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Rape crimes in India vs elsewhere: deliberate disproportionate reporting by international news
Actually, the following belongs in this thread too.

Islamaniacs, especially in the subcontinent, pretend to the public that in a dar-ul-islam females are treated well. Pakis have recently been pretending this over the hysteria the international christomedia has concocted about rape in India (mostly by christoislamics against Hindu women, the rest by pseculars).

The following is actually not news, it is a reality that permeates islamic countries (dar-ul-islams aka islamic hell-holes).


Quote:The Cairo streets where girls pretend to be boys

Life is hard for the children who scrape a living on Egypt’s streets. They deal daily with horror and hunger, but for the girls the struggle is worse – which is why some of them dress as boys. Patrick Kingsley hears their stories

[photo caption] ‘It’s not just girls on the street. It’s whole families now’: a young mother and her son at the Hope Village** shelter in Cairo. Photograph: Sima Diab for the Observer

Patrick Kingsley

Patrick Kingsley

Sunday 12 July 2015 07.00 BST

Last modified on Tuesday 14 July 2015 10.41 BST



Manal and Ahmed don’t look alike. Manal holds her infant son, who plays with the folds of her hijab. Ahmed looms from a photograph behind her, a baseball cap on his head. Manal is a shy young mum, Ahmed an aggressive young man. They seem like different people.

Except, they’re the same person. “That,” says Manal, pointing at the picture of Ahmed, “is me. And my boys’ clothes are downstairs.”

We are in a shelter for homeless women in Fustat, southern Cairo, the oldest district in the Egyptian capital. Not far away stands Cairo’s oldest mosque. A few of the women here, on the other hand, are examples of a much more contemporary phenomenon.

They are street girls – homeless women and children – who sometimes dress as men. Now 23, Manal is the mother of three children, all born on the street. She first became homeless when she was only eight years old. At 10, she shaved her head, and started dressing as a boy. Then she started taking jobs traditionally reserved for Egyptian men. She worked in a café. She drove a tuk-tuk. People who didn’t know her started calling her Ahmed. The name stuck.

“Boys get complete freedom on the streets – it’s different for girls,” Manal says of her choice. “I just wanted to be a boy.”

To understand why, or at least to try, is to understand a little of what it is to be a child living on the street in Egypt. There are homeless young people in every country of the world – including 1.6 million in the US alone. But the problem is particularly obvious in Egypt. Thousands of children and teenagers eke out an existence in the alleys and thoroughfares of Cairo. Many of them, like Manal, stay there even into adulthood.

To many Cairenes, they are only visible at traffic lights or on the curb outside shisha bars. They are the nameless faces who sell you tissues or beg for change from the other side of your car window, before disappearing in the vanishing-point of your wing mirror. They fall outside of most Cairenes’ lived reality, and as a result the discourse surrounding them also borders on the surreal. Mooted responses to their existence have ranged from the far-fetched – the creation of a special city just for the homeless – to the macabre. One columnist for a leading private broadsheet called for “widespread cleansing campaigns” in which street children could be “executed like stray dogs”.

[photo text & caption] Children lying on a large rug on the floor, some with a blanket over them, at Hope VIllage

Safe haven: children have a nap at Hope Village. Photograph: Sima Diab/Observer

Amid this hue and cry, the humans concerned are rarely heard from. And it is attempting to hear their stories that brings us to Manal and her comrades, to the social workers and psychiatrists who work with them, and the schools and shelters they sometimes frequent. It is work that leads from the streets in the shadow of Egypt’s presidential palace, to the road to the pyramids. From the cliffs of Mokattam, Cairo’s only hill, to ancient Fustat.


There in Fustat, amid the warren of streets where once stood Egypt’s first Islamic capital, sits a modern four-storey terraced house. Indistinguishable from the rest of the street, it has special significance for children and young people who sleep rough. This is one of the centres run by Banati, a charity for street girls, and it offers respite by day, and occasionally by night, to the likes of Manal and her friend Hadeel.

