Thank you.

I apologise to anyone who felt offended after my boyfriend’s well-intentioned post asking for donations towards my future documentary. I promise it was done with the purest of intentions, even though it may not have appeared that way. I am sorry that it was misinterpreted as an attempt to exploit the situation (and the situation of so many other female sufferers) for financial gain. James was simply responding to multiple suggestions from friends and strangers alike to set up some kind of fundraising scheme. As has been reported, I am a student journalist. I therefore have had minimal funding, no production team, and this is the first documentary I was making in order to complete my postgraduate study. That is why funding is an issue. But I have since removed the post to avoid causing further offence and provoking misinterpretation. I do now believe it was a naive and unprofessional move to allow the donation request to be posted. I do apologise – I am trying to make all the right decisions and respond in the best way to all this, but it is quite difficult.

A huge thank you to every single person who has offered such immense love and support since I submitted my first blog post. I genuinely never imagined it would receive such media attention – I simply hoped to spread some awareness among my social media contacts. In all of my interviews and reports, I have tried to remain honest and emphasise that my intentions are not to profit from this experience, but instead to spread awareness and help to bring positive change for other women affected by sexual harassment in Egypt and elsewhere. I feel it’s no longer really about me; it’s about what good can come out of this.

I understand many of the criticisms that have come my way. I understand that I was naive and, arguably, stupid to have been near Tahrir Square. I take full responsibility for poor judgement in this respect. However I did not simply march into Tahrir Square with a camera held up high; I was so captivated by the atmosphere on the bridge that I just kept walking, and tried to turn around as soon as I released how close to Tahrir Square I actually was. Again, my lack of spatial awareness was my own mistake, as I was not familiar with the area. I had felt so safe on the bridge surrounded by women and children, and I wish I had turned around as my friends and I had originally planned, before we became caught up in the wonderful, celebratory atmosphere.

I understand why many people feel I am foolish to plan to return to Egypt. But I will take a long time to prepare for my next visit, will set up a wide support network to ensure my safety, and will never take the kind of risks I did last Sunday again. Moreover, I feel a sense of duty to bring something good out of all this, and I feel that I am now in a privileged position to produce a documentary that offers a deeper insight and can really make a difference to the situation by spreading greater awareness. I also want to meet with women  in Egypt who have experienced, and continue to experience, horrific sexual abuse, so they can finally make their own voices heard. I do not wish to hog the limelight; I want to  highlight the suffering of many, many other women to a UK (and hopefully even wider) audience.

So thank you to everyone who has offered love and support. And an overwhelming thank you to all those who helped me that night – I probably would not be here without you. You are the true heroes.

Thank you so much to those who offered donations before I removed the post from this blog. I hope to maintain your interest as I move forward and continue with this documentary. God bless you all.

101 thoughts on “Thank you.

  1. Pingback: It’s the Patriarchy, Y’all « engendering equality

  2. I am amazed at the comments are leaving here. To try to blame you for what happened because you “should have known better” is ridiculous. This did not happen to you because you somehow “asked” for it. It happened to you because the men in that crowd made a decision to assault you. If women are not safe simply walking in the street, the problem is not with you or any of your actions, but with the society that allows that type of violence against women. The burden of preventing sexual assault falls on the offenders, not the victim. So many of the hurtful comments here can be summed up as “What were you thinking? Women should stay hidden and in their proper place. Don’t participate in the celebrations- those are for men. Don’t expect any respect from the men in Egypt; you should expect to be assaulted and it is your fault if it happens”. This is classic victim blaming. Certainly you put yourself in a dangerous situation, but journalists do that all the time as part of their job. Male journalists are lauded for their bravery when they put themselves in harms way, but women are told they are stupid and deserved what they got.

    • i think you should do a documentary on the women of Egypt,if they actually exsist,and how exactly they maintain their dignity in a society where a woman is just a piece of flesh.And what is the deal with their burrkah ? what is it for……..shame.

