I felt evil

Saturday evening I went to Tahrir with no interest in protesting I just went to check things out, I was really frustrated about the fact that the Egyptian people were not united. That everyone was looking for their own interest and not the interest of the country and its people.

There werent many people at first but then many came and it felt we were coming together. I was so happy. we were 5, 3 girls and 2 guys and we were walking in the square among the crowd and I thought it would be safe. But it wasn’t. Suddenly men started grabbing us away from each other. They started groping me and grabbing Hijab (headscarf) then i lost friends…I was terrified …some men hid me behind a small kiosk but i kept looking my friends i couldnt find them. I was able finally to reach one of them and she told me she was safe.

The other friend was hurt very badly, my heart aches for her and I keep playing the whole thing in my head over and over again, she was right there infront of me then someone grabbed my ass so i looked behind then looked back and she was gone, I kept looking for her i couldn’t see her anymore, it was as if i was in high sea and all the waves are just tossing me all over the place.

How can people be so evil…why is it that no one is held accountable for what they do? those men are walking freely on the streets looking for their next victim and there is nothing I can do about it.

I was raised that good people get rewarded and bad people get punished but i came out to the world and its not true. its the other way around….and i feel betrayed…i feel angry…i feel guilty for not protecting my friend….I wish it was me not her….

Who should I blame for this? Mubarak for destroying my country’s education so those men have no respect for women and have become just animals ….our useless police who are incapable of defending us…our religious leaders who claim that they want whats best but they don’t go to these young men and teach them whats right….our educators who turned into business men…our politicians who just want power…who???!!!!

I don’t know who to blame…But i am really angry at many religious leaders who prefer to appear on TV thinking they reach more people while there are certain people who dont even have a TV…our leaders tweet and do commercials targeting a specific segment of the people leaving the mass majority who needs help….

I am angry at everyone who just do remote control charity and not get involved in the society and try to help them….just throwing some money thinking they have done their part in helping the society…

I am angry at all the mothers who teach their sons that they superior just because they are men….and tell their daughters that they inferior just because she is a woman…

I am angry because me and my friends were humiliated….

I am angry but I am not broken…

I have seen the best and worst of people that night…I have faith that Allah will help me through this and will give me the strength to help others…

I know that many will not like that i wrote this about Tahrir square thinking i am trying to vandalize the image of the Egyptian revolution…but this is not my intention, I have participated in almost all the battles and marches since Jan28 2011 but Sexual Harassment in Egypt is growing and growing and we need to address it. We ignored it for too long and it is becoming a monster that is eating us all…I feel hate towards those men who molested us…I cant smile in the face of anyone that i dont know anymore…hell i cant smile the way i used to….

I am sorry for not being there to protect my friend…i am sorry for being weak…i am sorry that it was her not me…i am sorry that my country is fucked up…i am sorry that my leaders are addicted to power…i am sorry for the women of Egypt…

I hope no one else will have to face that fear….

I hope that world turns and things get better…


28 Responses

  1. girls need to learn how to use guns there.

  2. And why did you go to Tahrir? huh huh? why leave home? why were you wearing provoking clothes.. you have only yourself to blame for seducing men.

    Thought I’d say it all before some idiot troll comes repeating same rubbish.Seriously though , the harassment epidemic will take some time to address in Egypt as it needs to be tackled on several fronts and so far -apart from brave women who speak out and some NGO’s- no one seems to be taking it seriously or concerned.

    Just be safe and when in Tahrir, stay closer to big gatherings.. always agree on a meeting point if someone gets lost or stranded. And seriously stop praying to “Allah”, it doesn’t exist..it’s nothing but a man-made book based on ancient Babylonian mythology. I’m an exmuslim and I can recite the entire Qur’an, I studied the bullshit for 10 years. So take matters in your own hands and stop relying on madeup invisible beings that don’t exist.. once you do that your entire life will change as you realise you make your own destiny. Best of luck.

    • Thank you for your support 🙂 i am expecting something like this but so far i am thankful i didnt get anykind of stupid comments such as what you said….

      I will not argue with you whether God exits or not but I believe He does…i would really appreciate it if you would not call the qur’an bullshit, respect of others beliefs is essential for us to be united…

      we do have one thing in common so far; we will take matter into our own hand and will not be silenced …best of luck to you too

  3. Feeling sorry or angry is just not enough anymore! I am speechless! Different forms of sexual harassment is also taking place in workplaces, public transportation, classrooms, and so on! A harsh law must be implemented as soon as possible and the code of silence must be broken! No means no!

