In A Man’s World, Egyptian Sisa Abau Pretends To Be A Man For 43 Years

Egyptian Woman Pretends To Be A Man For 43 Years To Feed Her Family

You might have heard the stories of plenty of strong women in history who fought their own battles by being in a man’s shoe. For some of them, it’s literally living in a man’s shoe!

The 65-year-old Egyptian Sisa Abau Dauh El-Nemr who had to hide her identity and suited up as a man to earn bread for her family. Sisa was just 22-years-old when she lost her husband, while being 6 months pregnant with her daughter. Trouble being a woman in a patriarchal society always haunted her and thus she transformed herself into a man for some tough jobs which in a society’s point of view women are not capable of doing.

In a bid to be able to feed her daughter and think about herself, Sisa adhered with the lifestyle, mastered the look even after a global recognition, and still is beating everyone in working hard to survive after four decades.

During an interview to RTD ,  the media put a spotlight on this indefatigable fighter’s life. At a very early age of 16, Sisa was married of to her husband. When he died, she gave birth to her daughter and chose not to get married again. Her determination to take care of her daughter all by herself landed her to be a man from outside. We are taking about the days of the 1970s, when women were criticized in a working word. Only men had a serious consideration while getting in their professional lives.

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Sisa took control of her life and started working in jobs like making and carrying bricks, harvesting crops and shining shoes behind a temple etc. She even made the bricks to build her house.

“I’ve worked hard but it’s better than having a second husband,” hails Sisa. “I’d rather eat dirt and feed stones to my daughter, than find myself another husband,” she added in an interview.

She further explained, “Some people used to try to bully me. But when they learned that I’m capable of any job, that I’m strong, they left me alone.”

Being an uneducated mother, Sisa felt the need to empower her daughter, Hada, in a society like this, so admitted her to a school and carried the expenses till she could afford it. Today she is the sole earner for a family of eight people.

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When her true identity was revealed – after 45 years of long struggle – a documentary titled The Untamed Shrew by RT, one local from Luxor, was released. It described her as an incredible fighter and says, “We respect her. But 10 years ago, we didn’t talk about or respect her.”

Watch the whole documentary here.

Sisa also holds award for being the most supportive mother by the president of Egypt, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

When asked a follow man about Sisa, he says, “She’s 100% great. She has worked like a horse!” Another passerby replied, “She’s worth a dozen men. You’re a sheikha of the Arabs.”

Today the inspiring lady runs the kiosk and shines shoes in the market.

Sisa’s story taught us one thing today. If you are ready to survive no matter what, well, get shit done.

Feature Picture credit- RT

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Read More Stories By Ria Das

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