You’ve seen the fake viral video ad of strangers kissing for the first time, so here’s one that’s a little different. From Handmade Studios, here are young Egyptian strangers shaking hands with the opposite sex for the first time. For real.
“This is the first time I shake hands with a girl,” one young man says. Another asks a girl, “Are you boy phobic?” She responds, “No, I am disgusted.”
When you’re not distracted by people tongue diving at each others’ faces, nuanced details of the interactions emerge — some women barely tap the mens’ fingers, drawings hands back immediately; others shake confidently and earnestly, taking the men aback a bit; some men hold the handshake a bit longer than is necessary, pushing the intimacy.
But mostly, it’s revealing of the tension and social injustice that persist in my home country. As an Egyptian raised in the Tristate, watching this video makes me uncomfortable and embarrassed, because these issues hit home. One man says,”We won’t bite.” The girl responds, “But you harass.” “Life is tough in Egypt because of the boys, the men,” says another woman. I hope everyone in Egypt watches this and thinks about how they can do better.