- PhMuseum 2021 Photography Grant
Shame Less مش عيب
Dates2021 - Ongoing
‘عيب’ is an Arabic word and expression meaning shame or shame on you. Sexual harassment is a widespread and pressing problem in Egypt, as the country ranks second in the world after Afghanistan in terms of this issue. The United Nations survey in 2013 found that 99.3 % of Egyptian girls and women reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime.
Being an Egyptian woman, photographer, and having been verbally and sexually harassed in the streets, at home, and at work in Cairo, I am enraged by the problem's prevalence and normalization. One of the underlying problems that prevent women from speaking up and reporting assault is victim-blaming and shaming, which brings continuous trauma. I am drawn towards shedding light on and fighting the stigma around reporting assault and opening up about such experiences. The perpetrators are the ones who should be ashamed of themselves, not the other way around.
In مش عيب Shame Less, I am attempting to challenge and dismantle the stigma around speaking up and reporting an assault, by getting our stories and voices heard. Cultures of silence exist – it’s rarely the result of one individual’s actions. As Einstein said: “If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity”. In this project, I hope the work I do is deep and meaningful beyond the photographs. I am trying to create a catalyst for conversation, both about and with the human community that I am part of.