#IDidNotReport back then but I am sharing it now.

Going through Twitter tonight has been different , for months we have had all these political news/debates , preparing for a march or wallowing in misfortune over those we have lost , but tonight I found the #IDidNotReport hash tag – where people share their stories of harassment that they never reported with total strangers- and since I believe that coming out with these experiences is a very brave act and the least it can do is that to make others know they are not alone and there is nothing wrong with them, I decided to come forward with my own experience.

I’ve lived in MuscatOman for a year where I was working as a dentist in a private clinic and every weekend I would take an hour to reach the center of town and meet with my friends to hang out for the day, so one of these Fridays we went hiking then spent the night chilling on the beach.

It was time for me to get back to where I was staying so I took a cab and it was around 3 am, I took the front seat and was wearing shorts as it was summer ,  after 10 mins the driver started asking me where am I from , what I am doing here ,…etc , then he asked me if I want him to teach me how to drive , to which I replied thank you , as I know how to drive but I didn’t buy a car here yet as I just moved for a couple of months, then he started doing weird facial expressions and started saying sex jokes , to which I was totally unresponsive.

Then he “accidentally” put his hand on my leg , to which he apologized and then again put his hands on my thigh and squeezed it ,I started asking what’s going on while removing his hands , then he started offering me money to have ” fun time”. I had my messenger bag on my lab at the time , so I hit him on the face with it ,  the car slowed down a bit , and that was when I jumped out of the car into the dark totally empty highway, standing their in shock for some time as I am a 28 years old man and I just got harassed by a taxi driver on a highway in a city that I don’t know with now bruises and scratches on different parts of my body due to the fall.

The following day, I reported it to my sponsor and since I am an expat who doesn’t even have his passport in his possession I had to do everything through him , so I told him what happened to which he replied ” your hair is very provocative you should cut it if you don’t want to be harassed” and it became the joke of the medical center I used to work at.

Two years later I am telling this story for the first time and I am all proud because I was harassed and I stood for myself in a foreign country and I guess I got my closure .


7 thoughts on “#IDidNotReport back then but I am sharing it now.

  1. Batool says:

    Hi Zayed, I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I’ve been reading ’em as they come, but I have to say this post is by far my favorite. It’s hard enough for women to come out and tell people about experiences like this, so I can imagine that its much harder for a man to do the same; since society doesn’t acknowledge men as creatures that could be objectified… and any one who admits to being so is deemed less manly, called a faggot, or just treated like a woman and blamed for being a victim. Anyway, kudos to you for sharing. and by the way, I’m Benjamin Franklin from Facebook… Batool from last Eid in Alexandria, if you remember. 🙂

    1. zeyadsalem says:

      Thank you so much , that’s exactly why I posted it as I believe that’s what writing or any other form of self expression should be about , defying social perception and provoking a different way of thinking.
      Of course I remember you , when are you coming again 🙂

      1. Batool says:

        I have no idea when I’m going to come back. My life is at that point where the road just disappears, I have no idea what I’m going to do or where I’m going to do it. so, I don’t really know when I’m coming back… I really want to come soon, though.

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