s not their daughter, wife or sister. This article is for all of the Egyptians who find it OK to say that the girl next door who just got harassed was asking for it. Newsflash: She wasn’t. It happens to all of us, and it has probably happened to your daughter. Don’t believe us? Check out what these 9 girls had to say when asked about the most horrific harassment story they have encountered:
1. “I was walking on the street at night. I’d been wearing normal clothes. As you can see, I am a hijabi so I can’t possibly wear anything revealing even if I wanted to. Anyway, a guy was passing beside me and he grabbed my thighs. I quickly grabbed his hands, so he asked me “what’s the problem?” I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t.”
2. “I had just finished watching a match and I was walking next to the Shooting Club. A guy came and smacked me on my butt. When I looked at him, he told me that he couldn’t help himself and smiled. I carried on walking afterwards, but I felt his hands on my butt for as long as I can remember that night.”
3. “I was in a cab, and the driver asked me if I like lollipops. I didn’t get what he meant then, but I said no. Then he asked me if I like to suck. I still said no. After that, he unzipped his pants while I just sat there frozen.”
4. “I have always considered the square around my house to be a safe area, maybe because it’s where I live and I walk down these streets everyday so I have disillusioned myself into thinking “I’d be safe here”, or maybe because I have never encountered such an incident near my house. I was walking down the street by myself at around 11 pm when a car came from behind me so fast it almost hit me, but not before the guy grabbed my a** and called me names. I understand that a lot of girls have faced way worse, but the fact that this happened literally 2 feet away from my house makes me realise that I would never be safe anywhere in this country.”
5. “I was sitting in a bus, and a man was sitting in front of me. The bus was crowded, but he still managed to unzip his pants and take his body part out.”
6. “I was walking on a street in Mohandiseen when a guy came out of nowhere and slapped me on the face. I didn’t do anything; I just went home and cried.”
7. “I was on my way to a friend’s house when a guy came out of nowhere and cornered me into a wall. That was it. He didn’t do anything else, but in that moment I felt scared in a way I’ve never felt before.”
8. “It didn’t personally happen to me, but I heard a story from a trusted person of a couple where on their wedding night, the guy raped his wife and left her bleeding in front of their door. He told her “abouki bahdelni 3ashan atgawezek w kan beytsharat 3alaia, rou7elo ba2a khale yenfa3ek”. The neighbors had to call her parents to come get her. How can the person you love and you’re supposed to live your whole life with do this to you? It’s horrifying.”
9. “A guy grabbed my breasts in front of everyone. I screamed my lungs out and when a man walking by saw us, he beat him only to tell me afterwards that I should dress more appropriately.”
So what do you think? Still believe that harassment is not one of Egypt’s biggest issues? It’s funny how some of the girls referenced in the article felt the need to say that they were dressed modestly. It makes you question society. We live in a country where they teach us that if a girl gets harassed, raped or catcalled then it’s her fault. They teach us that as long as it’s not your daughter then it’s not your problem. But if you really stop and think about it, you’ll realize that any of these girls could be your friend, sister, mother or wife. So let’s raise our girls in a world where if they get harassed, they have the guts to report it. Let’s raise them in a country where they no longer have to be afraid to walk the streets alone.
Original story found on Identity-Mag, please click here to access it.