  3. WoW that reminded me of Michael jackson “Thriller” lol

    I really cant blv that any sane person would believe this story!

    Did you really buy this shit! you really believe that exaggerated story that if someone told me it happened in 18th century i would laugh and think of it as a joke!

    Suddenly while she was walking hundreds of men decided to get that chick and gang bang her! after she crossed that line all men became so evil but 5 seconds ago no one even looked at her!

    Well i just laugh when i read her story and i laugh even more when i find others who believe that girl! she need to get her head examined! really did you buy this crap LOL

  4. There are lot of doubts about your story now everyone in Egypt including media and authorities are doubting your story and no one at Tahrir square saw it happening even the ambulance shown on CNN Video was an old video!!
    Well now you will have to show you the medical report you got from the hospital and also how come no single person in Tahrir square saw it happening!!
    Shame on you if you made up this story for donations or what so ever! You will regret that! what goes around comes around Natasha!!

  5. You have my heartfelt sympathy, Ms Smith. It’s appalling how quickly people can devolve into the basest existence. Please, recover from this incident. It’s not fair this happened to you.

  6. Sorry to say that but this young woman aint saying the truth

    No one saw her at tahrir square and no witnessed what she is talking about, the square was full of religious people from Muslim brotherhood and salafies and some protesters who will never ever commit such crime and even if this happened by some outlaws they will be killed for doing so by those religious people and protesters

    Also Tahrir square isnt Las vegas! anything happens in Tahrir square doesnt stay there! it is transferred right away to the whole world through twitter and facebook and all egyptian news websites and also there is a sat channel broadcasting 24/7 from tahrir square called “Aljazeera live Egypt” and Natasha’s story wasnt mentioned at all except by the so called victim!

    This Student is exaggerating and lying and thought about that nice story to chase her 15 min of fame

    Not mentioning that her boyfriend asked for donations to help her recover on her websites before people start commenting on that donation request saying she made that story up to get money and donation and i still have that page open on my blackberry but then she deleted hat donation page and posted a thank you page

  7. I am Egyptian. I am so sorry for the cruel and inappropriate acts you faced in Tahrire Square. You were brave and I fully respect you.
    Please don’t hesitate to complete your documentary. May our Great Allah bless you and keep you intact. I look forward to seeing you soon in Egypt.
    With kind and warm regards.
    Eng. Kamal Sarhan

  8. Hello again
    How are you?

    You dont need money and fame out of this, you can make history and change history by it.

    • What the hell? How many of you fucking psychopaths are there in this world? Are you just more highly represented on the internet, where you can safely hide behind your computer screen like the worthless cowards you are? Seriously, fuck you. I wish there was a hell for sub-human creatures like you to go to. May your life be short and your death slow and painful.

  9. You have the love and support of many people here. Bravo on your bravery, I wish you well. Please, do not engage in blaming yourself or calling yourself foolish. You did nothing wrong.

    To the trolls taking this as an opportunity to post sexist and liberal-bashing screeds against our host, your abhorrent cruelty and inhumanity are showing, and your ilk are well known for what you are. Kindly take your keyboard-mashing barbarism somewhere else. Natasha Smith has opened up to us in a very difficult time. This is no time for showcasing your jerkishness.

  10. I don’t feel in a position to comment on what you already well know about where you were much better than anyone who wasn’t there and isn’t you. I will say, one doesn’t need to go all the way to the Middle East for this to happen and it isn’t confined to Egypt or anywhere else. This isn’t the first time in world history this has happened nor will it be the last ever either. This being said, in many ways the world is relatively safe, but it looks very different after such an experience. However, it did happen in Egypt and was done by Egyptians and people who profess a specific religious faith I’m sure – that doesn’t make it representative, but that can’t be ignored either. Meanwhile there were men who protected you and defended you who were also Egyptian and doubtless of the same faith. Where does that leave us in the media world that likes lables, groups and to gin up conflict in order to make media sales?

