Future Newspaper: For the First Time, Downtown Cairo is Free of Sexual Harassment!

Available in: :gb: English / :ar: Arabic

:gb: English version

In 2014, sexual harassment in Downtown Cairo reached an unprecedented 80%, to the extent that women were barely seen on the streets.

After the passing of several months, two Egyptian female students, decided they are tired of staying at home and went to sit in a local neighborhood coffeeshop ‘ahwa’ to play backgammon ‘tawla’.

For safety purposes, they sat next to an old aged man who lived in their building as he was a familiar face. They began having a discussion as to why they haven’t been leaving their home so often. The two girls deeply expressed their concerns and experiences with regards to sexual harassment on the street and how the fear resulted in them staying home. The conversation attracted a lot of surrounding men in the ahwa, whom then decided to surround them and listen in on the conversation. The female’s stories were well received from others listening in.

Therefore, the two females spread the word among other women in the neighborhood about how they received positive reactions and how their stories and exchange of experiences has impacted the men. Hence, more and more women went to down to the streets and expressed their concerns to other men in the area.

In addition, men assisted in raising awareness about sexual harassment by exchanging stories with other men throughout the Downtown area. As time passed, communication and the exchange of stories became prominent and it was noticeable that more women were moving freely in the streets.

This dramatic change was the result of the two girls realizing that action and communication was much more effective than staying indoors and living in fear.

In 2015, the situation in Downtown Cairo changed drastically and it is anticipated by Egyptians that by the end of 2017 Egypt as a whole will be free of sexual harassment, so as long as everyone contributes in raising awareness.

This Future Now article is one of the results of an ongoing discussion about things we don’t like about our culture in Egypt and are changing. Join us in developing a shared and actionable vision based on evidence by sharing your own experiences at http://goo.gl/CGHbZS. To learn more about Spot The Future, visit http://goo.gl/qvDeVq.

##:ar: Arabic version

لأول مرة منطقة وسط البلد خالية من التحرش الجنسي !!

فى سنة 2014 نسبة التحرش الجنسي بالنساء وصلت الى 80% لدرجة عدم نزول النساء الى الشارع.

و لكن بعد مرورعدة شهور, قرر بنتين في المرحلة الجامعية النزول للجلوس على مقهى شعبي بأسفل منزلهم للعب الطاولة و هذا كان نتيجة احساسهم بالملل لقضاء تقريبا معظم الوقت في المنزل لخوفهم من التعرض للتحرش في الشارع. فقرر البنتين للشعور ببعض الطمأنينة الجلوس بجوار رجل كبير في السن كان يسكن معهم في نفس العمارة و بدأوا في الحديث معه مما جذب الكثير من الجالسين في المقهى للأشتراك معهم في الحديث. فقد بدأ الحديث بتعبير البنتين عن سبب امتناعهم للنزول الى الشارع لخوفهم من التحرش و تأثير هذا عليهن و لقد لاقوا قبو ل لوجهة نظرهم مما شجعهم للتحدث اولا مع البنات و النساء المقيمات في نفس العمارة عن ايجاد رد فعل ايجابي من الرجال الذين كانوا في المقهى. فتشجع النساء في العمارة أن ينزلن و يخبرن الأخرين عن خبراتهن و قصصهن و شجع ذلك نساء و بنات المنطقة للقيام بذلك و تشجيع الأخرين.

بالأضافة الى طمأنة الرجال لهن انهم سيقوموا بمساعدتهم عن طريق نشر التوعية اللازمة في تلك الشارع و مع هذا رد الفعل الأيجابي لم تقتصر هذه التوعية على هذا الشارع فقط و لكن بدءا من شباب و رجال هذا الشارع توسعوا الى الشوارع المجاورة ايضا كما فعل النساء.

و بعد مرور شهور قليلة, لاحظ الكثير هذا التغير الكبير لوجود و تحرك البنات و النساء بحرية أكثر في الشارع و لم يتوقف هذا التغير على تحركهن بحرية و لكن كانوا يشاركن بخبراتهن بعضهن البعض. و كانت نقطة التحول هذه تدور حول التواصل و مواجهة البنتين منذ البداية لهذه المشكلة بطريقة عملية بدلا من جلوسهن في المنازل خائفين من النزول في الشارع.

و بالفعل في سنة 2015 حدث هذا التغيير الكبير في نطاق منطقة وسط البلد و يسعى سكان هذه المنطقة بنهاية عام 2017 اخفاء ظاهرة التحرش في المناطق المجاورة و نشر هذه الثقافة في جميع انحاء محافظة القاهرة.

