Story Fifty Six: Nada Thakeb from Egypt

About an hour ago, and after a sad visit to my sick Uncle, my sister and I were walking down King Faisal main road and waiting for our ride. 3 boys “from their clothes I could tell they were respectable and younger than I am” The first guy came and harassed my sister, he got too close to her so she pushed him away and yelled, he got a bit further away from us. The other two boys though kept going, so we started yelling loudly to try and grab the attention of people around us so they would be scared….but what happened was the complete opposite. They started cursing us “Don’t yell, you whore!” and in less than a second the whole scene was turned into a big fight….they were hitting us and cursing us with the worst of name calling. A lot of people came around us and their only aim was to help us escape from these people and to stop a taxi for us so that we wouldn’t be really hurt.
We were determined that we don’t leave before we have justice and take them to the police station…but we failed and some man decided to share his finale by saying “Why don’t you listen and go away, or are you happy that you are surrounding by men?” The street was very busy and it had shops and lights all over the place, it wasn’t even late, and it is winter which means that my sister and I were fully covered with lots of clothes and there is not even a cm of skin showing… so excuse me?
I am badly hurt physically from their beatings and from people’s pushing and a lot of important things in my bag are broken, and more than that I am really psychologically in pain that I can’t even describe.
I hate everything and every one, we have reached to the point of such rude behavior and lack of manhood….and in the day light just like that? All the ignorance, traditions, beards, and sights that are just horrible to look at.  Every man that was there today and did not try to interfere to help….every man that did intervene but in a negative way just to prevent these guys from being taken to the police…
Although these harassment incidents and disgusting acts that happened, happen, and will happen to me and all the girls. The sight of my sister getting beaten up by the guy who harassed her in the middle of a crowd of 30 men (atleast) and the fact that I was incapable of doing anything except shout and yell …and even that wasn’t heard because of how many people were around us…that was the worst thing that has happened to me during my 25 years of life.
I was offended enough in this ugly country, and I have a huge right that even if I lived for the rest of my life trying to gain it back… its not enough.


Comments (8)

  • nancy

    just to let you know that we are now reading you in australia and sympathise with your situation – my site is about women and for women. please take care of yourself and keep strong and believe in your own worth.

  • Jude

    Greetings Nada – thank you for sharing you and your sister’s story. I am so sorry it happened to you and ashamed for you and the men in your country. Patriarchy is a twisted force int he world, it serves only men, it enforces power, it creates delusion and above all it oppresses women and girl children. From my ‘safe’ western’ place it is easy for me to say “Stand and voice” but I am not in your situation. I hope you will find strength and courage with your SIsters across the Arab world who are fighting and voicing to change this. peace, safety and strength to you and you sister.

  • Chris Wild

    What a Society!. You have my deepest sympathy Nada and support though what is to be done by the outside world is beyond me.
    Your story makes me feel ashamed to be a man.

  • Josef

    My respect to you and your sister! What kind of men are this? Cowards? Idiots? Or only mentally disturbed people? And what kind of a crowd was there on the road? It makes hope that there also were others who helped you.
    It is necessary that the world watches that kind of idiotic development which deeply disrespects women.

  • Loba Moon

    Nadia you must have something very special within you that has been awakened! I read determination that change is necessary so other women and all your daughters need never have a similar experience. With your clear voice you will lead and bolster others who do not have your strength.

    Sympathy and Pity is not needed, if a women/or man, from the west look through this century she will find all the other women who fought throughout their lifetimes to end patriarchy and she will learn how many women fought and died for our rights. Even today those rights are under constant threat through the house and Senate by the Christian Right who also believe the man is the ruler of the home, makes all decisions for the family and his word is always right and final!.

    I stand in solidarity, to free all women everywhere, with Equal Rights and Equal Privileges.

  • Kelig

    My warmest thoughts for you girls. I have lived in Egypt for a few years so I completely understand how this could happen (unlike other comments its seems!). I’m not saying it’s right of course, I just know how fast situations can degenerate…
    But please don’t lose your faith in humanity! For your own sake, so you don’t live with hate in your heart. People become monsters for a bunch of reasons, they are under the influence of stupid ideas that were put in their minds by their families and by society, they are under the influence of the atmosphere they live in, and of their own fears… They’re just humans, which sometimes means weak and stupid. But not all men are zabala! (and not all women are innocent…)
    What we must do now is work on those reasons why people act like monsters (just punishing them won’t change the world), but this takes time, a lot of time… generations… So we need to protect ourselves and hope for the best.

  • munir

    Asalam 3alakum
    My sister I’m sorry for what you have faced and what you will continue to face. Unfortunately, the hypocritical people have taken control of our voices and do not reflect Islam nor our holy prophet pbuh. What you are facing is an injustice and the reason why we Arab and Muslims are behind the rest of the world is not because of Islam but rather it is because we have lost our honor and accept these criminal acts when we should be the first to fight and protect the rights of our sisters, wives and mothers. The brothers in Egypt need to be more active in the protection of our sisters and we must fight this mob mentality that gives the loudest the most authority. May God protect you and all the people of the world.

  • Linda

    Helo Nada. Your story does not suprise me. I went once to Egypt for two weeks and I saw how men treat women. Sexual harrassement is just normal in every day life, accepted and it is always the fault of the woman. I, as a European woman could never live like this. And I actually wonder why you never rose up before. How can you live in a society like this? How can you live without fear and without pain? I would rather run away or kill myself… So I really support and tell you: Fight! Don´t let it happen. I know it is easy for me to say this. In Eurpe, you get help. I just support you with all my thoughts and I hope that one day, you can live like we do. Never give up.


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