    Unfortunately, all groups and countries have their share of “vermin” in them, some more some less. Crowd mentalities, mobs and celebrations will not stand as an excuse for such behavior at the last day, and it’s a shame that a place that you came to love revealed its ugly side to haunt you forever.

    I am a veteran police officer now working towards my doctorate in psychology and one of my specialties so far has been sexual deviance, and in this I’ve had my fair share of encounters with victims of all types across a litany of crimes.

    I wish you the best as anyone would have a difficult time recovering from this, telling you that “you are wrong” for how you feel or what you think right now isn’t what you need.

    At any rate, I just thought I’d drop you a line to wish you well in your recovery and perhaps I’ll get to follow your works in the future.

    Oh, and about money for your projects? Money is NEVER a problem. You just gotta know where to look and who and how to ask😉

  11. Natasha, How do you expect the local Egyptian to change their attitude from a foreigner’s experience? They will believe you are intrusive and belligerent into dictating what their belief is wrong. What they currently believe now has taken generations to evolve into being. An example of their current mentality is their popularly voted leadership’s first action is to call for the release of a convicted terrorist plotting to bomb U.S.!@! You are an innocent but NAIVE victim of mob violence. Produce your media but stay away from the local Egyptians. Or bring a Burka and….excuse the crudity….a box of condoms….because you are purposely heading into harm’s way out of idealist, book-smart, and arrogant belief that other people will change because of your experience. Change will only come from within the people and that takes time.

  12. I am amazed that everyone would start bashing you and your boyfriend for the requested funds donation. Of course, we live in a world where the victim of sexual assault is usually the one questioned and judged. Obviously, none of THEM knows what its like to be a journalist, putting your own self at risk to help tell their stories. You were very brave to have chosen such a worthwhile, even if dangerous, topic. The story of women still needs to be told.

    I was a journalist, and I was sexually assaulted in my childhood (not nearly in the same way). You are an inspiration because you are soldiering on and are dedicated to the cause – not only for your own education, but to complete the work that shares the burdens, pains and triumphs of women around the world.

    Bless you and may you one day feel whole again. I can say for me, it did get better over time. Maybe for you it will too.

  13. Being close or into Tahrir square should have been very safe, even more safe than anywhere else, but what happened was truly shocking and not to mention that it was on purpose, by who, well some will not believe me or say I’m over-judging, but truly, this was done by the Ex-regime supporters.
    the question is why?, well simply because they are trying to show the world and especially that you are a foreigner the news will be everywhere, anyway they try to show and convince the world that this revolution and those rebellions are a bunch of fucking bastards.
    and the second reason is that most of them are already low-leveled criminals and drug addicted maniacs!

    anyway i’m really sorry for what happened to you and my apologies in behalf of the egyptian nation and behalf of the egyptian revolution.

    • Well who were in Tahrir square were saying we r the revolution we are the anti-ex-regime we are here to be continued…this wasn’t done by the ex-regime supporters but by the fkn bastards in the square

      • well, if you have read what i wrote accurately, they are but of course they won’t say so or else they’ll be beaten by the revolunists.
        anyway no hard feelings toward your words.

      • huh!!!! u said “by who, well some will not believe me or say I’m over-judging, but truly, this was done by the Ex-regime supporters”. ppl at the square weren’t the ex-regime supporters !!! watch ur words n u will understand my comment…maybe u wanted to say sumtin and wrote another thing !

      • aw the bastards of the square !! so you were one of the bastards when you were there in the revolution

  14. i dont feel the need for you to apologise simply because your human and it was not your fault for what happened to. Why should you have known better because really why should this happen in the firt place any way. Dont worry this is human nature that you hould feel this way we allways end up blaming ourselfs I now first hand…..love justina

  15. OMG, this is the most unbelievable story ive read in a long time. A left-wing political correctness-geek goes to egypt to cover how “islam is peace”, gets assaulted, and now lectures the others on how the incident is to be interpreted – that there has to be MORE political correctness???? We have a saying in Germany – people who “have not heard the sho” – meaning somebody who is incredibly stupid because the even was right before his eye and he just REFUSED to see it

  16. i hope smith read what i’m writing
    i say to her , we as Egyptian we are sorry and this few doesn’t represent all Egyptian
    we are sorry again

    BR,
    Ahmed

  17. … I don’t know where you’ve got the impression that she is a stalinist, socialist or communist…?

