The man slapped her in the face with the back of his hand. She fell on the ground, her nose bleeding, shouting shouting. A younger woman was wildly gesturing and yelling at the man with one hand while holding a baby in the other. Cars were slowing down, people were getting out, a traffic jam was created on the Corniche, but most seemed to hesitate in separating the couple. It was only when the man took the woman by her hair and started dragging her along the street that some male Egyptians interfered. Even still, no one seemed to truly separate the couple, and the woman charged at the man a few times, trying to hit and scratch him. The situation escalated when the fight moved from the pavement to the Corniche itself, where cars had to zigzag around the couple. At one point, the woman turned around and tried to throw herself in front of a car. The car avoided the suicidal attempt with a violent swerve. After more shouting and fighting, both seemed to calm down and stepped into a microbus along with the younger woman and the baby. In the microbus, the man gave the woman a kiss on the forehead.
This drama had unfolded a few metres next to us. I had felt a strong urge to intervene, but knew that would only have added fuel to the fire. The Egyptians had allowed the incident to drag on for too long because this was a married couple, and it is an unwritten cultural rule not to come in between a marital fight. The woman had disrespected her man in one ridiculous way or another, which had given him an apparently legitimate reason to strike her. Cultural differences are hardly up for comparison, as they are almost never black or white rather than shades of grey, but this is an exception. If striking a women is somewhat embedded in a culture, it is a sign of a lesser civilization. Most of us were quite shocked by this incident, but more because it happened out on the streets and because of its intensity rather than because it happened in the first place. Sexual discrimination is still a very real thing, in Egypt and worldwide, and it is absolutely disgusting. Women are delicate, intelligent, beautiful, soft and always right. They often stand a few steps higher on the moral ladder, judge people by personality rather than looks and show patience where men would already fume with impatience. With an amazing amount of compassion and boundless love, they tend to the weak, poor and old, stick to their husbands and raise their children. No man that strikes his wife can be happy. A man that uses brute force to abuse a woman is an empty shell. Women are admirable and should be loved at all times, especially one’s mother. Show gratitude to your mother more often than you do, she deserves it. I love you mama.