Do You Still Believe It's an Arab Spring?

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Last year, I interviewed women leaders of the anti-Mubarak uprising, who believed they could usher in a new era of women's empowerment in Egypt.

And now, there's this horror:

A mob of hundreds of men assaulted women holding a march demanding an end to sexual harassment Friday, with the attackers overwhelming the male guardians and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo's Tahrir Square
.
From the ferocity of the assault, some of the victims said it appeared to have been an organized attempt to drive women out of demonstrations and trample on the pro-democracy protest movement.

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Earlier in the week, an Associated Press reporter witnessed around 200 men assault a woman who eventually fainted before men trying to help could reach her.

The marchers tried to flee while the attackers chased them and male supporters tried to protect them. But the attackers persisted, cornering several women against a metal sidewalk railing, including an Associated Press reporter, shoving their hands down their clothes and trying to grab their bags. The male supporters fought back, swinging belts and fists and throwing water.
Eventually, the women were able to reach refuge in a nearby building with the mob still outside until they finally got out to safety.
"After what I saw and heard today. I am furious at so many things. Why beat a girl and strip her off? Why?" wrote Sally Zohney, one of the organizers of the event on Twitter.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/do-you-still-believe-its-an-arab-spring/258317/