    Leftish and want-to-be-a Journalist are correct but not, as you’ve implied, bad things… I think perhaps you are on the wrong blog…

  18. To Natasha Smith: Please do not waste another keystroke apologizing for doing absolutely nothing wrong. You owe nothing to these cretinous trolls, who are probably not much better than your attackers. I am very impressed with your courage and strength after having something so terrible happen, not to mention your clear-mindedness with respect to the Egyptian people as a whole. It is inspiring, to say the least. What you need right now is support from your friends and family, not the careless commentary of anonymous sociopaths on the internet. I hope that you are getting the support that you need, and truly, I wish you the best.

    To those of you making tasteless jokes, sordid accusations, or giving her your absurdly calloused and unsolicited career advice: Go fuck yourselves. You have no class, no decency, no humanity. The fact that you’re more worried about a rape victim getting sympathy donations than about the fact that she was raped speaks volumes of your moral derangement and depravity.

      • Under Scots law, at least, it would class as a serious sexual assault which carries pretty much the same sentence as rape.

        Go fuck yourselves.

        Please. The act of onanism can bring pleasure and satisfaction. It must never, ever ever be used as a gesture of contempt!

        ~alec

      • So you felt that the only thing worth commenting on was my use of the word “rape?” It bothers you, does it? – that this term is used for a vicious sexual assault with numerous participants…because they just used their hands? Well, sorry if I think your priorities are completely fucked up…and also bespeak a desire to downplay the severity of this event.

  19. I’m sorry for what happen to you. We are hoping taht the future will be better for us and for you.
    I hope that the people who did that to you will be punished severely with no mercy.

  20. natasha i am one of the people who were in the tent when you have the accident i am telling you you are welcome again and you have to return egypt as soon as you can dont be worried about anything there are no more thugs in the square🙂

  21. Natasha , i read comment from James and he told he make paypal for you to help you to return back to Egypt to make a new documentary, which will be shaped by your own experiences i need to give you help on Egypt and i wanna to be with you at Egypt when you do this great project pleas accept my invitation to go and round with u when you do this documentary

  22. Here I would like to deliver a deep apologize on behalf of Egyptian people. It is the desire of all pro-Mubarak to keep such sinful acts to destroy the image of the Egyptian revolution. Please let me know if you still need any further information to complete your work that I might help with.

      • There are “good” and “bad” people in every country and every society. How we treat others is a direct reflection of ourselves and that includes how we communicate with one another – right here on this blog.

  23. On behalf of the Egyptian people – we are very sorry – I do not know what to say but unfortunately in a lot of flute Egypt who do not want this revolution to take place and there are many people who are not educated and very poor and wish the revolution make them educated

  24. Something i wnna you to know,Next time when you’re making it back to Egypt don’t go to Tahrir square as it’s not Egypt…its not reflecting what the Egyptians want…it’s not the revolution anymore !!! it used to be but no more,now its a plce of venders,trouble makers,gangsters,drug dealers n jobless ! yep its is and its no more the revolution….you can know the news from tv but don’t go to the square unless its real revolution like in 25th of jan ! know who’s there and what are their requests,and this will be your clue if they are demonstrators or not….i don’t go to the square anymore even the good faces of the revolution(watch the old videos)don’t go anymore there

    • why are you talking about revolution and tahrir squar you dont even know what revolution i think you were a mubarak supporter dont talk about revolution the ppl who did it were maximumly 10 milion so why do you call it revolution it doesnt it didnt reflect what all egyptians want there were some who wanted mubarak

