“Clothes bigger than my size, check. Nerdy glasses, check. Veil covering any hint of hair, check. Makeup-free face, check. I don’t think I can possibly look any plainer. All I need to do now is to just look straight ahead and I should make it to work without being humiliated.”
Sara was wrong. As much as she tried to look unnoticeable, as soon as a group of teenage boys walked past her, she felt a hand reach under her long shirt.
A fist grabbed her flesh, right…. there, and clenched, for a second. A very long second.
Long enough to scar her soul for life, but not long enough to for him to be caught.
Sara screamed at the top of her lungs, searched around frantically looking for the assailant. She looked at the people around, imploring for support. All she got was indifference, and worse, what seemed like a little mockery.
Not one sympathetic face. Not one.
Sara arrived at work, broken, feeling alone, hands shaking with anger, an indescribable rage she didn’t think she was capable of feeling. She told her coworkers what had happened. The women cringed as they remembered the last time they were in her place. The men ridiculed, told them this sort of thing never happened to their mothers and sisters. It must have been her fault.
Unfortunately this story is anything but uncommon. It’s actually quite typical and has been part of a steadily growing phenomenon that has been spreading like a cancer throughout Egypt over the last three decades. Some will tell you it’s due to sexual frustration resulting from young men financially unable to get married, others will tell you It’s general frustration from the hardships of life.
So many theories, yet no real answer. The issue remains a black box. At the end, no one really understands why the problem is so rampant in Egypt.
Strangely though, sexual harassment mysteriously vanished during the famous 18 days beginning Egypt’s revolution. Again, people are trying to understand how and why. The utopia did not last long however, society’s ailments that had mysteriously seemed to vanish, returned in full force.
The problem may be back as it was, but the women are, definitely, no longer the same.
Whether it is through television, internet, lawsuits or art, their voice is being heard, and will continue to be heard: Enough.
For Arabic version : كفايه