  4. Thank you for speaking out. You are not weak, you are strong. I too am sorry for the women of Egypt, I am sorry for all of Egypt. But don’t you dare feel guilt, feel anger instead – this attack was an attack on us all. All my support and love.

  5. Nihal, as someone who went through a fair share of harassment and intimidation herself, I would say your anger is appropriate at least. Getting into the reasons and causes would merit more time and space though. let me suffice to say here that I was so shocked when it happened and so angry and overwhelmed by the same feeling of powerlessness I felt before when things happened to me, I needed to something. So I called a friend who is in charge of security issues of sorts on the square. He went over to where it happened with a group of men and boys prepared to beat them to pieces, which they would of if they found them.
    My point is that there fortunately also are men who believe just as much as we do that this should not happen. Maybe it isn’t enough to root out the evil, but the presence of good at least creates a battle.

    • True, i saw the best and worst of men that night…i just wish that more good men would be there for us than the bad ones…

      • So do I. But I also wish more women were like you and had the strength and courage to speak out. All my love and support to you.
        وبجد لو عايزة أي حاجة…

  6. i wish so as well :)…thank you i appreciate your support

  7. In my opinion you are not putting the revolution down just because you highlighting the fact that SA is rife in Egypt.

    This is something that doesn’t just happen in Tahrir Square and as each years passed I have noticed an increase in SA in Cairo.

    For years I would try to discuss SA with relatives and friends in Cairo with no success ‘just ignore it, it’s normal’ they would say. I am happy women are now taking a stand and fighting against SA and it will grow and continue and you will succeed but it will take time. As long as women like you continue to fight it, peacefully, you will succeed.

    I refuse to leave my house in Cairo without a male companion. And I will keep it that way until I feel safe on my own. Even still your not safe. I suffered SA when I was with my father!

    Spray paint is a great idea but is it realistic? Can people afford it? Where can it be brought? When your in that situation will you remember?

    The best thing I believe is awareness and attention to the stigma attached to the silence. Human chains are a great idea. Banners. Street art. This is education at street level, where the action happens and where it should be fought, peacefully. And each day there is a protest there should be a protest with men and women against SA.

    Good luck.

    • Thank you for your support and for trying to spread awareness among your relatives.

      I know that SA is really big right now but we have to do everything possible to try to stop it. The spray paint is mark those people and push them a bit away giving us the chance to run. i think it affordable. in my situation it was difficult to do anything honestly thats why we are calling for volunteers to protect the square.

      i hope things get better and we will spread awareness as much as we can

  8. Next time you want to go to Tahrir Square, bring me and if someone grabs your butt, I’ll grab the scrawny punk by the throat.

  9. […] From the blog Zaghaleel: […]

  10. you and your sisters and the men who support you are brave and from the other side of the world i support you. i wish there was more i could do

  11. […] Ils veulent « que la société considère ce problème plus sérieusement », « que les gens osent prendre la défense des femmes agressées », et « faire savoir aux femmes qu’il est possible de faire quelque chose contre, et que ce n’est pas leur faute », disent deux membres de l’un des mouvements, Omar Gabry et Nihal Saad Zaghloul. Cette dernière a créé le Imprint movement contre le harcèlement sexuel en juin dernier avec des amis, après avoir été elle-même victime d’une agression. […]

  12. […] and furious, Nihal blogged about the incident at length, but writing wasn’t enough. The following week, she formed an […]

  13. Nihal
    I admire your bravery, even if I have only just heard your story.
    I wonder what would happen if a lot of women from all over Europe and the USA who would like travel to Egypt for the tourism industry were to write to the Egyptian Embassy in their own countries asking for reassurance that it would be safe for women to travel to Egypt. Also supportive men ( I am pleased to hear you have some with you) all over the world could write saying they were thinking of travelling but were concerned for the safety of women in Egypt. If everyone was to campaign on this issue, it might cause the Egyptian government to treat it seriously and take urgent action.

    • thank you so much for your words :)…if you would write the Egyptian government i think that perhaps they will start to take things seriously a bit…or at least finally act on it. I am happy we have supportive men with us because you cant fight an epidemic in a society with only half the society, everyone has to rise up.

      • I will do whatever I can to support you in the UK, politically and commercially. I will write to the Egyptian Tourist Board, too.
        More power to you!

  14. thats very kind of you and i am very grateful 🙂

  15. […] and furious, Nihal blogged about the incident at length, but writing wasn’t enough. The following week, she formed an […]

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