The hauntings of tragedies past: A rape survivor shares his story

I was ten years old and living in a building with other family relatives and cousins. I used to be left alone with my older cousins a lot. They used to tell me that they would play with me with my toys. But they didn’t.

At the time I didn’t really understand what was happening. They would take off their pants and make me hold their genital organs. At other times they would hug me from behind, and make me lie on the floor and climb on top of me. The last time I was alone with them they told me they would teach me a new game.

Then they took turns in raping me. There were three of them. They told me not to tell anyone about that time or the times before. I never told my family about what happened. They tried to do it again but I managed to escape. They would tell all of my male neighbors who were my same age, and when I went out on the street, they would gang up on me and ask me which one of my relatives had the biggest penis. And beat me up and bully me so I would tell them what my cousins had done to me. After many years I began to process what had been happened. But, still I didn’t tell anyone, and I kept it all to myself.

Many years have passed since then, and I only used to remember it every once and awhile.  But now I think about it constantly. I don’t know what to do. My cousins are now older, they’re married and have kids. If I talk about it now I will cause problems for them and for their families.


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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