Ayman Nagy

Hi guys,

My name is Ayman Nagy, Founder and director of Anti-Harassment movement in Egypt and Lebanon

I also work for HarassMap as an online media manager and soon (safe areas program coordinator).

Working for the Bussy project as publicity manager (project intended to empower women and raise awareness about women’s issues through creative means)

My life revolves around sexual harassment in Egypt and how to end it, we work on and off ground, we deal with the community directly and our work in Anti-Harassment is mainly focused on changing inhuman perceptions and behaviours, we try to approach harassers and dig for the human inside, it worked and we believe that it could change a lot.  

What makes it work?

Hi @Ayman Nagy, welcome! 

You sound optimistic, at least more than other people working on such a seriously complex issue. Can you share some of the insights in terms of what makes it work for people, harrassers in your case, to unleash their human side?

Others here in the community are also asking: “what kind of awareness can be effective to change that mindset [indifference, disengagement, bad habits], and how can people know that there are consequences to their actions?” here’s the background conversation, I don’t know if you were present at the workshop in Cairo, but coincidentally they thought to exemplify by storytelling how Egypt breaks away from sexual harrassment (a fiction they want to see reality). 

Hi Noemi

We outreach them, trying to go to their places … but what we are doing to change their mindset, we do interactive workshops, of course we are not telling them that they are harassers and we are here to change that, no … we have many workshops like “Value between body and mind” and we talk about the grassroot issues in each individual life that could help create this kind of humans, in 2 or 3 hours we talk about dreams, goals, value, slavery, and what controls your actions, we let them see the other side of the picture that we are looking at.

we do some workshops in the street with some interactive activities that could really change the way they think

about kinds of awareness, its relative between some community and another one

but to start thinking about awareness campaigns or projects you need to understand the history of the problem and the awareness should be based on solving this grassroot issues with a plan and strategy.

on sexual harassment, you need to work with the community (Bystanders, Harassers)

these are the two aspects in my openion that we need to focus on, one is witnessing the crime and not doing anything about it, and the other is the source of the crime he is the main actor that we need to change. 

on how to let people see what their actions led to, thats a really important point that you need whenever you talk to someone about this issue, is not just harmful for “the other” subjected to harassment , its also harmful to you and to the society and to the nation overall

people need to see that and how it affects their daily lives, how it costs our economy -with numbers-, and how if we stood together to end this, our lives would change.

we used this technique last Eid in Egypt we were trying to recruit bystanders to be our volunteers for the next event., we were not just asking them to stand up against sexual harassment, we were convincing them to be our fieldwork volunteers on ground and to intervene in any sexual harassment incident will happen in front of them. , and it worked and was very successful

so its all about how you approach the problem and how you will try to solve it.

sorry guys i’m new to the website, been invited by UNDP and Hazem to share thoughts and ideas about sexual harassment as it came to the conversations

hopefully will meet you soon in Georgia :)  

Community work seems promising

Hello Ayman, I see two kinds of work you guys do: one targets the individual harassers, the other targets the context in which harassment happens. This second one seems extremely promising, and I was reminded of the work of the activist and scholar of urban planning Jane Jacobs as she pointed out that multiplicity of purpose in neighborhoods (workplaces, homes, schools, cafés and theaters etc. living side by side) brings pedestrian traffic, and pedestrian traffic brings security. You could also try to bring security stationing heavily armed tough guys at every street corner, but bottom-up social control seems more humane, helping to keep people safe while not curtailing individual freedom too much. Eager to learn more.

the scale is tricky

actually the situation in Egypt is becoming exceptional or more extreme .

it is always been a question that I don’t find an answer to , because the bottom up social control (eyes on the streets -Jane Jacobs ) is working in the normal cases , but in extreme cases like groups sexual harrasments that happens in the feast for example or in demonstrations is a very extreme case and how to intervene in such cases with another organized strategy ( as the harrasment is organized in these cases )

and I think that’s Y anti harrasement movments showed up and began to organize themselves in these exceptional occasions

anyway the situation is brutal and we have to keep optimistic

Welcome Ayman

welcome @Ayman Nagy , nice to c u on the platform ,

changing the mindset is a very hard thing to do and optimism is needed to face the sexual harassment in Egypt as the numbers r really high .

can u tell us more about the obstacles u face when digging in the grassroots issue of the problem ,

or if we imagined a storytelling scenario as proposed in the workshop what can be the turning point when u face someone who blames the victim for example

please take a look at the different posts on the platform check this wiki to make it easier , or browse some of these tweets . u can find some interesting stories like this one about turning women into hacktivists in Tbilisi

as for the event in June its going to be a nospectator event everyone is invited to co design the agenda so if u have ideas for a session share it with other futurespotters

changing the mindset

Hi Hazem,

changing the mindset is really hard i agree, but could easily be done if you are trying with small number of people, or if you have something really mass that could have an impact, with cooperation of everyone (media, civic society, state ) 

Of course, you need to change the culture nationwide, you need to recreate some humane standards, starting from children, educational institutions and street, and at the same time enforce and apply new laws that punish the harasser and rehabilitate him to be a better person for the society after his time in “jail, or whatever punishment method it is”

Turning points that we always witness during workshops that when he starts to realize some facts about himself first and the impact of what he is doing, (he will need to figure it out himself without pushing this message to him)

about the law

can u tell us more what r the efforts done in proposing these laws . and do u think it is effective or not . as it is a brutal top down approach to solve the problem but also some how needed .

and do u have ideas how to implement this law . besides the effort u do in the bottom up workshops with the harassers