With a quick wit and an easy grin, Hadeel does not give the impression that she has had a hard life. But her story hints at the complexity and intractability of street life. She ran away from home at eight, and two decades later she is still homeless. She has had at least two marriages, each ending with her returning to the street, and in one case, in the murder of her husband. She has six children, two of whom live with her, while the rest are with their grandmother, who also lives on the street. Born outside the system, the kids have no birth certificates, and so no ID cards. To the state, they essentially don’t exist. So whether they like it or not, the life of their mother and grandmother is likely to become theirs, too.

“Right now, we’re working on the third generation of street kids,” says Hend Samy, a social-worker at Banati, who’s known Hadeel for years. “Now it’s not just girls on the street or boys on the street. Now it’s families, and they’re creating families on the street.”

How many people are in the position of Hadeel’s children, no one can quite agree. In January, the government released the results of a survey that said Egypt has little more than 16,000 street kids – 16,019 to be exact. But as recently as 2007, Unicef estimated there were at least 600,000.

“You can never know the real number, because you can’t track the children,” says Nelly Ali, a volunteer who works with street girls, and is writing a PhD about their experiences. “They move around. They don’t have birth certificates. And they die.”

The discrepancy is also a question of definition. No one agrees on what a street child actually is – not even the children themselves. There are those who are as young as six, and those closer to 16, not to mention superannuated street children like Manal and Hadeel. There are children who weave through Cairo’s streets by day, badgering shisha smokers for loose change – before returning home to their parents each night. There are the children who run away from home from time to time, before returning a few nights later. And then there are those who have made a conscious choice to leave home permanently.

For Ghada Waly, the government minister who released the 16,000 figure, this is the definition that makes most sense. Street children, she says over coffee in her office, are those who “left the governorate where the family is, and lost ties with the family. These sleep under bridges, [in] empty homes. These are the children who are most at risk. These are the ones we surveyed.”


But ask people on the street themselves, and you might get a different answer each time. Manal thinks the concept is much more fluid than the government makes out. A boy who spends most of his day in the street, and is part of the street’s complex hierarchy, is still a street kid “even if he goes home every day,” says Manal. “He’s part of the group on the street, he’s in the street, so of course, you can call him a street kid.”

Another street girl even thinks the term is only for “ignorant people” in the first place. It implies, says 15-year-old Nadia, that street children are all the same. But, in fact, street children each differ in terms of age, gender and background – differences that mean each child’s experience on the street is unique.

“There is no such thing as ‘street children’, no ‘street boy’ or ‘street girl’,” Nadia told Amira El Feky, a researcher on street girls. “The street doesn’t give birth, it doesn’t raise children, it doesn’t do anything.”

The cliffs of Mokattam jut unexpectedly from the suburbs of eastern Cairo, rare topographical landmarks in a city that is otherwise flat. At Mokattam’s highest point stands one of the outposts of a charity called Hope Village, said to be the first in Egypt to focus on street children. Down a quiet residential street, and high above many more, the house seems a world away from the melee of Cairo. But inside its walls, it nurses some of those most bruised by the city.

It is here that around a dozen teenage mothers are given respite from the street, and a safe space to raise their babies. And if few can agree on when exactly it is that someone becomes a street child, the stories of these women give a clearer sense of why some of them want to go there in the first place.

Years before she reached Hope Village, Maya left home at seven after she says her stepmother confined her to an imaginary circle in a single room for three years – a space in which she had to eat, sleep, and excrete. Finally let out, she was forced to become a maid for her younger half-sisters. A mistake in the kitchen brought further punishment: her stepmother cracked her skull with a garlic-crusher, before her father dragged her to the roof for a beating. Enough was enough and she left soon after.

[photo text & caption] The hands and arms of a girl, with bitten nails and cuts, shown holding a photograph of a group of 6 girls on a beach smiling

Better days: a resident recalls happier times. Photograph: Sima Diab/Observer

Twelve-year-old Farah refused to join her uncle’s prostitution ring. By her account, he then chained Farah up and raped her every day for months. Then one day she pretended she would do what he wanted. So he unchained her, and immediately she sprinted to the fourth-floor window, flung herself out, and broke several bones on landing. Miraculously she survived, and was hospitalised. After leaving hospital, she moved to the street.

