Here are some comments made on the Internet, on the subject (slightly altered, to make them more ‘readable’): ‘As I have been travelling to Cairo for so many years, I have been hearing similar confessions, especially when women meet around festivals. It is a very hypocritical world when music and movie stars are loved and admired, but ‘not in my family’. ‘The streets of Cairo are not the same as the streets anywhere in the USA, where women can walk down the street alone. Whenever I am in Egypt, I ALWAYS have a (male) escort with me.’ ‘I have seen hundreds of women go down with the ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ fantasy and then having to deal with beatings, rape, etc.’ ‘Certainly not the first time I heard about a dancer in Cairo getting evicted after someone discovered her profession.’ ‘It brought to mind a lot of past traumatic events that we as dancers, working in the Middle East as foreigners, gloss over and pretend it is not happening as our main income comes from working as dancers in that environment.’ ‘About 14 years ago I travelled back and forth to Cairo researching music for a PhD. One evening I was out in Cairo with several Egyptian friends and was attacked by another group of men, who grabbed me by the throat and started simulating sex. I was dressed in floor length, long sleeves and loose clothes. I was told later by an Egyptian woman that she thought I was very courageous to ‘fight off’ and scream at the attacker, because of the dishonour it would have brought on me (!!) and told me that she and her friend were taught to not mention these things happening to them and be ashamed about it. She told me that sexual assault was part of everyday life for her and her friends, veiled or unveiled.’
Interesting reads: Are Women Safe to Travel in Cairo, Egypt? By Aleya in Cairo http://aleyabellydance.com/2012/08/26/are-women-safe-to-travel-in-cairo/ Egypt’s sexual harassment of women ‘epidemic’/ BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19440656 Vocalising sexual harassment in Egypt? Aljazeera http://www.aljazeera.com/video/middleeast/2012/07/201273115148951462.html The prostitute complex: Welcome to Egypt, Mr. Freud! By Joana Saahirah of Cairo http://joanabellydance.blogspot.nl/2012/09/the-prostitute-complex-welcome-to-egypt.html?spref=fb Egypt’s sexual harassment ‘cancer’/ BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7514567.stm What happened to Egypt?! By Joana Saahirah of Cairo http://joanabellydance.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/what-happened-to-cairo.html?spref=fb The Whore on the 4th Floor. By Loonah (based in Cairo) http://kissesfromkairo.blogspot.nl/2011/03/whore-on-4th-floor.html Arts and Entertainment: Cairo Belly Dancers/ National Geographic http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/places/culture-places/arts-and-entertainment/egypt_cairobellydancers/ The Real Roots of Sexism in the Middle East (It’s Not Islam, Race, or ‘Hate’) By Max Fisher www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/the-real-roots-of-sexism-in-the-middle-east-is-not-islam-race-orhate/256362/
ISPAHAN Magazine, an Oriental Dance Glossy. Autumn issue.