      • How come you know if i wanted Mubarak or not !!! BTW i was at the square at the very beginning when it was a real revolution,made by the educated ppl and who love Egypt…..when there was no gangs…no venders no ASSHOLES…..and even if i wanted Mubarak(which is not true) it’s not your damn business….this is democracy….the opinion and the opposite….and you have said it THUGS…just THUGS now at the square….not all of em sure but %95 are THUGS and gangs

      • what happend to natasha could have happened to her any where else . the matter isnt with the place where the crime was the matter is with the criminals themselves. and sth for you to know most of the ppl who made the rev. were not educated because we did this rev. because of the unfairness and persecution of the exx regime it doesnt have any thing to do with education. the square now has revolutionaries who wants specific demands and of course there are some thugs who are every where else

  25. Natasha, I am sorry you suffered so much. I would like to donate to your cause if you would let me know, by email, how.

  26. This whole story reads like a deliberate attempt to capitalise and I am not sure she is telling the whole truth about any of this. Weird how she writes about it and promotes it…t here’s so much detail it’s like she really is trying to titillate the reader. And then she asks for money? I don’t know what this is or who she is but it doesn’t sound like journalism.

    • She’s a journalism student. Such people may not know the correct protocol.

      If you have any evidence that this is a shake-down, please do provide it. In its absence, your comments come across as all those ‘honest questions’ about the conduct of rape prior to their attack.

      ~alec

      • What are you hoping to accomplish in your role as the comment police, Alec? If Natasha is going to be a journalist, she needs to open herself up to scrutiny like all the rest.

      • I know what you are, but what am I, Amy? You’re expressing one view, I’m expressing another.

        >> If Natasha is going to be a journalist, she needs to open herself up to scrutiny like all the rest.

        Don’t have a problem with that.

        ~alec

        Don’t

    • I totally agree. It all seems too calculated. No experience producing documentaries, no investors, no company supporting her, hardly any video experience, the video examples on her website look more like a student reel she made in college, no mention of a camera team traveling with her (just friends and I suppose a handheld video camera?). It just doesn’t add up.

      • I assure you none of this is calculated. I am a student journalist, and I am trying my best to deal with this situation in the most productive way. However I made a bad error of judgement in allowing the donation request to be published and I sincerely apologise for that. I am just trying very hard to get something good out of the situation: a documentary to give voice to Egyptian women’s own experiences. This will be my first documentary – as I mentioned, I am a postgraduate student. So all of my videos were indeed a student reel I made in college over the last year. And there was no team travelling with me, since it was my postgraduate project. Once again, I apologise for the misinterpretation caused by the donation post – it was my mistake to let it be published.

    • I dont think it was journalism, it was sharing of life by someone who happened to be journalist.That is precisely why she and everyone who suffers like it must be appreciated to speak up.Suffering in silence is so very much promoted for women, this needs to be eliminated.
      Btw, any observations on CBS 60 minutes where Lara Logan ‘opened up’ against barbarian society?

      • You have nothing to apologize for! You are a woman who was targeted because of your sex and your ethnicity while trying to raise awareness about the plight of egyptian woman. I don’t share your liberal mindset and think that egyptian culture is very much to blame and Islam somewhat to blame for what happened but I see nothing wrong with asking for donations. What’s wrong with trying to do something positive of our terrible predicament. It isn’t like you were asking for money for your own enjoyment, rather it was for a worthy and good cause, to finish your project to try to raise awareness about womens rights.

        I think all the negative reactions you have gotten speaks badly of our (Western society) treatment of rape victims (Not that we aren’t better than the egyptians).

        You have nothing to apologize for!!!

        Be strong!

    • I assure you I am telling the whole truth, just as I told the Egyptian police, hospitals, and media the whole truth. This is no attempt to capitalise and I was never trying to titillate the reader. I was expressing my intense feelings after the attack through writing on my blog, which I never imagined would gain so much attention. I am a student journalist. I am trying my best to deal with this situation in the best possible way so that I can make my first documentary that will help women in Egypt, that is all.