Perhaps surprisingly, poverty is not typically something that in and of itself draws children to Egyptian streets. “Poverty is one of the things that causes families to become abusive,” says Mahmoud Ahmed, the centre’s manager. But it isn’t itself a primary cause – unlike repeated sexual abuse, or family breakdown. “A lot of the kids on the street in Cairo have siblings who are still at home,” says Nelly Ali, who has interviewed many of those who live at Hope, and who first recounted the stories of Maya and Farah. “If it was just about poverty, they’d all be on the streets.”

Society’s permissive attitude to domestic abuse is also a contributing factor to a child’s decision to run away. There are laws to deal with abusive parents, and hotlines to report them. But in a culture where many feel parents should have the right to deal with their children how they like, legislation isn’t always followed. “A man could beat his son to death in front of a police officer in the street,” explains Shaimaa, an in-house psychologist at Hope. “But nobody would intervene because it was his son.”

As a result, the street may literally become the only avenue left to abused children. And once there they become fair game for adults other than their parents.

It is 9.30pm and long past dark. Shaimaa, the psychologist, is in northeast Cairo, walking the streets of an upmarket suburb. Wealthy locals sip coffee at tables lining the pavements, or queue to buy ice cream from one of the city’s fanciest parlours.

If I go to help a girl being used by a group of men, then I’m a target. I’m taking a source of income from them

But Shaimaa is not here to meet them. As she often is, Shaimaa is searching for a missing teenager. Sarah was abused by her parents, became a prostitute, and ended up sold by her pimp to men from the Gulf who kept her in a flat in Cairo. Somehow she escaped, and later started turning up at a drop-in centre, where Shaimaa first met her. But now Sarah has disappeared again, and Shaimaa wants to find her. Some of the other street girls said she might be here in Korba.

It is often dangerous work, doing what Shaimaa does. Founded in 1988 by an expat Brit, Richard Hemsley, Hope Village now runs several day-centres and long-term shelters that aim to gradually rehabilitate street children back into mainstream society. Many of the girls Shaimaa coaxes into the shelters can’t stand the imposition of a routine – so, like Sarah, they sometimes disappear. One of Shaimaa’s jobs is to find them.


But finding them is tough. Coaxing a girl back to the shelter might disrupt a prostitution ring. In any given area, Shaimaa needs the blessing of the local street leader – otherwise she might get attacked. “If I’m going out to get a girl that I know is being used by a group of men, then I’m a target,” Shaimaa says. “I’m taking a source of income from them.”

Sometimes the attackers come to the shelters themselves. At one drop-in centre, four men once entered with machetes and said if a certain girl wasn’t returned to them, they’d cut everyone’s heads off.

And, occasionally, the threat comes from the girls themselves. In a fit of self-loathing, one teenager staying at a shelter stormed out of a group meeting, took out a blade and began to cut herself, slashing Shaimaa when she came near. As a matter of course, Shaimaa and her colleagues at Hope Village have bi-annual check-ups and immunisations against various diseases. Some of the girls they work with are HIV positive, or suffer from hepatitis C.

In such a thankless job, many of those who work at Hope Village have particular memories that keep them motivated. For Shaimaa, it is the image of one of her first patients: a nine-year-old who came to a drop-in centre after being gang-raped on the street.

“All these years later, that girl is still what keeps me going,” says Shaimaa, who thought the job wasn’t for her until she saw the nine-year-old playing at the centre. “I can’t forget her sitting so innocently on the swing as she was still bleeding from the rape.”

[photo text & caption] A doctor performs ultrasound on a girl at the Hope Village centre

Life line: a doctor performs ultrasound at the Hope Village centre. Some of the girls are HIV positive or have hepatitis C. Photograph: Sima Diab/Observer

Rape and coerced sexual contact is a regular fact of most children’s lives. Many teenage street girls will work as prostitutes. And even outside of formal prostitution networks, sex can become a kind of currency. To secure sleeping space on a floor for the night, or access to a station toilet, a street child might offer sex to a shopkeeper or an official as a matter of course. Kids as young as six have been known to offer sexual favours to male workers at some shelters. Their experiences on the street, where they are routinely abused, have normalised the behaviour.

