He picked me up, just like a father would pick up his child.


I was in kindergarten at the time, going to a nearby school in Heliopolis. My apartment building was still being built so my family was one of few actually living there. At the same time, there were a lot of construction workers working on finishing the place.

I was 5 years old at the time. I came home from school that day to the usual hustle and bustle of the drilling and sawing. Little did I know all these men couldn’t be trusted. I made my way up the stairs not noticing that someone had come up behind me. It was only the first floor that I had to pass since I lived on the second. The man that had followed me up the stairs didn’t look like one of the workers I saw downstairs. He had light blue jeans on, a white shirt, and a leather jacket.

I still remember his face. Dark face, black bushy moustache, long black hair and dark eyes.

He came in front of me and stopped. I remember him saying things to me which I can’t really recall. I just remember his face and the things he did. He picked me up, just like a father would pick up his child. Except, I hope that a father never does to his child what this man did to me.

It was summer, so I was wearing my school uniform which was a light dress. He started to slowly put his hand up my leg and take off my underwear and then he started touching me. Not knowing why I was so uncomfortable, I started to shift my weight. I think he started thinking that he should hurry up, because he began to unzip his pants. At this point I was crying, I don’t even know why, maybe it was God, or maybe it was an innate sense of danger.  All of a sudden, the man put me down and ran away. He had heard someone coming up the stairs. This thankfully turned out to be my driver who had heard me screaming. He picked me up and took me home where I was safe.

I had repressed this until I was about 15 years old. I hadn’t given it the slightest thought until things started to happen. Awareness, mainly, opened my eyes. I think I have dealt with it, but I never would have been able to, if it were not for my Mother who told me that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

BuSSy is a performing arts project that documents and gives voice to censored untold stories about gender in different communities in Egypt. The project organizes storytelling workshops and performances where women and men step on stage to share stories about harassment, rape, gender discrimination, honor killing, forced marriage, Female genital mutilation, motherhood, domestic violence, child abuse, mass sexual assaults and many others, from different communities and cities in Egypt.

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