Sunday, February 20

How Do You Explain this Egyptian Vingette?

It's midnight. I'm jet lagged. I have practiced every technique I know to still my mind. Yet sleep eludes me. They women activists from Egypt shared extraordinary stories and observations about their fresh victories, and I can't stop reliving the feelings they evoked in me with their determination, vision, courage, creativity, and wisdom.

Any woman who has walked any street anywhere in Egypt at anytime knows the prevalence of public sexual harassment there. The women leaders who were in the thick of the revolution shared with us that there was not a single case of sexual harrassment among the throngs of protesters out on the streets together day and night. Women were leading from the front--even at 2 in the morning.

And they reported that not a one of them had experienced harassment or witnessed a single incidence of harassment from the thousands of testosterone-pumped male protesters surrounding them. Several said it was the first time they felt truly proud to be Egyptian. Their stories were simple, powerful, non-ego centered, and evidence that they will be unable to ever go back to their previous culturally-defined roles. As one said, "I found myself walking differently as a result of January 25. I don't think I'll ever walk that way again."

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