In the street, both girls and boys are sometimes raped by groups of men who know they can act with impunity against children who, without proper paperwork, and without families, technically have no legal status. According to workers at Banati, girls are often “stored”, or locked in makeshift prisons for several days, before being gang-raped.

The brutality does not end with the rape itself. After a virgin is raped, rapists often carve a curved scar on the victim’s face, just below their eye. After subsequent attacks, vertical scars are left on the child’s cheek.

To escape the worst of the violence, a girl might try to avoid sleeping at night – or simply not sleep at all. “I could stay awake for three days or five days,” Yasmine, a 16-year-old, told Amira El Feky.

Other girls have a different self-defence mechanism. They pretend to be boys.

If I go to help a girl being used by a group of men, then I’m a target. I’m taking a source of income from them

About 10 years ago, a young homeless boy arrived at a street shelter in Cairo, saying that he was bleeding to death. The boy was a well-known face at the shelter, and the social-workers quickly referred him to the duty doctor to find out the cause of the problem.

The check-up revealed a number of surprises. First, the blood was caused by a period. Second, the boy – who had been coming to the shelter for months – was thus, in fact, a girl. She had shorn her hair and bound her breasts in order to both escape unwanted attention on the streets and to secure access to the male-only shelter. Until a few years ago, child rights activists and social workers in Egypt largely believed that only boys became street children. This bleeding girl revealed otherwise.


“This was a way for us to protect ourselves,” says Hadeel, her own son now peeping from the next-door room in Fustat. “We used to cut our hair very short, we used to wear trousers and T-shirts, so basically a man wouldn’t come and say: I want to take this girl, or I want to take that girl.”

For some, the aim is not just to avoid sexual assault, but to feel more at home in public space, which in Egypt is traditionally seen as a male domain. It allows girls to smoke, shout, or simply sit in the street, actions that boys can easily do without reproach, but girls can’t. Amira El Feky, a former academic who has researched this topic, explains: “All the privileges that men have – they can have them. They mock the whole idea of gender, they say: ‘Oh you think women are weak? Well I’m just not going to be a woman any more.’”

To make herself marginally less vulnerable, a street girl might also join what researchers call a “street family”. A mixed-gender group of around 10 street children, a family’s members protect each other, share their earnings and usually sleep together for safety.

The members’ work often divides along lines of gender. “The boys will do the muggings,” says Nelly Ali, “and the girls will do the prostitution.” Profits from a day’s work are given to the family leader – usually a boy who has proven himself to be the toughest of the lot.

Surprisingly, the leader is “often someone who’s younger than the others,” says Hope Village’s Mahmoud Ahmed, who’s researched the structure of street families for years. “It’s the person who’s proven to the others that they can do things the others can’t do.” Their unique ability might be practical: someone who can steal better than anyone else. Or it could be physical. A street child who can jump off a bridge without breaking their bones, says Ahmed, might quickly command the respect of his peers.

But the leader receives much more than respect: his word is absolute, and his family would almost always defend him with their life. In return, he gives his charges a collective identity, and offers them protection from outsiders. But within the group he, too, is a threat. “The leader has sexual ownership of the others – boys or girls,” says Ahmed. “He’ll carve sexual marks on them, continuously.”

And for girls, scars aren’t the only reminders he’ll leave.

[photo text & caption:] Play time: a girl behind a curtain at Hope Village. The centre is usually home to about a dozen teenage street mums and their kids.

Play time: a girl behind a curtain at Hope Village. The centre is usually home to about a dozen teenage street mums and their kids. Photograph: Sima Diab/Observer

Ain Shams hospital, buried in a north-eastern suburb of Cairo, isn’t most expectant mothers’ first choice. As a teaching hospital, many of its operations take place in the presence of a crowd of students. And as a teaching hospital, it is underfunded. So its doctors often have to pay for equipment, including blood transfusions, themselves.

But Ain Shams, and other teaching hospitals like it, is often the only choice for mothers who become pregnant while homeless. It is far cheaper than most other options. Entrance costs only 120 Egyptian pounds (around £10), a fraction of what it might cost even in the city’s state hospitals.

