Najla Hariri is a woman who possesses two driver's licenses: one issued by Lebanon's Ministry of Interior and the other by Egypt's. You can add a third if you want to count in an international license. But since she is a Saudi Arabian citizen she cannot drive in her country's cities. But she does anyway! You can read more about this determined woman's drive here.
She's not a rebellious teen. Rather, she's a mother in her 40s who believes that "enough is enough". And how right she is. I do not understand how a female doctor, for example, can be entrusted to save a human being's life but not be allowed to drive a car.
So to Najla Hariri and all the other Najlas, we respect you, we believe in you and I salute you.
CBS Reporter Lara Logan was subjected to a "brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating" by a mob of 200 Egyptians in Tahrir Square on Friday after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
She was flown out of Cairo on the first available flight and remains hospitalized.
This horrific attack highlights a recurring problem in Egypt that both society and the authorities have consistently failed to deal with. As a matter of fact I wondered more than once during the protests against Mubarak that there were no reports of sexual harassment.
In 2010 there were several incidents of groups of Egyptian men assaulting women in public during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations. On October 2, 2008, and while most Egyptians were also happily commemorating Eid al-Fitr a mob attacked women in the streets, sexually assaulting them. Not even hijab and niqab wearing women were spared. Two years earlier, also during Eid, a similar incident occurred.
Violence against women is a despicable, heinous and cowardly crime.
I apologize to Lara Logan and other women who have suffered like her. I am sorry I speak the same language as these criminals, the defilers of our society.
The new Egypt must admit and face up to this problem. It must actively track down these marauding hordes. And then it needs to publicly name-and-shame them and then crack down so hard that these criminals will barely have time to look up from the hellish sewers they deserve to find themselves in.
Courage is not just about confronting autocrats; it's the act of repelling the evil within our societies, to stop blaming the outside world for our problems and to recognize that we are also to blame.
And while I'm at it this also applies to the cowardly acts called "honor killings".
A man on a long journey through a perpetual desert.
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