هذه المقاله هى واحده من نتائج نقاشاتنا المستمره حول الاشياء التى لا نحبها فى ثقافه مجتمعنا ونحاول تغيرها .يمكنك الانضمام لنا فى تطوير رؤى- جمعيه قابله للتنفيذ بناء على خطوات ملموسه- بمشاركتنا تجربتك هنا


http://goo.gl/wuZrWp Spot the Future ولتتعرف اكثر على مشروع


very well written :slight_smile:

really I enjoyed reading it , what about the translation shall I work on that or is someone already translating this piece :slight_smile:


hey  @sferto I have just translated the article , please check it and edit if u want to change something :slight_smile:

The concept of story telling

I think what was really interesting about this article is this concept of storytelling as a mechanism for raising awareness and changing behavior. This method has long been forgotten or hasn’t been used as often

In Egypt ‘hawadeet’ or storytelling was always a very popular thing, deeply rooted in our culture, and it was a form of entertainment and at the same time a tool for teaching. 

I think it would be interesting to revive this kind of exchange of information, because it represents true emotions that anyone can relate to. It’s also easier to get the message across because the person can visualize and live the experience in their minds. I think that interesting stories can deeply impact a person, and can always remain in their subconscious whenever they’re in a situation that reminds them of it. It would definitely be a useful tool for spreading a message and for collection of data, experiences and memories in the form of stories.

So, this is how the article was developed based on the discussion during the workshop:

basically the challenge was ‘things in ourselves we don’t like and want to change’ - and the common thing that came up was a lack of engagement in activities, indifference and everything being predictable so a belief that your actions won’t be effective. Then the discussion developed into how can we change that mindset and how can we get people to act and change the way they think. The debate was you can’t force anyone to do anything, and it’s easy to identify a problem but no one will do anything about it. Then we tried to answer the question of how can we attempt to change behaviors and perceptions

These were the outcomes of the discussion:

  • If people express their opinions and communicate with one another you can get different perspectives and make your own decisions. 
  • If you converse and communicate to people who are completely different to you, you can eventually reach a common ground. Telling whats wrong and whats right and of your own experiences and others experiences can lead to change in opinions and actions.
  • You have to speak in the language of the person you’re speaking to, take into consideration their background, context, environment and try to communicate in a way that they would understand. But it’s very important to communicate with people that are outside your circles, different, and you wouldn’t usually have a conversation with and then it’s possible to change behaviors and perceptions.
  • By telling stories to other people you sit with so they can envision the idea and keep it in mind next time they act a certain way. 
  • Continuous exchange of stories within your society will eventually lead to solidarity within the community. 

And this was how the story was developed :slight_smile:

@Ahmed M Rabie once told me about a filmmaker who was documenting stories…can you tell us more about that Ahmed!

What do you guys think about this idea of storytelling?

Eric also gave a few comments about storytelling on Saturday

@ericzoetmulder also had a lot of interesting things to say about this

I edited the story and translation!

Hey @hazem,

Great job with the translation, I also edited some of the story! :slight_smile:

thnx Gazbee it’s much better now :smiley:


I think I might have edited the whole post instead of just the translation, is there anyway I can change that again

I see it’s ok

am not sure if someone edit it again or not

but both languages are working . the language tab is on the bottom left corner of the post

You did the right thing :slight_smile:

It’s normal that a new revision of the post (see the post’s Revisions tab) is created even when you edit just a translation. In your case, your changes only affected the English translation (see the revision differences for the English version), you made no changes to the Arabic version (see the revision differences for the Arabic version).

In case that you indeed some day make an accidental change that you want to undo, that “Revisions” tab is the place to go (after going to the translated version to revert). “Normal” users do not have this tab, so you can also help them out (because you have special “content manager” rights in your user account).

@Hazem, nobody edited the text after Gazbee – see the “Revisions” tab :slight_smile:

thnx for the tip


Wonder box - Sandouk el Agayeb

Hey guys! I wanted to share a story telling project that is currently taking place in Cairo. I haven’t personally seen it, unfortunately. But you can find where it’s taking place and more about it here and here

I know one of the participants, so if you’d like to get in touch with her just let me know :slight_smile:

Dina interview her or even better ask her to tell us about her

experience here? She can write in Arabic or any other language she is comfortable in? Then we can include it in the final story. it is best of we can take advantage of this opportunity to tell the world about great people and projects that dont gt alot of attention. And maybe get more support around them, no?

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