But for women who conceived on the street, there is a bigger price to giving birth at Ain Shams – that of their dignity. Many don’t have ID cards, so they officially can only access the hospital with a chaperone, ideally a husband. But if they are victims of gang-rape, they might not even know the father. So entrance is only provided after the most intrusive of interrogations. Then comes the long, painful labour – sometimes endured with only a few painkillers in a cramped hospital waiting room – before finally the demeaning birth itself, which might occur in the presence, and sometimes with the participation, of 20 students.

After a virgin is raped, the attacker carves a curved scar on the victim’s face, just below their eye

It is a sorry sequence, says Yara Younis, a newly qualified doctor who has campaigned for better treatment of pregnant homeless women at Ain Shams. “You have 12 hours on just one vial of analgesics,” she says. “Then you have 20 people sticking their hands into you, and then other people asking you why you’re there. And then maybe some others saying: ‘Why are you screaming? Stop getting pregnant so you don’t scream.’ I’ve heard people say that. I’ve seen people hitting them on their legs to stop them screaming.”

And then the cycle begins again. Campaigners at Hope Village* believe only 20% of the homeless people they work with manage to leave the streets. For their children, who are even less likely to carry identity papers, and who have only known the life of the street, it is even harder.

Manal has managed to leave behind the street, as well as her male alter-ego, and is now in accommodation provided by Banati. But she has only managed to bring one of her three children with her. The other two live with their grandmother, and social workers say they roam the city every day selling drugs.

This isn’t because Manal doesn’t care, says Hend Samy, her mentor at Banati. She’s doing her best – like all street mums. “They have a very deep sense of humanity with them. Even if they leave their child, they still want to be able to see them, they still want to be close to them,” says Samy. “When we speak of them, we shouldn’t forget that they are human beings. If we had experienced what they had experienced in terms of abuse, then very easily we could be one of them.”

Additional reporting by Manu Abdo and Sima Diab. Some names have been changed.

"Hope Village shelter in Cairo"

Sounds like christianism trying to get a foot in the door (in the islamic pardees of Egypt) and sell its own brand of paedophilia as the "solution". There's been a slew of 'international'=christowestern articles feigning concern for exploitation - especially sexual exploitation - of (girl-)children in non-christian lands, conveniently ignoring the same in christian lands and/or elsewhere perpetrated by christians themselves.

For example, recently, IIRC Deutsche Welle (DW) had an article on youngsters exploited in cafes in Japan recently. (Nothing compared to the above islamic case, obviously.) Predictably, the "native" vocalist 'informant' had been 'saved' by a pastor and had thus become a campaigner, recruiting others into christ's paedophilia circle I mean christendom via excuses like trying to "save" any Japanese youth from such situations.

So all such exposes as the above article - though in the islamic case the reality of child exploitation and trafficking is as gruesome and often more so than depicted - is from christian self-interest to launch christianism in such nations. I.e. an excuse for missionising. Especially in Japan, christianism has to sell itself to 1st worlders somehow: so christianism pretends it can bring 'morality'. What a joke. Christianism - together with islam - is the primary trader and exporter of paedophilia, abuse and [sexual] exploitation. Their moralising on Japan is even more laughable, where DW's report/interviewers/contacts had to focus with a magnifying glass.

Anyway, the point is, when next Pakis continue advertising that India is rape central (despite christoislamics being the #1 and majority offenders, and Hindu women being the #1 victims), make sure to remind them that islam is Da Rapist and when they have no kafirs to attack - as they do in India - they turn on their own muslimahs. And this is the rule in islam. There is no exception.

Hindoos should first drive the christoislamania infesting India into the abyss, and then go rescue the children [and vulnerable women, and infidels] stuck in dar-ul-islams and in christo/Vatican-controlled nations all over the world. E.g. catholic Philippines, where the situation for the "street children" is just the same as in islamic Egypt and other dar-ul-islams. The difference being that many of the predators are western christian "tourists" including the faithful clergy, besides local catholic clergymen and other faithfuls.

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Rape crimes in India vs elsewhere: deliberate disproportionate reporting by international news - by Husky - 07-18-2015, 08:34 PM

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