(Ahram) Egypt’s interior ministry has deployed “secret police” to Cairo’s parks and gardens in an attempt to prevent robbery and sexual harassment during the Sham El-Nassim national holiday on Monday, according to Cairo governor Atef Abdel Hamid.
In press statements, Hamid said significant measures had been taken to secure the capital’s public parks and gardens during the holiday, with an operations room set up to monitor the situation in every park.
Monday marks the traditional Egyptian spring holiday of Sham El-Nassim, which is often celebrated with family outings to parks and other outdoor excursions. Reports of sexual harrassment in public places are normally higher during the holiday.
Egypt’s security forces typically boost security during national holidays, with female police officers deployed to prevent sexual harassment on the streets.
According to a United Nations Women study in 2013, 99.3 percent of Egyptian women surveyed said that they had experienced sexual harassment.
The Sham El-Nassim holiday always falls on the day after Easter Sunday in the Coptic Christian calendar.
Egyptians typically devour the traditional meal of pickled mullet fish, known as fesikh, which is marinated in vinegar for one year prior to consumption.
The health ministry issues health warnings each year, urging citizens to buy their fesikh from known and trusted vendors, to check expiration dates, and not to buy from street sellers or attempt to make it at home.