If you’re keeping an eye out on the latest news, then you’ve inevitably stumbled across the rape incident widely known on social media as the “Fairmont Incident” and “Fairmont crime” that happened during an after-party at the 5-star hotel back in 2014. The incident included
6 men, taking turns to repeatedly rape and degrade an unconscious 18-year-old girl after drugging her, writing their initials on her body and capturing the assault on video.
The heinous incident was kept in the dark for six years and only came to light following Ahmed Bassam Zaki’s landmark case that encouraged other rape survivors to speak up. The incident prompted a movement similar to the US’s #MeToo movement, raging across social media while authorities attempt to hold an official investigation towards the alleged rapists. But apparently, the six men, who happen to come from elite families are now committing a second crime using their power and wealth to silence the victim, threatening her life and exposing her if she continues to speak up. But is it that easy to silence us? Will people remain tight-lipped? They will not!
Recently, social media has been aflutter after writer Sabah Khodeir initiated a template and trending hashtags that read #IAmHer and #IAmTheFairmontVictim in her quest to #ProtectHer, encouraging people to use the template, write their names and stand in solidarity with the survivor; and we’re here to share the plea! The days when women were perceived as up for grabs, not entitled to react or demand their rights, are behind us now because we are now ready, more than ever, to break the cycle of passive silence and let go of the fear we’ve been tied to for a long time. We are willing to wage a war against those who put our safety in peril. But we apparently have succeeded to raise our voices, as the hashtag #IAmTheFairmontVictim as the top trending in Twitter shortly after the campaign was initiated.
With a steadfast heart, social media activists rushed to share threads of Instagram stories, sharing the template with their names on it, utilizing all resources and tools at hand to protect the victim with no intention of backpedaling no matter how many threats they receive. Templates that symbolize solidarity have spread a wider sense of belonging and togetherness, showing the lengths female troops are willing to go in defense of their principles, delivering a crystal clear message not just for the aforementioned rapists, but for anyone who feeds into a system of violence against women. We as girls will no longer anticipate defeat or shame and will no longer accept those with predatory behaviors to roam our streets freely, thinking they can get away with their crimes.
As some went on shaming the victim for speaking up, embedding a mentality that should’ve gone extinct a hundred years ago and supporting the concept of breaking bread with the perpetrators fearing what they call “social scandal”. We find ourselves in a fight not just against the predators, but with a whole patriarchal mindset that would rather live in denial than face a society that forces victimized women to pay double the price, leaving the true criminal unpunished. That’s why it’s essential, now more than ever, to support the front liners fighting their legal battles and on-ground efforts until we break the taboo altogether.