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The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk / Palace of Desire / Sugar Street

Fifteen stories were chosen that are representative of the specific cultural milieu of Cairo, a milieu that differentiates Cairo and Egypt from other countries in the Middle East. Two of the stories are first-hand accounts from those moments just as the revolution began in Tahrir Square.

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Since the heady days of the events at Tahrir in January , the voice — and the right to vote or ability to speak out — has become a central concern in everyday life in Egypt. The position of women in the public, political, and private spheres is also at the forefront of these discussions.

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One reason English-speaking Egyptian actors were cast is that none of the women Barry interviewed would appear on camera; yet, all very much wanted their stories to be told. It is through both writing and foregrounding the female voice that Cairo stories opens a space for embodying a new subjectivity.

She trained in architecture, art, literature, film theory and computer graphics and her work encompasses a number of disciplines including performance, installation, film and video, sculpture, photography, and new media. Cairo stories is a continuation of Not reconciled , a series of 'as told to' stories the artist has recorded in a variety of countries and cultures, and bears witness to the artist's long-term interest in the strength and the political implications of the voice.


This project would not have been possible without the tremendous generosity and effort of many people, each of whom, in different ways, was a key collaborator in the truest sense of the word. While many do not want to be named, I want to underscore how important their contribution is. My gratitude goes to the more than women who generously shared their stories, to the numerous remarkable translators who were my interlocutors and advisors, to the many other friends who put me in touch with interesting and interested women in Cairo, to the talented actors who gave voice to these stories in English, Arabic and German, and to the casting agencies, crews, post production and staging companies who brought this project to life, and to the many friends who also contributed in so many other ways.

Additionally, I am also grateful to the foundations, institutions, exhibitions, and galleries who have and continue to support the project. This project is dedicated to all the women and men who are working to bring about progressive social change, not just in North Africa and the Middle East MENA , but also around the world.

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Conversations and screenings exploring notions of representation, history, subjectivity, and translation. Cairo stories. Fields of Knowledge. Playlist play Cairo Stories: Suliya Sewing. Cairo was the third most dangerous megacity for women in terms of sexual violence or their ability to live without facing the risk of rape, sexual attacks or harassment.

Delhi and Sao Paolo were tied for the first spot.

Arabic – Three Ladies in Cairo

Attitudes about sexual harassment in Egypt are at the core of the problem. As in many places, though to a more extreme degree, women in Egypt are blamed for inviting sexual harassment for activities as benign as laughing in public.

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Those beliefs are inculcated in Egyptians from a young age, and are held by girls as well as boys. In , a group called Dignity Without Borders videotaped schoolboys and schoolgirls in Cairo talking about harassment. The boys explained how girls provoked harassment.

The girls began by explaining that harassment made them feel bad, but by the end of the video were listing the ways in which females invited the unwelcome behavior. There are few statistics on harassment in Egypt. The other three areas considered in the study were cultural practices, access to healthcare and economic opportunities.

Cairo was deemed the worst city for women in terms of cultural practices, which specifically considered female genital mutilation, underage and forced marriages and female infanticide.

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It was the second worst city in terms of economic opportunities for women, which looked at female access to education, ownership of land or other forms of property, and financial services. The only city that scored more poorly was Kinshasa. A Egypt Health Issues Survey found that roughly nine in every 10 females suffers partial or total removal of external genitalia, despite the practice having been outlawed in And 17 percent of girls are married before the age of 18 and 2 percent before the age of World Bank figures show that female participation in the work force was at 23 percent in , down from 26 percent in