Qahera is the butt-kicking, veiled heroine created by Deena, an Egyptian artist who aims to battle both misogyny and Islamophobia with her pen.
Covered from head-to-toe, Qahera patrols Egypt’s public spaces, and in different scenes she fights violent mobs, as well as inaction around harassment.
Since the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the country has seen a rise in violent sexual assault in Tahrir Square, the main site of ongoing political activity in Cairo, Egypt’s capital. Just during a week of protests starting on June 30, about 150 sexual assaults were reported, according to local groups.
According to a UN Women survey, 99.3% of Egyptian women have reported being sexual harassment, with 91.5% reporting unwanted physical harassment.
The rise in horrific sexual assault has been met with an explosion of brave and creative initiatives aimed at challenging harassment in Egypt. Graffiti Harimi, for example, uses graffiti to draw attention to sexual harassment. Groups like Tahrir Bodyguard, HarassMap, and Op Anti-SH have done invaluable work documenting attacks, protecting women in political protests, as well as drawing attention at home — and abroad.
With the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting that one out of three women will face sexual or physical violence — I think that we need heroines like Qahera across the globe.
another installment of my comic, featuring Qahera the hijabi superhero! this time its mostly about sexual harassment - and the majority of the themes in this comic are based on real experiences with street harassment.