Judith Barry | Cairo stories | Nadia

…Cairo stories – Nadia

Nadia | Harassers

I did see them once! Salaam, my name is Nadia and I am a student at AUC.

When I was a little girl my mother took me all over Cairo. She loved to walk and discover things. She’s an Egyptologist, so part of her work is giving tours, so walking is kind of like her job. But, only through the agency, not on the streets. No, no, no. She doesn’t do the boats. My father would never allow. And, she sometimes taught at Cairo University.

All my life I’ve been hearing about these women. And, I didn’t know if this was true or just a myth. You know, one of those things that people always talk about, but then when you try to find it, you can’t…

When I was a little girl, my mother took me all over downtown. We would take the Metro to Tahrir Square, do some shopping, go to the Museum, or even the library. She, she was a very beautiful woman and this was during the time, before the hajib, before anybody was covered. She would always tell me,”Keep your head down, don’t look at anyone, especially the boys.”

You know, it’s very crowded downtown. You have to squeeze through the people, through the men and the boys, even. And one of them would… would try to talk to my mom, and yell things. She would get so mad! And that’s when she told me about them. What you do is you hire two or three women and they would go yell at the man for you. A conspiracy against the men! Totally private, you know, so that there’s no gossip.

So, I saw them once. There were three of them, and they were yelling at this man in front of the Ful shop. They were telling him that he was a bad man for harassing this woman so many times that she had to resort to was great to watch.

But now, society has advanced. We have HarassMap… What you do is you send email or SMS and they put a point on the map, so you know what streets to avoid. But you know what would be really gratifying is if they use this information and passed anti-harassment laws. That way we can protect our people, our squares, and our streets! People have to realize that our streets are our communities!