[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COesFcvkXaE&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Fayza is wearing loose clothes and a veil that covers her hair as she boards an old bus numbered 678 and overflowing with people on an afternoon in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Without a free seat in sight, she stands in the middle aisle along with dozens of other passengers.
Just as the bus begins to move, a stranger tries to grope her from behind. Fayza turns around and stabs him in the groin with a small blade. The man falls to the ground in pain. In the ensuing confusion, Fayza gets off the bus and walks out onto the chaotic street.

So begins the main plot in the star-studded movie Masr 678, the first Egyptian-produced feature film to directly deal with the problem of sexual harassment.
'Sexual harassment in Egypt is driven by several reasons, including that men are sexually repressed and they distrust and blame women,' the film's director and screenwriter, Mohamed Diab, said in Cairo earlier this week.
Harassment also takes place 'because men know that women will remain silent and will not report being harassed,' he noted.
'That's what the movie wants to change,' Diab said.
Women rarely report incidents of harassment to the police, fearing that they will be blamed for wearing clothes that some men have argued invite sexual harassment.

One woman, who declined to give her name, said a group of men assaulted her on the street. Police told her there was no point in filing a report and that the men 'were probably joking.'
'I think the film's message was that women should speak up, that they shouldn't allow society to blame them for harassment. People say that it's a woman's fault because maybe she dresses scantily, but the truth is that women who cover their hair also get harassed all the time,' Amira Fawzy, a 30-year-old housewife, said after seeing the film.
In 2008, Noha Ostath became the first woman to file and win a criminal case based on harassment. The perpetrator received a three- year jail sentence, which led to Egypt's parliament to discuss that year new legislation criminalising sexual harassment.
In Masr 678, young actress Yasmine El-Sebeiy plays Nelly, an outspoken, edgy character in her early 20s whose sexual assault and reaction is based on Ostath's case.

In one of the film's more powerful scenes, a man driving a pickup truck grabs Nelly's breasts and drags her through a narrow street in broad daylight. After falling to the ground, Nelly gets up and chases the truck, jumping on top of it and eventually forcing the driver to stop so she can take him to the police station.
The issue made international headlines after a study published by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights found that at least 83 per cent of Egyptian women experience sexual harassment.
A more recent survey found that while the most frequent form of harassment was verbal, at least 40 per cent of women said they had experienced sexual assault.
Shortly after the film was released last month, some Egyptian groups called on the government to ban it because it tarnishes the country's image and promotes violence against men.
'Egypt's reputation about this topic, unfortunately, is not tarnished, it's already ripped apart! All of the traveling manuals around the world tell women to beware of traveling to Egypt because there is serious harassment here,' Diab shot back.

The issue has been raised in televised public service announcements. In recent years, the Ministry of Tourism released advertisements condemning sexual harassment, saying that it also affects tourism, a major source of revenue for Egypt's economy.
'I believe that the movie is not about harassment or suppression, but about silence,' Diab said.
His message may have been heard. Sara Ali, a 21-year-old student at Ain Shams University, said the film empowered her to press charges against a man who exposed himself to her in public.
'If I let someone touch me and don't anything about it, I will be weak,' she said. 'A woman as a creature is not weak. My weakness is in letting go of my rights.'

Egyptian film urges women to act against sexual harassment (Feature) - Monsters and Critics