Current Magazine

An African in Egypt

Posted on the 19 June 2011 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman

An African in Egypt
A bad thing happened on Friday. My Sudanese nanny, Suzy, was the victim of a pretty serious racist incident. Suzy is south Sudanese, of the Dinka people. She was on the bus to Rehab to come to work on Friday morning. It being Egypt, only one side of the bus had curtains. The older Egyptian lady in the seat in front of her told her to give her the whole curtain. Suzy said no, she would prefer to share the curtain.
The older Egyptian lady told her that she did not need the curtain "because she was black." Suzy asked her why she was being so rude. The lady replied "F#$^ your black mother. You Sudanese have no right to be in Egypt. I can make your day blacker than your face."
Suzy had the self restraint to just ask her why she was being so outrageous. The lady responded by hitting her in the face. Suzy, to her credit, did not hit back. Only one person on the bus came to her defense. A man behind her offered her his curtain. The rest did nothing.
Then, after suffering these ridiculous indignities, Suzy was detained by the Rehab security guards, who demanded to see her passport. She did not have it on her, so they held her for 45 minutes. She came to my house, apologizing for being late. I heard her story and was furious. I packed all the kids and her into a taxi. I went to the security location at the bus stop in Rehab.
As I have mentioned, Egypt is very very hierarchical. I am not. I do not like hierarchy, and it makes me feel sick to benefit from it. But, this particular time, it came in handy. I wore my American University in Cairo ID. I asked Suzy, and my fabulous Egyptian taxi driver (who only speaks Arabic) to translate for me.
I said. "I am a professor at American University in Cairo. This is my employee. She has been mistreated. An Egyptian lady hit her in the face, but you detained my employee, not the aggressor. That is racist, and I will not put up with it. Sadat's mother was Sudanese. There is no reason to treat the Sudanese badly. They are our neighbors, and our brothers and our sisters."
The guards replied that they knew I was a professor. They also pointed to their skin, and said how could they discriminate, they are dark too. I said, "That is fine, and perhaps it is not your fault. But my employee was called racist names, and she was treated badly because she is Sudanese. You did not help her. Instead, you gave her a hard time. I never want to have a problem like this again, and if I have one, I am pressing charges against everyone involved." The security guards were duly chastened. 
Suzy told me that they did not ask her or her sister for their IDs in the following days.  I worked hard for this authority. It felt good to use my authority to help someone.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Video: SalomonTV Takes Us on a Dream Trip to Nepal

    Video: SalomonTV Takes Dream Trip Nepal

    If you could go on a dream trip, where would it be? For trail runner Tyler Courville, it would be a visit to Nepal to go running with National Geographic... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • 5 Ice Cream Shops Keeping Chicago Cool This Summer

    Cream Shops Keeping Chicago Cool This Summer

    There’s no better sweet treat during summertime than ice cream. When the sun is out and temperatures climb higher, warm desserts just can’t compete. Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Urbanmatter Chicago
    TRAVEL
  • Coqui Coqui Residences

    Coqui Residences

    The chill and laid back subtle bohemian modern rustic elegance of the Coqui Coqui residences is undoubtedly the best way to drift away on a hectic Tuesday... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Myparadissi
    HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN
  • First Look: Christian Actress Meagan Good In Election Night Romance

    First Look: Christian Actress Meagan Good Election Night Romance

    ChristianNews We have the first look pics of Christian actress Meagan Good in an election night romance drama starring opposite Omari Hardwick. Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • Sedo Weekly Sales Led by Leem.com

    Sedo released their weekly sales and Leem.com was the top sale at $30,000. OnlyYou.com sold for $27,000. Songs and movies have both been titled Only You, so thi... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Worldwide
    BUSINESS, TECH
  • Combining Posts

    Combining Posts

    Due to illness (not mine) it's been a while since I've been out either on the patch or further afield, today I finally made it out for a morning stroll around... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Ashley Crombet-Beolens
    ENVIRONMENT
  • Sir Roger Moore – Always Living in the Fast Lane…

    Roger Moore Always Living Fast Lane…

    Today at the age of 89 years, the film actor and former "James Bond", Sir Roger Moore passed away, after a short battle with cancer. He was the longest serving... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Solarisastro
    BODY, MIND, SPIRIT, SPIRITUALITY