A video of a woman called Basma (beebishay on Instagram) has received almost a million views in less than 24 hours where the girl is seen hysterically crying because a man took pictures of her at the Cairo International Airport when she was on her way back to Egypt from Lebanon.
According to Basma, the police were doing nothing and went as far as looking at the pictures with him. She said that the room was filled with 10 men passing around the phone to look at the pictures taken of her.
In her video, she claimed that these men are brigades (in her update video, this turned out to be false) and that the man who took her video had several other pictures of other women taken.
After seeing her pictures with her own eyes, the brigades claimed that she was lying and asked her to leave. However, when she tried to take the phone from the man, he physically assaulted her, yet the men in the room did nothing.
Seeing the trauma Basma was facing, everyone related to the video
Basma’s video went viral fast because the way she was crying and almost screaming was very relatable to many girls. You see the fear and frustration in her eyes, and you feel it yourself.
After the video, we didn’t get any updates for hours, making people worry and speculate over what happened.
I know personally, I had trouble sleeping because my heart was aching for her.
We wanted her to be safe, but more importantly, we didn’t want her to leave her right, and we wanted justice for Basma and all the other women on this man’s phone.
Finally, after 4 hours and at 2 am, Basma made an update.
Luckily, and what’s more important, she was okay. She looked a lot better than in the previous video and was even laughing and smiling.
She said that the man, who turned out to be an employee at the airport, has been fired from his job, though she never explained what he did at the airport, and that he left in handcuffs.
While we don’t know much about the employee, Speak up reported that his name is Tarek Abdel Wahed, but they did not mention his job at the airport.
Basma did what many of us could have been afraid to do! In a room full of 10 men who were violating her privacy, as well as her harasser, she stood her ground and sent that man to jail, where he belongs.
I don’t know the girl, but I couldn’t have felt prouder of her.
She thanked the police because they’ve been supportive, and she even said that they had over 20 pages of investigation done in these 4 hours.
Now we need to talk about the confusion that happened…
In her follow-up video, Basma said that the men in the room were just random men, and she mistook them for the police.
It is important to note that we should not be blaming Basma for being confused about who the men were. Under these circumstances, she’s lucky to realize they’re even humans.
Plus, she might not even know what a brigade is and what a security person is. Police rankings and uniforms can get confusing to some; we get it!
But we need to know that the police DID, in fact, take action.
Many people claim that the police only took action after the video went viral, which might be true, but highly doubtful.
Basma didn’t have many followers when she posted the video, almost 4000, and it took a couple of hours before it started to circulate heavily. If this were the case, she wouldn’t have stayed at the airport, and she would’ve definitely made another video asking for help.
In the follow-up video, even Basma herself apologized to the police, said that she was the one confused about who the random men were, and thanked the police.
With Basma correcting the police’s stand in the situation, it’s time we fix the story and stop discouraging women to report their abuse.
Look, I’m not tooting the police’s horn here; I don’t like them as much as the next guy, but promoting the idea that police will never help women is extremely dangerous.
Yes, the police screwed up big time in many cases, and maybe even in most of them, but promoting the idea that the police will never help is asking women not to report anything that happens to them.
I mean, why would I report my assault if 10 policemen will join in the harassment?
And you know what, what happened to Basma might actually happen by real police to some women. I’m sure it has. At the end of the day, the police are humans who still grow up in the rape culture we live in, right?
What I’m trying to say here is Basma bravely stood to her harasser and took her right. Let that be the outcome of the horrible experience the girl went through.
Please do not switch the narrative to the police harassing her and discourage other women from reporting their cases.
With that, these random 10 men need to be held accountable as well, whoever they are.
According to Basma’s follow up video, the harasser will be presented to the Egyptian public prosecutor’s office, and she will be attending extra investigations.
As of publishing their article, there haven’t been any official statements by the Egyptian public prosecutor’s office, or the Cairo International Airport.