Following are excerpts from an Egyptian TV report on common nuptial deflowering in Egypt, which aired on Channel one on October 8, 2009:
Obstetrics expert Dr. Rima Khafsh: One of the things that shocked me most was a girl, living in a slum, whose cousin told her that on the day of their wedding, he would deflower her at the bus station, as her father had insisted.
Interviewer: At the bus station?!
Dr. Rima Khafsh: Yes, in the street.
In other words – her honor is violated in public.
Dr. Rima Khafsh: They spread a sheet on the ground, and all the women encircled the girl, and her father said: He will take her honor in the street. If it turns out that she was a virgin, he will marry her, and if she is not a virgin, she will be killed then and there.
Interviewer: At the bus station?
Dr. Rima Khafsh: Yes, the bus station at Ein Siwa.
Interviewer: It is horrific that a father could insist that his daughter’s honor be violated in public, after raising her all her life to believe that her body is sacred.
Dr. Rima Khafsh: They did not actually kill her, but they killed her in spirit.
It is not rare for women to use an expression that accurately describes their feelings about sex with their husbands. They say: “After my husband uses me, I feel tired.”
Interviewer: Dear God.
Dr. Rima Khafsh: They feel their husbands use them and are not their life partners.
Egyptian woman: It happened to me. It was done in the “common” way. I didn’t want it to be this way, but it happened.
It is a moment of joy, but at the same time, it is not. It is a moment of joy because I am entering a new world with someone I love, and because I am a bride, entering a beautiful world, yet it becomes a painful moment. Losing your virginity this way is unpleasant.
They put you in a terrible situation.
All of a sudden, your dress is lifted, the veil comes up within seconds, and there is stress, and everything... Even though I am embarrassed and shy of him, I find myself completely naked in front of him.
Of course, it is difficult and unpleasant.
I see him at that moment, and my aunts and all my family are there, participating in this moment, even though I was still a virgin, I was embarrassed even if he touched my hand.
All of a sudden, I found myself in front of my family, naked, and so on.
I was thinking: Okay, I am afraid of this, but when I do it with him later, I will not be afraid. It will be with love.
I was afraid because I didn’t know what was about to happen. I didn’t know what to think. I just saw this white piece of cloth. I didn’t what they would do with all this.
Interviewer: We have Nadia with us. Nadia, you experienced “common” deflowering. Do you think this was a just thing to do from the social prospective, or was it like a castration of your personality?
Nadia: It was like rape.
The family and friends held a wedding ceremony, as is customary. When we left, I thought that my husband and I would be going home, and shutting the door behind us. Even if this had happened – if we had gone home and shut the door – I wouldn’t have had the courage to be naked in front of him. I was still shy.
Interviewer: This is a whole new life for you.
Nadia: They gave me no chance to get over my shyness, to talk to him. Neither did he. I saw my father standing outside. My aunts and my mother entered, looking like they were going to kill me, and he was helping them. My husband, whom I loved, was helping them.
I felt that he...
Interviewer: What did he say to you?
Nadia: He took off my clothes. He didn’t give me a chance to do it myself. He took off my veil, and...
Interviewer: My God, like that all at once?
Nadia: It was as if he couldn’t wait any longer.
Interviewer: This is an assault.
Nadia: Yes, it was an assault on me. That’s why I said this was rape. His attack was bloodcurdling.
When it was over, the women began ululating and whatnot.
Interviewer: Why ululating?
Nadia: They took the piece of bloodstained cloth outside and began ululating.
Interviewer: What did you feel towards him and towards your family at that moment?
Nadia: I was very angry at them because they did not trust me. Doing such a thing means they do not trust their daughter. They did not protect me. This is what made me so upset.
Interviewer: And after that?
Nadia: After what happened, I felt shivers of fear throughout my body. I felt that I hated him, that I didn’t want him at all. For four days, I was bleeding. I was also afraid. After that, when he desired me as his wife, I would feel fear.
Interviewer: You were closed...
Nadia: I didn’t want him.
Interviewer: Did you manage to overcome these feelings with time?
Nadia: A little bit, with time. But whenever I see a girl getting married, I say to myself: Poor thing, I hope they don’t do the same to her.
Interviewer: Couldn’t you say no?
Nadia: I kept expecting someone to say no – my husband.