Kissing on Egyptian Streets

A photograph circulating on Facebook of two young Egyptians kissing in the street stirred both outrage and admiration. Shared by Ahmed ElGohary, a commentator objected to ‘the lack of manhood’ entailed by sharing such photo. Others praised the beauty of it and its revolutionary sense.

Two young lovers kiss on the street in Egypt, shared by Ahmed ElGohary

Two young lovers kiss on the street in Egypt, shared by Ahmed ElGohary

Public display of affection is widely frowned upon in Egypt, as laws of public indecency could be used to prosecute those who publicly show affection or drink alcohol on the streets.

Alongside the photo, ElGohary shared lyrics of Youssra El Hawary's song On The Street. El Hawary an upcoming independent singer and her songs proved a youtube success. On The Street's lyrics read:

Some people curse each other, kill each other on the street,
Some people sleep on the floor on the street,
Some people sell their honor on the street,
But it would truly be a scandal if one day we forgot and kissed each other on the street!


  • In your case, she’s decided to sacrifice for the religion. This can possibly get her to question the religion (if she starts feeling really bad about it), but more likely it will strengthen it.

  • The kind of belief you’re talking about is a core identity belief. It is a belief programmed into her in childhood, exploiting the fact that children are willing to internalize what they are told as true, without real reflection. In fact, it is probably several: “I am a Muslim”. “I want to be/am a good person”. “Allah is real.’ There are some aspects that may be more or less core without being directly identity; e.g. “Good Muslims do X”. There may also be side beliefs: “My family will be horribly sad if I leave Islam”. “My family will throw me out if I don’t follow the teachings”. And so on.

  • If she’s to be with you, one or more of those beliefs have to change, and her identity have to adapt to see herself as a different person, with new supports of personal value. This is not an easy change – she has to accept that a number of things the’s done has been wasteful or harmful, and she has to face the problems from her community (and possibly loss of community), and she has to change her actual beliefs.

  • There are ways to support this, of course. You can be there for her. You can help provide her with a strong support network that is not religiously based, helping her getting new friends and learning other ways to live.

  • And you can help her framing of religion – you can refer to her as being “raised in a Muslim household” or “having learned the Muslim traditions” rather than “being Muslim”, and you can help her learn other ways of seeing the world.

  • But – most likely you’ll fail. To have this kind of thing happen, you’d have to be there over a period of time, which means she would have to let you. And you’d have to be able to deal with this without attempting to apply pressure to accelerate the process – and this is very, very hard.

  • To be truthful: While I consider cult deprogramming to be worthwhile – and I consider most religious practices to contain a cult component – it is difficult, and starting out as a boyfriend isn’t really the best position for it.

  • You’re almost certainly better off finding somebody else – and she may be better off with it, too. A clumsy failed attempt at helping her escape religion is worse than just leaving her in it.

  • It sounds to me like you like her more for who you want he to be than who she is. If you love her, and she’s religious, and her religion doesn’t allow for your relationship to happen, then you have to respect that. You may not agree with her religion, but if she does then you have to respect that part of her along with everything else. Going into a relationship looking to change something in the other person is starting a relationship with the person you want them to be… And it’s a recipe for disaster, one way or the other.

  • Yes, if you become a Muslim. That’s the only way to be with a muslim girl.

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