Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Dear Egypt, you have a femicide problem that you must face

Egypt has got a femicide problem and it seems that it is growing over time as it is not being dealt with as it should.

Monday afternoon, Egypt was shocked to read the news coming from Dahaqliya governorate that a female student was killed in the board daylight right outside the Campus of Mansoura University by her fellow student.

She was slaughtered to be accurate in the description according to an extreme shocking video that showed the last moments of her murder and the arrest of the murderer.

The videos and photos of her body in a yellow shirt and blue jeans lying in her own blood on the dirty pavement till the arrival of the police are among the worst scenes one can see this year.

21-Naira Ashraf, a student in the Faculty of Arts at Mansoura University was killed by a fellow student whom she rejected his advances several times. According to reports, the murderer turned out to be an A+ student according to the professors in the faculty.

Late Naira Ashraf
Late Naira Ashraf 

He and Naira are from the same village in Mahalla city in Dahaqliya governorate, Nile Delta. He loved Naira who is stunningly beautiful and asked for her hand in marriage, but she rejected him.

 According to her father who works as a teacher, the 21-years-student did not want to marry at that stage and wanted to focus on her study and her career.

The murderer stalked Naira offline and online to the level that she blocked him on Facebook according to her friends and even filed a complaint at the police station against him according to some reports.

On Monday, he took the same microbus she took from her village to the University stalking her. According to eyewitnesses, they had some fights in the microbus to the level that the passengers and driver made them stay away from each other.

When they arrived, he got off the bus near the gate of the University before her and it was one of the last moments in her life. According to eyewitnesses, he told her something then she replied then he got some knife that he was hiding before stabbing about four times in the chest and heart.

He was stopped by some citizens who pulled him away till the arrival of the police. The prosecution is currently investigating the crime.

As we live in the era of mobile phones, part of the crime was filmed, and it went viral shocking everybody.

Naira Ashraf was going to the exams according to her family on Monday and returned back to them as a dead body.

Back in the village, many Egyptians were shocked to know that the villagers say that the murderer was quiet young man whom they did not hear his voice except when “he beats his mother or sisters”. 

Yes, his neighbours speak about beating his mother or sisters as if it were something natural calmly!! I could not believe it when I saw the neighbours speaking like that in the countryside. 

We were raised that mothers got that holy status in the countryside!! It seems that the A+ student was not really a role model university student considering that he has no problem beating women including those close to him. 

Now the murder of Naira like that is summarized in one word: Femicide.

Femicide is the intentional killing of women or girls because they are female. Femicide is a global problem. I will quote Wikipedia and excuse me for that because I am too angry but “Intimate partner violence affects 3 in 10 women over a lifetime. It is estimated that 13.5% of homicides globally involve intimate partners”.

Or in other words, Femicide involves a male that kills a female over an intimate issue. It is not a partner or ex-partner but also rejected suitors like in the case of Naira and many girls and women like her

I believe this term umbrellas honour crimes too which we have in our part in the world.

It did not pass 24 hours following the murder of Naira or as we say in Egypt “her body is still warm in the tomb” and we found another horrifying murder involving a 24-years-young lady who was stabbed to death by her own brother on some family dispute !!

On Saturday, a young man killed his eldest sister in Fayoum. He stabbed her to death after a fight between them because he blamed her for being divorced twice.

I do not know but it seems that murders involving women at the hands of some men they knew or were close to them are increasing.

According to Edraak Foundation for Development and Equity’s report on violence against women issued in February, there were 296 women murder cases killed in Egypt in 2021 including 214 murder cases involving the husband. Giza governorate had the highest rates of women’s murder cases followed by Cairo.

There were 78 attempted murder of women cases recorded in the same year. The courts and prosecution recorded 74 cases of severely beating women who suffered from fractions and disabilities whether permanently or temporarily. Sadly, and interesting Daqahlia tops the governorates when it comes to severely beaten women cases in 2021.

It is important to acknowledge that women do not usually report the beatings to the authorities so double those numbers by hundreds!!

Maybe we as an Egyptian society can reach something for real when we acknowledge that we have a femicide problem and women are being killed for being women!! Laws are not enough as long as society does not admit it suffers from something.

Unfortunately, I expect that violence against women will increase due to the economic crisis. Women and minorities in general always pay first during the pressing times.

By the way, I think now the anger of some very few women against Tamim Younes' stupid song "So you said no" is now understandable !! 

Before I forget, Mansoura University must hire some PR agency because its statement on the tragic murder of one of her students by another student steps away from its gate was catastrophic and cold-blooded. The statement did not even contain any condolence of any kind to the family of the victim!!

In fact, you do not need a PR agency to show decency and respect to the family of the victims.

 Maybe things will begin to change when educational institutions in this country consider the students more of humans whom they prepare for the future.

May Allah bless the soul of Naira and all her sisters that paid the price of being women at the wrong time as it seems.


  1. Shocking and the hurt is somewhat personal since I spent a good part of my youth years in this very city, Mansoura where my roots are. Some of your reporting is unrecognizable to me. .."neighbors casually mentioning that the killer used to beat his mother & sisters.. as if this is normal in village life".. what?? On what planet this is ever normal? Perhaps this is evolution gone the wrong way.. but then again, in this day and age when our culture, heritage and religion are facing the most vicious & vile attacks please don’t feed into the frenzy. I say this with the utmost respect to you Zenobia. May Allah bless the soul of Naira.


  2. May God rest her soul, may

    May God rest her soul, may He send comfort to her grieving family. God be with Egypt in these terrible times.

  3. Femicide is the tip-berg of domestic violence and that is the root cause of the problem. Now the definition of domestic violence extends beyond physical abuse. It includes social, mental and emotional. Unfortunately the Egyptian cultural norms doesn't recognize this kind of domestic behavior as a form of abuse.


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