      • What’s wrong with fundraising? It’s perfectly normal by golly. Politicians like holier than though Obama do it, religious snake oil peddlers do it. It’s perfectly legitimate for a burgeoning reporter to recruit sponsors. Don’t waste time apologizing. Apologies should be limited to an absolute minimum. Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead.

    • all what she said is truth i saw the accident i was there but i didnt know that she is a journalist but when i read all about her i know that she is a journalism student and dont talk about her that way you dont know how much she suffers you are so mean

  27. I’ve never heard of a journalist who asked the people that he/she was supposed to be covering for money. I realize it was a painful and life-shattering event, but to go back to the people you were covering, and ask them to pay for your new equipment and medical expenses is completely unprofessional. If you cannot afford (financially AND emotionally) to take the risks that so many other journalists take, then I don’t think you should be doing it at all. It’s a scary and risky business. Journalists are killed, imprisoned, tortured, and left with life-altering post-traumatic stress. They don’t, however, go back to those countries to ask for financial paypack. That is wrong, Natasha. You should have consulted with actual journalists or with other women in your shoes before you published the donation page.

    That said, I do applaud your courage (actions and words) and I truly hope you are spared from any other nasty and unfortunate events. Please just use caution and professional judgement when embarking on your career.

    • I understand your point entirely Amy, and I apologise for not taking greater caution and having better judgement before allowing the post to be published. As a student journalist, all this is very new to me, and I am simply trying to make the best decisions in order to make a documentary that will give voice to Egyptian women’s own experiences. Once again, I apologise for this unprofessional and ill-considered move. Thank you for your understanding.

    • Why are you so judgemental towards natasha? You have obviously never heard about citizens journalism. In this time, meaning the 2000s, it’s quite normal of bloggers and citizen journalists to ask for donations on their blogs and webpages to help with their expenses in covering events that you cannot otherwise cover without high personal costs. Many bloggers who cover military subjects and have embedded with western troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to do so thanks to donations from their readers. I think this is a great form of journalism, where readers can donate to get a different perspective than mainstream media offers. Since the journalist remains completely independent I think it’s excellent. One of the wonders of the Internet, I’d say.

  28. You are delusional if you think you can change thousands of years of bigotry and misogyny. Also your boyfriend shouldn’t be pimping you out for donations he should be keeping you safe. Both of your political correctness is deeply misguided.

      • Seriously. If your reflex upon hearing of someone’s abuse and assault is to demean and insult them on the Internet, you should take a good, long look at your life values.

      • Oh Lauren, you might be a little sheep, but I question the motives and actions of people who publicly play out their little self aggrandizing, moneymaking schemes under the guise of martyrdom. Also, shove it up your ass. Oh wait, I know some dudes in Egypt who could help you with that!

      • Clearly Kate, you believe that Natasha has over-stepped some line of good taste and now no longer deserves the sympathy afforded to victims or rape and serious sexual assault. Help me, out, though… where does this line lie?

        What is a victim allowed and not allowed to do? Remain a passive victim, maybe?

        And who serves as arbiter on this monitoring of good taste? You? IIRC, you identified yourself as a victim of sexual assault. We must assume that your status as such is unassailable, thus giving you the right to make breathtakingly unpleasant ‘jokes’ about rape.

        If I were being cynical, I’d say I don’t believe you.

        ~alec

      • A little sheep? I am not a sheep. I know both of these people and your comment is really pathetic. It seems someone like you should probably be the one to go through something like this! Maybe then you wouldn’t pass judgement on an experience you couldn’t possibly understand. Your finishing sentence of your reply just about sums you up doesn’t it ‘Kate’? You are a pathetic existance. Oh and the only reason James set up a Paypal is because OTHER PEOPLE were asking them to set up an account so that they could donate and support Tash. Go back to hiding under your bridge, Troll. Soon there won’t re room for disgusting things like you.

      • Alec, you are confusing me with someone else. I have never said I was a rape victim. I have not been raped. It’s a terrible thing what happened to Natasha. If I had a personal friendship/relationship with her I would be livid. But this is the internet and I’m critical towards their seemingly naive attitude. I don’t like Islam and what it’s doing in the world. And I don’t think we can kill it with kindness.

