Monday, June 11, 2012

#EndSH : Once again we face ugly reality

By Yara Kassem
Last Friday a group of activists mainly from ladies decided to have  a march against sexual harassment in Tahrir square , it was not matter of hours when we heard that those ladies were attacked , harassed sexually and chased throughout the streets of Downtown Cairo.
The march comes after a bad series of sexual harassments started to take place in Tahrir square following the Mubarak’s trial verdict reaching to its climax on Tuesday when not less than 100,000 protesters were in the square at night.
I remember on that day my dear friend was reporting from the square and had to leave it because she was alone with no male companion from the amount of verbal harassment she faced. She had to stand at Kasr Al Nil bridge entrance and report from there
Personally I fear to go to Tahrir square alone now despite I used to go alone all the time there. I feel that I am defeated but one thing must be clear for sure I have not lost my faith in the revolution or in this country , I am not afraid despite my personal concern on my safety.
There is a huge social problem in Egypt called “Sexual harassment” no one can deny it but when it comes to Tahrir square , it is well known that this social problem is being used as weapon against the revolution ,it is no longer the revolution square but rather fights/drugs/harassments square and the revolutionary activists know that very well. After year and half , I tell you that this is not the Legendary Tahrir square.
During the 18 days of the revolution and what followed it from several sit ins in 2011 , it was considerable safe not only for protesters but for families yet now who will allow their young daughters to go to Tahrir square if it is not safe full of predators ?
If there are wild beasts chasing any female object walking down in Tahrir square or Mohamed Mahmoud street , I will not allow my girls to go nor I will go alone there except when it is safe. Mubarak's state security used that technique before during the infamous 2005 women's stand and they are using here again.
I knew that this would happen as soon as I saw how the Mainstream media began to idolize Tahrir square turning it in to a symbol , symbols are too easy to be brought down.
Now speaking about sexual harassment in general , well I do not know till we will avoid speaking about the roots of this problem and put the blame on women as usual !! I know it is a universal thing
It is not about religion or economy , it is about culture itself. I will not speak about the roots of this problem in the Egyptian society but let’s say I do not expect that it will be solved any time soon when there MPs who blame girls for sexual harassment or when I find an ad tell the Marriage agencies ads on National TV and how there are foreign grooms available for those ladies interested or even the new AXE Egypt’s campaign about the “hotties” of the Euro !!
Another thing to all those educated Egyptians on twitter from Upper and Middle classes from Mubarak and Shafk’s supporters who are happy and feel proud that the ugly protesters of Tahrir square are being harassed by the other tramps in the square : It is your country’s reputation , of course you do not give a damn for your country’s reputation but in the end you will pay a price for not standing for the right with your silence and your hate to the protesters of Tahrir square. 


  1. Women should not visit Egypt. "the likelihood of a foreign woman experiencing extreme harassment approaches 100 percent... harassment that is aggressive, physical, and sometimes terrifying. I will never take my wife to Egypt. Never... women who want to visit Egypt need to know what they might be in for".

  2. Zeinobia, you think that marriage agency ads and AXE tweets explain sexual harassment? Really? I take it you are not joking, but I can't understand what you mean at all.

  3. A lot of the problem has to do with women acting against each other as well as men. A really pious woman might think any unveiled woman is a prostitute, so she supports her pious men when they place restrictions on other women by using religous police or new laws.

    The women of the military conservative class agree with their mens ideas of cracking down & restricting freedom of men & women not of their economic class. If their is no money for girls to go to school and they have to be sold into marriage, well that has nothing to do with them.

    These are the women who stand behind their men and against other women. Sometimes they are even more narrow-minded than their men. Often this is out of a subconscious fear of losing their very fragile place on the social ladder.

    I'm proud to say Iranian women have been fighting this kind of stupidity for a long time and refuse to be defeated even though many, many of them are in jail and have not been able to raise their children for many years.

    1. Well said! Women are their own worst enemies because they are helpless against men who can divorce them by uttering one sentence. So mothers raise their boys with praise and their daughters to be obedient.

  4. Yet I remember that both Jihane Sadate and Susan Mubark did their best to promote women, fight illiteracy and FGM....

  5. Expat: That's part of the reason why the people decided to have a "revolution".

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  7. We have to see that THIS new pattern of harassment is a strategy by the army (thus virginity tests) and the felool with their beltageya. This aims to discourage women from participating in the protests and to make the public at large believe that their women are not safe anymore because of the revolution.

    Harassment has always been their but rape in public places is an escalation that can only be attributed to the strategy of Shafik and his felool to scare people

  8. One translation note, for North American readers at least, sexual harassment tends to be verbal (rude comments, propositions, etc) or situations (racy photographs, rude gestures). In the U.S., the kinds of attacks taking place in Tahrir Square are generally referred to as sexual assault. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, rape. I would hate for foreign readers not to understand the gravity of what women in Egypt are facing.

  9. Good clarification. What is taking place in Tahrir is definitely not what we in the "harassment."

  10. I agree with Dick Smith. Anonymous made a good clarification.

  11. I think we should re-release the recent Egyptian movie "6,7,8" so people know how bad it is and for the mentality behind sexual assaulters to be made public.

    1. @midiane,

      I recently saw that film and don't understand how I was living in Egypt at the time of its release and yet only hear about it years later when I get to England!! 678 should be shown in highschools in Egypt!


  12. thanks for sharing.


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