When the first incidents of women being assaulted by crowds of Arab men came out of Cologne, Germany, during New Years Eve, the news was being suppressed.
A lot of the bad behaviour of men, not to excuse it but to explain it, comes from the fact that these young men are under enormous pressure economically, in the family and it’s not a surprise when they behave badly.” Born to Egyptian and British parents and raised in Canada, El Feki is certainly no stranger to awkward subjects.
But it’s not only Germany that is suffering; other European nations such as Austria and Switzerland have also reported similar cases.
According to Holger Munch of the BKA, attacks can range from stealing belongings, to groping and even rape.
Her revolutionary 2013 book delved deep into the gender and sexual politics underpinning the Middle East, treading unworn ground over a subject deemed taboo across a largely conservative region.
And though her extensive research into focussed largely on women, “because they had more interesting things to say,” it occurred to her that “we don’t actually know much about men in the region apart from their public roles as fathers, sons, we don’t know very much about their inner workings”.