On June 7th, 2021, Dina Hashish, Editor-in-Chief of Rahet Bally, made a post on her Facebook account about a discriminating incident she and her team faced at a cafe called Hookah in New Settlement.
Dina Hashish said in her post that she went with her team, which is extremely diverse, from blondes, brunet to all types of hijabi women.
She went to describe her team as a “United Colors of Benetton” ad.
“We are a team of Content Writers for 1.7 million followers, and the best thing about us is our difference because we deliver to all our followers regardless of their background.”
One of her team members, Noor, showed up two hours late, and, of course, the rest of the team was already settled in the cafe and ordered food and drinks.
According to Hashish, Noor came to her crying and told her she couldn’t attend the meeting because the waiters asked her to leave.
Why? Because she was wearing an Abaya. For those who don’t know what an Abaya is, it’s a traditional Muslim and Middle Eastern loose overgarment women wear.
Hashish said that she spoke with the manager, and explained that it’s 2021 and no one should be discriminating, in addition to the whole team being already there and they will be leaving soon anyway. She also explained in the post that the place was almost empty.
The manager explained that they have a dress code set by the cafe’s managers, and due to the cameras in the place, he personally can’t make exceptions.
Noor was kicked out, even after the women said if she leaves, they leave and can’t stay if she leaves. Again, it’s a work meeting.
They were kicked out midst eating and drinking, not even after. The so-called “dress code” for Hookah was worse than having their guests leave with food still in their mouths.
“The waiters ran after us in the street to pay for the food that we didn’t eat. We told him to let her manager pay after humiliating us.”
They asked them to leave before they got to eat, AND the waiters wanted them to pay for food they didn’t eat . You read that right!
After Hashish took it to social media, the post quickly went viral because of its ridiculousness.
A cafe called Hookah that’s made for Shisha claims to have a “dress code” that excludes the majority of Egyptians.
What’s even more ridiculous is the fact that these are the same people that cry about France banning Hijab when they themselves do the same thing!
But back to our story…
The cafe replied to people on the post after knowing who Dina Hashish is, who the people attending were, and how credible they are.
Instead of realised they screwed up, and apologising, they still claimed that these women just made this elaborate plan to steal 800 EGP from a cafe.
For full context, before being the editor-in-chief of Rahet Balley, Hashish was an Orthodontist who worked with Scoop Empire as a Senior Writer. Additionally, she was a scriptwriter for various shows, including Saturday Night Live بالعربي.
She’s someone I’m genuinely proud to have worked with briefly, and she’s truly an overall badass woman!
All of this information about Dina Hashish is written publicly on her profile, and they could have easily known who she was. But again, they think she only wants their 800 EGP.
And of course, due to the horrible, horrible damage control, the place shut down all their social media accounts.
Things got so bad that even Tripadvisor is aware of the situation, and they disabled ratings and have this message on the cafe’s page:
Message from Tripadvisor: Due to a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience, we have temporarily suspended publishing new reviews for this listing. If you’ve had a firsthand experience at this property, please check back soon – we’re looking forward to receiving your review!
Didn’t think it can get any worse? Oh yes, it does!
The cafe’s owner went around to the media and said that he is SUING the women because they didn’t pay.
Not just that, but he’s asking to have them arrested because they ran away from paying. And no, he absolutely did not kick them out of the cafe.
He’s claiming they made a problem with the manager, ran, then defamed them on social media.
Again, we’re talking about the content team of Rahet Balley, one of the most respected publications in the region.
According to his statement to Almasry Alyoum:
A report on the incident was issued and referred to the Public Prosecution Office for investigation. In addition, the girls are being called for their statements regarding the accusations against them.
As of publishing this article, the girls haven’t received anything from the Public Prosecution Office.
Now let us end this article with the best part, because we save the best for late, the cafe was playing Quran when they kicked them out. Let that sink in…
This whole story is just plain stupid and depressing. How are we still discriminating against what people wear in 2021? Why do we get too upset when this happens in western countries that don’t know better?
What happened is pure harassment. Harassment is not just sexual harassment; it’s in many forms, which is one of them!