To the Egyptian woman beaten in a Cairo street, I am beyond sorry

To the Egyptian woman beaten in a Cairo street,

I can’t find the words to express my outrage at what has happened to you. I am beyond sorry. While I watched uniformed soldiers rain down their batons on your face, arms, and legs, I felt the bruising myself. Even though we were separated by thousands of miles and a dim computer screen, we shared the same thoughts: how can human beings stoop to such a low level?

I have never met you and it is likely that I never will but I see you as a sister, a sister I will forever respect for having the courage that I myself lack, for having the determination to defy the institutionalized corruption and oppression that has returned to Egypt after you ousted Hosni Mubarak almost one year ago, for putting your life on the line and being the example the world needs.

To watch an uncivilized and inhumane group of cowards treat you with such brutal indignity is to watch a black cloud settle over the entirety of Egypt. To watch a soldier stomp on you with his boot is to see clear evidence of the abuse that must be put to end. But more importantly, to watch these ruthless things — I can’t call them men as I am a man myself and wouldn’t dare level myself with them — strip you of your clothing is to watch humanity at its lowest form.

I am unsure of your condition and whether or not you are aware that the Egyptian armed forces have been publicly shamed in the world’s eyes. Millions have seen the footage of your beating. Millions watched soldiers drag you down a street layered with spent rubber bullets and sharp stones. But these same millions have also seen your most well-kept secret, your most treasured personal belonging: your bare body. I am beyond sorry.

During the course of your beating, soldiers ripped apart the abaya that stood as sign of your true modesty. But don’t think you are any less modest. They exposed you to the world, but in doing so, the brutal Egyptian military has exposed itself as a collection of untamed animals who are no better than Mubarak’s thugs. This sexual abuse was intended to publicly humiliate you, and I am beyond sorry that it happened in the first place, but there is no reason to put your head down in shame.

The world understands the abuse of your body, your personal treasure, was against your will. The millions who watched soldiers voluntarily smash your bones with clubs are all aware that you committed no crime. Your intention has always been to bring justice and prosperity to the only land you’ve ever called home and your objective has always been to dismantle the institution of uncivilized and abusive authority used as a weapon against your Egyptian counterparts. You are the essence of purity in a world where purity barely exists. Although I am beyond sorry, my dear sister, I am very proud of what you’ve done in the past and what you will do in the future, God willing.

The sexual and violent abuse of women, of unarmed demonstrators, and of civilians from any background is an act of war against humanity and our natural rights. It is only natural that you will feel uncomfortable with what these savages did to you. The footage, now permanently embedded in history, will haunt you. It will haunt me and anyone else with even the slightest shred of moral consciousness. I am beyond sorry for the damage this has done to you. But know that you are admired, that I especially am confident in your ambitions, and that only the soldiers shall bear the shame of their actions.

To the Egyptian woman beaten in a Cairo street, stay strong.

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There are 8 comments

  1. Angles of Secrets

    My heart cries out for this Egyptian woman, and for all people in the world who endure violent abuse and beatings such as this. It is my dream that people like you shout out loud that you will not tolerate such actions as this.

    My life was filled with horrific abuse, I’ve endured torture that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. As painful as it is I’ve begun to write my secrets, give them to the world in hopes that it will open the eyes of the world to what happens behind closed doors. To empower others to speak up for the victims of abuse who have no voice. To inspire other survivors like me to stand tall, to be courageous & tell their stories. To no longer hide those shameful secrets, let them out and begin to live a life filled with passion and purpose.

    May angel wings lift us all up in moments when we feel we can’t carry on.

    God bless you.

    Love,
    Joan

  2. Ba6a

    Your post encapsulates the emotions of any humane individual worldwide who has watched this video. It is horrifying, disgusting, and beyond shameful that any any existing human beings could have the nerve to commit such an act against a woman or any person for that matter.

    Her story has been televised so that the globe may set eyes on the actions of these uniformed monsters and absorb the reality of such crimes occurring on a daily basis. Her story, is of course, just one of many. May Allah instill patience and strength into those who have suffered and are suffering and may He instill courage into the souls of individuals like myself to make change, to bring justice.

  3. Evelyn Prince

    Any man army or not pouncing and hitting on women is a COWARD, BIG TIME! When you have a people so inhumane and bear in mind that no other police came forward to stop this degrading act of defiance against this woman. This shows us in the world that great strength needs to be executed for a cause that is so very evidently brutal. It would mean that even cowards are rushing to get in uniforms to do their wicked deeds. I wonder “who are to guard the guards.”

    May you be strengthen from above for a cause you believe to be right and continue to be at peace for those in authority who masterminds secretly this horrific behavior on mankind.
    God bless you
    and be encouraged for this cause.

  4. Nasreen Crawford

    The world must rise up in protest – sanctions, embargo and condemnation – The people of egypt this one woman represents your mother, wife, sister and daughters you need their strength to be the nation you want to be – GO BACK TO THE STREETS PROTEST, PROTEST AND PROTEST. YOU WON YOUR COUNRTY DONT GIVE UP NOW.

    You poor woman, they didnt shame you they shamed themselves. God bless you with strength.

  5. Sue Keamy

    I was horrified and felt sick when I saw what happened to this woman. Egypt has just shown the world how disgraceful they are and I just hope that in the future this act of violence will change Egypt forever and get rid of a government who is so scared of women.

  6. edwards

    I have always held Egypt and its people as something special and in high regard, certainly with a future visit but after seeing what they did to the defenceless woman who was savagely beaten by *men* dressed in army uniforms. Well that has put paid to any visit to Egypt but not only that i now see all Egyptian men as the lowest of the low and really are sissies as such as they find their courage in wild packs and display their intellects as total cowards(What intellect one may ask)
    The rest of the world can now see the reality of Egyptian men,brutally cruel and belonging in caves rather than in a society where one would think is ancient old and full of upstanding intellectuals.
    As for the army not doing anything about this speedily and arresting and shaming those who took part in this vicious attack….shame on them they are a disgrace to the rest of the world. Perhaps a reminder of the old saying….those who fight by the sword…die by the sword.

    1. Sami Kishawi

      I understand what you’re saying but I would be a bit careful in writing Egyptian men off. The Army’s attack on this women does not necessarily represent the breadth of male action in Egypt. After all, just days ago, Egyptian women amassed in Cairo and marched with their husbands supporting them and other likeminded men forming a human chain to protect them. This is not to discount the severe level of gender inequity that exists primarily in paternalistic societies, but I think it’s important to clarify that there really are stand-up Egyptian men, even if they might just be the minority. The hope should be to guarantee and implement gender equality and mutual respect across the boards, particularly as it relates to the Army.

      Nevertheless, I don’t see these soldiers as “men” because, in my eyes at least, there is nothing manly about the violation of personal privacies and civil liberties.

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