Last year, a woman by the name of Somaya appeared on Reham Saeed’s TV show and shared her story that many Egyptian women knew quite well. She revealed that she was harassed inside Al Horreya Mall, which gave her the title “Mall Girl” on social media.
Last week, it was reported that the same guy who harassed her last year, waited for Somaya outside a pharmacy in Korba with a knife in an attempt to kill her. She luckily escaped him, but her face was unfortunately disfigured in the process.
A popular photo of Somaya with a bandage on her right cheek went viral — for all the right reasons. The victim started an initiative under the name #I_Am_Somaya on Facebook, asking women to share their own story with a picture of them wearing a bandage.
The hashtag spread like wildfire all over Egypt’s social media, and it shouldn’t be a surprise — only last week, BBC released a survey that dubbed Egypt as the most dangerous city for women.
Not only did the hashtag #I_Am_Somaya give women a platform to express how they feel about the disturbing phenomenon, it also spread positivity and unity. Women from all over Egypt are standing with Somaya, demanding that government provide her with the right treatments and medicine so she can move forward with her life. They also want the government to enforce stricter laws that can protect women from harassment.