وقّف

Just Stop

Eman Helal

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Gender-based violence against women is widespread in Egypt, seemingly ingrained as a societal norm. A 2013 United Nations report found that over ninety-nine percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of gender-based abuse, whether physical, sexual, or psychological. As an Egyptian woman who faces a constant feelings anxiety in public spaces, Eman Helal decided to produce a story about the rampant sexual harassment in the streets of Egypt and the intensifying environment of fear as incidents of sexual violence continue to rise.

Egypt

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Boys make lewd gestures during an anti harassment protest in Talat Harb square on the 2013 International Women's Day.

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Consistently crowded with people, Ramsis metro station is a site where many incidents of sexual harassment are reported. Women usually prefer to use the women only metro cars for fear of being harassed in the cars full of men.

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Fifteen-year-old Esraa Ahmed was on the subway coming back from school on November 24, 2013 when a man unzipped her skirt and viciously laughed at her. After running after and scolding him, the man slapped her face, knocked her down, and took off. Esraa chased after him again, and with the help of a fellow passenger brought the man to the station guards. The guard assured her, only to release the harasser when she left to go home.

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Esraa’s diary, where she wrote an essay for school about sexual harassment after her experience on the subway. Her male teacher read the essay and sent her to the female principal who demanded that she stop writing about sexual harassment or she would face punishment.

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Ramsis metro station crowded all day not only during rush hours , many incidents of sexual harassment were repotted there. Women usually prefer to use the ladies metro cars for fear of being harassed in the crowded cars of men.

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Forty-two-year-old Hania Moheeb was harassed on January 25, 2013 during the anniversary celebrations for the revolution. The men grabbed her from the group, cut off her clothes, touched all parts of her body, hit her, and tried to strangle her. Hania suspects that the attacks were pre-planned. While the men attacked her, she could hear them telling her that they were protecting her. She thinks this was a tactic to prevent others from helping her.

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After the revolution and the mass incents of harassment in Tahrir Squae, thirty-seven-year-old Janet Abdul Al alim and her husband Fred Fathi founded a volunteer team called “I saw harassment”. Janet used the electric in rescue girls in Tahrir.

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Young women are harassed by two teenagers on the Qasr el Nil bridge, where the Nile’s boats offer a cheap outing for Egyptians. The bridge leads to Tahrir square and to the downtown area where young people hang out.

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Thirty-two-year-old Yasmine el Baramawi was sexually harassed in Tahrir Square on November 23, 2012 for a period of about seventy minutes during the protests against President Morsi's constitutional decree. Yasmine held on to her pants as tightly as she could as the harassers tried to pull them off. They tried to shove her inside a car and when that failed, they put her on top of the car and told passersby that she had a bomb around her waist.

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Two young women are harassed by group of men on Qasr el Nil bridge, where the Nile boats offer a cheap outing for Egyptians. The bridge leads to Tahrir square and the downtown area where young people hang out.

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Soha’s torn blouse. Soha was sexually harassed on November 23, 2012 in Tahrir Square during a protest against a constitutional decree issued by President Morsi.When she was rescued, her blouse was shredded and she had lost her pants, socks, and shoes. Soha is not her real name, which she feels she cannot reveal out of shame. She says she is ashamed of her nationality, and feels defeated and disgusted for being characterized as the provocateur.

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An Egyptian woman is assaulted in Tahrir square during the 2011 International Women’s Day march. Some of the men around surrounding her are the harassers and others were trying to rescue her.

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Thirty-two-year-old Safaa Essam chooses something from her closet to wear. She determines her outfits according to the type of transportation she needs to take on a given day, in an attempt to avoid unwanted attention. She bought a car about three months earlier to avoid such harassment.

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The torn clothes of Shorouk Al Toraby, who was killed at seventeen-years-old on August 7, 2013 in her home town of Tanta coming from Al Gharbia city.

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A violent discussion in Tahrir Square during the 2011 Women’s Day march, where men chant “a women’s place is in the house.”

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Amal Mohamed’s bloodstained scarf. Amal is twenty-years-old, and was sexually harassed in Tahrir Square on June 8, 2014 as she was taking part in the pro-Sisi celebrations after the elections. She was surrounded by a group of young men who groped her, tore her clothes, and lashed her face with a belt. She lost vision in her left eye. Of the nine men tried for the crime, seven were acquitted. Two men received a sentence of 25 years.

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Safaa Essam, 32 years old, chooses something to wear from her closet. She decides what to wear according to the type of transportation she needs to take, trying to avoid unwanted attention and harassment. She bought a car three months ago to avoid being harassed.

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A painting by Basant Elbayoumi in a joint exhibit called "Without Barriers."

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Rena Effendi is an Azerbaijan photographer living in Cairo. On March 9, 2012, she was violently attacked, beaten, and robbed by knifepoint by a taxi driver on her way to a meeting.

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Twenty-year-old Marina Samir participated in a protest against harassment on June 14, 2014, which was prompted after a video was posted online of a woman who had been publically stripped and beaten at a pro-Sisi rally. A taxi driver passed and made a lewd comment to Marina, and when she told him to stop he just laughed. The police arrested him and Marina filed charges. The taxi driver was ultimately fined 5,000 pounds.

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Ramsis metro station crowded all day not only during rush hours , many incidents of sexual harassment were repotted there. Women usually prefer to use the ladies metro cars for fear of being harassed in the crowded cars of men.

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Mohammed Atef and Tarek Anwar at Heliopolis court on June 15, 2014 in Cairo, where they were tried for harassing underage girls. The incident occurred the previous week. The men were arrested by a police officer after two girls filed a complaint, making this the fastest incident of harassment to ever go to trial. The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the government would confront harassment with a firm hand.

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Mohammed Atef and Tarek Anwar, accused of harassing underage girls, during a trial at Heliopolis court on Sunday, June 15th, 2014 in Cairo, Egypt. The incident of harassment occurred the previous Wednesday. They were arrested by a police officer after two girls filed a complaint. This is the fastest incident of harassment to go to trial, occurring less than a week after the incident. The Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-CAPTION TOO LONG

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Egyptian girls defamed kitchen knife during a demonstration against sexual harassment on February 6th, 2013, that became after the People’s Assembly declared that any woman participate in a demonstration responsible for protect her self against face harassment.

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A father holds a photograph of his daughter, Eman Moustafa , who was killed in 2012 at the age of eighteen. Eman and a friend were traveling home when they encountered Ramadan Nassar. He approached them and grabbed Eman’s chest. She spat in his face and said she would tell her family. He shot Eman in the neck with an AK-47. No serious investigation began until the media began reporting on the story. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Eman Helal

Egypt

Eman Helal is an Egyptian documentary and news photographer. She began her photography career working in local newspapers and as a stringer with The Associated Press, Polka Magazine, and Stern magazine. In 2013, she was named one of Magnum Foundation’s five Human Rights Fellows and also participated in the NOOR-Nikon Masterclass in Conflict Photography in Bayeux, France.

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