      • That’s why I said IIRC. So, I was wrong. Okay.

        I stand by the rest. Where d’you draw the line? Is it you who acts as arbiter? D’you make a habit of turning-up at rape clinics and jeering at the victims?

        ~alec

      • Alec, sorry I didn’t know this was exclusively a pity forum. Then it should be closed to the public. I’m off to the burn victims center now to laugh at patients.

      • No, Kate. There’s constructive criticism, or even heart-felt disagreement.

        Then there’s talking about getting “Egyptian dudes” to “shove [something] up [her] ass”.

        ~alec

      • J, I am sorry if I am being dense, but are you saying I have been judged badly?

    • I apologise for the misguided donations request – I should not have allowed it to be published. I am a student journalist trying to deal with this in the best way but I am making some mistakes. I want to make a documentary to help women in Egypt, that is all. I would appreciate it if you could refrain from making some of your more hurtful comments.

      • This is not your living room and we are not your friends and family. This is a public website where you have invited the world to participate in a political discussion. Your account of the events is highly political. I find it hard to believe that a person who just experienced an unspeakable sexual assault sits there naked and bleeding, patiently making eloquent speaches to bystanders. Making excuses for the culture and religion that spawned her attackers. And later planning to go back as a show of her infinite forgiveness.

        It’s not journalism to present us with a story and then get indignant because everyone doesn’t share your views and interpretations. You have made it out to be about you, plucking at heartstrings. That makes it so easy to deflect critics by calling them callous.

        I also find it incredible, all politics aside, that a boyfriend would react as James did. So understanding and tolerant of the system that hurt you. But I assume you are all very traumatized and haven’t collected your thoughts.

      • Kate, the problem is you are not talking about politics, you are hurling personal attacks against Natasha. Why can’t you be critical of Islam yet show some respect towards a rape victim? I strongly dislike Islam, and think that Natasha was somewhat naive the day she was raped, but that doesn’t stop me from assuming a sympathetic position towards Natasha. Talking about how her boyfriend is pimping her out and how she is delusional is hardly going to have the desired effect, eg to open Natashas eyes to the brutal backwardness that is Islam. The tone of your comments is why you are being called callous.

  29. There are enough women in the UK who could use your help.
    Save yourself the trouble of trying to change to change Egyptian (Arab) culture. If they want to change, they will eventually do it themselves. You cannot change a culture as an outsider other than by applying brute force.

    • And, equally, abused women in this country have their defenders – both individuals and groups – and the expectation that the legal system will protect them or, heaven forefend something happens, pursue their attackers.

      This is not to say there is room for improvement, but only the morally deficient would compare the situation in Egypt to that faced by women in this country.

      Where I might have disagreed with Natasha’s attitudes a fortnight ago towards Egyptian society was that she appeared to perceived the risk to women – European or Egyptian – as akin to late night in Sheffield or Leith or Nottingham. Not something which could rise-up with such bestial ferocity in a public place, when surrounded by children and other women.

      Although this was optimistic, there were also Egyptian men and women who were prepared to risk their own safety to save her.

      There remains the opportunity to work with advocacy groups in the region who do not reduce Egyptians to ciphers to use in debates about the rights and wrongs of Anglo-American foreign policy.

      ~alec

      • This is a very good comment. I agree wholeheartedly and think that women in the UK would very much benefit from the kind of documentary that Natasha was intending to make in Egypt. It is for the people of Egypt to bring change from the inside in their own way and at their own pace.

        I feel extremely sorry for anyone who has to endure an experience such as Natasha has. I also think it is important to respond in an appropriate way. It is very good that the experience was aired and very, very unfortunate that so much hatred was stirred up in response. I believe that was in part due to the title of the piece which I feel was inappropriate and inconsistent with the account as written below it due to its “immediacy” as a “call for help” in the now which was therefore untruthful in the words that were used.

