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The Purest Choice - Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
Chloé Sharrock / Le Pictorium
Caption :
Doaa and Shahid - Islamilia, northern Egypt
« I was ten years old and my parents told me that a big party was organized for me at my grandmother’s house. I had no idea what was going on. » When arriving there, dozens of relatives were gathered, but her questions to her mother about the reason of that event were left unanswered. «  I remember that a friend of my parents came discreetly to me looking upset. He told me to run away while I could, that I should escape. I should have listened to him.. » Doaa remember very well the exact moment she got circumcised. The biggest pain remains seeing her mother ignoring her cries for help when a local barber took her clothes off and held a razor blade between her legs.
It was only at university that she started exchanging about that practice for the first time with other women. And when she got married to a Palestinian man, she suddenly understood the abnormality of FGM. « I realized that Egypt was one of the only countries of the Middle-East to perpetrate such practice. My husband made me realize that most of the countries, including some countries following the Sharia, weren’t cutting their women. It was therefore naturally that we chose to protect Shahid from it. My family is still furious about it, but at least I have my family in law’s support. » Doaa is now a Humans Rights and Women’s Rights lawyer. Due to the severe breakdown on activists in Egypt, she can’t live with her daughter anymore for her protection.
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