Sara Alsherif

Human Rights Researcher she/her

The real reason for doing this mural is for myself. Sarah Hegazi was an LGBTQ activist but first she was my friend. And I think I’m not recovered yet, even from her. Her suicide really affected me. It shaped me. The only way to save myself was to feel like I was doing something for her.

I don’t want the Egyptian government to get away with this crime because they killed her. I feel like it’s the best kind of revenge. They pushed her away. They arrested her. They tried to suppress her. The only way for her to be safe was to be outside of her country, away from her mum. And when she couldn’t be with her mum, when her mum died, I think she lost everything. And the reason for that is this regime. It is their crime pointing the finger at them. I felt like a part of the reason I commissioned the mural was to keep her alive.

And for me, why am I away from my family, my son. Why? Just for speaking out or doing some research work on human rights. It’s a very expensive price just for doing what we believe in.

The idea for the mural came from a mutual friend who suggested doing a graffiti. We organised a fundraising and the university where I work helped me in promoting the project. People sometimes send messages to the Facebook page saying they’d never heard of Sarah before and looked her up. They write about how sorry they are for what happened.

I want her to be remembered. I want people to know her, to know what she did. It’s just like she’s here. Losing the mural would be a second loss. This is how I find my safety and also a coping mechanism.

I want her to be part of this city. I think this is a suitable place for her. I always say she’s here to stay and it’s her place.