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Viral video of harassed blonde Egypt woman sparks backlash

The female university student can be seen with long, platinum-blonde hair wearing a pink top, matching pink shoes and fitted jeans. (Screen grab from CBC video)

A video of a young Egyptian woman with long blonde hair being aggressively sexually harassed by a group of university law students has sparked country-wide controversy.

In the video, the female university student can be seen with long, platinum-blonde hair wearing a pink top, matching pink shoes and fitted jeans, quickly attracting the attention of scores of male students.

While the woman appears to be walking fast to get away from the growing group of men following her, a shot of her face is not available.

Cairo University guards escorted the student off campus after she hid in the toilets from the dozens of male students who were allegedly trying to remove her clothes.

The bellicose harassment at one of Egypt's largest universities sparked outrage after the video went viral on social networking sites and was picked up by local media.

Fathi Farid, found member of the anti-sexual harassment group “I saw harassment,” said male students had verbally attacked the woman and attempted to undress her, AFP reported.

Blaming the victim!

The controversy deepened after law school dean Gaber Nasser said it was the student’s outfit, which he described as, “a bit unconventional,” led to the harassment.

“This girl entered the university wearing an abaya (loose cloak) and then took it off in the faculty, and appeared with those clothes, that caused, in reality -- but this doesn't justify at all [the incident],” Nassar said on private Egyptian channel ONTV.

While he was quick to add that her dress did not excuse the harassment, backlash ignited over implying that it was the girl’s fault.

Nassar later wrote on Twitter that he was misunderstood and that he was not blaming the student for the incident.

“I assure that this is not true and I apologize for the misunderstanding and I repeat that those who (harassed the girl) will be severely punished,” he wrote.

“The worst is that people always find justification for the harassment and blame it on the victim,” said Farid.

Women’s rights activist Mariam Kirollos said on her Twitter account that the dean “should be interrogated and expelled” and that “investigations into the incident should start immediately.”

Several popular talk-shows covered the incident.

“A girl is naked, does it mean someone should jump on her?” television host Amr Adib asked in disbelief.

 

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 19 March 2014 KSA 14:14 - GMT 11:14
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Viral video of harassed blonde Egypt woman sparks backlash
Cairo university dean implies woman at fault for harassment
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