We said NO they said Yes

After the sexual harassments and assaults that has been happening all week; A few activists and I decided to do an anti-sexual harassment stand in Mohamed Mahmoud where everything happened on friday the 8th of June. The stand was fine; about 60 people showed up even though about 500 people RSVPed on the event on facebook (sad i think). Then we decided to go to Talaat Harb when it got dark.

A human chain, men formed a cordon, around us and we started moving. Several women expressed their disagreement with this and said we dont need protection. In principle they are right we should be able to walk without protection but in practice mobs in Tahrir are targeting women, and if/when it happens that 50 men attacks at the same time there is no way that anyone can save us in time.

This is exactly what happened 2 girls and a guy who broke the chain and went out; one of the girls got groped so she slapped the guy who did it, he tried to attack back but the men started beating him. The rest of the crowd didnt see what happened they are seeing many men beating up one man so they interfered to save that man, in the middle of all this some other men took advantage of the situation and started attacking the girls. Luckily our men were able to get them to a bakery where they stayed till this fight over.

One of the men had a gun (we dont who he is probably one of the shop owners ) and fired once in the air thinking he will disperse the men but it actually brought more men, others from tahrir thought there are thugs and started running towards talaat harb, towards us. We started running because we didnt people to run over us, we wanted to hide in one of the shops but the wouldnt let us in, 2 min later (which seemed like an hour) our friends got us out and we were fine. we kept moving towards Bostan street then to the Egyptian Museum. We were finally out of harms way and I learned later that the girls were able to leave the bakery into a taxi then home.

I think several would disagree with me but i really believe that those assaults are planned and deliberate to make us not to come to tahrir. Anyone who fears the power of Tahrir has something to gain out of this. I am really frustrated that Tahrir is turning into such a horrible place.

What happened was really outrageous but we got the attention of the media and we gave an interview with Hafez el Mihrazy on Dream 2 which was a really good interview (this is a short clip of it), several newspapers wrote about us and showed their support.

This is just the beginning of a long and tough fight but we will not give up and we will clean up Egypt. We will continue to do anti-sexual harassment campaigns…

We will NOT be silenced….Nothing will keep us down.

Photos Taken by Leil-Zahra Mortada. 

5 Responses

  1. Thank you. I have had similar experiences and you empower me to write about them without fear. Let this be the Womyns’ Spring.

  2. I am honoured to know that and please write and speak up….it will make you feel better…Solidarity and Support 🙂

  3. […] «We said NO, they said Yes», résume une blogueuse  égyptienne. Elle faisait partie des manifestantes et raconte ce qui s’est passé entre la rue Mohammed Mahmud et la place Tahrir au Caire, ce vendredi 8 juin. […]

  4. You girls be brave!! Women (and men!) all over the world support you and are fighting for the same cause in their own country; because women’ rights are a great cause, one of the most important of this century. I am sure that together, we will make it. This protest was a good and brave idea. It’s a shame it turned like that, but it won’t be the case forever and you had a wide media coverage – I’ve just been reading about it from France. Don’t give up!

  5. […] June. What first seemed to be a success turned out to be disastrous: Although protected by men, a mob attacked the women protesting. Nihal Saad Zaghloul writes on her blog: “We will NOT be silenced….Nothing will keep us […]

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