Egyptian authorities have arrested 13 teenage boys between the age of 13 and 15 after a video of mass harassment of foreign female tourists at Giza pyramids went viral. The incident happened on the 3rd day of Eid-al-Fitr at the famous pyramids near Cairo.
As seen in the viral video, a number of teenagers harassed 2 female tourists while they were trying to get away from the mob. Reminiscent of the sickening and terrifying Arab rape ‘game’ Taharrush, the mob of boys surrounded the girls and continued to follow them even when they were trying to get away. The person shooting the video said, “We want this video to be conveyed to the Minister of Tourism. This place is on the pyramid plateau on Eid al-Fitr. Countries harass foreigners.”
The video was shared on Facebook and then quickly went viral in the country. The video clip shows the pursuit and harassment of foreign tourists by a number of people in the area of the pyramids and the Sphinx.
While the tourists did not file any complaints after escaping from there, the security agencies moved on their own to track down the offenders after the video went viral in Egypt. Expecting such an incident, the agencies had issued strict instructions before the Eid al-Fitr holidays in the presence of all archaeologists to prevent any such harassment of visitors, whether Egyptians or foreigners.
What is Taharrush
The term Taharrush came to wider media attention during the Egyptian revolution when it was widely employed to attack female protesters. The ‘game‘ Taharrush is about large groups of Arab men surrounding their victims and then subjecting them to sexual assault. The attackers encircle the women, and while the inner circle assaults the women, the outer circle keeps anyone from intervening.
Apart from Egypt, this method of sexually assaulting females was observed in several German cities during the 2016 New Year’s celebrations, most notably in Cologne. German police in their report mentioned that the assault was similar to the Arab game Taharrush.
Complaints about a similar method of assault were filed in several European cities as Europe struggled to cope with this ‘cultural shock’ after a huge number of refugees from the Middle East in recent years. Neighboring Pakistan has also seen similar cases where women were assaulted by a large group after surrounding them in public.