        I hope that women in Egypt will find a way to stop this kind of experience from happening to others and that if it is an issue, that Egyptian reporters will unveil it and hopefully Natasha might be willing to be interviewed for such a report.

  30. Its all right Ms. Smith , For all good intentions we have to keep up with manipulative interpretations.
    I sincerely wish one thing for you , whatever you like to do in your life, please make sure you consider your safety. I am absolutely sure that when you will remain safe and sound,it would be of more help to any cause you choose to stand for and for people who love you so much to lose.

    As for Egypt of current times, with my 2 decades of understanding the particular society elsewhere I can say for sure there are some dominant beliefs prevailing in the region which are simply not humane and working for their improvement comes with grave risk to self.
    I wish you hope,and good health soon and as everybody already says,I am proud of you too for speaking out. Keep it up.

  31. Well,i have seen the first blog…i felt weird at the beginning reading that you are (ur bf) askin fore some funds or donations but then i understood the situation,while some other might not understand it….and im actually happy that you removed it and this way you corrected ehat has happened.

    Are you serious you’re making it back to Egypt?that’s very brave of you,and nxt time take care wear trousers a bit more safer and don’t get near to the crowd or the demonstrations as if there is no sexual harassment their might be any other troubles thinking ur a spy or whatever.

    Apart of it is your fault but you never thought that this could happen,and what the stupid did in Tahrir square shouldn’t have happened so the big fault isn’t yours….

    Stay safe n god save you….BTW he heard you calling him and asking his help in Tahrir square and he did !!

    • Strange of god to not to anything until Natasha asked of help. And you really think god could have mustered a somewhat more forceful repsonse than letting her hide in a tent and being ignored by the people passing by afterwords. If I was all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good, i would have done far more to help poor Natasha.

  32. I applaud your courage to tell your story and hope you take the time to heal from this horrific assault. Do not blame yourself for what happened, ever. Disregard the hateful commenters who will do anything to blame survivors of violence and ignorantly insult entire civilizations for the only purpose of feeling smugly superior. They are wastes of space who have a gaping hole where their compassion and discernment should be.
    Wishing you all the best.

  33. Your boyfriend did nothing wrong. You did nothing wrong. You shouldn’t have to apologize, and whoever is making you feel that way is a jerk.

    I used to work in politics, and no matter what, somebody’s going to think you’re doing the wrong thing. Just ignore it. You can’t make everybody happy…and you shouldn’t feel like you have to live your life in a way to make everybody happy.

    If someone thinks you’re exploiting the situation, then they don’t have to contribute. I think you’re brave, and fuck everybody who doesn’t agree.

    • By the way, my first thoughts when I read your boyfriend’s email were: 1) She is lucky to have such a supportive boyfriend; and 2) She’s so very brave to already be planning to go back. Most people take some time off…but it seems like you feel it is necessary to go back and tell your story. I think that’s admirable. Screw everybody else.

    • Quite, Chardon. We saw in the previous blog piece a grimoire of freaks and ghouls shriek about Arabs and Islam, or – like Mr. F. Phelps turning up at military funerals to babble about gays in the military – berate her for in some way bringing it upon herself.

      Now we’ve seen another gaggle find an excuse to express their inner hatred.

      As much as updates on Natasha’s emotional recovery will be gratefully received, I do recommend that she and James pursue this through recognized groups. People in states of great emotional distress do say or do things which may not appear rational or thought-through.

      Because they are not acting rationally, and only a dickhead would try to demolish them for that.

      ~alec

      • Have you thought about merely entertaining that Islam is part of the problem? The weight of an argument is measured not by who brings it forward and whether the messenger has to you repugnant opinions, but whether it makes sense and is true. All facts point to that Islam is misogynistic, imperialistic, that it breeds contempt of “the other”, that it is undemocratic, that the religion can’t be separated from the politics of it etc. Nothing points to that Islam is compatible with modern western democracy and human rights. Muslim countries even explicitly rejects the declaration of universal human rights. How much evidence does one need???

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